an After abortion

REAL, CONFIDENTIAL, FREE, NON-JUDGMENTAL HELP TO AVOID ABORTION, FROM MANY PLACES:
3,400 confidential and totally free groups to call and go to in the U.S...1,400 outside the U.S. . . . 98 of these in Canada.
Free, financial help given to women and families in need.More help given to women, families.
Helping with mortgage payments and more.More help.
The $1,950 need has been met!CPCs help women with groceries, clothing, cribs, "safe haven" places.
Help for those whose babies haveDown Syndrome and Other Birth Defects.
CALL 1-888-510-BABY or click on the picture on the left, if you gave birth or are about to and can't care for your baby, to give your baby to a worker at a nearby hospital (some states also include police stations or fire stations), NO QUESTIONS ASKED. YOU WON'T GET IN ANY TROUBLE or even have to tell your name; Safehaven people will help the baby be adopted and cared for.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004



"My own experience with abortion deepened my understanding of how difficult the struggle can be. Let me tell you my story. It was my husband who proposed that we start a family. We both had finished graduate school. He was busy composing music and I was settled in the parish. We'd been trying for six months.

I knew I was pregnant the day after Easter. The double-blossom cherry was blooming. The spring rain filled the air with damp fragrance. I felt the life beginning inside of me as if it were an enormous gift. My heart was full of joy. But I had not been paying to how life was going for my husband. Struggles were haunting him and I wasn't very emotionally present to him. Our marriage was in trouble, but I wasn't seeing it.

When I told my husband the news that I was pregnant, the blood drained from his face. We were sitting across from one another at a favorite restaurant. I had taken his hands in mine to tell him. But he pulled back and let go of my hands. 'I'm not ready to be a father,' he said. 'I can't do this. I'm not sure I want to stay with you. The only way I can imagine our marriage having a chance is for you to have an abortion.' I felt his words as if they were a physical blow –swift, precise, unexpected. 'This is my decision to make,' I said, claiming the only ground I could find to stand on.

I chose abortion to save myself from shame, loss, and fears of suicide; to save a child from coming into the world without a father; to save a marriage; and to save the father from something he feared, something he said I could protect him from.

It was a willing sacrifice, I thought. An enactment of love for my husband and hope for our future. But our future did not unfold as I'd hoped. My husband and I didn't speak of the abortion. We tried to repair the rift in our marriage, but within a few months, he took an apartment across town and before long we divorced.

I had believed self-sacrifice was the highest form of love and that it could save us. But nothing was redeemed or saved by my sacrifice of the pregnancy. I had just enacted a rote gesture. Everything I most loved had slipped out of my hands. I felt there was nothing left to hold on to – not my marriage, not my child, not my faith.

I spiraled into grief and self-directed anger. One night I came to the end of my will to live. I just wanted the anguished to stop. It was a cold, clear night. I lived at the top of a hill above a lake and sometime after midnight I left my house and started walking down the hill. The water would be cold enough. I could walk into it, then swim, then let go, sink down into the darkness and go home to God. The thought was comforting. I had no second thoughts. I was set on my course."

Whose story is this? It's the story of Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, who gave a sermon, For All That Is Our Life, for the
March on Washington for Women's Lives, All Souls Unitarian Church, Washington, D.C., April 25, 2004.





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