My Personal Abortion Story
by Pat Goltz
It was 1977, five years after I had cofounded Feminists for Life. During those five years, I had been privileged to receive information about abortion from all over the world, which I read diligently. As you read my account, remember that if it can happen to someone as informed as I was, it can happen to anybody.
I actually became pregnant in July. Since I had already borne three other children, I knew what pregnancy was all about, but this time, I didn't suspect pregnancy within a few days of conception as I had the other times. This was due to the fact that there was something seriously wrong. At the end of September, I had a severe hemorrhage. I decided it would be best to go to the emergency room. I had not had anything to eat since lunch, and by the time I got there, all the food had been put away for the night, and once it was determined that I was medically stable and could wait until morning to be seen, all I could obtain was an apple and a small quantity of yogurt.
The next morning, a doctor I had never met came into see me fairly early. He examined me, but there was something I didn't like about his attitude toward me. I felt he didn't respect me. After the examination, Dr. T told me that I had had a miscarriage, but that there was still something in my uterus, and I needed a D&C. He never mentioned the word "abortion." He tried to intimidate me and outright told me that if I didn't have the D&C I might start to hemorrhage again. Everything about his tone of voice and body language said, "Your life is in danger." Well, the intimidation worked. Although I am normally emotionally very strong, I was afraid. I have had a longstanding policy that I will not work with a doctor who is not solidly pro-life, so I asked him what his opinion on abortion was, and he gave me a very wishy-washy answer that amounted to the idea that it was a woman's personal choice. So I said, "Well, I don't think I will let you do it." He then became clearly enraged, said, "That is your privilege," and stalked out, slamming the door behind him.
About an hour later, a nurse came in, and said she wanted to do a pregnancy test. I asked her what for, and she said, "We want to see if you are still pregnant." I asked her how long it would take to get the results, and she said, "An hour or two." That was the last I saw of her.
I also repeatedly asked for food and drink, but the hospital personnel refused to give me anything, telling me that I was going to have a D&C. However, they tried to compel me to have a chest X-ray, which I refused on the grounds that I might be pregnant. They tried to tell me it was routine in all admissions, but I still refused. They should not have tried to force the issue.
Sometime later that morning, my doctor's partner, Dr. S, came in. I asked him why they had referred me to a doctor who believed in abortion, given that I had made it quite clear to my doctor a couple of years before that I would not go to any doctor who was not solidly pro-life. He said that there was no other doctor who could perform the surgery at that hospital. He said that he had tried to reach a doctor with privileges at a different hospital, to no avail. What he didn't know was that I had already spoken to a friend who had recommended the same doctor, Dr. G, and I had reached him, and he had instructed me to get checked out of the hospital and go home, and call him on Monday. Dr. S then told me that he would check me out, and he wanted me to go straight to the emergency room of that other hospital, and Dr. G would do a D&C on me there. Because I wanted to be discharged, I agreed. He discharged me and I went home. By the time all this had taken place, it was late afternoon, and I had had nothing substantial to eat since lunch the previous day, because everyone had decided I was going to have a D&C. Not only that, but the results of the pregnancy test hadn't come back.
Also while all of this was going on, I talked to several trusted friends. I asked one of them who this unknown doctor, Dr. T, was, and she told me he was one of the biggest abortionists in town!
Well, I went home. I remained medically stable through the weekend, and the whole time I wondered about that pregnancy test. On Monday, I called Dr. G's office, and they told me that the test had been positive. I was still pregnant! I had almost consented to allow an abortionist to kill my baby!!!
That was when the emotional realization struck home. For two months after that, I had horrible nightmares every few nights. I am not normally prone to nightmares, yet these were enough to wake me in a cold sweat. I remember two of them vividly. In one of them, I was being chased through the dark streets of the neighborhood by a man with a huge knife. I was very pregnant, but at the last minute, I got away. In the second, I was trying to climb an endless flight of outdoor stairs reaching into nowhere. A bunch of men were trying to gang-rape me. I was very pregnant, but at the last minute, I got away. Because of the emotional turmoil that was generated, I know what PASS is all about. The emotional damage prompted me to try to sue the abortionist, but when I studied the law to see what I might do, I learned that I had no case. This is in part because of Roe v. Wade. The abortionist hadn't actually performed an abortion, so I had no recourse in the courts. You have to realize that because of Roe v. Wade, women have no legally protected right not to have an abortion. Because of my inability to sue, I re-examined the situation and decided to send the abortionist a letter instead. The letter was probably ten pages of fine print. I told Dr. T everything that had happened, and I forgave him and told him about the love of God. I sent it certified, so I know he got it, but he never responded. A couple of years later, he stopped doing abortions.
Not long after I got out of the hospital, I saw my original doctor, Dr. Go (not Dr. G) at a party. When I asked him why he had referred me to an abortionist, knowing my stand, he said, "He was the only one available." I told him, "As far as I am concerned, he doesn't exist." Dr. Go had no answer. Needless to say, I never went back to him.
The pregnancy progressed, and at the usual time for me, I began to feel movement. The movement, however, was quite weak compared to what I was used to. In early December, one day I felt very strong movement, and then nothing at all. But I did not miscarry. I went to the new doctor, Dr. G, for prenatal care. In February, the doctor told me he thought my baby had died, and I agreed with him. He wanted me to have a sonogram and maybe a D&C, but I said, "No way!" He said that as long as I wasn't bleeding, it was all right to refuse.
I also went to see a chiropractor who does a lot of other kinds of natural healing techniques as well. When I told him my story, he examined me and said my uterus was a strange shape. It was flat, and had a bulge in the middle. He then did a technique on me that had no meaning to me, and I asked him what it was for. He said that it was intended to cause me to miscarry. I was furious! He didn't ask permission; he just did it. Fortunately, the technique didn't work.
At the beginning of March, I began to feel movement again.
Not long after that, my midwife, a veteran of thousands of homebirths, came and examined me and said, "You have lymph nodes all over the surface of your uterus." We talked, and he explained that the nodes were taking care of the situation. We agreed that the baby had died, but before I miscarried, I had conceived a second child, and that child was sustaining the pregnancy. Thinking back, I could remember observing fertile mucus about that time, but thinking nothing of it because, after all, I was pregnant!
In talking to other people, I learned that a woman I knew had a twin sister who had been conceived two months before she had. They were both middle aged and in good health. I wondered how often this happens, but how often the evidence must be destroyed because a woman does what her doctor says, and he does a D&C and destroys the evidence, and never admits it to the woman for fear of lawsuit.
To make a long story short, the pregnancy continued without incident. Exactly a year after I first became pregnant, I gave birth, at home, to a healthy son. There was no sign of the other baby. My son is now 21 years old, and just recently earned a third degree black belt in taekwondo, as well as certification as a taekwondo instructor. He is engaged to be married.
Had I agreed to a sonogram and D&C when the new doctor suggested it, the sonogram would have revealed nothing because the baby was too young and small at that point, and I would have killed a perfectly healthy child.
My experience illustrates that the problem with abortion is one that permeates the entire medical profession. It is not merely the doctors who are willing to do and refer for abortions that are the problem. Doctors in general are far too ready to intervene. As women, we are their first victims, and it is our sexuality and the innermost core of our being that are the targets. I think it is imperative that we women wake up and realize that in acquiescing and participating in abortion, we have given away our birthright to be considered equal, and fully normal. We must then speak out forcefully against this abomination. The sooner we do this, the better!
Background graciously provided by: