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In God We Trust

Case Study:  Jeanene Clark

When I was 16 years old I became pregnant and subsequently had an abortion. This decision, which was based upon lies and lack of knowledge, has caused me many years of anguish and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Here is my story:

August 1977--I was 16 and I was pregnant. I knew this because I had gone to the local Health Department for a free pregnancy test and they had called me back that morning. The counselor on the phone asked me what I was going to do. What was I going to do? I had just began "experimenting" with sex. I wasn't suppose to get pregnant. That happened to other people, not me. I answered the counselor, "I don't know, maybe an abortion. I just don't know." The counselor picked up on this statement and offered to make an appointment for me at a Dallas abortion clinic. I agreed. I was never counseled towards anything, or offered any alternative other than abortion. My abortion was publicly funded.

A few days later I was taken to an abortion clinic in Dallas. Upon arrival I was "counseled." The counselor showed me a picture of a six week old "fetus." This picture looked like chopped liver. I was told by the counselor that at this stage of development, the fetus was not a baby, that it was no more than a "wad of tissue." I was informed that there was nothing to the procedure. It would not hurt any more than menstrual cramps, and there were few side effects. I was told that I would have to stay there for an hour after the abortion (which I did not do) to make sure my bleeding was not too severe. They gave me a morphine pill to relax me and said I could have a morphine shot with the pill if I wanted it. I did not.

I was taken to an exam room where I was placed in an examination position. The doctor dilated my cervix and proceeded to insert the vacuum aspirator. I felt when the baby caught and immediately began having severe cramps. The doctor finished and they rushed the bottle (which contained my baby) out of the room before I could see it. This tends to disturb the patient when she sees her baby (who only minutes ago was sleeping peacefully in her womb) ripped to shreds in a glass jar. I was then taken to a waiting area to make room for another woman who had made the "choice" to murder her baby. I continued to have severe cramps for the rest of the day. I felt sad and empty, as if a part of my soul had been taken away.

As I look back at my post-abortion life, I realize that so many of the mistakes that I made and created for myself were due to the subconscious image I had created of myself, I had killed my own baby. How could anyone love me when I couldn't love myself?

I began to drink heavily and use drugs. I had severe depressions in which I contemplated suicide. I had, and still have, horrible nightmares involving babies and people trying to kill me. I still get depressed and cry a lot. I pray at night that God will let my baby know that I didn't kill him because I hated him. I long to hold him so much now that it hurts, and I want him to know that.

I harbor secret fears that one of my children will be taken from me because of this horrible act that I have committed. This fear was compounded when I almost miscarried one of my children at twelve weeks. I feel sure the problem was connected to my abortion. The problems go on and on. I had never allowed myself to calculate the month that my baby would have been born. Recently I figured out when the baby would have been born and was horrified when I realized that it was within weeks of when both of my children were born. I had felt intense pressure from within myself to become pregnant at this particular time with both my children. And now the realization has hit me that subconsciously I have substituted my live children for my dead child, by conceiving and giving birth at the same times.

I have spent many years trying to push the memory of what I have done to the back of my mind, but it won't stay there. I have constantly compared my dead child to what he would have been doing had he lived. I understand that most women who choose to abort experience the same feelings. My child would have been in first grade this year. It's very hard for me to look at a first grader.

I have shed many tears over the last few years and now I'm angry. I'm angry at myself, my family, the abortion clinic, their counselors, the doctors (who can commit murder on a daily basis), and most of all I'm mad at my government, who prints "IN GOD WE TRUST" on our coins, yet has legalized the daily painful, violent slaughter of the youngest members of our society.

I hope and pray that our great nation can turn this thing around before it is too late for all of us. And most of all before we as individuals have to stand before God and confess what we have done to His most perfect creation.

Originally published in The PostAbortion Review 3(4) Fall 1995.

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