… With the upcoming March For Life, the topic of abortion seems to be every where at the moment. Because of this it’s been on my mind daily. Perhaps these daily reminders is what triggered the event that happened this morning.
My first waking thought hit me like a sledge hammer and I was instantly transported back ten years. I was standing alone in a sterile room wearing a hospital gown. In my hand was the sheet that I had pulled back off the portable suction machine that sat in the corner. Memories I thought I had drown bubbled up despite mentally wrestling with myself for years to un-see them.
What I am about to write next is horrifically graphic. I’d been debating with myself all day whether or not I should share this memory or just stuff it back down in the murky recesses of my addled brain but then I was reminded of something Elizabeth Scalia wrote.
And somehow, I can’t imagine that any of our elite female voices — the ones who, in every election year, can be counted on to take up the fake “war on women” mantras and tape PSA’s about “keeping abortion legal” because it “empowers women” — have any sense of the realities of these under-inspected, under-reported hell-holes, where the only ones being empowered are the profiteers.
And a hell hole it was. There is no way to advocate what I am about to describe. None. There is no reason, no exception, no situation in which what I saw could possibly be rationalized away as a “reproductive right” or an acceptable choice.
**** If you’re post-abortive what you are about to read might be too graphic and upsetting.****
I encourage you only to proceed with great caution. Please know I don’t write this to cause you any pain. I write this post so that people who advocate abortion can read what it is exactly they are advocating.
I remember thinking it looked like a regular vacuum cleaner with a glass canister which allowed me to see the contents. I clutched the sheet that covered the vacuum in my hand and stood staring at it for quite some time trying to decide if what I as seeing was real. I just couldn’t comprehend it. Why would any one leave that there, like that, for a patient to see? I kept thinking, surely this was a mistake and any minute an apologetic staff member would come in and take it away. Someone was careless and just forgot to clean up after themselves. Yeah, that was it. Why else would I have been left alone in the room with that thing?
The glass container was half full and splattered with blood. Even the tube that fed into the container was crusted with blood. What I saw inside the collection container defies belief, little baby parts swimming in a bloody muck. All those graphic photos you’ve ever seen of tiny dismembered arms and legs are accurate. Only this wasn’t just one set of tiny arms and legs… this was more than I could count. This wasn’t just one baby that was aborted and some careless worker forget to remove from the room. This looked like all the babies that had been aborted that day. All together in one glass container, swimming in a gruesome soup of blood and bits. They hadn’t even bothered to clean the equipment between patients and I suddenly realized they had every intention of using the same filthy equipment on me.
What happened next was sheer panic. I never wanted to have an abortion, I was just stupid and believed there was no other choice. No other way. And it was just a clot. A big menstrual clot. That’s what they told me. Yet that glass container told me otherwise. And I suddenly felt every urge to run from the room screaming, but I was frozen in place. When a staff member came back into the room she found me still standing there clutching that sheet and staring at the vacuum.
Something inside me clicked off and I mentally shut down. I allowed her to guide me to the table and the procedure was started. When the abortionist [I will never call them doctors] came into the room he didn’t even acknowledge me but when he wheeled that vacuum over toward the table and switched it on I sat upright and tried to jump off the table. No hell no, I thought. But it was too late.
I had completely forgotten, until this morning, that when it was all over I made myself look at that thing again. As the staff member held my arm and steadied me out of the room I reached over and yanked the sheet off again. I made myself look at that blood filled glass canister. Somewhere in their was my child and he/she deserved to have me be haunted with the memory of what I had done and where I had left him/her. I remembered thinking to myself, “Don’t you ever forget what you’ve done. You don’t deserve to forget”.
But I did forget. Not right away. I was suicidal for months after, drinking and consuming every pill I could find. I took the entire contents of mine and my roommate’s medicine cabinet one night. All I did was sleep for two days straight and no one checked on me. I think it was during that time that I eventually managed to bury those memories.
For whatever reason they chose today to pop back up. But instead of feeling hopelessly lost in that old dark abyss something different overcame me. Not a peace. No. I don’t think that I will ever know true peace. It was a comforting feeling. Like a hundred people praying for me right at that exact moment. Then I checked my email and I realized that they were. Today marks the beginning of the 9 Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage sponsored by USCCB.
“For the mother who awakens each morning with the memory of abortion fresh in her mind: that the Lord may still the terror in her heart and lead her gently to the well-spring of his love and mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.”
I don’t know what God means to do with me and my horrible memories but whatever it is at least He timed it perfectly so that I have prayers to help me cope. I swear, if it had not been for that email I might have been swallowed whole by despair. If you are currently participating in the nine days of prayer and happened to pray today for post-abortive women to find healing I want to extend my thanks to you. Your prayers were felt and very much needed.
Dear Catholic Church, her members and leaders, thank you. Thank you for caring. Thank you for not giving up on us. And if you are post-abortive and can feel the tides of despair rising please please please seek out the folks at Project Rachel. Right now. And lastly, please let us never stop praying for each other.