When I was eighteen, I found out I was pregnant. My boyfriend said he’d kick me out of our apartment if I didn’t have an abortion, and my employer agreed that this was the only logical option. She even offered to make the arrangements.
My experience at the abortion clinic was painful and humiliating. I cried that day … and the next. Then I cried alone because my boyfriend and I broke up.
Although I hadn’t felt this way before, it was clear to me afterwards that abortion had ended the life of my child. I felt guilty and had a sense that I deserved to be punished—in fact, I desired punishment. As a result, I sank into depression and self-destructive behavior.
My experience brought me to church, but I wasn’t sure that Jesus could forgive me. I often found myself thinking that if people in the nearby pews knew what I had done, they wouldn’t shake my hand—and certainly wouldn’t sit next to me.
The worse I felt, the more I tried to do penance by volunteering at…
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