Abortion Story: Hialeah, FL
Submitted to Abort73 by a 61-year-old woman on October 9, 2015.
It was April, 1972, and I was a little over two months from graduating high school; I was 17 years old. I was so regular every month and knew the moment I was late that I was pregnant. I could already feel my body had been making changes. Abortion had just become legal in New York in 1972. At this point, I had never even been to a gynecologist yet. I made an appointment with an ob-gyn that a girlfriend had given me. She said he could arrange for an abortion.
I went in for the pregnancy test and in minutes, he came back in and said "the rabbit died." He asked me what I thought I was going to do. I told him I was considering abortion and had heard that he could make arrangements for me in New York. I asked what was involved. He told me that it was just a mass of tissue, not a really big deal, and would be rather quick. With abortion having just become legal in New York and the technology nowhere near what it is today, I believed him and every other thing that was being put out there about how quick and easy abortion was.
I was so young, but I was not a stupid girl. I had a wonderful mom and dad, but I was very independent and felt I got myself into this and I was going to get myself out. I began dating the father of my child when I was in the eighth grade. He was the only boy I ever dated. We started having sexual intercourse when I was 14 years old; there was no birth control then. The cost of the abortion and the roundtrip flight to New York was $400.00. I had a part time job and earned $42 a week. I cannot remember what my boyfriend earned; it was more than me but not by much. It took me until July to get the money together. I had made the flight arrangements, and scheduled the abortion for July 12, 1972. I had never flown before and had to go by myself because that is all I could afford.
By July 12th, I was already pretty big and had to wear my blue jeans unzipped with a shirt long enough and loose enough to cover my belly. The night before I was to fly to New York, I was doing our family dinner dishes and my mom, out of the blue, said, “Are you pregnant? I can't remember you having a period now for several months." I was not smart enough to pull Tampax out and hide them like I was using them during that time. My mother and I were close in our cycles so we always used up a box or so a month. Of course I said, “No way, I just haven't been discussing every month with you." She didn't press any further. I lied to my parents and told them I was spending the day with my brother and his girlfriend and then spending the night with them so I could at least have a day to recuperate.
I was approximately 12 weeks pregnant when I went to New York on July 12th. I lied to the doctor's staff in NY and gave them a later date by 30 days. Otherwise, I would not have been able to have the rapid abortion as you had to be less than 3 months pregnant. I also was not turning 18 until the 30th of July, and that was a requirement too. I got on a plane at 7:00 am that morning of the 12th, nervous as hell. I was going to a city I had never been to, by myself, to go through a procedure I knew virtually nothing about—trusting that all the arrangements were above board. I got sick and did not even know for sure that the plane had puke bags in the seat backs like I had heard. I searched and thank goodness it was there, as I filled the darn bag all the way even though all I had done was drink a glass of orange juice on the plane.
I arrived at LaGuardia airport around 9:00 am and was told someone from the clinic would pick me up. This young guy in his 20's was holding a sign with my name on it. When I approached him he said I was the only one he was picking up that morning and that I would have the van to myself. All I remember is it was a white cargo van; he took me over Scarborough Bridge—the bridge in Simon & Garfunkel's song. I don't even remember what borough I was in; I think it was Queens. He took me into a four or five story building; it had big, black and white tiles in the lobby. The clinic was on one of the upper floors.
A nurse came and got me to do some paperwork. When she asked for my i.d. I told her I had forgotten my purse and had nothing with me. She then said if I couldn't prove that I was eighteen, I was not going to be able to have the procedure. I started freaking out telling her I had never flown before, was upset about being pregnant, and had simply forgotten my purse when I got out of the car to board the plane. Of course, I was lying, but I thought, what the heck, I was only 18 days away from being 18—but I sure did not look it. She went and got another nurse and told her I could not prove I was 18 and that they were not going to do the procedure. The second nurse looked at me and said, “She looks 18 to me.” She said she would sign off that she had received the i.d. required so I could get the abortion since I had come from Florida.
They took me into a room and readied me for the procedure. The doctor came in and got everything ready. He then gave me an exam and said, “You know you are pregnant with twins, don't you?" Well, no I didn't know that, but now it made sense as to why I was so huge at 12 weeks. I remember saying, “Now I'm really glad I came for the abortion." It was about 30 minutes until he was done. They took me into a recovery room where I had to lie down for two hours and eat Oreo cookies and drink Coca-Cola. They said I had to get the sugar into my body. I was bleeding tremendously and cramping very badly. After two hours, they put me back on the van for a flight back to Miami that was leaving New York at 4:00 p.m. I arrived back in South Florida around 6:00 p.m. and went to my brother's house. It was a horrific night; I was cramping and dropping clots the size of cantaloupes. It was scary but at the time, I felt relieved. I had a week of my breasts leaking so much milk I had to put saran wrap in my bra so it would not come through my shirt.
I ended up marrying my boyfriend in November of 1972, and we stayed married until April of 1976. I knew in my heart it was never going to be a marriage that lasted forever, but I was so young and naive. I thought about what I had done but really had mixed feelings and it really bothered me when the doctor said twins. When I reached about 25-years-old, it started weighing heavily on my mind as medicine and technology grew more sophisticated by the minute. I remarried in 1981, after having lived with him for a few years. I had to get off of birth control when I was 27 as it was starting to cause problems with my breasts. I was not sure I was ready to get pregnant yet, so I had an IUD put in. In 1984, I got pregnant with the IUD in and had no idea I was pregnant. It was not like the first time when I knew immediately. I was at work and started to hemorrhage; I went into the bathroom and could not locate the string of the IUD and went directly to the doctor. The doctor examined me and asked, “Didn't you know you were pregnant?” I said, “No, I'm supposed to be protected." He told me, “Well, there's a 2% chance you could get pregnant.” I lost the baby and had to have a D&C. I told the doctor I did not want any more birth control.
My husband and I then began to try to get pregnant. Later that same year I became pregnant. In about my 11th week, I had a miscarriage. When I had hemorrhaged with the IUD, the doctor told me there was no damage to my uterus or other female organs. I believed him and never sought a second opinion. When I miscarried, the doctor I then had wanted to do a test to see if when I got pregnant my hormones were not producing correctly. I sat for 10 hours in the doctor's office where I had to drink this 16 ounces of fluid have a blood test every hour. After he received the results from this test, he said it was not hormonal. I got pregnant again, and again; I lost the baby. I was never able to have children. I have always felt that I was probably being punished for what I had done. However, I really believe in my heart that the Lord knew I was not a very bright girl at 17 and I did not maliciously consider the abortion. I simply believed the doctors that it was not a baby at 12 weeks.
As the years went by, science was able to show a picture of a fetus inside the womb at the various stages of growth. That was when my heart broke. I was able to see that at 12 weeks, I had two children in my womb that already had formed hands, legs, feet, eyes in their little heads, mouths, noses, backbones, etc. I killed two innocent children and it really bothered me and does to this day. I will never forgive myself. It is probably why I was never able to conceive. Had I just been wise enough to have told my parents, I would have had their guidance to see that it was meant to be. Just because you get pregnant, you don't dispose of what you perceive to be an inconvenience. I was so young. Of course I didn't think so at the time. I did not even tell my parents about my pregnancy or abortion until I was almost 40-years-old.
I now know, and have for the last 30+ years, that the moment you conceive, it is a human being that deserves to live. If you do not feel you are ready, you can always provide a loving couple who cannot conceive with a child of their own. I just pray that our nation will realize that we have murdered millions and millions of children who deserved to live; they were all God's children. These young girls that blog that they have no regrets and are so very glad they made the choice to kill their child, they are so immature and have no idea of the damage that is going to come to their soul at some point in their lives. I pray that they will see the light. With all the birth control that is available today, there is no excuse for an unexpected pregnancy. They will pay the price, sooner or later. It is long overdue to stop this killing of innocents. I don't even believe in allowing abortion for incest or rape. Just give the child up; you will have peace if you do.
Location: Hialeah, FL
Date: October 9, 2015