Marie*’s Story

In the 35 or so years that I spent being “pro-choice” and burying the trauma of four abortions starting at the age of 19, I cannot imagine now that I did not think about what the rationalizing and denial were doing to my soul.  In the early 70’s, when I was in college, abortion was not yet legal.  I could not tell my Catholic parents when I became pregnant with my first real boyfriend, especially my mother.  So, I found a way to “take care of it.”  

During the next decade, I began to drink more and with the drinking and “carousing” came occasional sex.  And two more pregnancies.  So, abortion was my birth control.  I was a good sister, friend, and co-worker.  I thought I was being a good daughter.   I thought I had things under control and that my life was “normal”, but underneath that normal surface I was a mess. 

When I met and dated my future husband, we conceived a child early on.  That was my fourth abortion.  I did not tell him until much later.  How I regret not telling him.  I told no one except one close friend who worked at Planned Parenthood about any of the abortions.  

I moved into marriage and proper, married motherhood with the past buried.  I was so grateful to God for the two beautiful children we had and whom we baptized.  I had never given up my faith.  I regretted, but did not truly mourn, the two subsequent miscarriages I had.  I was still in desensitized mode.  

A few years later, I attended a huge pro-life event where there were many priests hearing confessions.  When I confessed the four abortions and the priest absolved me, I felt such a flood of relief and gratefulness for the mercy I was shown there.   The sacramental grace allowed me to turn everything in my life around, spiritually speaking.  

God was putting many people in my life who kept talking about retreats for women who had had abortions.    The resources I was given led me to decide that a retreat was where I needed to delve deeper into the root of my actions and my decisions and to start the healing process—and it is a process.  It took the grace of courage, yes, and it took a genuine, deep sorrow for my sins as well as a yearning to connect with my children.  Hallelujah!  It was the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done, and that God has done for me.  I could not have known otherwise the depth of my sorrow or the lie I had been living.  I was finally able to have a relationship with my children, give them to God, and bring them into my life.  I was transformed.   God cannot be outdone in His love and generosity.   I have come far in being able to receive and return that love.  I stepped into the true light.  Right into Jesus’ heart.   I am still growing and discovering God’s plan for me. 

*Name changed for confidentiality