A letter from the heart, to you, my dear sister!
My name is Vered and I am writing to you because I want to tell my own story, so that no one else should have to go through the suffering I went through. The decision is in your hands! How I wish that I had decided otherwise! I would have prevented so many pangs of conscience and so much mental suffering over the past 20 years !!
My story is like this, dear sister:
When I was 20 I got pregnant from a guy I was going out with at the time. Finding out I was pregnant was a complete surprise to me and put me in very great distress and confusion. I was overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness.
Since I grew up in a traditional-religious family and had elderly, G-d-fearing, innocent parents, I did not know what to do with the “surprise” that I brought upon myself. I was very afraid to share the news with them because I knew they would not accept their unwed daughter becoming pregnant. I was sure they would be very ashamed of me. Maybe they would expel me from their lives, mourn me as if I was dead and would even disassociate themselves from me if they knew about the pregnancy.
I went through sleepless nights, terrible and sad days, a lot of confusion, crying, anxious thoughts and extreme difficulty to decide what to do and how to act; I very much wanted the child who had begun growing in me, a pure child, a little soul that hadn’t sinned, my child, who had come out of me, a child that so many women pray years to get but do not get. And I? I got it. True, not the usual way, not the way that I would have wanted to have a child. Not at the time that I thought was the right time for me to have a child. But I got it.
On the other hand — I was so young. There was no way I would marry that guy, and commit myself to caring for a baby. And anyway, the family would not accept me and my parents wouldn’t even look at me after that …
But what was the other option? Not to give birth to my child? Abortion? I’m not a murderer! I won’t kill my son !!! I won’t kill a fetus that has a soul and feelings, which is basically a small person with a great potential, which already began to develop his internal and external organs and his human appearance — who had limbs, eyes, a beating heart …
I went through a difficult, awful period in which I was alone and could not consult with anyone close. Eventually fear and helplessness defeated me, and I made the most unfortunate decision I ever made in my life — to get an abortion.
Do not repeat my mistake (Illustration: Shutterstock)
The saddest day of my life
I arrived at the hospital to perform the abortion. It was the saddest day of my life!! I have gone through difficult things in my life, but the day I got the abortion remains the saddest day of my life, even today — 20 years later !!
The procedure before the abortion and the entire process was conducted as if they were removing from my body an unwanted thing, everything was carried out in a technical fashion, dispassionately, insensitively, as if I was part of a production line, one of many more … I was screaming inwardly: “How is it possible that they see me as just another case? How is it possible? I’m going to lose the kid that is forming inside of me! I’m going to kill a little soul !! I’m going to kill my child!!!”
I had the abortion. I left the hospital a different Vered. I felt empty. Sad. Lost. I hated myself.
I also had complications following the abortion, I was hospitalized several times and went through great suffering.
Beyond the physical suffering I experienced, the mental anguish was ten times worse. I could not forgive myself (and it’s hard for me to forgive myself even today, twenty years after !!), I felt that the former Vered no longer existed, I came out of the abortion a different girl. I fell into depression, I suffered from very difficult mood swings, I needed therapy and medication, I suffered from nightmares at night, in my dreams I saw again and again big baby eyes crying and asking me again and again: Why??? Why??? In my dreams I heard a baby screaming and the sleepless nights would not let me rest.
As stated, my dear sister, 20 years have passed since the abortion that I did, and until today, not one day goes by that I do not think about it, that I do not regret that unfortunate and cruel decision that I took, and that I do not feel anguish about it.
Today, when I think about the motives that led me to the decision to do an abortion, I realize I hadn’t seen the true picture: I could have gone to my parents and told them and they surely would have been sad and angry, but without doubt, after the anger, they would have accepted me and my child and certainly would not have supported the abortion. There were other ways I could have handled it — like having the baby and giving it over for adoption to parents who couldn’t have a baby and wanted one so much. Just not to do this irreversible step which torments me all my life, like hot tar stuck to my soul. This act caused a deep sadness that accompanies me still, many years after the fact, and does not let go.
Dear sister, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this and I beg of you: If you are currently in a situation of an “undesirable” pregnancy, if you are experiencing the same hesitancy that I did, or if you have a friend in this situation, please! please !! Take my words to heart and pass them on. Do not make the mistake I made. Do not be hasty, do not give in to thoughts of what others will gossip about you. Do not put yourself in a situation where your child’s blood will be on your hands. A fetus is a child, a soul, he feels and senses, and if you merited to bring down a soul to this world, accept the gift with both hands and don’t give it up! None of us can know if we will have another chance to have a child. This child, even if it comes at a time that you didn’t plan for it to come, will bring a lot of light, happiness and joy to your life!
From the depths of your heart,
P.S. I want to thank Rabbi Menashe Ben-Porat, editor and writer of the Ohr Elyon newsletter, who encouraged me to write this, and told me that ‘Nothing stands in the way of repentance.” And that there is atonement even for serious sins when a person repents, unlike what I had originally thought. He said that to get full absolution, and as a counterweight to the sin that I did, I should try to prevent others from committing the same serious sin that I did. This can be done by writing my story (as I did above), and by volunteering for anti-abortion organizations such as Efrat (02-5454500) or Hidabroot’s IMA Department (03-6166614).