Thursday, April 18, 2013

Three Decades After Abortion

Below are a few questions I asked someone who had an abortion. As you will read, even decades later, the pain of abortion still lingers. Despite the pain, there is hope in the gospel. Praise God that his grace is always greater! 

Tell us about your abortion.
Thirty-two years ago I had an abortion. I was 18, and felt scared and alone. My hormones were raging, I didn’t understand my sudden mood swings and generally had no idea what was happening to my body. I just wanted to sleep all the time.  The father of my baby had been in and out of detention facilities and eventually spent some time in jail. I met him on my senior trip, just out of high school. He was supposedly rehabilitated at the time. We dated for about 6 months and then he was arrested on drug charges. While he was out of jail and awaiting trial, I became pregnant, despite the fact I was on the pill. 

My first reaction to being pregnant was I wanted to have the baby and get married like my parents had when mom became pregnant with me when she was 19. It soon became clear that this was not going to be an option for me. The father would have nothing to do with marriage or keeping the baby. He said that it was not life yet (being only 6 weeks pregnant) and advised that I have an abortion. I had some idea how this would go over with my family because not long before this, my parents forced my younger sister (15 at the time) to have an abortion when she found herself in a similar situation. I knew if I had the baby, I didn’t have any support. I didn’t see any options. I don’t remember people talking about a pregnancy crisis centers. I was in college and didn’t have a lot of resources. I was trying to keep this from my parents and Planned Parenthood was willing to help me. It seemed like the only option. 

I went to get a pregnancy test at Planned Parenthood and it came up positive. I then planned to get an abortion at a place my cousin had been and could drive me. The father of the baby gave me half the money and I had saved the other half. It was a snowy day and my cousin drove me to the clinic. I walked in and they took my money and gave me a little white pill (valium) and told me to sit in this room by myself and watch a film. The film confirmed what the father had told me and what I had learned in high school science. I learned that because I was terminating the pregnancy early, it wasn’t really a life yet. There was a simply a blob of tissue that would be removed. The next thing I remember is being asked to come back into a room where they would perform the abortion. I don’t remember the doctor, but I do remember 1 nurse holding her hand over my mouth and the other 2 holding me down. I remember a sound like the noise of a vacuum. After they were done, the nurse escorted me out into a recliner and told me to stay seated until they told me I could leave. I walked out of the clinic no longer pregnant but this was just the beginning of the story. 

You went from someone who had an abortion to someone who is now speaking out against abortion. What changed?

The five lies that I believed before I had an abortion:
  1. Abortion does not end a life. I believed that life didn’t begin at conception. (Science teacher taught me evolution in the 10th grade.)
  2. Abortion is heroic. It seems that the media and Hollywood movies portray women who have abortions and doctors who perform them as heroes. People who are against a women’s “choice” are villains that don’t care about the mother or baby.
  3. Abortion solves a problem. My parents modeled having an abortion as the way solve the problem of unwanted pregnancy. After all, they took my younger sister to the abortion clinic.
  4. Abortion is a right. I fell the government making it about “the choice” that was fought for me in the Supreme Court. As a women, my reproductive rights became the main agenda about abortion. This also reinforced the idea it wasn’t really a life inside me.
  5. Abortion is a simple one-time procedure. I trusted that the doctors, staff of Planned Parenthood were telling me the truth about abortion and the effects of having one. I believed they cared about me and knew what was best for me.
The five truths that made me against abortion:
  1. My conscience told me when I walked out of the abortion clinic that I had just lost something that was indeed life and I had never felt so empty before in my life.  Evolution is a theory not truth.
  2. I was not a hero, but a murderer.
  3. I Shouldn’t have been so concerned about what people thought about  me.
  4. It's not really about choice it’s about life. 
  5. Planned Parenthood had nothing in writing about the emotional risk I was taking by having an abortion. They didn’t tell me I would have nightmares or do whatever I could to numb the literal emptiness or guilt I felt for the rest of my life. I was never the same person after my abortion. It was as if I fought in a war and I had post traumatic stress syndrome. They didn’t tell me that I was going to have to tell my husband and teenage daughters that they had another sibling that I killed. They didn’t tell me the horror that would follow me. The long talks and tears over that so called “choice” just seems like a very bad decision that was made without the knowledge of truth or consequences. 
What counsel would you give to a pregnant and scared girl who is considering an abortion?
I would reassure her that as scary as it may be now, although abortion will give her relief of her problem, the horror she will live with for the rest of her life is not worth it. I would want to know if someone is talking her into it. Who are the people around her and what are their world-views of life? I think that most women who have an unplanned pregnancy do not want an abortion. They are in a crisis and want relief. They are not emotionally stable enough to make decisions. Often times people are talking them into having an abortion. She needs to know the significance of the life inside of her. Whether she is a believer or not, she needs to know that little life inside of her isn’t simply a blob, it is a person made in the image of God.  
What would you say to a woman who feels crushed by guilt from having an abortion?
God created that baby in my womb and he thought it best to finish the baby in heaven. It is God who is ultimately in charge of every life and when it ends, not man (Heb 9.27). God used great men of the bible like David and Paul who were murderers. There are real consequences to sin. But if someone is in Christ, they are not condemned (Rom 8.1). Jesus forgives through his abundant grace. 

Editors Note: 
If you are someone who is struggling with an unplanned pregnancy and would like to get counsel on how to work through these issues, please contact me and I will put you in communication with this author. If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to share. Use this story however would be helpful. To God be the Glory.  

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