My abortion didn’t empower me

Today I went to see the movie "Unplanned" with my daughter. It was difficult to watch because of my abortion 14 years ago. I think about my abortion and my baby often.

I closed my eyes during parts of the movie. I could hardly stand to see the truth of what I had done all those years ago.  Guilt streamed into my heart once again. How could I not at least attempt to see what I had actually done? Between that and the horrible voice screaming “hypocrite” in my mind, I pushed through and finished the movie. I was glad I did. I was glad I brought my daughter.  I want her to know what abortion really is and to know that it is not empowering women.

I know the reality. I’ve had two crisis pregnancies. Both times I was unmarried, below the poverty level income, and terrified. The first time I decided to keep my baby. The second time I did not. Those were my choices. I could keep my baby. But, if I didn’t want to, I had every “right” to kill them.

Now, there is always a voice in my head telling me that I have no right to speak up. It tells me I am a hypocrite for wanting to take that “right” away from other women. But, ultimately, I silence that voice inside of me.

Instead, I know that I must stand up for what’s truly right. As a Christian, I know that right and wrong are not ultimately determined by the U.S. Constitution. Rather, it is determined by God. I hope to encourage other women to not be silent either. People need to hear our voices and our experiences, no matter how hard they are to share.

I wonder if it would have made a difference had I heard a mom describe her unwanted fetus as a baby.  I wonder the impact it would have made if I had read an article about the pain that my “right” would cause me, maybe it would have changed my mind. Even hearing just one woman share her story may have made all the difference in the world.

Current abortion statistics are staggering. This is all the more reason we need to speak up and share our stories, even our hurt, in the hope that even one person would change their mind. We can’t change the statistics in the past. But, we can change them for the future if we are willing to stand up and speak.

The pain of abortion

My “right” hurt me in so many ways.

It hurt me physically. I remember screaming, but the nurse told me to stop as to not scare other women. I remember the nurse asking me afterwards if I was RH negative because they forgot to take my bloodwork. They could have killed me had I not remembered my blood type from a previous pregnancy. I remember them running in to give me my Rhogam shot in a panic.

It hurt me emotionally. I remember going numb for months after my abortion. I remember the trust issues I had with everyone. I remember feeling extremely overprotective of my daughter because I thought I didn’t deserve a healthy child. I remember the pain when I found out my son had autism and thoughts of it being a punishment.

It hurt me spiritually. I remember feeling so ashamed of myself. I felt low. I felt disgusting and unforgivable.

Years later the hurt is ongoing. I will never forget thinking for the first time of who my baby could have been. I wept uncontrollably. I still cry for my baby. I remember the pain of telling my daughter that I had an abortion and having to console her the many times she’s cried since. I remember when I saw the undercover Planned Parenthood videos describing what I did to my baby. And, now, I have to forever live with the excruciating reality that I ended my baby’s life.

We often hear the cry about women’s rights and empowering women to make their own decisions about their bodies. These rights are supposed to help us. However, all my “right” did was cause a me lifetime of pain. There was no empowerment in that.

Hope for all women

Fortunately, that is not the end of the story. There is also hope and healing to be found. For those who find themselves in an unintended pregnancy, my prayer is for you to see that God created that precious baby in your womb. God has a purpose for your child. Please know that you are not alone. I pray you will turn to a church who will support you and show you how to truly be a strong woman by choosing life for your child. Don’t make the same mistakes that so many have before you.

For those who have already had an abortion, you can find forgiveness and ultimate healing. Turn to Christ in this time of need, no one is too far gone for Him to save. Despite our sin, which cuts us off from a perfect and holy God, He loved us so much that he sent his Son to live a perfect life, die on the cross, and rise again to pay the penalty for our sin. Only through Christ can we be made whole. My prayer is that you will seek Christ for your healing and forgiveness. All you need to do is ask him for it. He eagerly waits to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I plead with you to make that decision today.

A word to the church

I also plead with the church. We must actively get involved in this cause. What about supporting a single mom by helping her with prenatal care? What about encouraging and empowering women by showing them they can be strong, beautiful working single parents? What about encouraging post-abortive women to find peace and forgiveness through Christ? What about showing women the wonderful and selfless option of adoption? What about offering them ultimate hope by sharing the love of Christ with them?

We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are called to care for the vulnerable. I pray that God’s people will not be silent. Instead, we must stand up for these women and their babies. We must point them to the gospel of Jesus Christ where true hope can only be found.