No Matter How Many Times
You Hear the Story of
Abortion Grief the Pain Is Just as Raw
By Dave Andrusko
If you are a middle-aged guy
like me, you probably have never heard of Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas, a
member of the very successful 1990s hip-hop trio TLC, who now has
her own VH1 reality television show called, What Chilli Wants. I
know nothing about the show, other than that on the May 9 episode
Rozanda opened up about her 1991 abortion.
She is interviewed by a
female therapist who says let’s talk about “relationships. Tell me
about a boyfriend. Who stands out in your mind?” Within a matter of
seconds, Rozanda is talking about a “relationship.”
Although I will quote
liberally, without hearing the pauses, and watching the
excruciatingly painful expressions and the tears, you miss how
absolutely gripping Rozanda’s story actually is.
She is brutally honest (with
us and herself), and candid, and clearly still feels a searing pain.
She tells us that she was in this relationship and became pregnant
at age 20. She talks about not having the support—“I was so
scared”—and “I didn’t know what to do” and “chose to not have it
(the baby)—one of the biggest mistakes.”
The interviewer immediately
follows up by asking her why it was “the biggest mistake?” “Because
I didn’t want to do that.”
Did she feel “forced”?
Rozanda responds by talking about the many cross-currents of
pressures—of being just 20 and her career hadn’t even really
started. “So how could I do all that,” she asks. “How could I be a
mommy? ... It messed me up ... I don’t know. It broke my spirit,
that’s what it did.”
The interviewer shrewdly
asks, “So it changed you from what to what?” Searching for the right
words to convey how she felt—but not reveal too much?—Rozanda says
haltingly that she felt “not my strong self anymore. I felt like I
gave in and I broke to what someone else wanted.”
Rozanda goes on, “And I
would break down and I would just cry [she starts to cry] ...
because [her voice cracks] because I wasn’t a mommy. I cried almost
every day for almost nine years.”
And she immediately says,
“And then I was caught up—I had to have a baby. I had to fix it and
the only way I could fix it was with that person. I could only have
this baby with him, because the baby that I didn’t have was with
him.” In that tangle of emotions and needs and regrets, Rozanda is
longing for a replacement baby, very common among women who did not
want the abortion in the first place.
There is much more to her
story, which is only a few minutes long but incredibly powerful.
Suffice it to say that Rozanda says she broke away from that
relationship because “I was compromising who I was as a person to
please this person.”
Your heart breaks as you
hear what you know is only the tip of an iceberg of emotional hurt,
pain, and regret. For the 17 thousandth time, abortion kills babies
and emotionally mauls their mothers.