Why I Write About Abortion - My Inspiration, My Confession

I was pregnant with my youngest child in the summer of 2004 when my grandmother died.

The hard, personal truth she revealed the last time I saw her changed the course of my life completely.

I doubt either of us knew how those few moments laid the foundation for who I am and what I do now. We shared a moment of grace that I did not recognize at the time, but which now gives me great strength of purpose.

Mor-Mor, Swedish for mother of mother, was 93 years old that summer when she fell, knocked unconscious. When we heard about this fall, my sister and I - the East Coast contingent of our family -  drove the five or so hours from Massachusetts to New Jersey as quickly as possible.  

We must have been a sight to behold waddling in to her hospital room to visit her. My sister and I were both pregnant, her second child, my third, and due with our babies in just a few months.

The news was good: Mor-Mor was resting comfortably.  She looked well, spoke clearly and intelligently. As relief settled in, we began playing gin rummy and chatted.

As I sat on the bed snuggling with her, my grandmother started to rub my pregnant belly. My baby boy did not disappoint. He gave little kicks here and there to let us know he was indeed present.

Without a change in tone or demeanor, Mor-Mor then shared with us a story I had never heard from her before.

"I want to tell you girls something," she began, still stroking my tight belly. "It was a long time ago, before your mother was born. It was after your aunt was born, and I found myself pregnant. Times were hard. It was the Depression, you know. Your aunt was sick a lot, and well, I had to make a choice.. . . . . " Her eyes were dimmed as her voice faded and she stared into the corner of the room. She seemed distant, removed, alone.

I did not know what to say. I felt her sadness, fear and anxiety. I did my best not to show the surprise I was feeling. I snuggled tighter and tried to reassure her. "It's okay Mor-Mor, it's okay." I hoped my words made a difference for her these seventy years later. I knew she needed to tell her story as she prepared for the end of her life. It never crossed my mind to share with her my own experience - I was still stuck in my own shame and fear. And then, I never had the chance to.
My grandmother died three weeks later. That hospital visit was the last time I saw her.
Years later, I would realize that moment changed my life.

My grandmother was probably reaching out for assurance in part because she was afraid of death, afraid of what awaited her on the other side now that she was so close to being there. And I, rather than tell her about my abortion, rather than tell her she was not alone, had chosen to hold tight to my truth and merely mumbled words that at the time, I myself did not believe. How was having an abortion ever okay? Still deep in denial about the truth of my own experience, I failed miserably at helping a woman I dearly treasured.

How did my life change? I do everything I can to let other women know what I never told my grandmother, what I wished I had told her. I shared my story in the anthology Pebbles on the Pond Wave 2 ( I write this blog. I want to let women know they are not alone. There are millions of us who, for different reasons and at different ages in our lives, have had abortions. As we grow older and review our lives, we may have new questions, as I suspect my grandmother had. Did I make the right choice? What will happen to me when I die? Can I be at peace with the choice I made?

I write about living well after abortion to honor my grandmother and to remind women that one moment from our past does not define who we are and what our life means. My grandmother lived a hard life, but she showed strength and courage in living it and loving those around her. Her sharing that painful part of her past only deepened my love for this woman I will always cherish.

Why do I write about abortion? Mor-Mor.



  1. Christine - How deeply touching is this story. Thank you for stepping into your authenticity in a way to be of such great service to others who are holding guilt of whatever sort. You are exemplifying the power of love.

    In love and light,
    Lilia Shoshanna Rae
    A messenger for awareness of Heaven on Earth

    1. Thank you Lilia! It is my hope to inspire others with the things I did not say in the past, to show how important it is to be vulnerable. I am so grateful to know you found inspiration in it. Much love to you, Christina

  2. Beautiful. You write about this part of your life because you feel compelled to tell the truth Christina. Plus I'm pretty sure that only our Higher Power (whatever one wishes to call it) is the one who will pass judgement if there is to be any passed at all.
    Just keep sharing your story. People will find you and take comfort in knowing they are not alone.

    1. Thank you for the affirmation Marlene! I am ready to share, even to a wall if it meant anything. Most of the time, I also believe we are harder on ourselves than anyone else will ever be. I see it with myself, and I saw it with my grandmother. She epitomized love to me, yet I doubt she ever realized how special and loved she was. The wind beneath my feet! Love, Christina

  3. Thank you Chris for sharing this heartfelt and beautiful story. I've heard you talk fondly many times of your grandparents and I feel like it has been a huge loss on my part that I never got the chance to meet them. Love, Steve

    1. My grandparents were hard working, salt of the earth people. I was so lucky to have them in my life! I have such wonderful memories of time spent with them as a child and adult. But those are stories for another day . . . I am grateful to still feel their presence in my life very strongly, even now.

  4. Thanks for sharing! Abortion should never be questioned--it's a valid healthcare decision, just as an appendectomy, vasectomy, or mastectomy is. I applaud you for speaking your truth, and I'm sorry that courage needs to come into that because of the topic.