As far as Tammy Holly, the Michigan team leader of Operation Outcry, is concerned, the legalization of abortion in this country was the beginning of what she called an American Holocaust.
“(Abortion) has affected our lives permanently,” she said to a group of about 25 in Jamrich 101. “It hurts women, it hurts men, it hurts families, it has completely hurt this American culture we live in and it has hurt cultures around the world today.”
Holly and Shelley Asbury, spoke about their own experiences with abortion as a part of Operation Outcry, a pro-life group committed to making all types of abortion illegal. The event was sponsored by Northern Michigan University Students For Life.
Both Holly and Asbury said one of the major problems with abortion is the fact that many people who have them choose to not talk about it.
“Basically, it stays hidden, it stays a secret, secrets make you sick, and that’s what’s happening in our country,” Asbury said.
While both women discussed statistics about abortion, they spent most of their time talking about the emotional and physical impacts women experience after having an abortion.
Some symptoms of post-abortion syndrome include, intense grief, fear, guilt, anxiety, anger and paralyzing depression, along with suicidal thoughts and attempts, Holly said. Often, women who’ve had abortions have to deal with drug and alcohol abuse, nightmares and relationship problems with spouses and children, she added.
However, Holly said it’s not just post-abortive women who suffer from abortions: Men do as well.
“Men are just as affected by this as women are, so don’t ever take them out of the picture,” she said. “It takes two, right?”
And while men can suffer the after-effects of an abortion, it is still women who must undergo the procedure. Both Holly and Asbury told of the abortions they had when they were younger.
Asbury decided to abort her first child when she was 20, and said she still feels the effects of that today.
“I want women to know the truth about abortion,” she said. “I chose death for my baby. I had no idea of the consequences I would suffer later.”
Asbury said she didn’t remember the actual abortion because she was put to sleep during the procedure. Once it was done, she said she felt relieved for a short time, but it didn’t take long for her to regret her decision.
“As my life continued . the facts became chillingly real to me. I took part in slaughtering my first baby,” she said.
It wasn’t until she found her faith in the Catholic Church that she began to heal, she said, adding that now she speaks as a part of Operation Outcry so that other women won’t have to go through what she went through.
Holly, also a Christian, spoke of the healing power of God during her personal story as well, saying that becoming a Christian helped her heal from the pain of her own abortion, which she had when she was 17. It was her parents’ decision to have the procedure done, and Holly said that though she didn’t want to have the abortion, she felt she had no choice.
“I felt like a frightened, trapped animal that had been backed into a corner,” she said. She was eleven weeks along when she had the abortion, and the procedure could only be done up to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
She was not put to sleep during her abortion, so she was able to recount what was happening during the procedure.
“I screamed at the sound of the suction machine only to have three nurses hold me down and tell me I needed to be quiet so I wouldn’t disturb others waiting outside the room,” she said. “I left that day feeling empty, torn apart, abused and totally violated.”
Both women said their decisions to have abortions were made rashly.
“Abortion does not rid you of a problem,” Asbury said. “It only makes your problems that much more complicated.”