My first abortion was in 1989. I remember very little about the process leading up to it, the procedure itself and the afterwards is really no more than a blur. I do have some limited memories that I'd like to share with you today.
In 1989 the internet was not available and the primary sources of information came from people we knew, the library and medical professionals. I spoke to 1 person who had an abortion before I scheduled my appointment. This young women basically played it off as a nuisance and necessary procedure with no focus on the unborn baby. She expressed the relief she felt from dodging the bullet. She tried to make me feel better by reminding me that getting my life straight to take care of my first born was my first priority. She was dating a married man at the time she became pregnant and to have a baby was out of the question.
I remember the intake worker at the clinic telling me the pregnancy was nothing more than a fertilized egg and certainly not a baby yet. At only 17 years old and already a mother to a 1 year old baby girl, their explanation was exactly what I wanted to hear.
Pregnant for the 2nd time, but this time I knew fully what I was getting into. I was desperate. At the time I was living with the paternal grandparents and life was already incredibly difficult. I knew I needed to leave the father, because of substance abuse and physical abuse and I believed that couldn't happen with another child to care for. This was the first time I seared my conscience but it wouldn’t be the last.
I remember walking into the abortion clinic and I remember walking out. I felt awful physically and emotionally after the abortion was finished but recall none of the details except that there was blood and a lot of it. The following days are a fog.
I had 7 more abortions in the next 15 years leading up to my Christian conversion. Each one would traumatize me in its own way and harden my heart a little more. I’d just come to accept that I would never be able to tell anyone the whole truth about who I was and what I had done. I would never have a life with peace or true love. I was worse than my own mother and that was not an easy mark to hit! I knew that any chance at a "Happily Ever After" was over for me!
It's 2019 and my healing journey has been a long and difficult one. But it has also set me free and continues to do so! The Lord radically saved me in 2004. It took years for me to remember all of the abortions I had. It took 8 years for me to begin to face the post-abortive trauma that kept me bound. It would take almost 10 years from my conversion to speak publicly about abortion. It took years for me to heal enough in the other severely wounded places of my heart/soul that long preceded the abortions. Until these areas experienced healing I was incapable of facing the atrocities I committed against my own babies!
As an active member of the Pro-Life community today, I see thousands of materials, hundreds of videos, scores of testimonies and an abundance of scientific facts that clearly show life begins at conception and all the beautiful stages of life inside the womb. These materials also show the barbaric nature of abortion. This should be enough to change anyone's mind right?
The facts, evidence and information available today is mind blowing. I sometimes wonder, if the truth tshared through the tools available today were given to me all those years ago, would I have aborted any of my babies or would I have chosen life? I'd like to say I would've chosen life, but these truths alone don't remove the desperation and circumstances I was in or that women in unplanned pregnancies face today.
Therefore, whether it's the public library in 1989 or the internet today, we need more than to just educate. Education is critical and will save many lives. But women in crisis pregnancies need to know they are not alone! They need to know that the Pro-Life community is FOR THEM and not just their baby! So many pro-life non-profits are doing this good work, Thank you!
For years it was the pro-life sidewalk folks that were screaming at me as I went in and as I came out of the abortion clinics. Ironically the staff in the slaughter house were nicer, at least until the abortion was completed. However I’m so blessed to be able to say most of the prolife folks I meet today are not the ones screaming on the sidewalks that I’m going to Hell! Thank you to those of you who LOVE.
I’ve also learned that women who have more than one abortion are typically dealing with wounded-ness that has taken root long before they ever aborted their child. If we don’t address the underlying beliefs and trauma we can do little to help mom and baby.
This is in part why I share my story so publicly and as often as given the honor of doing so. I want women to know the truth about abortion and it's impact on them and their unborn baby. I want to see post-abortive women healed and mobilized to help fight this culture of death. I want to see the pro-life community walk in greater love and compassion. But I also want to get to the brokenness that would lead a women to abort in the first place. It’s messy and complicated I know, but it’s the Good Fight that I’ve been called to. I can’t bring my babies back, but I can try to honor their lives by helping to save those led to the slaughter.
Whether our information comes from the public library or the internet, a Sunday morning church service, a medical professional, a movie or a book no “1 thing” will end abortion, but the combination of many things can. Information is powerful, BUT Love Conquers All.