Abortion Story: Escondido, CA
Submitted to Abort73 by a 47-year-old woman on April 15, 2013.
The medical procedure of having an abortion may be over in a matter of a few minutes, but the effects can last a lifetime. You may think you know what I’m about to say, but you don’t know my story. I decided to share it because my heart bleeds for the many, many women, children and families that are affected as a result of having an abortion. It’s far more complex than what you might believe.
My beliefs have changed over time. I want to share my testimony of what I went through as a result of abortion and how my experience changed my perspective on this controversial subject. My reasons for being pro-choice were based largely on fears and ‘what ifs’ of possible scenarios that convinced me I needed an out in case I found myself at some point in my life with an unwanted pregnancy. I understand that this is a very personal situation for every woman that finds herself pondering the question of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. It is not my intention to offend anyone or cause anyone to feel guilty for choices they may have already carried out; however, if I can help a person to have a different outlook on their situation, perhaps it can save a life.
I do not speak as one who is unfamiliar with the choice of whether or not to abort a pregnancy. I had one myself as a 16 year old, but I can honestly say it was motivated by fear, not faith. I didn’t have the courage to tell my parents, and I knew my step father would react horribly. I was afraid to find out what the result of honesty would bring, and so I kept the secret until I could find a way to terminate the pregnancy. I had no other adults in my life I felt I could trust, and was not really aware of where to look for help or other options in my small town. I had wanted to keep the child and raise it, yet I found myself at a dead end with no apparent solutions. Truthfully, I was too afraid to try. I was terrified and didn’t know what to do, and another woman who had had an abortion told me it was the practical thing to do to insure I had a chance at a decent future. I grasped that little lifeline of hope and believed at the time I was making the right decision. I was so wrong. Had I known then what I know now, I would have absolutely chosen to do something different.
At first, after I had the procedure done, I felt relief. I thought my problem had gone away. What I didn’t count on was the whole host of other problems that kept coming long after it was over. The truth of what I’d done haunted me for years. I lost friends that did not share my same viewpoint on the subject. Others who had pretended to be friends, gossiped and some called me horrible names reminding me of my crime. I even found notes in my school locker calling me a baby killer. I felt like I was made a spectacle of in front of my peers and I was deeply embarrassed. I felt like everyone in my small town knew my sin, and many did. Someone called to anonymously inform my mother of what I had done. Members of my family shamed me when they found out about my secret. Even the doctor left me with a huge guilt trip telling me about how I was going to ‘pay the price.’ Doctors today would probably not say such a thing, but this one did. He was so right. I paid a huge price and had no idea the amount of fall out that one decision would bring.
My life prior to the abortion wasn’t exactly what I would call healthy or happy as my home life was pretty dysfunctional, but afterward it only got worse. My spirit was left broken and battered. I had no remedy for the emotional issues. I tried counseling and all I got was more labels, a host of prescriptions and no real inner healing. I did not know Christ and would not know Him for many more years to come. A broken spirit will cause a person to do things they would not choose if they didn’t suffer from grief and despair. Inwardly I felt like I was falling apart yet because I could not show it openly, I suppressed it. Silent grieving became this tangled web of pain, depression, anger, and conflict. No one warned me that the emotional pain would snowball into bigger and bigger issues. Maybe for some women it doesn't, but for me, it did.The painful effect of all that inward turmoil would bring enormous guilt and regret as I looked for love in wrong relationships, tried to numb my emotions with alcohol and drugs, and the never ending string of bad choices that caused my life to spin out of control for quite a number of years. Somewhere in between all this there was a marriage, the birth of my daughter and a divorce, all completed by the time I was 22. I was a single mother with a two year old, struggling to make ends meet for many years. Life was difficult but not once did I ever regret the birth of my daughter. She was the best thing in my life. I had never felt a love so intense for anyone as I loved her. I felt badly that she went through all that dysfunction with me, but I loved her more than life itself. In the end, I believe it was her love and prayers that saved my life. You see, sometimes we’re the ones to save a child’s life, and sometimes they are there to save ours.
At thirty-two I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior but was no where close to being emotionally healed on the inside. That became a long process of healing one layer at a time. More years passed and I had long forgotten about the pain of my youth. Many years later I re-married, had two young children and at the time God 'suddenly' and unexpectedly showed up, I was 43 years old. Our family had just gone through a long period of financial instability and had relocated to California from Florida. I tell you all this to let you know that it was just an ordinary day when all of a sudden the Lord showed up and decided to deal with all those years of suppressed emotional pain. It was buried so deep I didn't even know it was still there. It was Mother’s Day, 2009, and I received the surprise of my life. My husband and I were getting ready to go to church and as he was in the shower, he heard the Lord speak to him. As we were getting in the car, he told me that the Lord had a word for me. I asked him to share it. My husband began by telling me that he had no particular thoughts about anything as he showered, and that what he heard was certainly not from his own thoughts. He told me he was absolutely clear it was God. I pressed him to tell me, curious what on earth the Lord wanted me to know. Norm said, “The Lord said that your son, who is 28, wanted to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day, to let you know, ‘it’s ok,’ and he will see you again one day.” Well, I really came unglued and I burst into tears. My husband knew that I had had an abortion when I was younger, but I had never gone into much detail about it. So I instantly knew there was no way on earth he could have come up with the age of that child. I had to quickly do the math, and sure enough, the child I had aborted when I was 16 would have been 28 that year. I was stunned. I grieved and grieved and finally let out all the pain I had suppressed for so many years. I cried for two days straight. I grieved over the fact that the child I had written off as dead was still very much alive in heaven. How do you explain that to another person? Nothing sounds like a good reason for why you made the choice to end someone else's life if you have to explain it to them. You see, abortion is something that many women can do in private and think they got away with it, but nothing is actually secret when it comes to the reality of heaven as our witness. Do you have any idea how it feels to be confronted with the fact that you were so selfish that your own comfort and convenience was more important than someone else's life? Try explaining that to the person that just showed up to let you know they were still alive. Neither the Lord nor my son asked for an explanation, but the thoughts went through my mind just the same. No earthly judge or jury convicted me. They didn’t have to. I was very convicted and I felt guilty. Absolutely horrible. I can’t even explain how sick I felt about my own actions all those many years before. You see, you can try to forget, but your spirit knows your guilt and your spirit wants to know your sin is forgiven. I had brushed it under the rug with all those other sins when I accepted Christ as my Savior, but I guess God knew better than I did that I needed to deal with old issues in order to be truly healed from it. He wants to go deep, and He will go as far back as necessary so that we can be made whole. I grieved over the fact that I had never had the consideration to give this child a name or allow him the chance to fulfill his destiny. And yet, I knew he was telling me that he forgave me for that selfish act. Not only did he forgive me, but he wanted me to forgive myself. He wanted me to know that he was ok and someday we would be together again. What a comfort! I can only give hope to other women because of the fact that I am 'in Christ.' I know that because Jesus is my Savior, my sins are truly forgiven. I can offer hope to other women who have done the same thing I did, because even when we do the wrong thing on purpose, God can forgive that sin and make us whole again if we are willing to confess it to the Lord. I can offer hope to other women because I know that without a shadow of doubt that even when a baby's life has ended here on earth, I know with all assurance that they are very much alive in heaven. Aborted babies. miscarried babies, children that have left this earth prematurely are certainly in heaven with Jesus, and if we continue to remain 'in Christ' we have the assurance that we will be reunited with them again; but it doesn't mean that we should use that as a comfort to excuse our own responsibility towards valuing life and taking care to preserve it.
After all the crying, praying and asking God to send a message back to the son I never knew I had, I was finally able to forgive myself. I knew in my heart that was one of the things the Lord wanted me to gain from this encounter, but I believe there is so much more as a witness and a testimony to be shared with others, too. I had been 12 weeks along when I'd had the abortion. No one can tell me that life does not begin at conception. A 12-week old fetus is a human being and has every right to life as much as someone that has already been been born. It is still a child, even if it is not yet completely formed and viable outside of the womb. That child has a mind, is forming thoughts and emotions and has the spirit of life within them. I told the Lord I didn’t know what He called him, but I wanted to finally give him a name after all those years. I named him Justice. I gave him a name that was significant of what I had taken from him. I felt I owed him that. The Bound4Life red tape movement is a silent, peaceful protest that has gained a great deal of attention, advocating prayer to help stop abortion. The red tape signifies the cries of children whose voice has been silenced. But my hope is for women to find places to share their testimonies of why their experiences have changed their perspective on this issue. We need to be a voice for those innocent lives that have their voice taken away from them. Babies enduring the pain of abortion cannot be heard. Justice has a voice. Imagine my surprise as Justice spoke that day on Mother's Day 2009. He used his voice to tell the Lord to give a message to me; a message of forgiveness, healing and hope. And now I offer you, the reader, the same message of forgiveness and mercy from our loving Father. He is very intentional to extend an olive branch of peace and He wants to heal us from our wounds.
I write this to help other women take a new look at their convictions for being pro-choice. Perhaps it is time to look for a new perspective on an old argument. I don’t believe the majority of women who choose abortion do so because they want to; I think they do so out of fear. Fear that they aren’t able to care for that child, fear of becoming a parent or fear of a lot of unanswered questions. Instead of focusing on fear, perhaps you could focus on a whole new set of ‘what ifs.’ Perhaps there is someone reading this right now and you are pondering your options. What if this child has been sent to you because God saw something in you that you can’t see in yourself, something this child will greatly benefit from? What if this is an opportunity to have your heart and life changed forever by the unconditional love of a child? What if this child will someday save you? What if this child in your womb is destined for great works someday in their future? What if this child could only become the person they need to become, are destined to become, only by coming through your womb, and the unique life experiences that can only be attributed to your specific family and circumstances that pertain to your life? What if God chose you to raise this child and trusts you with a job no one else would do quite the same? There are many things to consider. Understandably, not all women conceive a child in love. Some are not given a choice, if a predator makes prey of them. It is a most difficult dilemma to try to decide what to do if a woman finds herself pregnant by someone that she despises or has been used to hurt her. Yet, even in the worst of situations, there is opportunity to look for a different perspective on the issue if a person is willing to yield to God and allow their heart to be changed. Apart from God, yes, many things would seem to be an impossible task. But with God all things become possible. In our weakness God can give us strength to do what we can not do on our own. Perhaps what is viewed as an unwanted pregnancy is an opportunity to change a destiny. To be a life giver instead of one who destroys life. Perhaps what the enemy meant for harm is an opportunity to allow God to turn something bad into a testimony of His goodness. Sometimes the greatest gift of life and blessing comes out of tragedy, darkness and despair. Perhaps you have that opportunity now. I implore you to please consider everything I have shared through my own testimony. You have an opportunity to make a difference in another person’s life. Think of the many people who would embrace the chance to love and nurture a child and give them opportunity to fulfill their God-given right to life and destiny. God can take any mess and turn it into a miracle if He is just given the chance!
We live in a nation that demands our freedoms and takes many of them for granted. The demand for free choice and women’s rights to decide are in the foremost arguments on pro-life or pro-abortion. We have political leaders that will change their convictions on any given moment as long as it helps their political career path and gets them votes for popularity. We live in a society that has given their approval, whether by vote or by silence, that human life is expendable upon our whims as long as it doesn’t inconvenience us. We have become so desensitized to the injustice of the crimes against humanity that we fail to see our own guilt, and the shame and reproach that it brings upon us as a nation. No society, culture or race, and certainly no individual can live as they please without consequence. Political leaders, judges and lawmakers seem willing enough to sell us out to the enemy and give people the lawlessness they demand, but one day each one of us must stand before God and be held accountable to the just Judge in all of heaven and earth. There is no such thing as decisions without consequence. It’s not about what the law permits or even what others might agree with as an acceptable way to deal with a difficult choice. Other nations know us for what we allow, and what we take a stand against. I do not want other nations to know us for our selfishness and lack of conscience. This is about America regaining it’s conscience, to be known as a nation that is compassionate and places value on human life. I am willing to take a stand on the issue even if it’s not the popular decision at the moment. I cannot pretend that the child I aborted sent me that message in vain. There was purpose to it, as a message to be shared with others. Any sin can be forgiven as long as we bring it to Jesus and allow His blood to wash us clean. We can be reunited with children we have aborted, if we will just hold on to Jesus until the day we are sent home. But in the time we have left, someone has to be a voice crying out against injustice. Someone has to speak up on behalf of the children that are being deprived of life and destiny. It is not ours to take. Maybe if we all speak loud enough, together we can change the course of history.
Location: Escondido, CA
Date: April 15, 2013