Carla Stream knows what it’s like to experience an abortion decision she would later come to regret. Her personal story is one she has shared before and she calls it a “horrifying” experience where women were subjected to being treated “like cattle.”
“I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t know what to do and wasn’t sure to whom I could turn,” Stream says. “I told my roommate who offered to drive me to an abortion clinic. The only other person I told didn’t say anything.”
“I didn’t want an abortion. I wanted help and hope and support. My fear and confusion quickly became desperation. I was so unsure of myself, and yet the only choice I could see was abortion. I took that ride from my roommate,” Carla continues.
Like so many other women who go to abortion clinics, Carla was given very little information ahead of time.
“My abortion was the most horrifying experience of my life. The women were treated like human cattle. I was told over and over about “a bunch of cells,” even though I was 10 weeks along. I was only asked, “Will that be Visa or MasterCard today?” I believed all of the lies that I was told,” Stream explains.
Some women come to regret their abortions years later while others, like Carla, begin to experience doubts about their decision very early on.
She says: “The relief lasted about a day, and then denial set in. I went right back to drinking and partying and struggled with depression and guilt. I felt that I had done something wrong but didn’t know what to do about it. I had nightmares and suicidal thoughts, and I made one suicide attempt. I guess that is what is called “getting on with your life.”
The, Carla experienced the kinds of problems in subsequent pregnancies many women experience.
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Stream says: “Five years later, I was married and pregnant. I was very excited and longing to somehow make up for what I had done. Ten weeks into my pregnancy, I started to bleed. I was told my baby’s heart had stopped beating. I was miscarrying. I ended up delivering that little one into my hand. I saw with my own eyes that this WASN’T “a bunch of cells”! I saw tiny toes, feet and legs, fingers, hands and arms, a tiny little rump, and a precious little face.”
Ultimately, she’s been finding hope and healing through a recovery program.
She concludes: “I began the journey of abortion recovery. It has not been easy. I had to accept the truth and face the pain and grief of loss. I have received grace and forgiveness and now offer that to other women through Rachel’s Vineyard.”