Abortion bill sent to House floor.
Tear by tear, sobbing women from South Dakota and other states went to the microphone Thursday evening to tell legislators of being haunted by agony and lingering shame years after having abortions.
Some said they tried suicide, others told of those who had killed themselves. A young baby occasionally cooed in the crowd, a tender contrast to the emotional testimony and graphic photos of aborted fetuses displayed in the packed Capitol room.
For an hour, grieving women, several doctors and some lawyers pleaded with members of the House State Affairs Committee to approve a bill that would make most abortions illegal in South Dakota. The panel voted 11-2 to send the measure to the House floor for additional debate.
Nicole Osmundson, director of abortion recovery services at the Alpha Center in Sioux Falls, said she has counseled hundreds of women who have had abortions. Most were pressured to do so by the men who got them pregnant or their parents, she said.
Women suffer for years after abortions, Osmundson said.
"The emotional pain is prolonged," she said.
A woman from Dana Point, Calif., Lisa Hartman, said she became pregnant during a rape and later had an abortion. She has never gotten over it, she said.
"I had two rapes, first by the man who spit on me when he was through, and second, by the abortionist who robbed me of my baby," Hartman said. "Let me tell you, the second rape, the abortion, was much worse than the first one."
Trish Short of Baltimore, Md., tearfully told of an abortion at 19, describing it as a vicious death.
"Why is this legal, and how can it be legal?" she asked. "They killed my baby and I want him back, but I can't get him back."
Gripping testimony also came from Lisa Arnold of Louisville, Ky., who said she was pressured as a teenager by family and friends to have an abortion. The experience was devastating, she said.
"The only relief I felt was that I had been a good girl and had done what they'd told me to do," she said.
Arnold said she eventually turned to drugs and alcohol to erase the memory, but it will not go away. She said she has counseled women for 10 years who have had abortions, and most tell of similar experiences.
"Why hasn't the government brought this devastation to an end?" Arnold asked. "Abortion not only destroys children, it destroys women."
She told a grisly story of hemorrhaging while returning to her home immediately after an abortion at 17.
"I cleaned up all the blood that I could, and I flushed my twins down the toilet," Arnold said, "and I wonder how anyone can paint abortion as good for women."
I wonder how people who work in the abortion industry feel when they read articles like this.