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Friday, August 15, 2008

My Life Was Never the Same

*Publisher's note: this personal testimony is being reprinted in light of the upcoming vote in South Dakota on Initiated Measure 11 and the recent statement by the American Psychological Association that abortion does not threaten women's mental health.

By Cynthia Collins
International Team Leader
Host Faces of Abortion
Operation Outcry

The counselor from Planned Parenthood sat across from me, a woman who looked to be in her early 50’s, and said, “You can go to Washington, DC and get an abortion – it’s not legal in Pennsylvania. But pretty soon women will not have to go through this. It will be legal to have an abortion.” Where was the inalienable right to life for the women of this generation?

I thought, “How did I get here – I need help. She’s an adult – she must know what she is talking about. I’ve heard of Planned Parenthood – this must be okay…”

The counselor told me that after the abortion, I could get on with my life. I was 19-years-old and a college freshman. Even though my boyfriend was sitting next to me, I felt very afraid and alone. He looked at me and said, “Whatever you want to do.”

I remember that cold day– a Friday in January of 1973. I flew to Washington, DC with my boyfriend. We were picked up at the airport along with other women who were scheduled for abortions that day.

At the abortion facility, I was herded into a room with approximately 40 other women. It was so impersonal. An empty fetal model was held up for us to see. The woman speaking told us the procedure would take about 15 minutes. I was then taken into a room with only the abortionist and another woman. I can remember intense pain as I was crying. I felt as through I was going to get sick. I have never experienced a pain so intense, ever, in my life. I was then taken into another room. I was told to sit and wait. I could leave in an hour. Next to that room were women on cots who were crying. I was told they were having problems.

As I left the abortion facility, I was told, “Everything will be alright. You can go on with your life. Here’s some medication if you run a fever – everything will be alright.” Everything was not alright. My life was never the same.

Within a few weeks, my relationship with my boyfriend ended. He was my “one and only” sexual relationship before the abortion. I immediately went into a deep depression. I began drinking heavily, using drugs, began running from relationship to relationship, and stopped going to many of my college classes. I was trying to kill the pain that started with the abortion. Where was my baby? Where was the inalienable right to life? I just didn’t care any more.

Within a year I was diagnosed with fibrocystitis in the breast. The doctor could not figure out how I had developed these cysts. I quit college and began to live a life self-destruction – increased promiscuity, pain, pregnancy, and continued abortions. During one abortion, part of my baby was left inside. Abortion hadn’t solved my problem; it added to the pain. At the abortion facilities, I was never told that I had other options, that abortion could be damaging my body, that I might not ever have a child, that I was taking another human life, that I might die. My baby, my first child could have saved me, if I would have chosen life.

As a child, I had been sexually abused until the age of six. I believe that abuse led to my loss of worth, value, and a need to be accepted by men by my performance. Since that time, I have come to learn that many post-abortive women have also suffered some form of abuse as a child. Abuse has caused abortion, and abortion has escalated the abuse of women.

Abortion left me with infertility and many years of scars that are now healed through the love of Jesus Christ. I am a mother of 10 children. Seven are in heaven (six through abortion and one miscarried). My three children on earth are a tremendous blessing and have changed my life forever. They bring truth to this generation and this nation that “all life has value and worth and that the women of our nation need healing, real love, and truth – not continued abuse through abortion.”

Cynthia Collins is Louisiana State Leader for Operation Outcry, host of Faces of Abortion, and co-founder of the Crisis Pregnancy Help Center of Slidell, LA, founded in September 1985. CPHC has served over 22,000 women and given life to over 8,500 babies. In 1993 Cynthia also founded Passion4Purity International, an outreach to young adults that brings the message of destiny, purpose, and purity as a lifestyle for this generation. Cynthia is the Executive Director of Generation Outreach, which also includes WGON-FM in Slidell. Cynthia serves as the Station Manager along with production of “Beyond Words” and “Life Stories.”

*Reprinted by permission of Operation Outcry.


Anonymous said...

You were abused as a child...

Was your life ever the same after that?

But the abortion you chose is responsible for everything that went wrong in your life. Could that be because there is a powerful religious movement opposed to women exercising that choice, that makes women who have had abortions feel not just guilty but unholy?

Bob Ellis said...

Many of the women I've heard from have this sense of guilt, even without a religious background or religious input. Some would argue that it is an innate sense of the conscience which tells them something is wrong.

But true Christianity provides a message of hope, that any sin can be forgiven. And if you've read many of the stories of women like this (and read future stories that will be posted at Dakota Voice), you'll see that many of these women have found forgiveness.

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