A forty-four-year-old lady had been childless during her marriage. A Christian woman with a Jewish husband, they had been unable to adopt a child because of their mixed religion. She longed for a child but was sterile as several studies showed her tubes to be blocked. Theirs was an excellent marriage and both had given of themselves to many community and charitable efforts.
On this day, after a routine exam, I told her that, because of a continuing fibroid enlargement, her uterus would have to be removed.
She gasped as if hit by a pole, and collapsed in a hysterical heap, completely out of control in her grief and crying. After considerable time, sedatives and support, I was able to again talk with her—and the story tumbled out:
She related how, many years before, she had become pregnant while in college and had had an abortion "by an excellent surgeon." But the abortion operation resulted in sterilizing her. Throughout her subsequent marriage, she had hoped against hope that somehow she might still conceive. Now I had just told her that her womb must be removed and her last, faint hope for a baby to love and care for—would be forever gone.
Through tear-reddened eyes, and with a pathos that still brings a lump to my throat whenever I recall it, she said:
"I killed the only baby I ever bore."
-Adapted from Dr. J.C. Wilke, in Abortion Handbook 273