As I sit here and think of all of the comments I've seen on a recent article published about me, as an eight time post abortive woman, I am floored by the comments. Not because they are cruel, some are. Not because they are kind, some are. It is because there is such division among pro-lifers who classify themselves as Christians, when it comes to forgiveness and kindness towards post abortive women.
In my last two blog posts, I talked about things that have been said to me and the concept of self-forgiveness. Now, I feel compelled to talk about how pro-life workers can make a greater impact just by expanding their mission field to the post abortive woman.
I had my first abortion at 17. After a traumatic childhood, being bathed in dirty water, screamed at, beaten with a sneaker, treated as a spouse to my mother, the pain that comes with an addicted parent, poverty, ridicule, being chained to a bed in a foster home forced to wet myself, being sexually abused, a perpetrator of incest after that abuse, exposure to pornography and homosexuality, and rejected by the church, I'd come to see little if any value at all in my own life!
The things I went through as a little girl, pale in comparison to some stories I've heard and they break my heart. But my story is just that, mine! I got pregnant at the age of 15 and having an abortion was NOT AN OPTION. I was so amazed and afraid of the little life growing within my my womb that I couldn't imagine destroying it. My mother never spoke of being pro-life but she was. I knew I was loved and wanted, even though she was so broken herself. Well meaning people tried to convince me to give my child up for adoption, or abort. I wasn't open to any of it. Life and me being a Mom was the only viable choice for me.
So what happened? Can I pinpoint what event that threw me over the edge? No not really, it was an accumulation of many events and messages I'd received over the years, not one! When my daughter was about 1.5 years old, I was locked out of the house where I was living. I was with the paternal grandparents and while I was no angel, I did struggle to get and keep a job, I'd taken my GED test and sunk into a deep depression. My mother didn't want me, and the people I was staying with although well meaning basically told me everything I was doing was wrong. I was exhausted, alone and completely ill-equipped to parent.
When the day came that they without warning locked me out of my home, it was part of a plan, that had been cultivated for months prior. I'd written a letter to my daughters father who was living life as if we didn't have a child and it was taking a toll. I asked for his help and support, that was it! His parents used this and a good lawyer to file a claim that I was "UNFIT" to care for her. So they locked me out of the house and refused to let me see my baby for several weeks if I can recall properly! It eventually ended with charges never being proven/dropped and us entering into a joint custody agreement. They had the money I did not! It was devastating to me, but I had to choose what was best for her and at the time, they convinced me they were best. They had money, lots of it, and their children were raised and I could focus on college and a job. It was this or lose her entirely.
About 6 months or so later, I tried to reconcile with her father. I didn't want to be a single mom and raised her alone or for her to have a broken family. While on birth control I ended up pregnant again. This is when I snapped. I didn't think it over, I didn't talk about it, I just scheduled an appointment to start the process of abortion. I took the father and a friend with me and less than one week later had my first abortion. I was told that my hormones were just beginning to change, that my baby wasn't a baby at all, but an egg only that was fertilized and that it wasn't murder. This partially satisfied me, although I had a nagging knowledge that that "EGG" turned into a baby, a human being, fully alive and would be born, had I not done this. I shoved it down, determined to get my college degree and get my daughter back. I ended it with the father and set on a course of 1 full-time job, a PT job and a heavy college coursework load. I lost myself in performance. I would go on to have 7 more abortions over the next 13 years, until I was finally granted repentance and salvation from Jesus Christ.
I could tell each story individually but that's not the purpose of this post. It's to shed some light on the cumulative effects of childhood trauma. It all caught up with me. I caved. I alone am responsible for my choice, but can we really snub our nose as the events of 17 years that led to that choice? While it doesn't provide an excuse it does provide an explanation of how a woman could murder her own child(ren).
When we see a post-abortive woman, or an abortion minded one, do we see her? Do we hear her story? Do we care enough to dig deep at the roots causing such behaviors? If not, why not? What would happen if we reach out arms and love extended to post abortive women? Their are literally millions in America today. If someone on the sidewalk of each clinic I walked into, in 3 states would've extended love and compassion to me, would I have known I mattered? Would I have seen my baby as being a blessing instead of a curse? Would I have stopped? Would I have received healing 13, 11, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 3, years earlier?
It's not your responsibility to make the choice for her, unfortunately it is still legal to murder the unborn. But isn't it our responsibility to show love and charity to help save the unborn? How can we do this if we are so harsh to post abortive women? Do you know how many women have contacted me as result of the awful things said to me, who are themselves hiding in shame. They won't speak up for other because of the venom coming from you.
Every time you post such awful comments, the abortion minded woman sees that! So a voice is silenced, healing is lost and another life ends. How does this accomplish our mutual goal?
If you aren't one of the pro-lifers who hasn't been so uncharitable, Thank you! Thank you. Thank you! Your words of support and kindness mean so much. I know their are many of you too! I don't mean to ignore you, rather illuminate your efforts to those who merely throw stones.
Please don't mistake me for asking you to be kind to me because I deserve it. I am asking you consider if your words and actions are consistent with what Christ has commanded us to do. He even tells us to LOVE OUR ENEMIES, to do good to them, to bless them. That's coming from the man who died for YOU and ME! He is our example. He is our standard! He is our Guide! Are you part of the solution to end abortion? Part of that solution is mobilizing through healing, support, love, training and engagement the millions of post abortive women in America today.
Some of God's most powerful people for the Kingdom committed awful, treacherous acts. But once repented and turned from their sin, were used mightily. If God chose David, Paul, Peter, Mary, Rahab, etc then shouldn't we embrace who God embraces?
Finally, I couldn't write this blog post, do radio interviews, speak in front of hundreds or thousands of people and share my story, if I hadn't received the Healing of God. The road to healing shouldn't be paved with shattered glass!