Amazing Grace
Case Study: Carolyn "Allen"

The Post-Abortion Review
Vol. 7, No. 4, Oct-Dec 1999
Elliot Institute
Reproduced with Permission

I was 24 years old, and had recently had sex for the first timeoutside of marriage. I had grown up in a Christian home and was already ashamed and ambivalent about my sexual relationship. Then I got pregnant right off the bat.

I had a pregnancy test at my ob./gyn. and she told me she didn't think I was pregnant. She thought I might have a tumor, because my uterus was enlarged. I "prayed" for cancer. But I turned out to be pregnant; I found out the next day.

I was panic stricken. I couldn't believe I was pregnant. I immediately blurted out, "I have to have an abortion." I had never even thought about it before, but that was the first thing that came to mind. I told my boyfriend I was pregnant, but we didn't discuss what to do. I left him just assuming I would have the baby.

I told no one else. I had asked my doctor for sleeping pills until I could have the abortion four days later; I don't think they worked. I didn't want to think; I just wanted to get it over with.

I wondered if my baby knew what I was planning. I talked to my baby and apologized. But mainly I just wanted it to be over. I thought I could cover my sin, erase the past few months, break off my relationship with the father, and start overjust as though none of it had ever happened.

My abortion was a cowardly, selfish decision. I saw it as my whole life being "over" if I stayed pregnant. I didn't even consider any other options. I chose myself over the baby.

I had a D&C abortion at a women's hospital in Washington, D.C., under general anesthesia. I was scared and upset, and when they came to put an IV in my arm I told them I didn't want to be put to sleep until I had seen my doctor. They told me it was just vitamins, but then put the anesthesia in anyway. So I don't know to this day whether my own doctor (a woman) did the abortion, or one of the men who was standing there as I went to sleep. I just remember feeling the stuff in my arm, calling out "No!" and then I was out. I don't mean this to say I was going to change my mind about the abortion. I wasn't.

When I woke up in recovery, I asked if they would just tell me if it was a boy or a girl. A nurse harshly responded, "It's just tissue. There's no way to tell."

I took a cab to the hospital and took one home. I wanted to do it all by myself, so no one would know. I felt so alone.

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