Listen...do you hear it?? It’s not the cries of those of us who are struggling to survive with our own personal abortion decisions. Nor is it the sound of compassion reaching out to those of us who made such decisions. No... any such voices have been caustically muted as the very personal issue of abortion has become very public fodder for political pundits and as self-appointed morality judges take to the pulpit. Their thunderous and overwhelming public displays effectively silence women such as me who fear the disapproving glares and harsh judgment.
For 10 years I’ve been nearly silent as I carried the grief and overwhelming shame of my abortion alone. Yet during these same 10 years I have sadly joined friends and family a number of times to grieve beside an expectant mother who just suffered a miscarriage. Each time I mourn with her, but with a secret empathy and a nagging sadness...there was no one to mourn the loss of my babies with me. Regardless of the circumstances, I deeply mourned my loss, but I did so alone. Not even during my follow up visits to Planned Parenthood, where my abortions were performed, did anyone seem to understand my sense of loss. I was left feeling isolated and confused when they told me that my grief seemed extreme. It was at that point I decided maybe I needed to accept that I made a choice (a choice I came to despise) and by having made this choice I apparently was not entitled to any sense of loss. “ You made your bed, now lie in it.”
During the past couple years, I slowly began to break my silence. As I began to reach out and find others who had experienced abortions I’ve discovered that I’m not alone in my deep and unrelenting emotions, I'm not alone in my regret and guilt. The more people I talk with the more apparent it becomes that there are powerful emotions and heavy burdens associated with abortions. And while it is a “freeing” experience to meet these people with whom I can share a true sense of empathy, I feel like we’re in some underground secret society. Most of us still don’t feel comfortable talking to those closest to us in our lives – those whose love we cherish and whose opinions we value. It’s sad... really. We live in an educated society, filled with people who believe it is wrong to judge – that is unless they are doing the judging.