The amazing story of Patricia Sandoval.
I was a very happy young girl. I was blessed with wonderful loving parents, I felt safe in my home. But my parents never taught me about moral values, they didn’t teach me about God and they never talked to me about sexuality, they never told me that my virginity was a treasure and that I should wait until I was married to have sex, that I should find a man that loved me and respected me. All they taught me was that I should have a career, that I should strive to be successful and that I should be attractive, have a lot of friends and wear the best clothes; everything worldly.
When I was 12 years old I was told that there were coming to my school some experts to teach the students about sexuality. My parents were thrilled that someone so capable and educated would teach me about sex because I think that they were afraid or ashamed to talk to me about the subject. Such is the case of so many parents. What these “experts” taught us was about condoms, and practicing “safe sex”. They told us that we could prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases if we used condoms and contraceptives. They said it was 100% safe. I thought it was great that when I decided to become sexually active I could do it without worries.
Later on my parents got divorced and my mom left the country, I stayed with my dad and took my mom’s place; I cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, etc. so my dad was very pleased with me and let me whatever I wanted, I could go out and stay out with friends for as long as I wanted. I met my first boyfriend when I was 19. We started dating and the concept of love that I had was that if you love someone you show him by having sex, so we became sexually active and six months later I became pregnant. When I found out I was terrified. I started thinking about my career and how could I just throw it all away. I thought about my father and how he would be so mad and throw me out of the house. When I told my boyfriend he became ecstatic, he told me that he wanted to be a dad, that he would support me, that I wasn’t going to be alone. To hear those words from a man is so comforting and gives so much strength to decide to have that baby. Unfortunately in the U.S. there have been more than 66 million abortions and the number one reason is the lack of support from the baby’s father and I believe it is the number one reason in the entire world. It is believed that abortion only involves the woman but if the man denies the mother his support and forces her to abort he is also aborting. In this case, however, he gave me all his support.
When I had my first ultrasound I saw a head, two arms, two legs, I saw a beating heart. I felt happy and I would speak and sing to my belly. But as the months went by, my friends would tell me that I was crazy, that I was too young to have a child, that I should have an abortion and that it wasn’t even a baby yet, it was only a sack of cells. I started having second thoughts and becoming scared and so I decided to abort. I wouldn’t tell my boyfriend until after it was all done, I would tell him I had a miscarriage. I went to the abortion clinic and I was so afraid but the worker told me that everything would be ok, that she had had an abortion herself and she was ok and that she had practiced two abortions on her daughter and that she too was ok. I froze my heart to be able to go through with it. Afterwards they gave me pain medicine and told me my life would continue to be as normal as ever. They never told me about post-abortion depression. I wasn’t fine, I became scared, sad, I had nightmares, I became anorexic, and I never told my
boyfriend that I had an abortion, I said I had a miscarriage and he suffered a lot. He had dreams about a girl and he cried and I wondered how it was that he could cry and mourn for that baby but I couldn’t.
We continued practicing “safe sex” using condoms and contraceptives and six months later I became pregnant again. This time I didn’t tell anybody and I decided to go to Plan Parenthood to have an abortion. The doctor congratulated me for being so “brave” and for being one of the very few that go through it without crying. They gave me some cookies; they gave me a massage like I was at a spa. When I left the clinic I felt worse than before, I wanted to commit suicide, I was depressed, I was traumatized and developed trichotillomania, a compulsive urge to pull out ones hair. But I continued without telling anybody. Once again six months later I became pregnant. I was furious; I couldn’t believe I had become pregnant three times in one and a half years. This time I didn’t want to be alone with my guilt, so I forced my boyfriend to go with me to have an abortion. He told me that he didn’t want to have an abortion, that he was happy that I was pregnant again, but I told him he didn’t have any right to decide what I did with my body and I manipulated him to accompany me. During the abortion, he cried like a child and I felt guilty because I couldn’t cry, I had become so hard, my heart turned to stone.
After that I was so affected that I couldn’t even hear a baby cry, I decided to move to another town and start a new life. I didn’t have a job and I saw an ad for Plan Parenthood, so I decide to try it out because I thought that it was every woman’s right to decide what they would do with their body and that it was better to abort than to bring a child into this world to suffer. On my first day of work they were training me to change my vocabulary, they forbade me to say the words baby, mother, father, he or she. They told me that I couldn’t see the sonogram screen and it was my job to make sure the women (mostly very young girls) didn’t see the screen. It was my job to do everything in my power to make sure they went through with the abortion. Some of them were crying and were afraid that the baby would feel the pain but I had to convince them that it was not a baby, that it was only a sack of cells and that it wasn’t capable of feeling. The first time I was an assistant during the abortion I was told that the doctor had to go from one patient to another and every procedure couldn’t last more than five minutes. The process was horrible, very violent, there was blood everywhere, the doctor used a vacuum that is 25 times more powerful that a domestic vacuum, on the end of the hose it had a tool that resembled a blade that was introduced into the girl and randomly moved around in her belly while suctioning everything into a bag attached to the vacuum. It was my job to make sure that all the contents of the womb were extracted. I was taken to a secret room with my trainer. There was a tub where I emptied the contents of the bag; she introduced some forceps into this tub and lifts up a perfectly formed arm. I was able to see every detail, the nails, the creases of the hand and even finger prints. Our finger prints identify us as unique human beings! Then she threw it in the trash. Then she took out a leg and threw it in the trash, then another arm and another leg. When she finally took out the head it was so painful to see, because it had hair, and eyebrows and eyelashes, but the mouth was open as if this baby had screamed for his life but no one could hear him, and I remembered that the doctor told me that the anesthesia was only for the mother. I realized then that that baby had felt every stroke as he was being cut up into pieces. I realized that I had murdered my children. I was deceived into thinking it was only a sack of cells.
I worked there for a moth, I felt like a murderer. I felt so terrible that I started using cocaine, then meth. I lost my home, my cars, everything. I couldn’t face my family; I was a drug addict, a piece of trash. I
lived on the streets, slept in the cars, in motels with many other drug addicts. I used so many drugs that I became so thin you could see my bones under my skin, I pulled out all my hair. I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t recognize myself. I asked “Who are you? You grew up as a princess and now you’re nothing but trash. One day I was left lying on the sidewalk and I cried and cried and for the first time ever, I felt God’s love for me. I sat in the fetal position and cried like a little child and all of a sudden I felt someone embracing me. When I opened my eyes I saw a girl with blond hair and blue eyes that looked at me with so much compassion, and told me that I was loved. She told me that she would take me home. She took me to my mother who welcomed me with open arms and talked to me about God. She taught me to pray and little by little I started to heal, however, I could not forgive myself for having aborted my children. I went to a spiritual retreat and during a time of deep meditation I saw all my three children; a girl, a boy and another girl. They told me they loved me and they had forgiven me. And that’s why I decided to tell my story. I want to honor my children by defending life and becoming the voice of those who are without a voice.