Lutheran pastor and wife pressure teen into abortion

Elizabeth tells her abortion story:

“I am now 17. I was 16. It would have been a healthy 2 month old, tonight, if I made the decision that wouldn’t have broke our hearts.

It all began when I met my boyfriend, Elias. When we started having sex, it seemed so innocent. We almost didn’t know what we were really doing. Little did we know the consequences.

The second time, I got pregnant. We were drunk and didn’t use protection. It was New Year’s Eve.

It was a Friday when I found out. Even before I took the test, I knew. It was like intuition. I kept on telling him, I think I’m pregnant. He said to take a test, so I did. I was at a friend’s house and she approached her mother about it because there was no way I was ready to approach my parents at the time.

Her mom went to the store and bought the test for me because I would be too embarrassed to buy it myself. Her mom has disliked me ever since this incident. I went ahead and took the test. I didn’t want to look, so my friend did. It was positive. I cried hysterically, and couldn’t move, as my friend tried to comfort me.

I then called my boyfriend and immediately told him the news. He didn’t say anything. I then discussed with him the plans for the night and went according to them so I wouldn’t ruin my friend’s night. We met up down town and talked. My friend told me I should get the abortion, no question.

Elias, at first said he wanted to keep it, and I wanted to keep it. My friend thought we were crazy. My boyfriend and I went back and forth on the abortion thing. “Our” final decision was to keep it. I was scared, confused, and very vulnerable. Being pregnant at 16 was like living in another world. Whenever my boyfriend brought up getting an abortion, I would start a rampage. I said, I couldn’t do it! He said he wanted it, but I don’t ever think he did until now.

Unfortunately one night his parents decided to listen to our conversation (like they always do, still) and found out the news. The next day, at school, he approached me in the morning and said, “my parents know.” He had this strange smirk of confusion on his face. He usually does this when he’s frustrated or confused.

We never thought his parents would coerce us to do it, but they did. His father is a Lutheran pastor, his mother a nurse. I couldn’t believe how they were acting. They yelled like children about it.

Elias then called me up that night, and frantically called me, and he was crying and could barely speak. He said, I think we should get an abortion. I screamed, “no!” and hung up. He told me, “my mom and dad are screaming at me and telling me it’s for the best.” I could hear them in the background. They were screaming at him, saying, “it would be a poor loser!”… “you have no money”… it would be a “pathetic” this, and “pathetic” that.

They made us get off the phone to think, alone, for a night, which was stupid and selfish of them. It was a huge decision, and they were treating it like he failed a test at school or smoked some weed or something.

I was afraid to tell my parents.

After his parents talked us both into it, I went ahead and made an appointment. Right about that time was when I was getting very sick. I could barely move. I was 8 weeks along. His parents showed no compassion or concern. They hated us. I wish I would have told my parents.

The day they picked us up was a Friday morning. They called me and him out of school. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t think. In the car his dad was screaming at us cause we couldn’t find the clinic. We finally did.

After a four hour wait, it was over with. As I walked out of the recovery room. Elias was scrunched up in a ball crying and sobbing hysterically. I reached for him then we walked outside to wait for his dad. He was crying. I wasn’t. I was in shock. I felt a cold feeling. Like my mind was forcing itself not to break down.

His parents never spoke a word about it. They didn’t care. They don’t care. I hate them more than anything. I did it for Elias, not for me. I love him. I also hate him. He hates himself. Whenever I bring it up he cries.

Later, about four months after, I told my parents from guilt. I felt they deserved to know. They were heart broken. They’re Mormon and don’t believe in abortion. They then threatened a law suit against his parents for coercion. They hired a lawyer. but it failed.

I feel hate for them, but I love Elias. After that we’re still together, and I’m proud of that. We’re planning on getting married. We spend most our time together. People wonder why we’re so close. My parents refuse to plan a wedding with his family. That’s hard, but love can avoid that and stay together.

I regret it. I feel like a loser. We both don’t feel like we should live. I want children and I feel abortion is wrong. I took away a beautiful life. Sometimes I wish I could hear it cry, and hold it, or maybe I should have adopted it.

I don’t believe in god, but I believe in respect for life. Abortion is a disrespect for life. No one cares for it truly but me, my parents, and Elias. Sometimes I feel they forget and Elias forgets. But I’ll never forget. I’ll never feel the same.”

From Abortion Concern


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Letter to an aborted baby

“Nadine” writes the following letter to her aborted baby:

“My sweet child, I write this for you so that you can know that I have not, and will not, ever forget you.

I was only 18 when I realized you had come to me. For two months I had suspicions, but denied you. Only after taking several tests, I finally agreed to accept you. Keeping you hidden from the world, you were my little angel. My little secret. I chose to give you back because I wanted so much more for you, and for myself.

I can remember lying on the operating table, and arguing with the doctor when he told me that you were just a specimen, and would be discarded in no time. Damn you! I said. She’s more to me then that. (I know in my heart you were a girl.)

Since I gave you back, my heart had been filled with this awful emptyness. I’m 20 now, and today is July 4th. On the 13th, it will have been two years since the abortion.

I want you to know that I think of you every day. And, every day, I am filled with shame and guilt for what I did to you.

I can only pray that, in time, God will forgive me for what I have done. I can only pray that, in time, I can learn to love and forgive myself for what I have done.

For anyone that is considering an abortion, I want you to know that for nine weeks I carried my daughter under my heart. And now for the rest of my life that’s where she’ll stay.”

From Abortion Concern

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Woman in counseling because of abortion

One woman gives tells her post-abortion story:

My husband had no moral concerns about abortion, and we went to the appointment together. I cried a lot, but every time I mentioned a baby, I was told by my husband, and counsellor, that the reality was, there was no baby. I was told the children I had were more important.

When I saw the Drs who signed my forms they asked me if I was sure. I said no, but they said well as sure as you can be.

I did have an abortion. I was given a leaflet that said that most women are relieved afterwards, but you can expect a bit of depression.

I am now in counselling, having suppressed the memory of the clinic. It now comes back to me as a trauma I can barely survive.

From Abortion Concern

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Woman pressured into abortions by husbands

Raven tells her abortion story:

“Previously, I had been married, and my then-husband and his mother talked me into having an abortion. Even though I recall sitting up with my husband all night saying I did not want to have the abortion. But, I was pressured.

My second husband I also had an abortion. [sic] He said he was ready for a child, but when the crunch came, and I was pregnant, he said he would resent the child and was not ready. I had another abortion afraid of losing the relationship.

 Anyway, to cut a long story short, I suffer now from a severe hormonal imbalance. I suspect this is from the awful emotional grief and depression I have suffered for years, resulting in a sex addiction, and other behaviours I am not proud of.

I am now forty. My abortion was when I was 29 years old (old enough to know better). I desperately wanted the child. But I went against my heart.”

From Abortion Concern

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Abortion, coercion, and attempted suicide

From the site

My Own Case Study: Abortion

The Event:

I became pregnant at age 14 years 11 mos. in May of 1970. This was two months before abortions became legal in the state where I lived. During the 8th week, I was administered an injection (substance unknown to me then, or now) by our family physician with the intent of terminating the pregnancy. In addition, I was scheduled to have an abortion at a hospital clinic the following month. However, two days before the scheduled appointment, I miscarried and expelled the fetus into the toilet. As I was bleeding profusely, my mother drove me to the same local hospital where I was to have abortion performed. I remained in the hospital for two days and was then discharged to home.

I received no counseling regarding the process and was also not aware of the potential risks for infertility or of any psychological risks. I was not offered any post procedure follow up psychological or medical support. Conversely, I was led to believe by propaganda of the time, that abortions were harmless and a right of woman that should be embraced as a sign of emotional independence. As a young impressionable teen, I viewed reproductive freedom as a sophisticated and necessary part of being an adult woman.

The Experience:

Discharging a fetus into the toilet was a frightening experience. Because I did not know what to do, or what was happening to me, I took the bloody little mass of tissue from the toilet, put it in container and took it with me to the emergency room. I do not know what was done with the fetus once it was handed over to the staff at the hospital. The D&C was performed under anesthesia. I remember little of the actual procedure, however I was very uncomfortable post operatively. Large oversized dressings had been placed inside and were changed frequently over the first 24 hours.

I was afraid that I might die, despite the reassurances of the medical staff that all would be “okay”. It was at this time the doctors stated that they could not guarantee I would not have problems with conception in the future. However, they jokingly added that of course, they hoped this would not be a concern for me for some time to come. I was filled with embarrassment and shame and quickly agreed that infertility was not an immediate concern. That was the extent of medical “counseling”.


Our family had moved during this time. I was in a new school and community approximately 90 miles from my old home. I was forbidden to contact the father of this child and my then boyfriend. Despite this parental mandate, I was desperately lonely for friends and missed the father of the child immensely. I wrote secret daily letters to my boyfriend. Friends included contraband letters from my boyfriend in their mail to me.

I became concerned that over time, letters became infrequent. When they finally stopped altogether, I stepped up use of the public telephone in attempts to contact my boyfriend. My efforts were hampered by lack of money (no phone cards or credit cards existed at that time). My boyfriend left his family home in the fall of that year to attend college. His parents did not offer a telephone contact at his college and there were no future letters from him.

After much negotiation with my parents, I managed to arrange a visit back to my old school for a “Homecoming” weekend. I saw my boyfriend at a post game event. He confirmed, that he did not want to continue our relationship. In fact, he acknowledged he had begun to date an upperclassman friend of mine. They left together from a party we were both attending. This was the last time I saw him and I never heard from him again.

By December of that year, I attempted suicide by swallowing a bottle of over the counter sleeping pills. This method was rather slow, and sometime after ingestion, I realized I didn’t want to die. I was taken to the hospital emergency room by my parents, given emetics and fell unconscious. I remember the ER doctor telling my mother that he did not know if would live, but that they were doing everything possible. I woke in ICU the following day, in a haze. Social workers at the hospital insisted on family therapy. No one spent time with me alone and the abortion incident was not discussed directly with me.

Our family did not attend counseling sessions. I wanted private therapy, but did not have a resource to do this on my own. We lived in a small affluent community, where everyone knew everyone. My father had a prominent social role in the community. I felt that my very existence was problematic for my parents and my family. I felt badly for my younger brother as he seemed to disappear in the midst of my crisis. At any rate the incident was swept under the carpet and never mentioned again.

I remained quite unhappy the remainder of that school year. By the middle of my junior year, the school counselor, with whom I had shared my feelings of being depressed and unfulfilled, suggested early enrollment at an Ivy League college. I was accepted for early placement admission, however, my family could not afford private college tuition. By my senior year, I was part of the “in crowd”, experimenting with legal and illegal drugs and with the protection of an IUD, practicing “free love”. I believed I had finally put the abortion experience behind me.

Young Adulthood:

I attended college both in the USA in Denmark and continued searching for an ever elusive sense of inner peace . My life often involved illicit drug use, sexually promiscuous behavior, and what I can only term as “anti establishment” thinking. I was a jumble of confused feelings and unable to commit to an intimate relationship. I became skilled at the art of maintaining emotional distance. Sometime in 1979, I finally had the IUD removed even though medical personnel felt there was no reason to do so.


Although engaged, I was unable to commit to a wedding date. In 1981 my fiancé died while jogging. This event prompted a return to the area where I spent my childhood and I attempted to reconnect with old acquaintances. Despite deep feelings of inferiority, extreme self criticism, sense of loss and fear of abandonment, I quickly ventured into marriage in 1982.

I did not select a mate that could fulfill my hopes for a stable environment however. After three years of marriage, extensive medical testing, I learned that I was infertile. The reason unknown. This caused extreme difficulties in my relationship. My husband blamed the problem on me which only added to my own feelings of regret, guilt, and shame. The realization that my aborted pregnancy was perhaps my only chance to procreate was disturbing news. Due in a large part to the infertility issues, my marriage dissolved in 1987.

In 1992, I was once again thinking of marriage. This individual wanted children. I felt tortured that I was infertile. We looked into the possibility of adoption and explored fertility options. All was stressful, expensive and overwhelming. The prospect of his disappointment in never having children of his own was too much for me. I felt he would one day probably grow to resent our childless marriage state. By 1995 I had called off the wedding plans, but was saddened, as I truly cared for this person. We remained friends, however, were never able to overcome obstacles or agree to a more committed relationship.

Middle Age:

A string of a succession of losses motivated me to attend a seminar on grief recovery. As I had felt that I had long ago dealt with the “abortion”, issue of infertility and had accepted this aspect of my life, I anticipated working on several known aspects of my life that I knew to the cause of much grief. Much to my amazement I found myself addressing the emotional loss of my abortion performed nearly 30 years prior. Through application of the techniques used in the seminar, I came to realize the deep impact my abortion had had on my life. I also came to understand that I needed to complete my relationship with the “baby”, the father of this child, my parents and all those involved in this situation.

Once completed, I experienced immediate release of transforming energy and a return to balance within me. My perspective about my life’s issues and current struggles is completely new. While empowered to address other unresolved grief areas in my life that require further attention, I am for the first time since the abortion at peace about my decision and the outcome. I consider my experience through the grief recovery seminar group work life changing and liken my new perspective to that of those who claim to have been “born again”.

Looking back:

I don’t think I have ever associated the abortion with the difficulties I have had in executing my life. I do recognize that I long felt a void. To fill this empty space I engaged in all types of behaviors seeking relief for anxiety, depression, job burn out, etc. My coping mechanisms have included the use of recreational use of illicit and legal drugs, sexual promiscuity, and for the more recent decades work obsessed.

I believe my abortion decision directly contributed to my suicide attempt later that year. I was filled with a sense of a loss, guilt, shame and worthlessness. Undoubtedly, the ending of a love relationship added to my despondency, however, I do not believe I would have reacted with such desperation had our relationship not included an abortion. My sense of guilt over my action and the ghost of this unrealized baby carried with me through every relationship and over decades of my life. I cannot prove that my infertility is directly caused by the abortion. However, my infertility had been been problematic in every prospective romantic relationship that involved the potential of a long term commitment. I opted for less than healthy relationships at times believing I was not worthy of more. I often did not engage in potential relationships if I suspected there a chance I would be condemned for my abortion choice.

All such attempts to lessen my feelings of inadequacy and sense of emptiness brought temporary relief. However, I still lived with a sense of “guilt” and feelings of being less than, no matter how great my accomplishments. I continued to experience an overwhelming sense of emptiness in my life yet, I was unable to articulate the source of such angst.

Over time I sought professional counseling, spiritual guidance, tried anti depressants, cognitive therapy, psychoanalytic therapy and explored all types of body, mind, spirit healing modalities. I read extensive self help books on most every topic written on self improvement and engaged in extreme sport adventures routinely. To somehow prove my worth, I often overextended myself volunteering great amounts of energy, time and money to benevolent projects and organizations.

I also became a great actress, hiding my true feelings. The world does not take kindly to depressed, pessimistic, angry individuals. I learned to hide my secrets and obscure past details of my life. Although having an abortion is and was legal, it is not easy to admit to, especially in the face of possible condemnation. Becoming good at hiding the truth affected my ability to have truly intimate relationships. As a result I will never know what opportunities and people I pushed away from me, due to fear and feelings of insecurity.

Now that I am more aware of this influence, I can clearly see myself as the person I was prior to the abortion and the one I became after. The hopeful, optimistic, self assured, inquisitive, witty adolescent woman child disappeared with this event. Shortly after, a scared, insecure, frantic woman child searched in vain for a grounding influence. In time, I became much more serious, introspective, fearful, insecure, cynical and at times depressed and pessimistic. I internalized feelings of being a ‘bad person” no matter how successful I became or what accomplishments I could claim.

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