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PLEASANT HILL, Tennessee, May 22, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Tennessee woman who had an abortion in 1979 says she still mourns each anniversary of the procedure - as well as the birthday that might have been - and notes how little information was given her about the biological facts of her baby’s development.
Debbie Hensley, 57, shared her story in a video as part of a series by The Tennessean on women who have faced abortion.
Hensley says she “felt like I had no choice” but abortion when, with a son only two years old, she found herself pregnant fresh out of a divorce.
“I was very uneducated. I thought there was no life before a certain time. I had no idea that at 12 weeks when I aborted my baby, the baby was developed and had feeling and had a heartbeat,” she said. “I just didn’t have any idea. We didn’t have any education back then. It was just like, ‘do it, get out and that’s it.’
“And I didn’t deal with it for a long time.”
Hensley said that she believes women often take “years to deal with the abortion” and the emotional fallout, which she says began to influence her life without her even knowing the cause.
After she was remarried and began raising a family with her new husband, said Hensley, “I began to be really depressed. I began to be really ugly to my children. I didn’t know what was wrong.” She says that she finally attended a post-abortion healing weekend at her local pregnancy center that “changed her life.”
“You’ll always remember the anniversary of the abortion. You’ll remember the anniversary of what their birthday would have been,” said Hensley. “I still cry. I still have emotions, but it’s okay.
“It still hurts, but it don’t hurt like it did then.”
Another video in the series tells the story of a Nashville woman, whose face is hidden from the camera, who says she does not regret the abortion she chose in 2007 after facing what seemed like insurmountable pressures, both from a high-risk pregnancy and her financial situation.
When she learned she was pregnant, said “Lisa,” “Tears just started flowing down my face [at] the thought of going through such a bad pregnancy and the thought of bringing a child into this world I could not afford.”
She said her husband wanted to keep the baby, but ultimately agreed to her decision. Today, she says she takes comfort in the idea that “God forgives.”
“God forgives. He forgives over and over again. I had to pray about it. And I had to move on,” she said. “I think God forgives and I will be fine.”