Shawna Arnold had an abusive, drug-addicted mother, and became a drug user at a young age.
When she got pregnant at 19, her mother urged her to have an abortion. She wrote:
“I was so messed up at the time that I believed the people who said there was no way I could take care of a baby.
The doctor told me the baby was the size of a pen dot, had no heartbeat and wasn’t even recognizable as a person. With my appointment to have the abortion in Saskatoon, I left the clinic. I kept drinking and I even did some drugs, despite knowing I was pregnant…
I had nowhere to turn. I was completely lost and frightened.
I had no strength inside me to quit my addictions, and I chose them over my baby’s life. I was on mushrooms when I was pregnant and had thoughts that I had Satan in my stomach – that my baby was evil. I was a serious mess and needed help, some kind of treatment. I didn’t even know who was the father of the baby I was carrying.”
Shawna Arnold A New Heart: My Story of Abortion, Addiction & Conversion (Galston, New South Wales, Australia: Parousia Media Pty Ltd, 2021) 31, 32
“I had an abortion when I was just 18, and a college freshman. My boyfriend of two years and I were faced with an unintended pregnancy. When we went to the women’s center near our university campus, we received no options counseling. We were told only of abortion.
I was not empowered as a person to explore my options. It was “assumed” I should take care of my “problem pregnancy” quickly, and that abortion was my easy “out.” The Women’s Center personnel discussed the abortion procedure as if it was as minor as getting a tooth pulled!
When I had the abortion, a non-medical “counselor” told me it was just a “glob of pregnancy tissue.” Later, I learned that my baby’s heartbeat began beating just three weeks after conception!
I was not told about the possibility of “post-abortion stress,” which I suffered. There was no discussion about the potential for lasting sadness, depression, regret, guilt, shame, flashbacks, nightmares, regret, heightened statistics of substance abuse, and breast cancer (which I later developed in my 40’s, with subsequent double mastectomies).
The first time I actually met the physician who would perform the abortion was when I was in a gown with my legs in the stirrups, already lying flat on the abortion procedure table. The abortionist did not go through any informed consent with me. That was handled in general by non-medical staff.”
“I went to the Women’s Center at the college where I took a pregnancy test. Even then it seemed so unreal. I was in complete shock when I received the results: positive.
I remember sitting in the small, stuffy third-floor office and numbly trying to listen as a volunteer counselor explained my options. In great detail, she outlined the procedure for ending the pregnancy – the nearest clinic, the cost, how to get an appointment, how much time it would take (about a half-day), and what would be involved in the procedure (she never called it an abortion, but a procedure).
Or, she said, I could have the baby. Period. No recommendations for agencies that might help with that decision or where I might go for further counseling if I decided to keep the baby. I would definitely be on my own if that was the course that I wanted to follow.”
She had an abortion and later regretted it deeply.
“In 1980, just seven years after Roe V. Wade became the law of the land, I became one of abortion’s statistics. I was a vulnerable 18-year-old college freshman when I found myself faced with an unplanned pregnancy. After my high school sweetheart and I found ourselves in crisis, we visited a Women’s Center just blocks from our college campus. It was there the deception began. “It is just a glob of pregnancy tissue… it will be a short outpatient procedure and you can be sent on your way… problem solved.”
My “problem” was NOT solved. Instead, figuratively speaking, the abortion ushered me down a staircase, finding myself spiraling into deep depression. The abortion became my prison cell of post-abortion grief, substance abuse, shame, and heartbreak. Abortion did not solve my “problem”… but only served to magnify it.
At the abortion clinic (a.k.a. campus “women’s center”) I was not empowered as a woman but diminished. I was told, “It will be easier for you to get an abortion and get on with your life.”
Tragically, no one at that women’s center told me the truth of the development of my baby, my option for adoption, or the devastating fallout from post-abortion grief and regret….
The abortion tore through my life like a hurricane, leaving destruction in its wake. The post-abortion fallout with my boyfriend left only devastation. Our previous deeply nurturing relationship shattered into a mass of scattered, broken, irreparable pieces.
I changed from a young woman entering nursing school, hard-working, eager to help people, having dated the same high school sweetheart for two years, sharing our dream of marriage after college… to a broken, promiscuous, alcohol indulging, partying girl, looking for any way to numb the emotional pain from the gnawing reality of the loss of my child and what I had done.”
“I’ll never forget the 15-year-old girl who, upon seeing her child’s ultrasound image, started crying. When asked why she was crying she said, ‘Everyone lied to me. They told me that I just had a blob of tissue and so it was no big deal. You are the ones telling the truth!’”
Cindi Adair of LifeLine Pregnancy Center in Wilmington, N.C.
“I was so naïve. I had no idea what an abortion actually was. They made it all sounds so safe, so easy, so simple. They promised an abortion would take care of my problem and I’d be back to my old self and I could continue with whatever I wanted in my life. The counselor even said, “If you were my daughter, I’d tell you the same thing. It’s the right thing to do.”
Everyone assured me not to worry, that there was nothing to be afraid of. The counseling I received was like, yes, you can do this; yes, it’s safe; and don’t worry, you won’t have any problems.
I have been emotionally tortured by this experience for the past 24 years. It’s made my life a pit of depression and anxiety.”
Teresa Burke, David C Reardon Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2002) 37
‘Hi, my name is Renae and I had an abortion when I was 14. I was barely an adult and just didn’t comprehend what was happening. I was pushed (by my mother) into making an uninformed decision out of convenience rather than given counselling and support to wrap my head around the situation I was facing. I now find this lack of care and information very disturbing.
I had no knowledge of what to expect or what would happen at the clinic – I was shuffled in without as much as a word. Someone asked me to confirm my name and that was it.
I was given an inadequate amount of drugs by the anesthetist. I woke up in the middle of the surgery and heard a doctor saying ‘There it is – got it!’ I was absolutely traumatized and distraught as I left the clinic that fateful day….
As a result of this experience I have endured depression, drug addiction and a ‘ruined life’. It’s ironic to think that my mum told me I would ruin my life if I had the baby, but no one ever stopped to think that maybe not having the baby and having an abortion instead would do the exact same thing.”
What one postabortion teenager says her abortion counselor told her when she asked her about God:
“God’s not going to do anything. He’ll forgive you if that’s your issue. Really, it’s not wrong because the fetus isn’t human. You’re six weeks pregnant, and you need to make a decision now.”
The teen began crying before her abortion and was told:
“What’s wrong with you? Who told you about the procedure for terminating a pregnancy? Has someone been telling you this is wrong? It’s no big deal. It only takes about three minutes and that’s it. Three minutes and it’s over. Why are you crying?”
She did go through with the abortion and later regretted it.
Julia C Loren The Note on the Mirror: Pregnant Teenagers Tell Their Stories (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990) 62, 63
“I was deceived because I was not told the truth about what an abortion means to the life of an unborn baby. I was not told that at 10 weeks (which is when I had my abortion) my child was already fully formed. I was made to believe that I was doing something that was as natural as going to the dentist for a teeth cleaning.”
STEPHANIE WILLIAMS, RIDGECREST, CA in LoveMatters.com Advertising Supplement Vol. 14, 2008 ed.