by Carla Stream
Lead moderator at JillStanek.com and blogger at Operation Outcry Wisconsin
I had an abortion 23 years ago. I have written love letters to my daughter Aubrey, sometimes around the date of my abortion, September 5th – sometimes because I have to feel what I feel and type it out.
Over the years I have gained perspective. I carry the regret of paying someone to end my daughter’s life.
I do not have to Google “letters from post-abortive mothers” for inspiration, and I do not read what others might have written and shared to see if something might “resonate.” I do not surf the web watching for something that might “speak to me.” I sit in the silence and stillness of my own soul and write from a place of deep longing and love.
My motivations for writing have always been the same:
1) to educate others that abortion hurts women
2) to share that there is help and hope and recovery after abortion
3) to share with other mothers who chose abortion
4) to help these mothers realize in the depths of their being that they are not alone – that someone “gets” it… that someone has felt what they feel.
And to honor the memory of my daughter who should be here… who would be 22 years old.
Sadly, one of my letters was plagiarized last week. Someone stole my words to my daughter. She stole several sentences – including ones that contained my Aubrey’s name – and inserted her son’s name instead.
This letter was published by several news outlets and was shared thousands and thousands of times. I saw it in my Facebook news feed and set aside special time to read it, because a post-abortive mother doesn’t just pop some popcorn and decide to do a little light perusing when reading a love letter from a post-abortive mother to an aborted child.
When I began to read, I immediately felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I knew those words. I knew those phrases. I knew because they came from my soul. And it hurt. It hurt me deeply. And it was wrong. Stealing is wrong.
I am now sharing my letters here, my feelings and thoughts put into words, which have been published on my blog since 2008. These are a legacy of love to a daughter that I one day will meet.
At this time, it feels like the right thing to do to honor my daughter and her memory, to share the journey of regret after abortion, and to stand in the face of an injustice like plagiarism and have the originals.
Below is the full text of the letter to Aubrey from which parts were stolen, followed by links to the rest of my letters and writings to her:
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2008
You should be here. You should be 18 years old. Driving, working, studying, babysitting your siblings. Laughing with me. Loving me. I picture you with long, brown hair like your sisters and big, blue eyes. On September 5th, 1990 you died. I was distraught even as you grew. I was distraught before the vacuum suctioned your body from mine. I was distraught after. Regret hardly conveys the depth of my emotion. A grief and a sorrow that consumes me at times. I can hardly bear it because I did not fight for your life. Fight to protect you. Fight for your right to live and grow and be. I did not place your life before my desperate thoughts of self-preservation. I was deceived into thinking you were a clump of cells, tissue, you were nothing, you were not even a baby.
I know what I have done. I carry it. I own it. I live with it. I would give anything to go back there though, and tell them all to go to hell, walk out that abortion mill door and embrace your life.
The grief I feel is hardly as big as the love, Aubrey. The love I have for you knows no bounds. The joy I have in knowing that I will see you one day. The hope I feel in telling others about you.
You are my daughter and I will honor your short life in every way that I can, as long as I live.
I love you, Aubrey,
“Love Letter” (2010)
“My daughter” (2011)
“Dearest Aubrey” (2012)
Two poems, here and here.