Emma Morris is a married mother of two children, with another on the way. She wrote a courageous, bare-all article for The Courier Mail recently, sharing how she had her first abortion at 16. And it didn’t end there.
“It’s been about 27 years since my first abortion. I was a naive 16-year-old who got ushered off to an abortion clinic by her boyfriend and his father, now having virtually no memory at all as to the details of what happened. Pain, grief and trauma will do that to a person.
What I can tell you is that, when my eyes opened in that “recovery” room, I was forever a different person – because not only a baby was killed inside of me that day, but part of my soul died as well. But nobody else could see that part of me died too because I became very good at hiding my pain.
Something else grew, and that was an unhealthy, obsessive desire to get pregnant again to replace my baby. You would think that after suffering so much grief the last thing you would want to do would be to get pregnant again, particularly when your circumstances were exactly the same.
But get pregnant I did, again and again. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-familiar cycle for many post-abortive women.
I found myself often playing out the same scenario of an “unplanned” pregnancy to a man who didn’t want a bar of being a father. All I wanted to do was replace my babies. But time and time again I found myself back at an abortion clinic.
The truth is, in the absolute deepest part of my soul, the last thing I wanted to do was to have another abortion. So why couldn’t I get out of the cycle? And why didn’t anyone, particularly at an abortion clinic, ask me what was going on? They just booked me in, took my money, gave me a quick five minute “counselling” session and the rest was history.
As the years went on, in order to suppress the worsening pain, I went on antidepressants and started seeing psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors. And not one person asked if I’d had an abortion. Did they not know the damage it does to women? Does anyone know?
I found myself having gone from a super-fit, happy and healthy teenager, to an excessive alcohol and drug user, leading a promiscuous lifestyle, still desperately trying to fill the void of that lost child.
But no drink, pill or man could ever replace my babies. And nothing could ever turn back the years and turn me into that same girl.
I was lost, desperately miserable, struggling with suicidal tendencies and a self-loathing that was beyond words. I was self-destructing and on a downward spiral, and I knew it. But I didn’t know what to do, so I kept numbing myself with alcohol and drugs until one day I could do it no more.
I started to really look inward and see where the pain was coming from. The healing journey has been slow – very, very slow.
One of the countless problems with abortion is that it is almost impossible to find out the truth about the extent to which it harms women. Because, as research by Dr Theresa Burke in her book Forbidden Grief shows, during the post-abortion journey, many women will completely deny ever having had an abortion, and then completely deny that it has affected them in any negative way.
I can tell you that abortion greatly and deeply affects many women.
As a community, let’s stand together and support women with unplanned pregnancies. Let’s show each woman that having a baby is something that she can do, that she won’t be alone but will be supported.
The last thing she wants to hear is “I’ll support you in whatever you want to do”, or “You can’t have this baby.” Who do we think we are to tell her that?
It’s a natural instinctive reaction, on a very deep level, for a woman to want to have her baby. It’s up to us to help her through the process, regardless of the situation.
I only wish, in all of the unplanned pregnancies I faced, that just one person had said that to me. Because no one ever did. They coerced, forced or abused me into having an abortion, and then left me alone to carry the grief and trauma myself.”
by Emma Morris.
Read more about abortion grief and the support available HERE.