As Told To Veronica R. Wells-Puoane
I Had An Abortion To Save My Children
My parents were very conservative. My brothers and sisters had put them through. They became very, very strict. So I was sheltered a lot. Eventually, my cousin came to live with us from out of town. He was the same age as me. He was in a band so he got to go to different clubs and play, even though he was underage. If he said he needed me to go somewhere with him, they would let me go because he was a boy.
I was 17, just getting ready to turn 18. That’s when I met the man who would become the father of my first two daughters. He was a lot older than me. Ten years older than me.
My cousin warned me not to mess with anybody in the band. I should have listened.
I was living in a bubble and when you don’t know anything and you get out there, people that know more than you are going to prey on you. And that’s exactly what happened.
We started going out and by the time I was 21, I was pregnant with my first daughter.
I was in trouble but my parents didn’t say too much to me. It was like the church would allow you to have one child without being married but they won’t allow you to have more. All my uncles and aunts were married to ministers on both sides of my family. And my cousins were all ministers. So I had that stigma. I still have it.
I had my second daughter at 23.
Six weeks after the birth of my second daughter, I went to the doctor and found out I was pregnant again. That same time, I found out this man had a whole family.
He had kids and everything. I couldn’t figure out how. By this time, I had moved out of my parents house and was living on my own. He was there at my house every single day, every single night. To this day I don’t know how he did it.
I'm like, what do I do? I had to make a decision on whether I was going to keep the baby or not.
This man had a whole family.
I had an aunt that I could talk to. My aunt told me that God wanted me to have an abortion. That’s what she told me. I said, ‘That is not what He told you.’ This means I have to make this decision for myself.
So I looked at myself, raising two kids by myself. Because I put him out. I made a decision to go and have it done. It was the hardest decision that I had to make in my life.
I deal with it every day. I know the day that I had the abortion. I had it on August 2.
I went by myself. I didn’t tell anybody I was going. I was working. It was about $200 at that time, which was a lot. And I had it done in a little gray building across from an apartment complex. It’s still there. I can’t drive past it but I can still see it in my mind.
I chose my children and unfortunately, I had to let one go in order to have the other two survive.
I remember August 2 every year and I say a prayer on that day. Because I do have a baby that’s in heaven that did not ask to be here. I choose to do what I did.
You’re really losing a child, you’re losing part of yourself. That’s someone that you’ll never get to meet. You’ll never teach anything to. You’ll never get to talk to, you didn’t get to name. You didn’t get to do anything.
At first, I thought, am I doing this to be mean or spiteful to my children’s father? Was this going to hurt him? But he couldn’t care less. I told him I was having the abortion. He said, ‘That’s fine.’
He knew the day that I was going. He didn’t check on me to see if I was okay. He didn’t have a problem with it because he had a whole wife and two kids. Plus he had another woman and she was going to have a baby. So he didn’t care what I did.
When he saw me a couple of months after, he said, ‘Did you really go do that?’ I was like, ‘Did you think I wasn’t going to do it? You knew I went.’
Him: Well, you didn’t have to go.
Me: Uh, yeah I did. How were we supposed to do this with you, your wife and all these other kids?
Later, I found out the other woman he got pregnant, she had an abortion too.
I had to let one go in order to have the other two survive.
There is not a day that goes by, there’s not anything I go through in my life that I don’t think about that baby. Sometimes, I blame it on him. If he had been a better person…If he was someone who was there to actually help me rather than hurt me…I didn’t ask for this.
But I know if I had kept the baby, it would have been harder for us to survive because it was just me.
Looking back, I think it was the right decision for my life at that time.
And I did have more children after.
The pregnancy after my abortion was Nicole. Oh my God, I talked to that baby every single day. I was very happy that I was pregnant again. And her father (another man) was very happy that I was pregnant with Nicole. But that’s when the abuse started. I tried to keep myself from any type of altercations because I was going to have my baby. This was my chance. My gift that God gave me for my other baby that was gone. That’s how I looked at Nicole. That’s how I look at her now. At that time, with me going through what I was going through, she was my lifesaver.
When you have an abortion, like I did, there’s a piece of you that’s missing. And you never get that back. I was going through a lot of rebellion with myself. I left church. A lot of different things. When Nicole came, she saved me. Even though I had my other children, it was different. Just different. She got me back to doing the things that I needed to for myself and for the kids. She saved me. She still does.
Nobody knows about my abortion except Nicole And I made her promise not to tell anybody.
If I hadn’t gotten pregnant with her, I don’t know what I would have done. I loved my first two daughters. But still, I had that missing spot and Nicole filled that spot.
Then, I thought, okay, I’m not going to have any more children. I got my tubes tied. But it did not work. Did.Not.Work.
After I had my tubes tied and burnt, I had a son.
She saved me.
The Supreme Court should be ashamed of themselves. I don’t think that’s a decision for them to make. There’s a reason that a woman has to do that. It’s not anybody’s choice but her own. That’s something that she has to live with. Not a court, not anybody. None of the people that say that this is wrong. None of them people are going to be in that room. Why would you take that away from people? It’s a woman’s right to decide what to do with her own body. Nobody should be able to take that away. The person who does this is going to judge themselves, they don’t need anybody else to do that.
People used to end up dying trying to have abortions. They just want to ruin women’s lives. But what about the men? They’re the ones that are getting people pregnant. It’s all on the woman. So if it’s the woman’s body that has to carry the baby, it’s a woman’s decision.
This law will make people become parents and they don’t want to be parents. It will make people abuse children because they don’t know how to take care of them and don’t want to take care of those children. The foster care system is awful.
When you force people to have children, you put those children at risk. And to put them at risk is shameful. It’s truly shameful.
I go through that a lot. That’s just one of my demons. My kids tell me I get angry sometimes. Yeah, I do. It’s something I have to work on. I know I shouldn’t be this angry, it’s been such a long time. But there’s no time limit.
I have decided to go to therapy. I’m in therapy now because I’ve got to heal and I haven’t.
I have days. I have some not so good days but I know that God has forgiven me for what I have done and I know it was the best thing for me to do at that time and I have to keep going forward.