May 22, 2012 (The Crescat) - The bumper sticker read, “Having an abortion does not make you un-pregnant, it makes you the mother of a dead baby”. The word “mother” struck me because “mother” is such a powerful word. It conjures many meanings, and when a woman becomes one she is fundamentally changed. “Mother” as a verb means to nurture, care for and protect. “Mother” as a noun means a female person who is pregnant with or gives birth to a child; or a female person whose egg unites with sperm, resulting in the conception of a child.

By this definition if you’ve ever been pregnant you are a Mother. Even if you’ve had an abortion you are still a Mother… a grieving Mother.

“A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.” Matthew 2:18

There is no consolation to be had for the mother that loses a child. She will grieve in her heart for the rest of her life. Abortion, however, not only robs a child of its life and a mother of its child, it also robs the mother of her grieving. She is not allowed to grieve because she cannot publicly claim the title Mother.

Abortion advocates will never admit a post-abortive woman is a Mother because to admit that would acknowledge the fact that there was once a child. Not a clump of cells, but a very real living child. When girls begin menstruating they are not called mothers to a clump of cells, yet so many people really believe an abortion is just like having a heavy period or passing a large menstrual clot. This was how it was described to me when I found myself in their clinic fifteen years ago. Two years later when I returned to have a second abortion the lie had not changed.

For fifteen long years I’ve lived with the pain, shame and guilt associated with my past. In that time I’ve experienced denial, anger, and depression. It wasn’t until my conversion to Catholicism that I finally sought the reconciliation my soul needed. Once I received the grace of forgiveness I was charged with the next most important task of my life … to tell as many women as I can how horrible, evil and despicable abortion is.

However, it has taken me another six years to find my courage. In order to honestly talk about the truth I needed to admit to my past and in this one area my words failed me. Today I write this past so that I may finally own up to what it is I have done and make the necessary reparations for my crimes so that others will know just how fundamentally soul-destroying abortion is.

I am choosing this day to find my voice.

Here is the truth I spent so many years denying and keeping from the public – I killed two of my children, robbed my parents of grand-children, and murdered my son’s siblings. These abortions directly caused a medical condition known as incompetent cervix which resulted in the premature birth of another son who died after a week-long struggle in the NICU in 2001. The suffering I’ve endured and caused others is immeasurable and the guilt almost drove me suicidal. I am a coward in every way.

I was a coward in my youth, unable to take responsibility for my sexual actions and I am a coward today because I’ve failed to honestly speak out against abortion for so many years. I failed to shout from the highest building all the ugly truths for every ear to hear. I tried to help a friend once who was considering abortion, but there only so much I could say without giving away my own horrible, awful secret. In the end, withholding that information was not enough to convict her otherwise and she had an abortion. I failed her with my silence.

I refuse to be a coward anymore. In these times, no one can afford to be a coward. The price of our silence is paid in the blood of millions of innocent aborted babies. This is a deplorable evil and it must end now.

Women, post-abortive American women, will be the ones who will make the greatest strides against abortion and change the nation’s heart. Now, in this election year, is the time to stand up and honestly share, in heartrending and uncensored detail, what happens to women when they have an abortion and how they are forever changed, in hopes that no one will suffer the same pain. I’ve been silent for far too long.

Please forgive my silence and I apologize for the scandal these words may cause. Please know that what ever deplorable opinion you hold of me pales in comparison to the opinions I have had of myself.

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Katrina Fernandez is a writer and Catholic convert who runs the popular blog, The Crescat, where this article first appeared.