When abortion became “legal” I was 16 and pregnant. My friends told me it was no big deal and that they knew where I could go to make it go away. I hardly gave it a thought, just wanted to go back before being pregnant. I was so naïve. We went and got the pregnancy test. The day of the appt we had to stop, I got sick on the way. I remember having to go up stairs to an office behind a building. I was called in, was given the D&C (many women get d&c’s, it’s just a cleaning out of the uterus they told me, no big deal). All that remained was the bloodstained pad I wore. Now that it was over I could get on with my life, I felt relieved. I remember lying in bed when I got home which seemed like for days. Depressed, guilty, not understanding why. My friends wanted me to go to a music festival, I lay there, didn’t want to see anyone. Nobody talked about what had just happened, I didn’t talk about it either. My life spiraled down the road of despair – drinking, drugs, sex. I didn’t even know why I was going to college. The drinking and drugs continued, sex with a new boyfriend. I hardly attended class. I was withdrawn, depressed. I did all kinds of drugs. A friend told me I should get help, what did she know, I thought. I dropped out of college and moved back home, I wasn’t college material. After a while I decided to go to Tech school. It was good, yet the drugs continued and the sex. I got pregnant and quit school, got a full time job, had the baby, then got married. It just seemed the right thing to do. I got married for security reasons. It wasn’t long before my husband told me he was having an affair. We had two children. My life was shattered. I couldn’t bear the pain. Our family never had a chance to develop and our marriage meant even less. I took the children and left him but continued to secretly see him. Six months later I found out I was pregnant again. I felt so alone, betrayed, no one understood what I was going through, no one supported me or encouraged me. Instead they said that I should get an abortion. And then told me I wasn’t fit to raise three children alone. I was ashamed of my pregnancy, I felt scandalized and cheap. I blamed myself. So, one cold freezing day in November my sister took me. It was a darker place than last time and again I went up the stairs. I remember lying on the table. I heard the clinking of instruments, the vacuum. I tried to mentally remove myself from the surroundings. Afterwards, I was taken to a room to recover. There was another girl there, she was sad. We didn’t talk. As I lay there, I knew that I had rejected God and ignored His plea to trust Him. I felt so empty. On the way back down the stairs I remember people in a lab examining things, my baby probably. Upon reaching the parking lot, God provided a sign to me, a car with a Satanic Symbol bumper sticker. It confirmed to me that I had just participated in an evil act and had indeed turned away from God. I was so disgusted with myself and was helplessly longing for love that I retuned to my husband. A year later, I had the baby boy that everyone in the family adored, except me. I loved him and my two girls, but didn’t understand at the time I was suffering post-abortion stress. I felt like an inadequate mother. There was so much guilt and shame, I lived in darkness. One day I had a vision of Jesus in the Agony of the Garden. I felt like it was the end of the world. It was Good Friday; I ran to confession and confessed my abortions. Shortly afterwards, my husband started a new affair, this time with the babysitter. I became self-abusive; I cried so much I wished I would die. I packed my bags and the kids and I left. I was a lonely single mother. I loved my kids and truly enjoyed spending time with them; we had so much fun together. I didn’t give myself time to heal; I buried my pain and clung to the first man that entered my life. Then I had a break down. I felt so unworthy of being a mother to my children. I felt that my children would be better off without me. So, I left. I didn’t tell anyone where I was going. I withdrew from the world. I spent days in my new boyfriend’s apartment, lying in the bedroom. He was very supportive and his family was caring and Catholic. They encouraged me to go to college. They didn’t know of the abortions and he didn’t either. I felt I had to prove to myself that I could accomplish something this goal. The children would come to stay on the weekends. It was good most times. God was continuing to call me to return to Him. I returned to Mass. My boyfriend became Catholic and we got married. After a year of happiness it started to get more and more difficult. He was very controlling, verbally abusive; I refused to acknowledge it. I felt that I deserved it and accepted this way of life. My relationship with my children was deteriorating before my eyes. But I kept faithful to God, praying for the best to come of my situation. I heard about Rachel’s Vineyard and attended the first RV in our diocese in 2007, without the support of my husband. The weekend retreat changed my life. I was finally able to grieve my loss and accept God’s forgiveness and to forgive myself. I accepted that my children are with Jesus. My life of darkness replaced with His light. I started going to counseling and was treated for depression. My relationship with my children got better. God gave me the courage to end the abusive relationship I was in and to accept that He had better plans for me plans to give me hope and a future. After attending my first March for Life in 2009 I felt a tug on my heart to be Silent No More. I have learned to put my trust in God alone; He does not condemn me, my children in heaven do not condemn me. My children with me during my time on earth do not condemn, I do not condemn me. He is the One that gives me the courage to speak the truth. I hope that my testimony can be used towards the day when no more babies die and no more mothers cry. Because of this, I am Silent No More.