A COLD DAY IN JANUARY
It was a cold day in January 1972, in fact temperatures were below zero, the roads were bad as we had gotten five inches of snow the day before. My husband Marty, drove me to the airport, I met with two young girls one was 18 the other was 19, that I would be traveling with, I was 22 and we all flew together to a clinic in New York for abortions as it was illegal in Michigan. Marty and I were planning to divorce. He was using drugs, and hardly ever home. My dad helped him get a job on the railroad with him, but he would take off from work often, and stopped making house payments on the house my dad helped us buy. We had a son turning two years old in February. I told my parents we would be getting a divorce. They wanted me to move back home, and they were glad I was leaving Marty. My dad never knew about the drugs, but I did tell my mother. I would have never planned this abortion, but as I was talking to this young woman I worked with, telling her I had just found out I was pregnant and my situation. She told me about this man she knew, and he could make arrangements at this clinic in New York for me, as she had an abortion a few months ago, she was single living at home, and felt the abortion was a must for her. Marty and I met with this man and he made all the arrangements including for me to travel to New York with two girls also having abortions.
So, when the two girls and I arrived in New York, we got a cab and went to the clinic, there were people carrying signs in front of the clinic reading abortion is murder, we ignore the signs and go in. During the procedure my stomach cramped badly, I wanted to scream stop! And thought what am I doing. When it was over the doctor says well no more baby. I looked around the room and saw this mass in this clear plastic container as they were wheeling me out, and thought could that have been my baby, I didn’t dare ask, but over and over in my head I kept saying dear God what have I done, I felt sick to my stomach not from the procedure, but from realizing what just happened. On the plane trip back to Michigan the two girls were happy, their parents would never know, I was just quiet and felt numb. When I got into the car with Marty, first thing he said to me was “I don’t know if we did the right thing.” I just cried, no hug, no I am sorry you had to go through this, after all he wanted this more than I did, he even wanted me to jump off our steep porch at one time, to see if I could lose the baby.
When I got home as Marty was seeing the baby sitter out, I went into my little boys room he was sleeping in his crib, I stroked his hair gently, realizing he would probably be my only child. I went into the bathroom to get away by myself, I didn’t even want to look at Marty at the time, and I thought for sure I heard him flirting with the babysitter on the front porch. My son and I moved in with my parents about three weeks after the abortion.
Now it is 45 years later, I have remarried and have been married for 32 years I never had any more children, my husband knows about the abortion, he says I can’t blame myself, but no one will ever make me feel that I made the right decision that day. I will always wonder was the baby a girl or a boy, I feel God has forgiven me, but no matter how much I try. I haven’t completely forgiven myself, and I think about those signs the people carried outside the clinic, abortion is murder, yes it is. I didn’t think of it like that when I had it done. I thought my parents don’t need to be burdened with me, a two year old and a newborn, so talking to my co worker that day, I made a choice, had I not met her, I know I would have had my baby, and my life would have been different. My son would have had a brother or sister instead of being an only child, and he certainly needed one, as he has gone through a lot of turmoil in his life. I told my mother when my dad died that same year about the abortion. She told me if you were just two months pregnant, it’s not really even a baby then. So I think to myself all these years later, no mother you were wrong, it was a baby it was my baby.
I became an overprotecting mother to my son. Maybe from my guilt. You know when people say the saying ” It is what it is.” I don’t completely agree with that, most likely it is what we make it, and we have to live with our choices good or bad, as for my choice, and it was my choice not the co-worker, or my ex husband as they didn’t force me into that clinic. I would be the one to carry for all these years, the heart breaking consequences, that I made on that cold day in January.