Nancyjo Mann, then 21, was more than five months pregnant when her husband deserted her and her two young children in Des Moines. She had an abortion at the urging of family members, who asked her, she said, "What man will ever want you with three children, let alone two? "
She vividly remembers her reaction: "Beforehand, I liked myself. I had never entertained the idea of abortion." But, "the minute that needle went through my abdomen, I hated it because I knew that it could not be reversed. I wanted to scream, 'Don't do this to me.' "
Mann said infection and bleeding followed the operation, which was more hazardous at her late stage of pregnancy, and complications eventually led to a hysterectomy.
Today, at 30, she is "totally opposed to abortion for any reason." Now remarried, she recently founded Women Exploited by Abortion to speak against it from the patient's perspective.
"Abortion is destroying the women of our country," she said. "I would love to have my daughter with me today. She would be 8 years old in March, but she's not here. So after speaking out and going public with my story and releasing my medical files, people can see what they really do to you."