When I was little I was molested for eight years by my stepfather. He was an accomplished liar and fooled everyone, even my mom. No one knew. I was afraid to tell anyone; when you grow up hearing that bad things will happen if anyone finds out, you believe it.
I got pregnant the first time when I was 12. I was scared and told him. He hit me and then loaded me up on drugs, telling my mom that I had been injured while out playing with some other kids. He killed my baby. Of all the things that happened to me, this is what haunts me the most. I will never know who my child might have become. My only hope is in the promise I will get to see him or her in heaven when I get there, and Jesus will take care of my baby until then.
When I was 13, I became pregnant again. This time I did not say anything to him. My mom noticed that my body was changing, even though I was only about two months along at the time, and asked me about it. I remember that morning clearly. It was a Saturday, and my mom had the day off from work, but my stepfather did not. She had borrowed one of those kits to put fake nails on from my aunt, and was doing my nails. I finally got the courage and told her everything. She immediately packed up my brother, sister, and I and took us to our Aunt’s house. From there she called the police.
They arrested him and took us to the hospital for some tests, and then we had to go in for questioning ourselves. In the end, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting not only me but my sister. If he had not killed my first baby, my sister and I would have been free an entire year earlier. This is how I know that abortion protects pedophiles.
I was told by therapists, friends, teachers, family, and even strangers, that it would probably be best if I had an abortion; but I couldn’t. Earlier that year, I had learned in my science class that a child’s DNA comes from both parents, and that meant that this child was also half mine. I also figured that since I was the one who would carry her in MY body for the next several months, that made her mine, not his. I knew from my first pregnancy that he didn’t want me to have the baby. I knew that if I had an abortion, I would be doing just what he wanted, and he would win again. He would not have only killed all of my innocence, he would have killed my daughter.
It might have been easier to choose an abortion. There are many things that I would not have had to go through if I had. It was harder than I have words to describe. But there are some things in life that are worth fighting for, and she was one of them.
I’m not a very big person, 5′ 0″ and 95 lbs. I wasn’t big then either. So, due to my size and my age, I was deemed a high risk pregnancy. I had my first ultrasound at around 3 months, where I got to see her heart beat, and I fell in love. That was when I decided that I couldn’t give her up for adoption either.
The next several months were hard. The looks and comments that I received from people everywhere were difficult to deal with, to say the least. I lost all but two of my friends. But knowing that I would have that little girl soon kept me going. I decided to name her Josey Ann, after a character in a book I had read.
On Friday, July 28, 1995, roughly six weeks before my due date, I went into labor. I was flown from Vernal, Utah, to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. They gave me some drugs to slow down the labor (my water had not broken yet), and steroids to help develop my daughter a little faster so she would have a better chance of surviving. She was born the following Monday, July 31. She weighed 4 lb. 2 oz., and was 18″ long.
Because she was so premature and needed much medical help, they kept her in the NICU. They kept her there until the end of August. Words cannot express the joy I felt when we got to bring her home the day before I started the 7th grade.
I still had nightmares, but I would wake up and have that little smiling face to greet me. When I would get nasty looks and comments, I would go home and hear her giggle. She truly was a light in one of the darkest times of my life. I shudder to think of what that time would have been like had I aborted her.
My mom was amazing, she watched my daughter so that I could finish school. I did graduate and was my class historian. I met a wonderful man who loves both me and my daughter, and we now have four children.
She is one of the many reasons why I know that abortion is wrong. She is a person, and has been since she was conceived. Had I aborted her, this world would have lost an amazing person. My heart breaks for each child that is killed before he or she has a chance to bring someone the same joy that my daughter has brought me.
— Anna Richey
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