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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not One Person Told Me


*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 Yolanda Austin
Alabama State Leader
Operation Outcry


At the young age of 15 I found myself pregnant and scared. I was all alone, at least in my mind, my boyfriend and I had broken up and I could not tell my parents. I would figure out something, eventually. Eventually came - and my mother took me to the hospital because I had been sick for some time. That day they made the decision to “help” me and do what was “best” for everyone. That decision would change our lives forever, but it was not for the best.

My father borrowed the money and my mother took me to the abortion facility. The building had no signs in the front to let everyone know what kind of establishment it housed. When I walked in, it looked like a doctor’s office but the atmosphere was much colder. They asked my mother for the money. A mere $250 would be all they felt my child’s life was worth.

As I was taken in for the procedure, I was still not totally positive what an abortion actually was. No one cared, they never asked if this was what I wanted or if I had any questions. I was lying on the table when the abortionist walked in. He turned on the machine to literally suck the life from my body. In just a moment the abortionist started cursing and asking why I had lied. He could not do the procedure because I was too far along. I had not lied, nobody had asked me anything. He told my mother that I was at least six months pregnant. The abortion facility referred us to another facility that would do late term abortions. There were no refunds because they said they had not been fully informed, how ironic, so it would have to be paid for a second time.

Two days later we arrived at yet another abortion facility in another town. This time it was a doctors’ office. We went in the first day for medication. Then on the second day when I went in I was sent to the back and put on yet another table. I heard the vacuum machine turn on and I cried out because the pain was so great. As the nurse shoved a pillow over my face she told me “To be quiet people would think they were killing somebody in here.” What was she saying? He was killing someone, my unborn child.

Nobody told me that day a part of me would die in that office not just my child. I would begin drinking and experimenting with drugs. Anything I could do to dull the ache in my heart. I attempted suicide and battle depression.

At 21, divorced and mother of two toddlers, I found myself alone and pregnant again. I was not receiving any help from their father and barely surviving financially. Within one hour of finding out I was pregnant, I was back at the same abortion facility that I had been to six years earlier. Nothing had changed. It still had that same cold feeling as you walked in. I paid my money, filled out the paperwork, and was ushered to the back. As I lay on the table the abortionist walked in never saying a word. He never even looked at me. He just sat down, turned on the vacuum machine and started his gruesome task. As I cried uncontrollably the nurse escorted me to a room full of girls in recliners that were “recovering”. At that very moment I swore to myself that I would NEVER enter this building again.

I drove myself home and called my boss to tell him I would be a little late for work. I showered then went to work. That day I started lying to everyone. Telling them everything was “fine” as I died inside. I had a lot of self hatred and no self-worth. I would not tell anyone of my decision for years. I hid my shame and guilt from everyone. I wish so many times that someone would have told me that the worst decision I would ever make in my life would have such long life-altering consequences. Not one person at the abortion facility told me of the emotional and psychological pain I would suffer for years alone.

I will always regret ending my children’s lives. Their memory will always be in my heart. I cannot change that, but I can inform other women of the horrible after affects of abortion.

Jesus is the only source of peace that I have for the decisions I have made. He has forgiven me and healed me from the self-destruction. He made me whole again. Now I want all to know that abortion hurts women and it hurt me. It does not stop with just the women that have the abortion, but all the people that she cares for and the ones that care for her.

Yolanda Austin is the Alabama State Leader for Operation Outcry. Yolanda is a crisis counselor and post-abortive ministry leader at a crisis pregnancy center. She speaks to churches and youth groups to let them know the affects that abortion has on people's lives. She is happily married with three living children and one wonderful grandson.

*Reprinted by permission of Operation Outcry.


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