“Tim,I think I’m pregnant.”
It was New Year’sEve. My boyfriend sighed deeply, his gaze remainingfixed on the TV. He then muttered something thatmade me feel already deserted. I felt a sour lump inthe back of my throat. Yes, I was pregnant, andI was scared!I knew from firsthand experience how tough itis raising a child as a single mother. I already hada 2-year old daughter, Jennifer, from an earlierunsuccessful marriage. When my pregnancy wasconfirmed, Tim’s non-committal response to mydistress and his move to Chicago,400 miles away, left me despondentand convinced that abortion was the“easy way out.” I was already strug-gling financially with one child. Howcould I raise two?I felt desperately alone. I oftencried myself to sleep. I decided toconfide in a couple of college professors whocollected money to
fly me out of town to have anabortion.
Now I was obligated to go through with it.Still, I agonized!I was summoned to the room where theabortions are performed. I could hear a womansobbing hysterically in the recovery room. Thatmemory haunts me still.As the doctor was examining me, prior toperforming the abortion, he suddenly stopped andsaid to the nurse, “Get her out of here! She’s too faralong!” Relief instantly washed over me! How odd!I had thought I wanted an abortion but now feltinstantly relieved to know I was still pregnant.I decided to use every ounce of courage I couldmuster to deal with my pregnancy. My ambivalenceturned into love for my unborn daughter, Melanie. Ittook energy and creativity to support the three of us.During the first year of Melanie’s life, sheattended classes with me. When my daughters werepreschool age and in daycare, I obtained a job asbookkeeper for the daycare center they attended. Ifthey needed a hug, they could come into my officeand get one. Other means of support included:renting rooms to students; teaching evening classesat the community college; and operating a typingbusiness out of the dining room of my studenthousing which, again, enabled me to be with mychildren while working.My two daughters inspired me to do greatthings. They never stood in theway of my career. I finished mydegree; then I went on to getmy Master’s and Ph.D. Besidesbeing a proud mother, I amhappily married, a publishedauthor, a motivational speaker, anda part-time musician.When we endure somethingtough, our character and self-esteemare strengthened. Many women whohave confessed to me that they’vehad abortions have discovered thatthe “easy way out” is just an illusion.Some are in abusive relationships.Some are on anti-depressants. Othersjust seem detached from life. Somesadly remember their abortedchild’s “would be” birthday each year.I cannot promise that it will be easy. I can onlypromise that the anguish will pass and there arepeople who will help you through this trying time.One day you will look back on the birth of your child,and know that you did the right thing.Sincerely,
Dr. Angela Woodhull
QUESTIONINGTHE EASY WAY OUT
When we endure something tough,our character and self-esteem are strengthened.
On January 22, 1973 the U.S. Supreme Courtlegalized abortion through which month ofpregnancy?
A. 3rd monthB. 4th monthC. 6th monthD. 9th month
Since abortion was legalized in 1973, surgicalabortion alone has extinguished the lives of_______ pre-born babies.
A. 6 millionB. 20 millionC. 33 millionD. 46 million
About what percentage of pregnancies endin surgical abortion?
A. 10%B. 16%C. 24%D. 29%
Which age group has the most abortions?
A. 15-19B. 20-24C. 25-29D. 30-34
In 2001, white women had 165 abortions per1,000 live births while African American womenhad _______ abortions per 1,000 live births.(See Reproductive Racism on page 9.)
A. 79B. 134C. 328D. 491
According to a 2004 report by the Centers forDisease Control about how many late-term(>21 weeks of pregnancy) abortions wereperformed in 2001?
A. 3,700B. 1,200C. 8,000D. 12,000
What percent of abortions performedin the U.S. are repeat abortions?
A. 30%B. 40.2%C. 48%D. 60.7%
A developing baby’s heart beginsto beat at:
A. 21 daysB. 30 daysC. 45 daysD. 60 days
The answer key can be found on page 5.
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