Why I Try To Deter People From Killing Unborn Babies

(Christian Gallery News Service, June 20, 2002) When I graduated from high school I took a job at a local nightclub (disco) as a waitress to help pay for tuition to a junior college I was attending.

I considered myself to be up-to-date on all the important issues that were affecting America at that time. Abortion was finally legal. I felt that it was a woman's choice whether or not she wanted to terminate a pregnancy and that the state or federal government had no right to dictate morality. I also went along with the crowd that felt "if it feels good, do it!" And yes, I had tried marijuana and liked it although I never bought any myself.

After working at the disco bar for three or four months, I was scheduled to work on New Year's Eve night. I was 19 at the time and I decided to wear a costume of Wonder Woman. I purchased a long black wig, black knee-high boots and a mini-skirt.

After arriving at work, I noticed they had several birdbath type pottery that they used to put Champaign in and it ran thru a tube and sprayed out into the open birdbath. Anyone could walk up and get a cup of Champaign free that night. The disco was overflowing with people who had made reservations for the night.

I worked that night the assigned section given to me by my employer. One of my customers, early on, asked me if I would like to party with him after I finished my shift that night. I was sober at that time and I made it clear to him that I was not interested in partying with him or leaving with him after I finished work. I thought the issue had been settled.

As the party began my boss allowed the employees to drink the Champaign free and I took advantage of it. I had never drank Champaign before and had no idea how it would affect me. Before the night was over I was wasted and being a new employee, no one knew me very well. I went into a blackout and from all accounts I acted like everything was normal and fine. No one knew me well enough to know that I wasn't ok.

The man that asked me to party with him after I got off work saw that I was intoxicated and he decided to take advantage of the situation and use me--even after I had said NO! Like what part of no do you not understand? While in a blackout, I acted normal and I gave him my car keys and left with his assistance. This man took advantage of me. The other employees didn't see any alarms going off so they thought that everything was ok and that I wanted to leave with this man. I do not remember what happened or even leaving with him in my car. I made a rule when I started working at the disco not to date any customer of mine. It was bad for business. It also turned out to be bad for me. I came to myself driving down a road while it was still dark outside. I looked into my rearview mirror and saw flashing blue lights. I had no idea where I was at the time, but I pulled over and waited for the policeman to tell me what I had done wrong.

The policeman told me that he stopped me because I was going so slowly. I knew immediately that I had been raped but I was afraid and decided not to tell the officer what had happened to me. After all, I didn't even know the man's name much less where we had been during this period of time. I told the officer that I had been to a party and was on my way home. I must have made a wrong turn, I was lost and that was why I was driving so slowly.

The police officer offered to take me to city hall and give me directions from a large map that was hanging in the lobby. I learned that I was in over a hundred miles from where I started. The officer showed me where I was (on the map) and mapped out the route that I needed to take to get back to where I lived at that time. (To this day, I still don't understand why that officer let me drive away. I was still drunk and I was dressed like Wonder Woman. I must have displayed some type of symptoms of being under the influence--like staggering for instance.) After being shown the directions on how to get home, I left city hall.

When I got home I immediately took a shower. I felt dirty and afraid. I pondered on whether to tell anyone what had happened to me the night before but ultimately I decided not to tell anyone, especially my parents. I knew that they would be very upset and would demand that I go to the hospital for an examination. I was afraid that no one would believe me, and that people would say that I led the man on in some manner. Also, at that time, (this was in the late 70's--like in 1979) people had never heard of date rape much less prosecuted someone for rape under those circumstances. I felt trapped and alone. I kept quiet and tried to act as normal as possible, but it was very hard. I honestly hated that man. Why didn't he accept NO? Why did he pursue me after I told him that I was not interested in him period! As I look back, I think it must have been pride. His pride was at stake because everyone in his party heard me tell him NO that I wasn't interested in going or being with him.

I hid my shame and embarrassment and continued to work at the disco. Around the 1st of February (which was my birthday--20 years old) I realized that my monthly was late and I became terrified. I knew that I was pregnant; I just knew it!!! I went to my doctor and gave them a cup of urine for the pregnancy test and it came back negative. I was relieved. Several weeks passed but I still had not started. I went back for a second time and had a blood test done. The doctor called the next day to tell me that I was pregnant. I flipped out. I was a 20-year-old single student working nights at the disco and taking classes during the day. I had no money or a husband to help me support a child in my life. I had never heard of a crisis pregnancy center and had no one that I could talk to about my situation. After agonizing for days, I called an abortion clinic in Birmingham to set up an appointment for counseling and for an abortion.

I went to the clinic on the appointed day and they wanted their fee up front. I finally spoke with a counselor and told her my story. She told me that it was not a baby yet only a mass of cells. I told her that I was afraid to have an abortion because I thought I would be killing my baby. She really did a number on me and before long had me believing that I wasn't killing anything nor was it wrong under the circumstances I was facing. She stressed that my life was just getting started and I needed this abortion to give myself a chance to make something of myself in life. She never told me that the baby's heart started beating on day 17 or that at 6 to 8 weeks the baby was completely formed with hands, feet, eyes, ears and all other body parts that make it unique as a person. I was truly under a lot of pressure to have the abortion. There were no pro-life protestors out front waiting to tell me that I would later regret this day for the rest of my life. No one to warn me that "God said, thou shall not kill". I was never told that this baby I carried was part of me as well as part of that man who did that horrible thing to me new years night. All I had to go on was what she said. "You will eventually hate this child after it's born because of what happened with its father!"

I decided to go ahead and have the abortion. I cried all the way home afterwards. I suddenly felt empty and for a while, life had no meaning (I didn't feel things going on in my life).

I went along with my life until I turned 21 and I started changing my beliefs. I stopped drinking and started attending church. I gave my miserable, empty existence to God. He saved me and washed me with his own blood that he shed at Calvary, just for me! I still ached inside for my child but I was able to forgive that man for his part in destroying my life. When I turned 27, I married a man I had only known for five months. I wanted children but had to wait until I could save up for a reversal on his vasectomy. Finally, when I was 34 he had the surgery but it wasn't successful. My marriage was very shaky due to his abuse of me. He was an alcoholic and became very mean when he drank. I had guns and knives held on me and went through many scary times. At the age of 37 I decided to become artificially inseminated at a fertility clinic in Birmingham. I became pregnant on the third try but lost the baby at 4 1/2 weeks. I promised God that I would leave this man if he would protect me, which he did. At the age of 37, I started out on a new journey by myself. I still wanted to have children but first I needed to find a husband that believed as I did and who wanted children. In December, 1996 at 38 I met the man of my dreams, we married in April and I became pregnant in June of the following year. I lost this child at 8 1/2 weeks.

My heart still aches for a child but I still haven't forgiven myself for that "choice" I made when I was 20 years old. I'm haunted by dreams; and I've had several dreams that included myself and my child that I ultimately killed with the help of an abortionist.

At the age of 39 I started protesting at abortion clinics in Birmingham and I was the only person who could get a response or "ruffle his feathers" of the abortionist at the New Woman All Women Clinic where I protested and grieved for the many children who were ultimately killed there that year. Because of "a choice" I made I'll never get over killing my child and I deal with the reality that I may never have any children because of that "choice" long ago!

Patti (2002)

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