16 Apr 2018

Finding healing after abortion

Submitted by Galsuinda

Finding healing after abortion

Post-abortion stress syndrome is a controversial topic, but the complex emotions that can come after a crisis pregnancy are real

After experiencing abortion at age 20, Elizabeth Peters had nightmares for years. Now she is happily married and expecting her third child. The Stayton mother has taken maternity photos for other women experiencing crisis pregnancy. (Sarah Wolf/Catholic Sentinel)
Sarah Wolf
1/23/2018 1:11 PM
STAYTON — Elizabeth Peters saw a counselor for years. She regularly had nightmares portraying someone getting murdered in front of her.
“It was always a man. I knew my son was a man, a boy,” she said.
As a 20-year-old, Peters, who is a cradle Catholic, had an abortion. She tells the story of her boyfriend saying that he was too young to be a father. “This is the only thing we can do,” she remembers him saying.
So he made an appointment and he paid the bill. When she tried to cancel the appointment, the abortion office said that the appointments were hard to come by and if she didn’t take this one she’d probably have to carry her pregnancy to term. When she walked into the appointment with her boyfriend and asked if the couple could get a refund if she decided not to go through with it, the receptionist said yes. But, the receptionist added, expenses accrue immediately after the appointment begins.
“It was just fear upon fear,” said Peters.
After seeing a still-life ultrasound, Peters didn’t want to take the abortion pill. The staff moved her out of the room so another abortion could be performed.
“It was three people pressuring me and in order to leave, I took the pill,” she said.
Then came the post-traumatic stress. Then came the nightmares. And they continued for years.
Post-abortive trauma, post-abortion syndrome: These aren’t conditions found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association.
One report from 2014 entitled “Abortion and Mental Health: Findings from the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication” found abortion was not a statically significant predictor of subsequent mental health conditions like anxiety and mood disorders.
“This does not mean that abortion care settings should ignore mental health risk,” the report added. “Women seeking abortions may be at higher risk of prior mental health disorders and the abortion care setting may be an important intervention point for mental health screening and referrals.”
Still, another study from 2011, “Abortion and Mental Health: Quantitative Synthesis and Analysis of Research Published 1995-2009,” did find women who experienced abortion are at a higher risk for mental health problems.
People who’ve experienced abortion can face post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, struggles with self-image, difficulties with attachment to subsequent children, anxiety or a number of other mood disorders that are a result of the abortion or whatever experiences or circumstances happened around the pregnancy, says Emily Noack, mental health clinician with Catholic Charities of Oregon, which oversees Project Rachael in the archdiocese. Everyone experiences grief in a unique way.
Noack and the team at the local Project Rachael have a dedicated phone line and email address that women and men can call for free counseling. The team are all licensed social workers providing standard grief support, but with the possibility of also connecting patients with spiritual support.
The team collaborates with parishes, finding the patients whatever kind of spiritual aid they would like: a prayer partner, a priest, a woman religious, etc.
“That collaboration with the parishes ... is key,” says Heather Zarrilli, director of Family Support and Counseling Services at Catholic Charities of Oregon. Men and women who have had this experience can face complex emotions like sadness, anger, resentment and sometimes relief, all at the same time.
“Priests don’t have the clinical counseling training and we don’t have the same spiritual counseling training. ... We can really provide the personal and more comprehensive support when we have both of those together.”
The more support women and men who’ve experienced abortion have, the easier it can be for them to heal.
“There are a lot of women who, if they are struggling after an abortion, need support,” adds Noack. “We want to be a place where people feel comfortable and can come and heal or just have the support of other women.
When Peters became pregnant again, she kept her daughter, despite being abandoned by the father.
“I just knew that I loved my daughter and no matter what happened, I wanted her to know how important she was,” said Peters. She kept her second son when he arrived unexpectedly as well.
A study by the Guttmacher Institute reported that most women receiving abortions have a religious affiliation. Thirty percent described themselves as Protestant, 24 percent as Roman Catholic and 8 percent identified another religion. Thirty-eight percent of patients didn’t identify with any religion.
“The abortion index for Catholic women showed that their relative abortion rate was nearly the same as that for all women,” read the report.
Though she feels welcomed now, Peters felt judgement from some in her family and Catholic community.
“Until there’s a face and a story to a sin, it’s easy to judge,” she says.
When Peters married, her husband adopted her two children and the couple are now expecting a third. Up until her latest pregnancy, she had been taking maternity photos for women in crisis pregnancies. It was a gift given to her when she was pregnant with her now 6-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.
Mary McClusky is assistant director for Project Rachel Ministry Development and the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“Forgiveness and healing are at the heart of what it means to be Catholic,” said McClusky. “Project Rachel Ministry is an extension of the healing ministry of Jesus.”
“Christ came to forgive our sins and calls upon the church to help be a bridge to his divine mercy,” she continued. “The U.S. bishops, as successors to the apostles, have long called upon all the resources of the church to serve those suffering after abortion. It is fitting for a bishop to lead efforts in a diocese to offer both spiritual and psychological help to those who suffer after abortion.”
Susanne Babbel, a licensed marriage and family therapist, explored the topic in an article in Psychology Today: “Feelings are complex, and sometimes a woman will need to seek out counseling to help her sort through her own emotions and reactions as well as any perceived or actual stigma she may be experiencing.”
21 Mar 2018

The Nightmares of Choice

by Rachel M. MacNair

pesadilla“I have fetus dreams, we all do here: dreams of abortions one after the other; of buckets of blood splashed on the walls; trees full of crawling fetuses,” reported Sallie Tisdale of her time as a nurse in an abortion facility. Writing in Harper’s magazine, she told of dreaming that two men grabbed her and dragged her away.

“Let’s do an abortion,” they said with a sickening leer, and I began to scream, plunged into a vision of sucking, scraping pain, of being spread and torn by impartial instruments that do only what they are bidden. I woke from this dream barely able to breathe and thought of kitchen tables and coat hangers, knitting needles striped with blood, and women all alone clutching a pillow in their teeth to keep the screams from piercing the apartment-house walls.

It is not joyful or easy work. “There are weary, grim moments when I think I cannot bear another basin of bloody remains, utter another kind phrase of reassurance,” she wrote“... I prepare myself for another basin, another brief and chafing loss. ‘How can you stand it?’ Even the clients ask... I watch a woman’s swollen abdomen sink to softness in a few stuttering moments and my own belly flip-flops with sorrow.”1

What is the emotional impact of doing abortions on the people who do them? Those who do them have written and said enough to show that it is no ordinary medical procedure. Some, like Tisdale, suffer nightmares. Others suffer many of the other symptoms associated with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), once called “shell shock” and “battle fatigue.”2 The practice of medicine, of healing, should not give you nightmares, should not leave you shell-shocked.

In the following, only pro-choice doctors and nurses and official medical publications will be quoted, except for the two doctors quoted at the end. Their belief that dealing constantly with abortion was an unusual and significant source of stress, more so than ordinary medicine, did not by any means come from opposition to abortion.

Their Trauma

Remarkably little study has been done of the doctors, nurses, counselors, and other staff in abortion facilities. Only two scientific studies that look at a large number of people have been done by researchers who did not work in the abortion field. One (by M. Such-Baer) appeared in Social Casework in 1974 and the other (by K. M. Roe) in Social Science and Medicine in 1989.

Both studies were done by people in favor of legal abortion, yet they both note the high prevalence of symptoms that fit the condition now called Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The study published in 1974, before the term was adopted, noted that “obsessional thinking about abortion, depression, fatigue, anger, lowered self-esteem, and identity conflicts were prominent. The symptom complex was considered a ‘transient reactive disorder,’ similar to ‘combat fatigue’.”3

The other study listed similar symptoms: “Ambivalent periods were characterized by a variety of otherwise uncharacteristic feelings and behavior including withdrawal from colleagues, resistance to going to work, lack of energy, impatience with clients, and an overall sense of uneasiness. Nightmares, images that could not be shaken, and preoccupation were commonly reported. Also common was the deep and lonely privacy within which practitioners had grappled with their ambivalence.”4

The case that abortion practitioners suffer from PTSD because they perform abortions cannot yet be made. It is a difficult thing to prove: It may be difficult to ascertain who is and who is not doing abortions; those who have suffered worst may have already left the field; it may be that those people who have been through traumatic events already are more inclined to participate in abortions; and finally, the current political debate can affect the way people feel about their work.

However, the evidence so far accumulated shows that further research is certainly needed.

American Medical News, a magazine published by the American Medical Association, reported that the discussions at a workshop of the National Abortion Federation “illuminate a rarely heard side of the abortion debate: the conflicting feelings that plague many providers. . . . The notion that the nurses, doctors, counselors and others who work in the abortion field have qualms about the work they do is a well-kept secret.” Among the stories:

A nurse who had worked in an abortion clinic for less than a year said her most troubling moments came not in the procedure room but afterwards. Many times, she said, women who had just had abortions would lie in the recovery room and cry, “I’ve just killed my baby. I’ve just killed my baby.” “I don’t know what to say to these women,” the nurse told the group. “Part of me thinks, ‘Maybe they’re right.’”

A doctor in New Mexico admitted that

he was sometimes surprised by the anger a late-term abortion can arouse in him. On the one hand, the physician said, he is angry at the woman. “But paradoxically,” he added, “I have angry feelings at myself for feeling good about grasping the calvaria [the top of the baby’s head], for feeling good about doing a technically good procedure which destroys a fetus, kills a baby.”5

Almost All Negative

Such-Baer’s study, done in 1974, a year after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion across the country, reported that “almost all professionals involved in abortion work reacted with more or less negative feelings.” Those who have contact with the fetal remains have more negative feelings than those who do not, and their response varied little: “All emotional reactions were unanimously extremely negative.”6

The largest published study involved interviews with 130 abortion workers in San Francisco between January 1984 and March 1985. The authors did not expect to find what they found. “Particularly striking was the fact that discomfort with abortion clients or procedures was reported by practitioners who strongly supported abortion rights and expressed strong commitment to their work,” they noted. “This preliminary finding suggested that even those who support a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy may be struggling with an important tension between their formal beliefs and the situated experience of their abortion work.”

In response, the researchers decided “to interview only practitioners who identified themselves as pro-choice and were committed to continuing their abortion work for at least six months.” They thought that these people, “as most free of pre-existing anti-choice sentiments and most resistant to their potential influence, would provide rich insight into the current dilemmas and dynamics of legal abortion work.” This lowered the sample to 105 workers.

Seventy-seven percent of those brought up the theme of abortion as a destructive act, as destroying a living thing. As for murder: “This theme was unexpected among pro-choice practitioners, yet 18 percent of the respondents talked about involvement with abortion in this way at some point in the interview. This theme tended to emerge slowly in the interviews and was always presented with obvious discomfort.”7

Even Tisdale, who still believed in abortion, admitted the ambiguity of performing them. Abortion, she said, “is the narrowest edge between kindness and cruelty. Done as well as it can be, it is still violence—merciful violence, like putting a suffering animal to death. . . . It is a sweet brutality we practice here, a stark and loving dispassion.”8

The stress seems to grow as the unborn child develops. “As the pregnancy advances, the idea of abortion becomes more and more repugnant to a lot of people, medical personnel included,” an abortion doctor named Don Sloan noted in a book that vigorously asserts the need for legal abortion. In response, “Clinicians try to divorce themselves from the method.” After describing the procedure in graphic detail, including the need to check the body parts to make sure every part of the fetus has been removed from the uterus, he concluded: “Want to do abortion? Pay the price. There is an old saying in medicine: If you want to work in the kitchen, you may have to break an egg. The stove gets hot. Prepare to get burned.”9

Late-term abortions pose “an unusual dilemma,” said Warren Hern, an abortion specialist, in a paper given to the Association of Planned Parenthood Physicians. The doctors and nurses who do it have “strong personal reservations about participating in an operation which they view as destructive and violent.” He explained their reactions this way:

Some part of our cultural and perhaps even biological heritage recoils at a destructive operation on a form that is similar to our own, even while we may know that the act has a positive effect for a living person. No one who has not performed this procedure can know what it is like or what it means; but having performed it, we are bewildered by the possibilities of interpretation. We have reached a point in this particular technology where there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current... The more we seem to solve the problem, the more intractable it becomes.10

Bad Dreams

22 Nov 2017

They thought I was wacko

Submitted by Galsuinda
Leslie Davis Blackwell was once a poster girl for pro-abortion feminism. The bumper sticker on her minivan read: “Pro-Women, Pro-Family, Pro-Choice.” She is now radically pro-life, working to counteract her former politics and healing from two abortions. But becoming pro-life caused many of her friends and family to think she had lost her mind.
In 1980, at only 20 years old, Blackwell was pregnant when she landed a job as a morning talk-show host on a local TV station. She quickly ended her unplanned pregnancy rather than turn down such an opportunity. The celebrity status went to her head. Partying and sleeping around led to another abortion.
“The second one really got me,” Blackwell said. “I was hollowed out; I hated me.” A string of media jobs, fast living and belief in a New Age version of God kept her guilt at bay.
In 1987, Blackwell married in the Episcopal Church (she had ditched her Catholic roots years earlier) and had two children. She loved motherhood, even finding work to do from home, but rather than face the pain from her abortions, she immersed herself in pro-abortion politics.
After the death of her father in 2008, Blackwell’s beloved Aunt Betty comforted her and gradually helped transform the anti-Catholic bitterness into an understanding of the beauty and truth of the Faith. Beginning with the Blessed Mother and the Divine Mercy devotion, Blackwell was drawn back into the Church.
“The second one really got me. I was hollowed out; I hated me.”
— Leslie Davis Blackwell
At this time, a personal encounter with God made her realize that she had taken away two lives.
“I went to Rachel’s Vineyard and sought healing,” Blackwell said of the post-abortion ministry. “It took me three years.”
Meanwhile, she became passionately pro-life. Those around Blackwell thought something must be wrong with her.
“My family thought I was having a breakdown,” she said. “They thought I was wacko and blamed my Aunt Betty. All hell was breaking loose around me. The first year after my conversion was brutal.”
Blackwell credits God’s grace and the Blessed Mother with leading her through healing from her abortions — and from 30 years of destructive behavior such as substance abuse.
She now shares her story through the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
“Now I speak the truth,” Blackwell said. “The gifts of the Holy Spirit have radically changed me.”
Many of her old friends don’t keep in touch, and much of her family still does not understand her. Blackwell said that four out of five old friends had abortions.
“They are uncomfortable around me, but some have quietly come to talk with me about it,” Blackwell said. “The truth has set me free.”
29 Aug 2015
At the age of 16, just a few days before my 17th birthday, I went on my very first date.  I was thrilled. He played football and was popular. We ate and saw a movie. I still had some time left before my curfew, so we drove around our rural area for a little while. We went to some of his family's property and walked around looking at horses. My first date, which seemed like a total dream, soon turned into a nightmare when he forceably raped me in a barn.
I didn't tell anyone initially; after all, he threatened me immediately after, telling me that I would live to regret it if I told anyone, that he’d make my life miserable, and that nobody would believe me. A couple of weeks later, I told a friend. After talking with a few people, and finding out that he had already been spreading his version of what happened that night, no one believed me. People who I trusted and loved and who should have supported me did not.  I began to just deny the whole thing and started trying to block it from my memory. 
I didn’t think a lot about the possibility of being pregnant because I had a distorted view that because it was rape, then it was somehow less likely I’d become pregnant.  It wasn’t until I started having symptoms that I began to realize I might be pregnant.  I drove to a different town by myself to buy a pregnancy test kit, doing the test in the gas station bathroom so no one in my hometown would ever know.  Before I took the test, I had kind of already thought ahead of what I would do if it came back positive, and so, I had the name of a pregnancy center with their phone number because I thought they were an abortion clinic.  I felt extremely scared and angry there all alone in the gas station restroom.  I was angry at God, asking “How could you allow me to raped?”  I was angry at myself for putting myself in a position to allow this to happen.
From a pay phone, I called the pregnancy center and they said I could come in right then, which I did.  It was about an hour drive for me.  I trusted no one at this point and chose not to tell any friends or family. I felt like this would only confirm what people were already saying about me "making up the rape." I went to the crisis pregnancy center because I thought it was an abortion clinic, hoping to get one that day.
They were so nice to me and told me everything I already knew about the life inside me.  I didn’t feel like I was judged by them at all. They only had certain days of the week that they did ultrasounds, and I would have had to return two days later to get one.  Crying, I told them I was so scared and couldn't handle facing people with the pregnancy, and that I was still going to go to an abortion clinic when I left there.  The counselors told me that even if I did go through with an abortion, that I was still welcome to come back there and talk to them about it.  To this day, 17 years later, I still have a relationship with one of those counselors.
Scared out of my mind of facing ridicule, having to address the rumors the rapist was already spreading, already overwhelmed from my reputation being slandered, I drove to an abortion clinic that same day.  It was the opposite of the pregnancy center, which was warm and inviting, even though it still had the feel of a medical office.  But the abortion clinic was cold and sterile.  There were others in the waiting room, but no one would look at each other or acknowledge each other’s presence in any way.  There was no privacy speaking to the receptionist, telling her why I was there.  She they could see me, but I’d have to make an appointment to come back to get the procedure done the next day.  I told her I couldn’t skip school another day, so she said they would take me right away.
There was no waiting and no questions.  All they cared about was that I had the money to pay. They didn't even care that I was by myself. It was the absolute worst experience of my life -- even worse than the rape.  I kept telling myself that it was going to be okay, that I was raped, so this was justified, and I would get through this.  I didn’t believe any of it, so I just kept saying it to myself over and over again.  I told God that it was all his fault, and I was just so angry in the moment.  But I knew that there was a baby inside of me.  I knew that life begins at conception, but in my 17 year old mind, I just wasn’t making the connection. 
The abortion clinic estimated I was between 14 to 16 weeks pregnant, so they used ultrasound during the procedure.  The screen was turned so I couldn’t see it.  I don’t know if it malfunctioned, or if the nurse made a mistake,  but I heard my baby’s heartbeat, and that was when the connection finally happened.  I told the doctor that I wanted him to stop, but he said it was already too far along to stop.  I was out of it because they’d given me a Valium to relax.  The nurses helped me to get cleaned up and to get dressed.  They were rushing me because they needed the space.  I wasn’t ready to move or to go anywhere, but they didn’t care about hurting me or that I was upset.  They didn’t offer to walk me out to my car, or even ask if anyone was there to drive me.
I sat in my car in pain and crying for 2 hours before I could even think about driving home.  I really shouldn’t have been driving at all that day.  The problem had been taken care of according to society, and I should have been relieved and ready to go on about my life, but relief was the farthest thing from what I felt.  I remember having a dialogue myself, like a good vs. evil talk, first telling myself, “You did what you had to do.  Did you really have any other choice?  Most people would understand what you just did.”  But then I’d tell myself, “You know that was a baby.  How could you do that?  You’re a horrible person.”  I thought, I must not really be a Christian.
For many years, I did anything I could to numb my pain. I barely remember college because I drank all the time. I also struggled with an eating disorder and honestly don't know how I survived, but by the grace of God.  I was attending church this whole time, but part of me just felt dead and I still really questioned, “How could God love me?  How could He ever forgive me for killing my baby?”
With lots of counseling, I stopped drinking and I curtailed the eating disorder.  We focused on the rape for a certain period of time and worked through that, which was helpful, but we hardly ever touched on the abortion.  My therapist even told me, “You really did what you need to do in that situation because you were raped.”
I met a Christian guy through church, and we abstained from sex until our wedding night.  I felt like I’d have enough garbage in my life and I wanted to do things right and honor God.  But as time went on, I still suffered from depression and struggled with the eating disorder.
I’d always felt that because of the experience I had when I went to the pregnancy resource center, I knew that later in my life, I wanted to be involved in this kind of ministry.  We had just had Sanctity of Human Life Sunday at my church, and I told my pastor that the nearest center was about an hour away and that there’s a huge need for a center in our area.  He felt God had given me a vision, and encouraged me to start a local center.  So I got people together and we began to plan the opening of a pregnancy resource center.  During that process, I heard of post-abortion ministry for the very first time by visiting other centers and learning what services are offered.  I dove into reading about post-abortion syndrome, and I realized that this was my big issue, and that’s why I’ve suffered so much.  It just all clicked.
So a couple of years ago, I went through a post abortion bible study, finally understanding and accepting God’s forgiveness and grace.  I’ve finally overcome the eating disorder.  I still get depressed at times, but it’s manageable and no longer dictates my life.  I’ve now started a post-abortion ministry through our local pregnancy resource center and I’m guiding other women through the healing process.

I'm here to tell you that abortion is never the answer.  It will only cause an already painful and difficult situation to be even more hurtful. During my abortion procedure I was terrified. I kept asking questions about what was about to happen and no one seemed to want to answer me. Looking back, I think they wanted to hurry up before I had a chance to change my mind. For many years after, I would have terrible anxiety and even panic attacks at times any time I heard anything that remotely sounded like a heartbeat. For a long time I didn't know that's what I was reacting to and it wasn't until many years later when my husband and I were expecting our first child together that I connected the anxiety to certain sounds. 
I lived in my own private hell until I went through the post abortion Bible study and found healing. The pain I felt all those years literally felt like it would kill me at times. I was very depressed. There were times I cut myself thinking that it would release some of the pain I felt on the inside. There were many times I thought about ending my life and a couple of times I came close to trying. I honestly thought my eating disorder would eventually kill me and that actually became my intention with those behaviors. I felt like I deserved to suffer and not live any resemblance of a happy life because of what I did. 
I want people to hear my story. As hard as it is to tell, it it needs to be told. Something terrible happened to me on that date that night. Then I was betrayed by the people closest to me. All of that was extremely painful, but it doesn't come close to comparing to the pain, the guilt, the shame, the remorse, or the self hatred I heaped and Satan heaped upon me in the years following the abortion. I thought at the time that I was justified in what I was doing because I didn't choose to be in that situation -- I was pregnant by rape. I knew there was life inside me but I thought it wouldn't matter because of how that life got there. I've never been more wrong about something. Aborting a baby that's the result of a rape doesn't affect the woman any differently than under any other circumstance. I've talked with many post-abortive women over the years through working with a local pregnancy center and what I've learned is that we all share the same pain. It's absolutely no different. The end result is still the same.
My prayer is that through me telling my story, more rape victims will speak out about as well, so that we can put a stop to rape being an excuse for keeping abortion legal. I love and grieve for that baby's life, just like I would for either of my other children. I think about every day how old she would be and what she would be like. I don't know if I would have raised her or placed her for adoption, but it's terribly unfair that she never got a chance at life. Even though her life was cut short as a result of the abortion, that didn’t stop her life from having meaning and purpose, and through me telling our story, I’m ensuring her life was not in vain and that she will be remembered.
BIO: Tammy is a wife, mother of 2, post-abortive ministry coordinator, serving on the board of a pregnancy resource center, and is now a pro-life blogger for Save The 1.">Tammy is a wife, mother of 2, post-abortive ministry coordinator, serving on the board of a pregnancy resource center, and is now a pro-life blogger for Save The 1
6 Jun 2015
When Tina was 28, she was in a long-term committed relationship and building a career. Then, unexpectedly, she found herself pregnant. When she chose to have an abortion, a decision she regrets to this day, she learned, in her words, that “the pro-choice movement cares very little about the mother.”
31 Jan 2015
You’re talking to somebody who’s killed a lot of people
Dr. Bruchalski started performing abortions upon graduating from medical school. He was convinced he’d help people this way. But he saw that wasn’t true.
“Infections, depressions, broken families were all on the rise… I asked myself what was wrong, why antidepressants were the most prescribed drug in the world.”
Two consecutive mystic experiences unexpectedly placed him before a woman who introduced herself as the Mother of all mankind: “Why are you hurting me, John?”
“I immediately stopped performing abortions and started to work for the indigent. I try to help them be healthier, happier and holier, respecting the dignity of the human being.”
2 Jan 2015
by Steven Ertelt
Washington, DC | 
Earlier this month, pop singer Nicki Minaj became the subject of news reports when a song of hers hinted at having an abortion. Assuming she was referencing her aborted baby in the tune, the song says the baby is an “angel looking over” her brother.
Now, Minaj has discussed her abortion further and says the abortion she had as a teenager has “haunted” her during her entire life.
In 2008, Minaj admitted to feeling guilt about having had an abortion in the single “Autobiography.” She was around 15 at the time she ended her pregnancy. Here’s an update from Rolling Stone
Minaj’s first love was an older guy from Queens she dated while attending the prestigious Manhattan performing-arts high school LaGuardia. When she discovered she was pregnant, “I thought I was going to die,” she admits.
“I was a teenager. It was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through.” She ended up having an abortion, a decision she says has “haunted me all my life,” though it was the right choice for her at the time. “It’d be contradictory if I said I wasn’t pro-choice. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have anything to offer a child.”
13 Jun 2014

My life is deeply effected by this trauma I faced in my life. I honestly never wanted to have an abortion. I wanted my baby badly. But I was so scared that no one would help me. Taking care of a baby on my own would have been a big change. Everyone told me abortion is the best option. Feeling alone was the worst feeling ever. Now I am left with this hurt for the rest of my life.I feel regret and sadness. I wish I could go back and take my baby back. When I see other babies or children it reminds me of what I could of had. Finding out someone is pregnant hits me the most. I feel my baby would have been a girl. I gave her the name Kacey Hope

From the beginning of May 2010 I noticed I was gaining weight. I never wanted to believe of the possibility of being pregnant. On May 12, 2010 my life changed. I went to the Birth Control Clinic at the London-Middlesex Health Unit. I went for S.T.I Testing. During the testing they did a pregnancy test. I was waiting in a room. The doctor walked in and paused. He goes " You are pregnant". I was starting to cry and said "Are you sure that cant be wrong". He said "No, you are at least 4 weeks pregnant". I started crying a lot and said " I want an abortion right now". They said I couldn't unless I went to Toronto. So they gave me a phone number to call. That night I couldn't even sleep. I was so devastated that I had a little baby growing inside of me.

On May 13, 2010, I called the Woman's Health Clinic at Victoria Hospital to book an abortion. They said I had to wait until I was 8 weeks. They booked my ultrasound for June 4, 2010. During my wait the morning sickness started. It was horrible I was getting sick every day. I would go on the internet and look up week by week how big the baby got. I was very fascinated by it. There were times I really wanted to keep the baby. Fear took over though. The fear of giving birth, raising a baby, and adoption all scared me. I was so consumed in worry and there was no one to help me raise this child. So I went forward with the easy way out even though I really didn't want too.

On June 4, 2010 my friend picked me up from my place to take me to the ultrasound. I went in alone, I was in this alone. This lady put jelly on my belly and told me to just lay down. This was my very first and only ultrasound. I asked "Do you see it?" She said "Yes, do you want to see?" I agreed with some excitement. She turned the screen towards me and I could make out everything. I saw the shape of the babies face and head. She pointed to a little circle moving and said "Do you see that?" I said "Yes", She said "That is the beating heart". I asked her how far along I was. She told me I was 8 weeks and 4 days. When I got home I did a lot of thinking on way's I could possibly keep this baby. I came up with many, but fear would always make me think, abortion is probably the best thing. I even prayed to God and asked him to help me think of something before it was too late. I continued to look up on the computer how big the baby was. The morning sickness continued daily until the pregnancy was terminated. Every night, I would touch my belly, to see if I could feel anything moving. I started to feel love for this child.

June 18, 2010, would be the last day this baby had life in me. It was the worst feeling in my whole life. I wanted something or someone to stop me. I felt so alone. My friend and I went to Victoria Hospital at 7a.m. The appointment was at 7:30a.m. When I got there I was led into a room with a lot of people. They gave me a gown and slippers to put on. I was in bed for a half hour until they told me to take two white pills. Once you take these pills, you can't change your mind. Then they put an IV in my left hand. As I sat there with my friend, I noticed a lot of women, especially young, walking in. They where all crying. I could tell why, they where in there for the same reason I was. I asked my friend "How come I am not crying?", he told me it was because I was thinking more about myself instead of this little one inside of me. I didn't believe that though. I did care about this baby.

At 8 30am it was time for me to go to the operating room to have the abortion. They put some sleeping medicine in my IV and I made the doctors laugh when I said I feel funny. They held a breathing mask to my face and within 10 seconds I fell asleep. I woke up in the recovery room. I was only asleep for a half hour. I was no longer pregnant. My little one is no longer growing inside of me. I let my baby go to heaven. I let my baby go at 11 weeks. Kari Lynn


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