From celebrity testimonials to the never ending quest for Planned Parenthood funding, the media has come to treat abortion as a seemingly normal part of life. The conversation almost always revolves around a woman’s reproductive rights, but seldom are the rights of the unborn child considered. Furthermore, it is rare to hear the stories of women who had abortions out of what they thought was out necessity or convenience, only to regret their decision later in life.
Human Coalition, a “technology-driven nonprofit” whose mission is “rescue preborn children and their families from abortion,” is seeking to change that. Through its social media channels and network of churches, pregnancy centers, and experts, the organization is working to “restore the culture of life in America” and is sharing the experiences of women, children, and families who have been impacted by abortion. On Sunday, the group posted a story on its Facebook page about a woman who had an abortion some 30 years ago and lived with grief and regret for decades, until she finally discovered the healing power of God’s grace and forgiveness.
When I was a sophomore in college, I began dating the man of my dreams. I was a churchgoer, but I wouldn’t call myself a…
A sophomore in college at the time of her abortion, the woman described her younger self as a “churchgoer” but not a “believer or follower of Jesus Christ.” She lost her virginity to the “the man of her dreams” and promptly headed to the doctor to get a birth control prescription. It was at that visit she learned she was pregnant.
“They told me I was pregnant,” she wrote. “I have no idea what the doctor said after that. This was my first time and now I was pregnant! We’d been dating for only a few months, and this rocked my world.”
Her boyfriend, whom she refers to as “Dave” in the post, was attending business school and coping with the death of his mother at the time, while she was a college student “in the middle of nowhere” with “no car, no Internet (it was 1980), and no one to turn to.” She shared that she and Dave never really considered any option other than terminating the pregnancy.
“I decided to abort. I recall having to wait a few weeks until they could do a DNC, which felt like an eternity,” she said. “I was totally out during the procedure, so I don’t recall anything — just being in a hospital room afterward, having a friend come by, and a nurse asking me if I wanted to see the priest. He was a friend of mine, so I panicked and said, ‘No way!’”
Post-procedure, she described an initial feeling of relief, but, as days, weeks, months, and years passed, guilt and grief crept in.
The impact on my life, I’m sad to say, was more long term and low grade. At first I was filled with relief at not having to bear the public shame of a pregnancy and tell my parents. But my guilt and shame for being so stupid and then actually going through with the abortion haunted me for many years. I certainly didn’t want anyone to know, and I quickly purged the thoughts anytime it came up. I just kept shoving it down, and I was going to take that secret to the grave with me.
The next time I saw Dave after the abortion, I recall wanting to talk about it. But he too was eager to pretend it hadn’t happened. This carried on into our marriage years later.
It wasn’t until decades later, when she heard a woman bravely share details of her own abortion, that she found the courage to address the feelings she had long repressed. Though she felt as though she did “a pretty good job of squelching the pain,” hearing someone else open up about their experience prompted her to want to share her “big secret” with others. She began attending church regularly, and a pastor’s sermon about abortion ultimately served as a “turning point.”
“The turning point for me was after going to Watermark Church for a few months. The pastor kept talking about 58 million babies who had died. I had no idea what he was talking about,” she wrote. “Then suddenly it dawned on me — I was a part of that! I was responsible for a life. Until now, I’d bought the lie that it was just a bunch of cells and life didn’t begin until birth.”
Feeling compelled to get involved, she joined a post-abortion recovery ministry called Someone Cares. It was through this group that she came to understand God’s grace and forgiveness.
“I finally feel free. The process was hard but so healing. I feel fully forgiven,” she said. “It was my first taste of Jesus’ complete grace and forgiveness, and it was indescribable. A lifetime — literally 33 years — of shame unloaded for good! What a blessing and a joy.”
Today, she more readily shares her own experience with abortion in the hopes that it may help other women overcome their guilt similarly to how she was able to. Ultimately, hers is a story of redemption and reconciliation, and she is grateful to have exposed to the healing power of God’s love.
“So now I’m pretty open about telling people that abortion is a part of my story,” she concluded. “And, not surprisingly, the more I am open about it, the more people tell me they’ve had one too, which opens up the opportunity to talk about grace and forgiveness in Christ.”