I was a 17-year-old drug-using high school dropout when I learned I was pregnant for the first time. Everyone around me wanted me to get an abortion … except me. I already thought of myself as a new mother.
I stopped using drugs, checked out a book from the library titled Under 18 and Pregnant, and called the local assistance office to get on Medicaid. I scheduled my first prenatal check-up. The pressure over the ensuing few weeks, however, was relentless. I felt alone and abandoned.
My first appointment for an abortion I ran out of the clinic when it was time to disrobe. But two days later I went back and had the abortion. It nearly killed me. Not the surgical procedure, but the psychological aftermath. A few weeks after my abortion, consumed by intractable guilt, I tried to kill myself.
I survived my suicide attempt and spent a month in an adolescent psychiatric unit to recover. But my wounded psyche seemed to construct a shield–as protection from further examination of what I’d done, and to prevent me from accepting responsibility for my part in the death of my first child.
In spite of all I went through, I remained pro-choice. So much so that within weeks of my discharge from the psych unit I marched in Washington in support of abortion and soon after started volunteering as an escort at an abortion clinic. Eventually I was hired as a full-time employee, and worked at that abortion clinic for more than five years. In hindsight, I seemed to have been surrounding myself with people who thought abortion was OK in the hope that someday I would believe that, too.
I did every job at the clinic except doctor and nurse: I answered the phone, took payments, counseled, was a medical assistant, and scrubbed and sterilized surgical instruments. I have seen it all. But it wasn’t until learning of a surrogate mother who was paid her contract price IN FULL to abort the baby diagnosed with Down syndrome she was carrying that I finally became pro-life. It was a true “ah-HA” moment for me. Abortion was wrong on a fundamental level. Children were now commodities to be created, bought, sold, or discarded at will – for quality control! – and I could no longer call myself pro-choice.
Fully accepting this horrifying truth led me to question abortion and re-examine my position. This deliberate and intense introspection was not painless, but it ultimately led to me assuming responsibility for my own abortion and my role in the abortion industry.
Jewels Green is a regretful and repentant post-abortive mother, writer, activist, and public speaker. Her personal blog can be found at www.jewelsgreen.com