To clarify my story at a young age I first had a baby who was adopted then had an abortion.
When I was 16 I became pregnant. I had been sexualised early as a child and was desperate to be loved. Unfortunately I just dug the hole deeper in looking for love in the wrong ways.
I was really scared my parents would find out, so with the help of a friend I went to Christchurch to have the baby. On seeing him when he was born I couldn’t bring myself to adopt him, which had been the plan. I kept him, upsetting many people. As there was no DPB in those days, to pay for his keep I went to work waitressing. He stayed during the week with a lady I had met and I had him some weekend days.
When my parents found out I had kept him my father, among other things that were said, threatened to kill me if I came home with him. It’s possible he would have done, as he was a very angry man at times.
I think working so hard and not being able to be connected to my family finally helped me make the decision to adopt him. At about 6 months of age he was adopted by the sister and her husband of the lady who was looking after him during the week and they just loved him. She couldn’t have children. it deeply saddens me to think I would have aborted him if I could have, yet he is now 49, a good-hearted man with three children, and we are in touch.
Sadly I found myself pregnant again at the age of 19. Once again I was terrified about what my father might do, though not so terrified as to stop having unprotected sex. Sometimes we are so blind in our desires and yearnings.
As this was was in the very early 70s before the law was liberalised I didn’t know where or if it was possible to have an abortion. With the help of two friends I found out that if I paid a certain amount of money (I think around $130.00, which was a lot back then) I could get an abortion in a private Auckland hospital. The doctor doing it would also certify me as needing it, and another doctor would certify me too. I managed to get the money and went ahead, telling the doctors I would kill myself if I didn’t get the abortion. Perhaps I would have done, but perhaps not!!
I was in hospital for a couple of nights after the operation which involved being cut open to remove the baby. I was probably about fourteen weeks pregnant. I went on shortly after to have a breakdown several months later and ended up in a mental institution for about six weeks.
Life hasn’t been easy at times but I am now married to a very good, kind man who knows all these things and many others about me. I have three other adult children plus my son who was adopted. With God’s help my life is now stable, happy and very fulfilling.
Although having had this abortion is one of my biggest regrets and shames I thank God that the child is with Him. I know too that that cannot ever make the taking of another’s life, a human being who had as much right to live as I did, right but I can thank Him also that through Christ I have been forgiven and I can have peace about this.
If I could talk with any mother considering an abortion I would say if it’s not possible for you to keep the baby within the family then please choose the adoption path. You won’t regret it.
R L J