Her abortion trauma yields help for others Posted on Jan 22, 2009 | by Tammi Reed Ledbetter GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP)--Millions of men, women and children have been caught "in the rapids of sin and death," Pat Layton said of the years since the Supreme Court's Jan. 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Layton struggled in those rapids for years. "I became a single mom at 18 and my parents rescued me, taking care of my young son while I went back to college to get my degree. When I discovered I was pregnant again, I was very ashamed to tell my parents." Although she had been a proponent of a woman's right to a safe and legal abortion, Layton said her experience at an abortion clinic left her feeling "shame, guilt, fear and the lack of power." "The windows were covered with bars.... It was dark and dreary. Even though I didn't have Jesus in my life, I knew I was standing in the pit of hell with all of these women sitting there crying and alone." Layton exited the clinic to seek "a nicer abortion" from the obstetrician-gynecologist who had delivered her son. "I thought, 'It will just take a minute. I'll go in in the morning and be out that afternoon.'" Her doctor did not ask why she was seeking an abortion nor did he tell her how far along she was in the pregnancy. "I was willing to pay the extra bucks to be put to sleep. I didn't want to experience the ugly clinic, but go on with my life." After dropping her son off at daycare, she headed to one of Tampa, Fla.'s nicest women's hospitals, planning to return for her son that afternoon. "The next thing I remember was waking up with a tube stuck down my throat from a respirator and my parents standing at the foot of my bed. My secret wasn't a secret anymore." She checked out of the hospital to recover at her apartment, while her parents took care of her son. However, an allergic reaction to anesthesia sent her back to the hospital when she began running a high fever. There she learned that parts of the fetus had been left in her womb and the doctor would need to perform the abortion again. "What parts? A head, a heart, arms or legs? For the first time when he said those words I realized it was the parts of a child -- a living human being that I had fought for the right to destroy."