My decision to have an abortion begins in 1987 when I made the decision (all on my own) to take this matter into what I thought was my own hands.
At that time, I had already made it to my senior year in college and was working hard to become a college graduate with the promise of a bright and secure future.
When I found out I was pregnant by a fella I barely knew, I could only see all my family’s dreams fall to pieces and saw no other way to continue my dreams without interruption. I was brought up by very strict parents who only knew that the best way to keep us out of trouble was to NOT talk to us about the potential situations we might find ourselves in.
I have one older sister and no brothers, but my parents kept a pretty close watch on us. This might have been why I was anxious to leave home by the time I was 24. I had worked to get myself into the university in pursuit of becoming an independent woman who thought “It’s my choice”, “I have rights”, and “I am my own boss”….but, the truth was, I was really scared and really alone in this ordeal. I found there was no other way. I really didn’t have anyone that I felt I could turn to for help.
On the day of the abortion, my classmate drove me over to the large Planned Parenthood in Houston Texas. I have since come to find out that it is now the largest Planned Parenthood, but it has been relocated to a busier location.
2 1/2 months before I found myself at this clinic, I had started dating this fella from college. He was a nursing student, and I was a student in the Allied Health professions. He seemed to be charming and easy to talk to. I was attracted to him, and I guess he was attracted to me. I cannot tell you why this relationship evolved into my spending a lot of time in his dormitory apartment. We had a single large size apartment, including a larger bathroom area and a place to keep his appliances for cooking food. I had always been taught to help others and to keep things neat around your home…so, there I was washing his dirty dishes in his apartment. As I mentioned before, I grew up in a pretty sheltered home. We didn’t talk about what to do if you had sex and found yourself pregnant, and at that time, I had no option for abortion, nor did we even talk about adoption if you were to find yourself in my situation. It sounds really naïve, but it’s true: I actually don’t recall having had sexual intercourse with this “charming man”. But, because I did sleep with him in his bed, I did get pregnant somehow.
After I had missed my periods, I took a pregnancy test two times, and both times it was positive.
The day I went to the abortion clinic I found it was a large place, but not a lot of people were there. My classmate was with me, and we told no one. This fella I had been dating brought me $100 cash. He was all dressed up to the tea and then just walked away. I wonder now what he felt. Did he feel sorry for me? Did he feel “how stupid that she got pregnant”? “Isn’t she on the pill?” I don’t know what he was thinking, but I knew I didn’t want anything to do with him. I’m sure he had his plans for his nursing career future, and I had mine.
My friend made the appointment for me, so she could take me home afterwards. As I was called back to the clinic, all I remember is being a “number” and being asked to lay with my feet in the stirrups like when you have a GYN exam. They told me it would be fast, and it would not hurt. I know I had the aspiration type of abortion which suctions the baby out of the mother’s womb. I was ignorant to even know if the baby had been ripped apart or come out as a whole little being. Deep inside me I knew this was wrong, but I also didn’t know what else to do.
After experiencing these feelings, I now realize how helping others in front of an abortion clinic can make a difference. I sure wish I had seen people in front of the clinic asking me, “Why are you doing this? Do you not realize there’s a little being created inside of you”? I do now believe this would have really helped my situation, and I wouldn’t have gone through this unjustifiable experience, not just for me, but for my baby. I do think I was a lucky person to not experience excruciating pain. I did experience discomfort and fear, but I did not have all the physical side effects that many women talk about.
After the abortion, my friend brought me back to the dorm, and she was crying with me and trying to be helpful. All I could do was sit in my dorm. It was a really sad time in my life. I was put on the birth control pill by Planned Parenthood and just thought that I needed it in order to not ever get pregnant again until I was ready.
I put away the thoughts of the abortion. I occasionally remembered things, but it never surfaced until I came to San Antonio and our family began going through some difficult times. I believe Satan had his hand in our family and made us very vulnerable to a lot of bad things. My husband’s parents both passed away within four months of one another in 2005, and it was during that year that we each attended our first church retreats as adults. I have been active in my Catholic faith all my years, but I did fall away as I went off to college. I had gone to a priest to confess the sin of my abortion as a college student, and I still go to confession today. I am thankful for that.
Although I wasn’t healed of the pain that I had caused my baby and myself, I was able to forgive myself, this fella and the people at the abortion clinic. I was able to give a testimony about my abortion during my retreat as a team member through God’s mercy and forgiveness of this great sin I had committed. As I wore the precious baby feet pin on my lapel, and continue to do so, the timing happened to be right and I was able to talk to the women about my abortion. I prayed for discernment to help someone else, as I felt this was my life’s mission. Jesus had given this to me to carry, and I am so thankful that he loves me to the point that I can actually help others because this is not the right thing to do. It will destroy you. It will eat you up inside as it becomes a secret to the world.
One of my favorite Bible verses is one that reminds me how sacred a mothers womb is because she is holding the child that God made.
Precious is that child, even those that were not wanted by their mothers at one time. They now live in harmony with Him, and we are grateful for this ministry that reminds us of His great love and mercy for those children and for us.
My name is Rachel Walker. Last year, I had the opportunity to attend a women’s retreat. I suppose when the Lord calls you, He will call you through the thunder, lighting and tornadic like weather. As I was getting ready to leave for retreat, I decided to call and cancel at the last minute; but the electricity went out, and so did the service on my phone. So, I said “Oh great! Well, if God wants me there the lights will come on”. Okay, let me just say DON’T EVER joke around with the Lord!!! The lights came on after I said that. I jumped up and said “Oh dear! I’m sorry, for joking Lord. I’m on my way”.
I headed out the door with my husband and sat in the eternal highway traffic on 281. While at a light I heard a pop, looked over and realized the loud pop came from the 18 wheeler that jackknifed next to us. It was headed right at my tiny Fiat. I yelled, and my husband quickly moved over as the jackknifed trailer swooshed on by hitting the car in front of us and causing it to go into oncoming traffic. Luckily everyone was OK, but would you believe that EMS and police were already cleaning up the mess by the time I needed to be at the women’s retreat send off? I was kinda mad to be on retreat…because I said “Hey God, I know you hear me. You turned the lights on, saved me from death…but WHY? What do you want to talk to me about on this retreat? Why didn’t you just take me out on 281..instead of sending me here to this retreat? I think it was my spirit ready, willing and open to hearing what the Lord had in store for me.
During the retreat, I had some time to take in my experience. I closed my eyes and saw a vision: It was a replay of the accident. I saw two beautiful rays of light between my car and the 18 wheeler. One of the rays of light was a boy, my heavenly son, and the other was a little girl who reached out to me and said “Mommy what’s my name?” I believe in my heart that the Lord showed me my beautiful angels waiting for me in heaven, both of them standing guard and watching over me. But, I also realized it was the Lord calling me to repent and bring Him my secret. This is where I can begin to describe a beautiful unfolding of the Lord’s masterpiece.
I was born and raised in San Antonio. My spiritual roots were Catholicism, and I was brought up in a Christian home. I am a middle child which means that I have older siblings. My parents have been married for over 45 years, and they did their absolute best to bring up 4 strong independent children. My parents did everything humanly possible to keep me on the straight and narrow road as a teen…very narrow.
On my 17th birthday I finally got to go out with a guy who my cousin introduced me too. I was super excited to go on my 1st official date with a guy.
This guy was a charmer, had a job, an apartment, and was slightly older than me…so I thought. He was 18, tall, dark and handsome with green eyes…just gorgeous. I was feeling super special for my 17th birthday. The date was going well, and it was a great dinner. My date took me downtown; we ate steak; he even bought me a margarita. We danced and before long it was 10:30pm, almost curfew which was 11:00pm. My date realized I needed to get home, so he said he didn’t want me to be late getting back, but needed to stop by his apartment for a second because he had a surprise for me. I said no, that I didn’t want to be late, and maybe we could meet up the following day.
As he was driving, I realized he was driving to his apartment. I asked to stay in the car, but he charmingly encouraged me to go inside. I was a little nervous because it was our first date and had only met him one other time. He was handsome, had a nice car and a good job, so he couldn’t be that bad, right? I went into his apartment. It was very fancy for an 18 year old. I thought “Wow, 18 and he is so successful living on his own”. Before long, he kissed me and asked me to undress. I was shocked, scared and nervous because he had a tone in his voice that I had not heard earlier that night. He took his belt off and said I won’t ask you again, and grabbed my arms and threw me on the bed. I was terrified, scared and feared for my life. He raped me several times, and I laid there lifeless. I remember after he was finished he poked at me and said “Hey, are you alive? Get up! Get up!”. I remember lying there, numb. I couldn’t even cry. I was in shock. I remember lying on the bed looking at the red blinking light on the answering machine. As he waited for me to get up, he pressed play on his answering machine. It was his wife. I thought, “What? He is married? Who is this guy?” I saw his employee badge from my high school. This guy, who I met at work, found me after seeing me at my high school? I saw his drivers license lying on the bed. He was 29 years old. He was not 18 years old like he said he was. Who was this animal I went on a date with to celebrate my so called special day?
All that ran through my head was that I was terrified, scared and feared for my life. I remember thinking, “This is my 17th birthday. I don’t want to die on my birthday…” But, I felt like I did. I remember lying there on the sidewalk, numb. I couldn’t even cry. I was in shock. He told me that he was sorry, and the alcohol had gotten the best of him. I eventually peeled myself off the ground and ran inside, took a forever shower, threw away my clothes and prayed to God “Take me God, I don’t want to be here!”
“Oh GOD, WHY? Why is this happening? Where are you?” I called my cousin, who had introduced me to this man, and told her. She said, “Don’t worry; we will get through this. Are you going to tell your parents?” I said, “No” and hung up the phone.
My spirit was crushed, broken and dead. I walked around numb, withdrawn and almost silent for weeks. A few weeks later I wasn’t feeling well, took a pregnancy test, and found out I was pregnant. I remember calling this 29 year old and telling him I was pregnant. He said, “Well, I will drop off $400 dollars so you can get rid of it” and hung up. That was first time I even began to talk of the rape.
I tried to tell someone about the rape. I called my cousin and asked him to go have a talk with this guy who raped me. When my cousin showed up that night, the guy had apparently moved out of the apartment. The phone was disconnected and he was no where to be found. I decided I could not tell my parents because they would be disappointed. What would I tell them? I was raped by a 29 year old on my 17th birthday? They barely let me out of house! Besides that, I threw away my clothes. Surely they wouldn’t believe me. I didn’t have any evidence.
I was terrified that I would let my parents down. I felt like it was my fault for going inside, for not knowing this man. So, I decided to take the situation into my own hands. I walked in silence, never telling anyone what happened and knowing that I was pregnant and unable to do anything about it. I took all kinds of medication, did extreme gymnastics, jumped from trees, rooftops, constantly hit my stomach, refused to eat…anything to try and get rid of what was growing inside of me. I was out of control, going out, drinking, taking any medication I could find in the house or at friend’s houses. I quit all activities at school, took my name off babysitter lists, and started working 2 jobs in high school just to stay busy and get my mind off the rape and pregnancy. I just wanted this to end.
I decided to never speak of this, because who would believe me, and where would we even begin to find this monster? Months went by and nothing happened, no period and no bleeding. So, I continued to eat less, drink more, and hit my tummy harder. One day, while I was working, I felt dizzy and nearly fainted. My cousin worked with me at my job and took me home because I was in so much pain. “At last”, I thought. “This is it! It is finally over.”
When I got home, I made my way to the bathroom and found myself bleeding. I knew I was passing my baby. As I lyed on the bathroom floor, I continued to bleed, and finally I passed something. I saw a tiny little fetus, webbed hands, two black dots and webbed feet. I picked up the fetus and cried out “OMG! OMG! WHY GOD?” My mother ran in and said “What is wrong with you? Are you deranged? What would make you even touch your blood? You have lost your mind!”
She got some toilet paper, cleaned up my hands and flushed the toilet paper away. She had no idea that was my daughter she threw away. I had ovarian cysts in the past, so she thought it was just a cyst. I begged her to take me to the doctor. I so wanted to tell her but felt ashamed and still terrified I would have let down my parents for going to that man’s apartment. For 3 weeks she gave me medication for pain. I had heaving bleeding, stayed in bed, hardly ate and begged my mother to take me to the hospital, but she insisted that I probably just had an ovarian cyst.
After those long 3 weeks, I vowed to never speak of my self-inflicted abortion, and to never speak of the rape. I was spiritually dead, and unworthy of anything good, so why not just engage in a life of parties, drinking, promiscuity, lies, and over indulgence or in anything that would fill the void. I deemed myself as worthless, used up, and felt I deserved what I got. I made sure I didn’t look pretty because that would just set me up for another potential rape. For the rest of my life, I wondered if there was a God where was He then? I was a murderer. I was a victim of rape. Who would love me?
Isiah 43 2-4 ““Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
At age 21, I found myself pregnant again, but this time it was from a guy I was friends with and later found out had a girlfriend. I found myself again blaming myself and feeling like this is happening because I was a bad girl. I was at Planned Parenthood when I found out. In fact, I peed on the stick and they said I wasn’t pregnant. As I was walking out, they called me back and said “Wait! Your pregnancy test is actually positive”. I had so many questions, and they handed me some brochures and said that I had lots of choices.
I went down the street to the place where I knew abortions took place. I made an appointment for the following week. They asked if I knew how far along I was, and I told them I didn’t know. One lady overheard my conversation. I said “Look, the earlier the better.” She said, “It will be less painful the earlier you have it done.” I went back a week later, waited in the waiting room, and saw women coming out like zombies. I was terrified. My friend said not to worry about anything. It would be quick and easy.
I went in, got on the table and saw my baby on the ultrasound. I screamed at the lady and said “OMG! OMG! Why is his heart beating? Turn it off!” I cried, jumped off the table and ran out of that building. My friend was confused and asked me what I wanted to do. I told her to take me to a family member’s house because I knew her friend wanted to adopt a baby. I told my family member I was pregnant and was told it would be a secret until I got it figured out. Well, by the time I got to my apartment, my mother and father had left message after message. They were angry and upset with me. I was asked to move out of my apartment they were paying for so that I could finish college. I lived in my car for several weeks, desperate and confused.
I kept saying to myself that I did it again, I was a bad girl. I didn’t deserve to bring life into this world. “I am worthless. I was raped a long time ago. Who would want this wretched pregnant girl? I got myself into this mess. Not even my parents want me. I can’t even take care of myself.” I gave up and attempted to take my life by taking 20 or more pain pills. My best friend found me three days later and rushed me to the hospital. I was still pregnant, and my body was shutting down. The doctors said my son was a fighter, and it was a miracle that either of us were alive due to severe dehydration. My best friend who found me ended up asking me to marry him so that my son wouldn’t end up without a father.
Genesis 50-20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
I ended up getting married to my best friend, and we tried to make things right. I continued to believe I wasn’t good enough to have the finer things in life and to have things the “right” way. My parents forgave me and absolutely welcomed me back into the family after a period of time. We reconciled our relationship and life went on. I went on to deliver a beautiful little boy. He was just 3 lbs and a sure little fighter..and still is at 20 years old. Things were good. We went on to have a little girl who is 17. At last I had the perfect family, the perfect husband, and was finally accepted back into my family.
After 14 years of marriage, I found out that my husband had a secret family by means of a letter from the attorney general asking for child support. Again, the pains of the rape and abortion crept back in. I felt like I deserved to be cheated on and to become a victim of divorce because I was still paying for my little secret. It was a divorce with lots of anger and pain. At the final divorce hearing, the judge ordered my ex-husband primary custody. The judge said we were good parents, but she wanted him to own up to fatherhood. My children wanted to be with me, but the judge ordered them to be with him. Again, I felt like a failure. I deserved this. I was a good mother, over-protective, but a good mother….why God? Why? The judge said it would only be temporary. Over time it didn’t. It became permanent.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Psalms 32 3-5
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away, through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
I am here by the grace, love and mercy of God. I share my testimony because Our God is a God of mercy! You see, after losing custody of my teenage children, I figured that was the last straw. There is no other pain deeper than the pain of losing your children in a custody battle or losing a child to the pains of abortion. I had already caused myself to lose my first child. That man had stolen my innocence. What else was left? I felt worthless and unworthy. My heart was ripped out of my chest that day in the courthouse when the judge ordered my children into their fathers custody…or was it?
In my weakness I couldn’t go on.…I took medication to calm me down..and maybe more than I should have. It was in that deep sadness that the Lord picked me up, put me in the palm of His hands, and spoke directly to my heart. He whispered this to me “Beloved daughter, rise up and carry your cross. Go. Go. Do not give up. On the journey it will burn; it will hurt; it will be hard, unbearable at times…keep going…for you are being refined by fire. The journey is not over. Be strong; be steadfast…keep going..” He showed me my left hand. It was bloody, full of small broken mosaic glass pieces piercing my hand and blood dripping, “Thy will be done. Thy will be done. Fear not beloved daughter. The best is yet to come. I’m not finished with you yet”. He then showed me my right hand and in the palm of my hand was a beautiful glass multicolored rose and left me with this phrase, “The Lords masterpiece, Tabula Rasa” Tabula Rasa means blank slate… The best was yet to come alright!!!
On the retreat, I learned about the bible study Surrendering the Secret and found other women who had traveled along a road similar to my path. I wasn’t alone. I was among the survivors and the children of God. The Bible study class is where I found the root of my anger and how to find grace, mercy, love and forgiveness of others and myself. I have peace in my heart and feel the Love of the Lord in my spirit because I was able to put the chains and bondage of sin, guilt, shame, worthlessness and resentment at the foot of the cross and become free. I learned I do not walk alone, and there IS healing in and at the foot of the cross.
Ephesians 1:4 says, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” The favor of God is demonstrated for us. In His sight we are seen as holy and blameless before Him in love. I believe that God is sitting on His throne, looking down on our lives, and because we are in Christ, He sees us as holy. He sees us as blameless.
I realized I had been spiritually dead and believed I was worthless and undeserving of the Lord’s love, grace and mercy. I was spiritually dead for nearly 26 years. After the Lord spoke to me about being refined by fire, I realized in the mosaic pieces of that fragile glass rose that I was being renewed, re-born…and that truly was the first day of the rest of my life.
After my bible study class, Surrendering the Secret, the Lord placed on my heart to go down to the police station and make a report. The officer asked why I had waited so long. I didn’t have an answer. But, I did say that I wanted to make the report no matter how much time had passed because “Today, March 22, 2016 is my Independence Day!” I was reclaiming what the Lord had given me, a day of Redemption. The officer said he was so sorry…there wasn’t anything they could do but make a report. I said that was absolutely fine, because right there the Lord said “This one is mine”. Yes, through the power and name of Jesus Christ, and only by His grace, mercy and strength, I placed those trespasses at the foot of Jesus.
Today, I can say I have been able to admit what happened to me, and forgiven the man who raped me…and most importantly, I have forgiven myself. I realized that even though I had a horrible custody battle, the Lord had me on a journey to draw me even closer to Him. I also realized I carried so much anger, bitterness, and hurt from the rape and abortion that I nearly caused relationships with my children to be destroyed. My children know what happened to me, and we have developed very strong faithful relationships. My ex-husband and I have accepted each other’s forgiveness. He stepped up to being the father my children always wanted. We are divorced, but we found forgiveness, and I emptied my heart of anger, hurt and unforgiveness that kept me from having peace in my heart. I am redeemed! I am no longer a victim. I am a survivor!
By the way, I will finish my story about the accident scene I started with..the one where a little girl asked me “Mommy, what’s my name?” My daughter’s name is Mercy Rose Walker. She would be 26 years old. She has a name. She is an angel by my side and will be by my side when the Lord calls my spirit home.
2 Corinthians 1:3–4 Blessed be the gGod and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and hGod of all comfort, 4 iwho comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
I have this saying on the side of my bed as a reminder:
March 22, 2016 My Independence Day
“I have been refined by the flames of tragedy, healed and set free. I will let the stories unfold because I know the pages in my book are still yet to be completed and I understand that I am not the author, Lord I will trust in You, Thy will be done”
In 1983, in Houston, Texas, I was 15 years old in the 10th grade in high school. After being forced into sexual intercourse with my boyfriend, I realized after a few weeks that I became pregnant. The boyfriend and I had already broken up from the relationship.
I went to Planned Parenthood to get a ‘free’ pregnancy test to confirm that I was pregnant. They told me that at this stage of only 5 weeks of pregnancy, ‘it’ was only a blob of tissue. They also suggested that I could have an abortion, since I was so young and still in school.
After speaking with my sister and several friends at school, I decided to have an abortion, since everybody told me that it was really ‘no big deal, people do it all the time, especially since you’re still in school’. I was thinking how terrible it would be to try to go to school pregnant, like others I had seen.
I was covered with shame and guilt, even before the abortion took place. When I told my ex boyfriend that I was pregnant and needed money for an abortion, he denied that he was the father, which deepened my shame.
Around Oct. 1983, my Mom and sister took me to an abortion facility – my Mom had overheard me talking on the phone to my sister about being pregnant. My Mom, like me, knew absolutely nothing of what an abortion actually did to a baby or the woman.
Emotionally, I spiraled into a very destructive behavior of drugs, alcohol and promiscuous sex almost immediately following the abortion. I was completely spiritually void, rebelling against my Christian upbringing. I also became emotionally numb, with not much regard for living at all. As I was going through the motions, trying to fill this huge void within me, I attached myself to an abusive relationship less than a year after the abortion.
My Dad was an evangelist, so I was too fearful to ever tell him about the abortion, until almost 20 years later. When I told him, he was devastated that he had lost a grandchild. I married the man that was already abusing me, as a result of extremely low self esteem. I attempted suicide as a result of recurring depression.
The abortion ruined all chances of having children. I suffered 5 miscarriages during my marriage of 18 years, which resulted in divorce. Three of these miscarriages were tubal pregnancies, requiring emergency surgery and very near death experiences. I so wanted an ‘atonement’ baby to make up for the one I killed.
I also battled breast cancer in 2014 (research has proven that abortion causes breast cancer).
Abortion was the most selfish decision I ever made in my whole life. It affected everyone in my life and caused devastation to my mind, soul and body.
There is healing for broken hearts and lives after abortion, through the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. His work at the cross of Calvary removes all shame, bitterness, self hatred and sin, if we only believe and receive Him in our hearts.
I pray that anyone reading this testimony, that is considering abortion for their self
or someone else, would consider seeking help through a pregnancy care center
that will share the truth in love about all of your options by calling:
The Heartbeat International’s OptionLine
I pray also that anyone reading this testimony that has suffered the experiences
of abortion for yourself or a loved one would seek immediate help by calling:
The National Helpline for Abortion Recovery
My Breast Cancer Story
Author: Nona Ellington
Owner: Eagles Restoration Ministries
There is a real link between abortion and breast cancer, especially when having an abortion during your teenage years, when your body is still developing. I am living proof, because, even though there has been 2 cases of breast cancer in my immediate family, I am not a carrier of the breast cancer gene. I know this for a fact because I had the genetic testing done on myself during my breast cancer treatments. Also, chemotherapy is not for everyone and neither is hormone suppressive therapy. Please pray about and do research before agreeing to any invasive breast cancer treatments, like those I’ve mentioned above.
I personally had an abortion at age 15 that I was coerced into, resulting in infertility and 5 miscarriages, with 3 of them being tubal pregnancies requiring emergency surgeries and very near death experiences. I also believe, through my own experiences and research, that I got breast cancer at age 45 as a result of the coerced abortion I had at age 15.
After being diagnosed, I had a lumpectomy surgery (outpatient), then radiation treatments for 6 weeks (5 days a week), then hormone suppressive therapy, including monthly injections to put me into medically induced menopause and several different oral medications for 2 years, until my oncologist had to stop the treatments (that she planned for me to be on for 5 to 10 years), because of very negative life changing side affects. My diagnosis started out as stage 1 breast cancer (hormone driven), but was changed to stage 2 after finding cancer in 1 of my lymph nodes during surgery.
I have now been pronounced cancer free for 2 years, since 2014, praise Jesus! I would not have made it through this life changing ordeal without my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and my best friend/room mate, Michelle Walker, and her family, and all of our intercessors, including my family, who prayed us through each step of the way. God bless you for the honor and opportunity to share my story of the breast cancer battle, which is only a small portion of each battle we faced together and came out victorious.
I learned I was pregnant in June of 1974, one month shy of my 16th birthday. I was gripped with fear and terrified that my parents would find out. To cover up all of it, I took the life of my unborn child. The consequences of that choice will forever affect me; and every day of my life, I regret that “choice” was ever an option.
I shared with an older friend that I thought I might be pregnant and she said she thought I could have something done about it. I had never heard of abortion and didn’t understand what that meant, but it was music to my ears. I was so ashamed; I couldn’t go to my family physician, so my boyfriend and I went to a doctor across the state line that my friend found in the phone book. After the doctor told me I was pregnant, I told him that I had heard something could be done about “it” and asked for his assistance. I will never forget the look of disgust on his face. He told me he didn’t do that and promptly escorted me out of his office. His reaction made me feel even more ashamed, desperate, and out of control. I have since thought that if he had been caring and had counseled me that I might not have gone through with the abortion.
So I went back to that same friend and she began making some phone calls and she found an abortionist about 2 ½ or 3 hours from where I lived. Not one person tried to discourage me; in fact, they were all trying to help me get an abortion. All seemed as desperate as I was, including my boyfriend. My friend made the appointment, and my boyfriend paid for it. I never thought in terms of “having a baby” – just that I was pregnant and didn’t
want to be. Because I was under age and was told I needed parental consent, my older friend impersonated my mother. No form of identification was required.
I didn’t even use my real name. I didn’t have a clue what to expect. Never did I think of abortion as a surgical procedure. As I sat very scared in the waiting room, my fictitious name was called. I don’t think the nurse said much of anything to me, except, “take this off” and “put this on.”
The abortionist came in after I was on the table. I don’t think I ever saw his face, and I’m pretty sure he never even said “hello” to me. Then the horrible vacuum started. It was very painful. It was at that moment that I realized what I was doing, but it was too late. I kept thinking, “I am killing my baby,” and I started crying. That was the first time I remember thinking of a baby. I was not sent to recovery – just sent home with some pills without a follow-up appointment.
I was very sick and hemorrhaging; but because I was so afraid that my parents might find out, I said nothing. Thankfully, I got better and thought I could get back to normal, but normal would never be the same again. My boyfriend didn’t take me to the abortionist but he came to my house after I
got home. The moment he saw me he broke into a grin, hugged me, and said “congratulations.” I repressed that memory for many years. I couldn’t believe he had just congratulated me for killing our child.
The abortion was never discussed again by anyone involved. As the months passed I became very depressed and cried a lot. I had messed up so badly that I just wanted to cover it up and pretend that it never happened – to make it all go away.I remember thinking, “Does everyone know what I’ve done?” Not only did I take my child’s life, I deceived my parents. I was so afraid they would be so disappointed in me.
Not long after my abortion, I married the father of my aborted baby. I had a huge longing for my child and was very depressed. Desperate to fill the emptiness, I tossed my birth control pills in the toilet, knowing my husband did not want children right away. A week or so later, I felt guilty and began taking the pills again; but I was already pregnant. Three months after my son was born, my husband informed me he wanted a divorce. I was devastated.
Things careened more out of control. My self-esteem was very low. I was young, divorced with a baby and an abortion in my background. I thought “who would want me?”I felt like I was walking around with a scarlet letter tattooed to my forehead. I felt guilt, shame and condemnation. Out of desperation, I married again very soon and was divorced within a year. After that I didn’t want much to do with a permanent relationship.
For a long while, I bought into the whole feminist philosophy. At that point I believed abortion was wrong and that what I had done
was wrong; but I also believed that under certain circumstances women should have a choice. I’ve since come to realize that every life is precious and the only choice that is in question is whether or not you want to parent the baby or allow someone else to do so.
When I wasn’t even looking for a relationship, I met my wonderful husband Jerry, and then later I met my precious Lord and Savior, Jesus. It has been because of my relationship with the Lord and my husband’s support that I have finally been able to come to terms with what I did.I know I am forgiven, and I want other women to know that there is forgiveness and healing after abortion. That’s why I facilitate an abortion recovery bible study.
I want to do as much as I can to educate people that, even though a girl who is pregnant may not physically feel any different, she is carrying a precious baby, a very small one who needs time to grow. If she isn’t able to care for the baby,
there are many couples who would love the child. Adoption – not abortion – is the
We overcome satan By The Blood of the Lamb and the Word of Our Testimony.
Do you think Eve in the Garden of Eden realized she was being lied to, being deceived when she listened to satan, as he spoke through the serpent?
Neither did my husband and I realize we were being lied to when we listened to the lies of the abortion industry and the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court. My husband believed the lie: It is not a child, yet. He said, “There is only one thing to do!” – Abortion. I was co-dependent and thought: It is legal; it must be ok!
Jesus called satan the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning.
The night before my appointment to abort, I was not a Christian but I asked: “God is there anything wrong in what I am going to do? Man says it isn’t even life. What do You say?” The next morning a clerk called from the abortion facility to tell me: “The ‘doctor’ has to cancel his appointments this morning. What do you want to do?” I did not remember the night before; I did not make the connection. I was not listening, to God. My husband said, “What about next Saturday?” And I made another appointment!
A woman, who was to be stoned for adultery, was brought to Jesus. He said to her accusers, “Let the one, who is without sin, cast the first stone.” No One. They all left.
Several months after the abortion we visited relatives and went to Church with them. For the first time I realized something was terribly wrong between God and me. I had no idea what it was. At my right ear I heard Jesus say: “Stand up and acknowledge me.” “No, I can’t: not now” – as I looked at the room of strangers. That day I remained without the forgiveness and right relationship I had always needed.
Jesus says: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. You were in My care before you were born.” “All have gone astray, turning each one his/her own way.” “I have Loved you with an everlasting Love; therefore, with Loving kindness I have drawn you.”
A year and 8 months after the abortion a relative called to say, “I have found God to be Reality and it is man that has messed up this world”. Messed-up I knew; Reality I didn’t. He said to take the children and go to a Church that had an evening service. As I sat down, a man stood and said, “To do God’s will you must want God’s will to be your will instead of trying to make your will God’s.” AS I felt God’s presence around me, I said: “God, what a miserable wretch I am. I have been trying to run my own life and I am going in circles. You know I believe in You and in Your Son, that He died for me and rose from the dead.” I felt a crushing weight, my guilt, and I knew – “Oh God, I have murdered!” The weight was replaced with a Peace that was greater. I knew God was no longer far away – that I belonged to Him. Previously I had only been existing – now I had begun to Live as God intended. And I knew such Comfort: two of my children were with Him: the 3rd child, who had been born premature and died and the sixth child, who I had aborted!
When a woman came to the well where Jesus sat, He told her that she had had five husbands and the man she was living with was not her husband. She went back to the town and told the people: “Come see a man that told me everything I’ve ever done. Could He not be the Christ?” As the people came to Jesus, He told His Disciples: “Look-up, the field white unto harvest!”
And So are the multitudes of women and men who have been deceived and devastated by abortion. Nothing wounds you like being responsible for the death of your children!
Jesus understands: He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities!
Jesus says to us, “Come unto ME, all who are weary and heavy-burdened and I Will give you rest, My Peace.” “Take My yoke, way, will upon you and learn from Me and you will find Rest, My Peace for your souls – hearts, minds.”
Most of the women and men were ignorant of the truth about the harm of abortion at the time of our appointments. But ignorance does not make you innocent or free from the consequences.
Consequences for me included damage to my uterus that resulted in a hysterectomy shortly afterwards; later followed by estrogen deprivation and depression.
Whether single or married, young or older, few relationships survive the grief, anger, guilt, shame, and the blaming!
A Woman came weeping to Jesus as he was at a dinner. She washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. The dinner host thought to himself, ”If Jesus knew who this woman was, He would not have let her touch Him.” Jesus said to the dinner host, “You see this woman here – she loves much; she has been forgiven much!”
“GOD did not send HIS Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world – you might be Saved!”
“It is not that we loved God but that HE Loved us and gave HIS Son to make atonement for our sins.”
“GOD showed HIS Love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!”
“GOD did not send HIS Son into the world to condemn the world but that you might be Saved!”
Jesus knows everything about you and Loves you!
Only Jesus can forgive our sin. Only Jesus can take our guilt, heal our pain, free us from our shame!
To as many as Receive Him, Jesus gives the Right, the Power to become Children of GOD!
We overcome satan by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony!”
I am from a small town outside of Houston. Growing up, I was very close to my Dad’s parents and my cousins from his side of the family. I grew up Catholic and went to church every Sunday. As I got older, it changed to just on holidays. I went to Catechism classes while in elementary so that I could make my first Communion, and later went to classes during my 8th grade and freshman year so that I could have my Quinceañera. I knew who God was but did not know that I could have a relationship with him. I was “Daddy’s girl”, and I always got what I wanted. I rarely did wrong in my Daddy’s eyes. My relationship with my Mom was always challenging, thanks to me – rebellious child that I was.
No one ever talked to me about sex. The only people I had to talk to about it were my friends. Some of them were having sex, so it just seemed normal; so why not! I became sexually active during middle school.
At 16, I had a steady boyfriend that my parents approved of, so I was able to go out and be free. I was having sex with my boyfriend and never thought twice about becoming pregnant. I always thought it could never happen to me. Well, I am pretty sure it happened Prom night in 1987.
“For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13
I never took a pregnancy test. I did not start my period, so I just knew I was pregnant. I was torn- I was just a child myself, and I thought it would never happen to me. Everyone was having sex, and no one was getting pregnant. I told my best friend I was pregnant. She was the only person I told other than my boyfriend. I kept this secret deep within my soul for about six months. How could I tell my parents I was pregnant? I was Daddy’s girl; it was going to break his heart. My mom…. what is she going to think of me? And what would the rest of my family (my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) think of me? We were all very close. I was scared and had no idea what I was going to do.
“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” Luke 8:17
I started my junior year in high school, and I hid my pregnancy by wearing big clothes. By the time Homecoming came around in October, I think my Mom had an idea. I always dressed in my room or in the restroom. Within a few weeks, I would have to tell my Mom that I was pregnant. I was starting to show. It was close to Thanksgiving when I told my Mom. She was not happy, and she had to be the one to tell my Dad. My Grandmother was staying with us off and on during this time, so she comforted me in every way she could. My boyfriend was not allowed to be around for a while. My Dad did not talk to me; you could see in his face and eyes he was hurt and disappointed. My aunts, uncles and cousins were a big comfort as well. My Mom was thinking, “what will people think and what are her friends going to think?” She took me to the doctor to confirm what was already known, but because I went 6 months with no prenatal care, she took me. She asked about an abortion. I never thought about that because I assumed you needed your parent’s consent to have the procedure, so I just never thought about it. The doctor told my Mom I was too far along to have one. By this time, I wanted to keep the baby. There was talk of adoption, but my mind was made up to keep the baby. My boyfriend told his family, and they were excited. He was eventually allowed to come around, but not as much. My aunts kept me busy and were always feeding me. Now it was only a couple of months until I was due. I was finally able to enjoy being pregnant and not keeping it a secret any longer. Freedom! My cousin and his wife would eventually become my baby’s Godparents. My baby’s Godmother was so excited that she and her mom gave me a small baby shower. Family and a few friends, when they found out, did not judge me.
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7
As I got closer to my due date, the month of February, decisions had to be made on what I was going to do. My Dad was still not talking to me, and my Mom was telling me it was my responsibility, not hers. My aunt and uncle lived down the road from our house, so my aunt said she would watch the baby while I went to school. She even offered to adopt my baby so that I could finish school. My mother wanted her friend to adopt. I decided to keep my baby. School…well, I went to school everyday making straight A’s throughout the year. Since I would not be able to go to school for 6 weeks after I had my baby, I would have to be what they called “home-bound”. I had to get approval for this. My Mom and I went and talked with my assistant principal and she immediately told me I needed to drop two of my advanced classes, drop my office administration class, and take home economics since I was having a baby and would eventually drop out of school. Well, that just did not sit right with me. I told her no! I was a junior, and I was going to finish school and graduate with my class the following year!
I stayed in school up until a week before I had my baby. I woke up one morning, and I literally could not get out of bed. My Mom took me to the hospital to be checked. I had pain in my lower back which turned out to be Braxton Hicks – little, but painful contractions. I was a scared 16 year old, not knowing what was going on and hearing the nurses tell my Mom I was not in labor and to take me home. Well, my Mom, being my Mom, said no and asked for a doctor to come and check me. The doctor came, and come to find out, my water had already broken a week ago. Needless to say, I stayed, and they induced my labor. Everyone was called. Everyone showed up at the hospital except my Dad. My boyfriend was there excited. Me, on the other hand, – I was scared and in pain! They started inducing my labor at 7:30 a.m., and at 6:20 p.m. I gave birth to a healthy baby girl who weighed 5 lbs 15 ozs. on February 17, 1988. I never knew the sex of my baby until the day she was born. They took her to the NICU to start antibiotics since my water had been broke for a week, and they needed to make sure she did not have any infections. Everyone was excited. She did not come home for a week. The day she came home, my Dad was home to meet her and we started talking again.
My daughter is 28 years old today and is as beautiful today as she was the day she was born. Children are blessings from God, and He knew she was meant to be mine when he formed her long before she was placed in my womb. I controlled the situation and did not let Him control my life then. She would be mine, but I just sped up the process. I knew who God was, but I did not have a relationship with him. My daughter taught me to love and made me grow up and be responsible for someone who depended on me, no one else. Her father and I did not stay together. His family wanted marriage, and I did not. I was going to be a senior in high school, and I was raising a baby. I was too young to get married. She was 5 months old when we went our separate ways.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Psalms 127:3
Now this brings me to the second part of my story. I chose life for my daughter, but I did not choose life for my son that I aborted at 16 weeks when I was 17 years old.
As my senior year started, I had a new boyfriend. I was sexually active with him as well. After you have a baby, they put you on birth control. Well, I am here to say that it did not work. It could be because I did not take them at the same time every day. I was a mother to a newborn, and I was going to school and working.
I did not realize that I was pregnant until February, 1989. My daughter had just turned 1. Here I was again, pregnant, and there was no way I was going to have another child when my daughter just turned 1 and I was going to be graduating. The year before, I never knew that you could go get an abortion without parental consent; but now that I knew I could, that is what I was going to do. I could not tell anyone. The only one that knew was my boyfriend and his family. His sister did not want me to do it and neither did my boyfriend. I was determined. My body – I was paying for it, and I could not afford to have another. On a Saturday morning in March, my boyfriend’s sister drove us to Houston to have the procedure. I remember being dropped off and going up to the office, signed in and then got called to the back. They checked me, and come to find out I was further along than what I thought. I was about 12 weeks, and the money I had was not enough. I would have to come back when I had more money. So, we waited for my boyfriend’s sister to pick us up. She dropped us off and would be back in a few hours. I do not remember how long we waited, but I remember sitting in the stairway of the building just waiting. I never said a word about anything. In a few weeks, my boyfriend and I would go back. I had more money with me this time. I went back to the same place, and when they checked me I was 16 weeks. They took me to the back and they inserted medication to help my cervix dilate. We would have to leave and come back in a few hours. Longest few hours ever! We went back, they took me to the room, and the only thing I remember is hearing the machine. It was over. They took me to a room where I waited for an hour, got dressed, and we drove back home. I was home in time to get dressed and out the door to a banquet for my Office Administration Co-Op class to thank our employers that we were working for during the school year. I think this was a Wednesday. I do not remember much; I was numb, in shock, and I just put it all behind me and acted like nothing ever happened. My boyfriend and his family knew, but not my family. I just put on the mask and hid my secret again.
“God, you know what I have done wrong; I cannot hide my guilt from you.” Psalm 69:5
I did not seek help until two years after I heard my sweet sister stand up in front of everyone at our Amazing Grace Retreat and speak about her abortions. In my mind and my heart, I had asked God for forgiveness and I was good; so I thought. My sweet sister was on a mission after that to reach others. I then heard other sisters talk about their abortions and talk about Surrendering the Secret, a post abortion healing class. Finally, after our Amazing Grace Retreat in 2014, I took the class. Taking this class, I learned a lot about myself and my behaviors. I was holding on to a secret and guilt that I needed to be free from, and I needed to be honest with myself and God. I asked for forgiveness, but not truly with my heart. I stuffed my feelings from my abortion deep within. While taking the class, God and I talked, and He revealed that my baby was a boy and is in heaven waiting for me. He loves me and forgives me. God set me free, and He redeemed me.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:16-18.
I would like to tell you that there is help, resources, and other options other than abortion. The Abortion Hurts. God Heals! website has links to those resources. There are people you can talk to, and there are so many couples out there waiting to have a child of their own. You need to know that God loves you, and He is with you on this journey. He will be with you to give you the words to speak to your family.
I was raised in a Christian home. I knew about God and how Jesus died for my sins because He loved me. I knew that one day He would be coming back. Christianity was not much more than just religion to me in my early years. However, as I became a teenager, and started attending youth camps, I began to really develop a relationship with Jesus. I was on fire for God for many years in my youth, but as I got older and became a young adult, as many do, I strayed away from Him. I started going to places I shouldn’t be and hanging with the wrong crowds, which led me to March 2011.
On March 18, 2011, I was raped. This man had allowed himself into my apartment after a night out and had forced himself on me. Despite my best efforts to kick, punch, and scream, I was unable to stop him from hurting me. He kept telling me that I deserved it, and even that I wanted it! I can still hear the last words he said to me when he left me crying on my bed….”Shut up, I’m done.” Those words will forever sound in my mind. He left me physically and emotionally damaged. I suffered from anxiety and depression. My self worth was nonexistent. Two months after the attack, I took a home pregnancy test that produced negative results. I was on an anti anxiety medication and was often tempted to overdose on my pills. I thank God that he never allowed me enough courage to follow through with that. I saw no end to my pain. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I had so much hatred for this man, but at the same time, I was still so scared of him.
Five months passed and I found myself in the doctors office doing blood work for my second pregnancy test. This time the results were positive. I was at a lost for words. I wasn’t ready to be a mom, especially considering my situation. I felt my world fall apart. The word “scared” took on a whole new meaning. I knew God loved me, but what was He thinking?!?! I couldn’t be a mom. How was I suppose to give life to a child if I didn’t even want to live my own?!
The following Monday, I went in for my first Ultrasound. It had all seemed so surreal to me at this point. But then, I saw him. The ultrasound gave me the most beautiful image I had ever seen. The sound of his heartbeat was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. God spoke to me ever so clearly at this moment. Although I was living in a dead situation, He could still bring life! Instantaneously, I fell in love. I had not known a love like this before. My heart began to heal. I saw only darkness, but God showed me His light that day.
Becoming pregnant because of my rape was not something I wanted, but God knew what He was doing. He knew exactly how to use this situation for His Honor and Glory! I re-dedicated my life to Christ and went back to church. I was surrounded by people who truly loved God and accepted me “as is”. I had my son not long after. I had promised God that as long as I’m living, my son will know Him and I will never stop praising Him for what He had done for me.
Since the attack, God has enabled me to forgive the man who hurt me. I still have anxiety on occasion, but God is still working in me, and I thank him for always getting me through. I am now a youth leader at my church, and I sing on the Praise Team. I volunteer for numerous community outreaches with my church as well. My son is also very involved at church. He loves sharing Gods love however he can!
Even though the enemy still tries to attack me with anxiety and reminds me of my past pain, my son is a constant reminder that Jesus loves me. He died for me. He was raised for me. And that by His blood, I am healed! Genesis 50:20 says “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done. The saving of many lives.”
Please choose life. Thank you.
Patricia Lawrence's Story
Courage and Faith in the Midst of the Storm
When I was 18 years old, in the army I was raped after being drugged. I do not remember anything about the rape. I became pregnant as a result. My family tried to force me to have an abortion. I refused and chose to give my child life. I placed him for adoption and moved on with my life.
While I was pregnant with my son, my own mother tried twice to take my life. First, she came into the room where I was sleeping. I don’t remember her saying anything to me. I awoke and mom was holding a gun within an inch of my face right between my eyes. I reached up, pushed the gun aside and asked what she was doing. She said, “I was trying to scare you so much that you would miscarry the baby.”
Two weeks later I was living with a sister, one of my sisters came in and asked me to put out my hand, she dropped 15-20 little white pills in my hand and said, “Mom says you are to take these all at once.” I went into the bathroom and dropped the pills in the toilet, saying, “I may be dumb, but I am not stupid.”
I later found out from doctors that had I taken those pills all at once, my heart would have exploded in probably 4 minutes. My mom knew what would happen to me, because she worked in a hospital and knew what the overdose would have done to me.
Giving up my son was the right thing to do for him as well as me. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
When my son was 35 years old I found and met him. I got to meet the loving woman who became his mother. He is now 58 years old and came to visit me just over 1 month ago. It was a total surprise visit.
Here is a poem I wrote about the adoption about 1.5 years before I found him..
I went through the labor,
But never held him in my arms,
As I gave him for adoption,
So others saw his childhood charms.
But it has always been my prayer,
That all these years he did know,
It was because I loved him,
That I had to let him go.
He has a special mother,
To care for him I’m sure,
And the love she has for him,
Is one that will endure.
Though I never held him,
Or saw his boyish smile,
I have always loved him,
And hope to see him in a while.
In a while in Heaven,
Just through the pearly gates,
When we are together,
Where our loving Savior waits.
Silenced and Shamed, Covered in God’s Amazing Grace
I never really had a relationship with the Lord. I remember attending church once in my childhood for my grandmother’s funeral so the thought of attending church only brought back the loss of my grandmother. I knew there was a God and I feared him and that pretty much summed up my relationship with God.
At the age of 15, I met the love of my life in high school. We quickly feel in love and became sexually active. I got pregnant had my first baby boy at the age of 17. We got our first apartment and went on to live our life together as a happy family. Life was tough having so many grown up responsibilities. A year and half into the relationship, we began to have marital and financial problems. I became pregnant with our second baby boy. We got married thinking this would make things better but things quickly got more difficult. I found myself separated with 2 young children working a night shift job. After a year of being separated, we decided to make our marriage work. It was an extremely difficult time because there was no forgiveness and argued so much pointing fingers of who did what. Two years into our broken relationship, we found ourselves pregnant with our third baby. Sadly, both agreed to abort our third child.
I remember walking into this clinic while protesters were nearby holding signs. I was too ashamed to look up and read them. I walked in with my head hung low. My heart sank when I walked through those doors. All I remember is sobbing uncontrollable during the procedure and feeling so much pain, not just physical but emotional pain. I was then escorted into a dark room with several couches and hearing several other women sob. Shame quickly came over me. I blocked out so much and never spoke of this again. I felt a need to hide this and never shared with family. My husband and I never spoke of this. It was too dark. The guilt and shame began to consume me. I felt so lost and broken.
My husband and I began to work hard on our marriage but we still never discussed the abortion. God began to put people in my path. I would visit different churches but never stay rooted anywhere. I felt a need to hide my shame. I would have nightmares of me falling off a bridge and me screaming “Jesus, help me!” but nothing would come out of my mouth but mumble. I had this same nightmare for many years. It wasn’t until the after the birth of our fourth child, that I began to seek the Lord. We were at a happy place at that time but my son was diagnosed with moderate hearing loss and developmental delays. I felt I deserved this because I aborted my third child. My past began to haunt me and steal my joy. I felt drained, lost and broken.
“ The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. ” John 10:10
FINALLY, I after running from God and fearing God, I finally surrendered my heart, my brokenness and my shame Lord. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. For the very first time, I felt loved, accepted, forgiveness and God’s grace.
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”Ephesians 1:7
The Lord began to work in me, heal me and transform me. He eventually put me in path of running group, a Godly running group who trained for a half marathon to support a young couple adoption a baby. I began to train my body and pray for birth moms to choose life and choose adoption. My past began to haunt me again but I knew it was time for me break my silence but I was still bound to guilt and shame. Through this group, I was invited to the Amazing Grace Retreat. I witnessed several post abortive women from the Abortion Hurt, God Heals ministry share their testimony. For the first time, I did not feel the alone. I felt the holy spirit prompting me share my story at this retreat, so I did. I forgave myself at this retreat. The Lord spoke to me through this verse:
“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:19-20
I went on to join the Surrender The Secret Healing class for post abortive women. I had finally forgiven myself for my abortion and it was time for to heal from the pain I held for 17 years. It rained so hard the night before my healing class, I was contemplating not going. I had the same nightmare I’ve had for many years. I’m falling off a bridge in my vehicle and I’m frantically screaming and crying out “Jesus, help me!!”. For the very first time, I heard my voice that night. I woke up with such peace in my heart. I knew it was time to break my silence and heal from the painful loss my child.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” Isaiah 43:1-2
I am no longer bound to shame and guilt. I have peace knowing my child is safe hands of the Lord and I will meet her one glorious day. I give glory to God for His forgiveness, love and amazing grace! I am forgiven and set free by the precious blood of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I will boldly use my voice to share my testimony of God’s love, forgiveness and amazing grace!
When I was 10 years old my parents took me to church. It was there that I trusted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Shortly after that the enemy came in and attacked my family through divorce. My father moved away and I stayed with my mom.
It was four years later that a boy approached me at school. After our first date I was told by my mom not to see him anymore. She knew he was not going to be good for me. I decided to sneak around with him anyway. It wasn’t long before I lost my virginity. We would have sex every time we were together. This went on for a year. We were using protection but one night we had none. That night we conceived a child.
It was a month later and I knew something was different. As the days passed, my period did not start and I began to experience morning sickness. I suspected that I was pregnant. It was just before my 16th birthday. I told my boyfriend, and he took me to a clinic to find out. Sure enough the test was positive. We went back to his house to tell his mom. When we told her, she threw up her hands and told us that we should have used protection and then left the room.
We went to his room and I remember him telling me that he had a girlfriend before that had an abortion. That was the first time that I ever heard the word abortion. I was experiencing so many mixed emotions. I was feeling scared and I did not want my parents to find out that I was pregnant and that I was sexually active. I was also feeling excitement that there was a life growing inside me. I was feeling anger toward my boyfriend that he would suggest abortion. My anger was quickly stuffed and replaced with shock. I don’t remember much after that.
The shame of disobeying my parents and the fear of losing relationships drove me to choose abortion. It happened so quickly. I was 5 or 6 weeks along. I don’t remember much. I do remember waking up and vomitting and crying for my baby! The nurse told me to be quiet! I went home and stuffed it down deep inside. We moved away shortly after that to another state.
After that I began to spiral down into a lifestyle of promiscuity. I felt lonely and empty and I hated myself for making that decision. It was three years later that I found myself pregnant from a one night stand. I felt attracted to this guy but somehow knew that nothing would ever become of this relationship. He was really messed up.
I did not suspect that I was pregnant this time. I was feeling sick and went to the doctor. I was really surprised when they told me.
I went home. I remember thinking that the child would be better off not coming into this world. I chose abortion again.
At the hospital, the nurse who was prepping me for the abortion was angry. I was left in the hallway outside the surgical room for a few moments. A nurse approached me and asked if I had ever had this procedure done before. I lied and said no.
In the operating room they had music playing and everyone was cheerful. They proceeded to ask me questions about my life. That was all I remember. I didn’t even tell the father this time. He found out about it through my brother. He came to me and told me that I should have come to him with this. I got really depressed this time. I went for counseling and I remember blaming my depression on a bad friendship.
It was a few months later that I met a man that would soon become my husband. We married a year later. It was then that I began to seek the Lord. The Lord blessed us with nine beautiful children!
It was after our first child was born that my denial about my abortions was broken. I carried the pain for twenty years. My midwife told me that I needed to do a post-abortion Bible study. I didn’t think I needed it.
Ten years later I was sitting in my church and a promotion for a post-abortion Bible study came up on the screen. I felt the Holy Spirit calling me to do the study. I obeyed and I am so glad that I did it! The Lord has blessed me so much! I didn’t know how much I needed this study and how much the abortions had affected all of my relationships. I was having difficulty with intimacy with my husband. I was angry at myself and took it out on others. I had difficulty showing physical affection to my children and husband. I felt like I was gagged and my hands were tied behind my back. It affected my parenting negatively. I was depressed. I felt like crying alot and I didn’t know why.
But since the Bible study I have been set free from a prison of darkness! I have more joy than I ever dreamed was possible And now I am free to love and become all that the Lord has called me to be! And the Lord has called me to lead women through the healing process! Each time we lead a group I receive another level of healing!
It is a privilege to be an instrument of the Lord to the broken hearted! To Him be the glory! Amen!
By His Grace,
Sherri Hayden Babies’ named: David Emanuel Hayden and Elijah Daniel Hayden
Favorite Scripture: Isaiah 61:1-4,7
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. (7) Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
There I was, the newly crowned Miss West Virginia! My childhood was filled with successes. I earned over 1,000 awards in competitions and pageants and was my hometown princess! 3 busloads of fans traveled to Atlantic City to watch me compete for Miss America! And only a year and a half later, I lay on a cold table in an abortion clinic waiting for my first child to be ripped from my body and any hopes for stardom and fame to be erased from my future.
When I first realized that I was pregnant, I was emotionally SICK and scared to death! There was no way I could tell my parents. If anyone found out, it would bring such shame to my family, I mean, I was the “Miss America” of my town! In my heart I knew that I had let everyone down who believed in me!
I knew I had to take care of this, and fast because I had heard that if you have an abortion, have it early, because it’s really just a blob of tissue.
Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.”
This is TRUTH!
So, I used my American right to choose abortion. Wow! I am so appalled that I was ever given this RIGHT! After my abortion experience, of which I remember very little, I recall the nurse telling me that it was all over and that I would never have to think of it again. This is the biggest lie that anyone has ever told me in my life.
Psalm 32: 3-4 “When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away. And I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.”
So I entered into my new life. The life with no crown, no trophies, no fans cheering for me.
Literally 4 days after my abortion I met my first husband. This became an emotionally abusive, vertical relationship. I immediately gained over 30 pounds and began an eating disorder. I became very private and was ok with spending days alone in my apartment. If I did venture out, I immediately went into performance mode and put on a show that my life was awesome. I had terrifying nightmares, drank, partied, and searched for approval from the opposite sex.
About a month after my wedding, I became pregnant again. My husband was in no way ready for a family. I was still numb from my first abortion, so I allowed him to make arrangements to abort our child. Again, I don’t remember much of this experience, but what I DO remember clearly were his words to me…. ” We are not going to tell anyone about this. We need to pretend this never happened.”
I continued to self-destruct. I ran from God because I knew I was doomed to hell. I couldn’t ask for forgiveness…. because in my mind, this was the unforgiveable sin. I tried to grasp at anything that would redeem me, but I failed at each attempt. I became ‘nobody’ after being ‘somebody’.
I continued with my eating disorder. I was angry….. so angry when my girlfriends would become pregnant. I had an extremely unhealthy obsession with my work to justify my abortion and I feared ever becoming pregnant, because I didn’t feel worthy of having a child. I lived in silent pain and felt I deserved all my failures.
After 10 years of my emotionally abusive marriage, I finally got the strength to file for divorce. I spent a year and a half going through a nightmare as my ex-husband tried to leave me with nothing. Not once during all of this did I reach out to God.
Psalm 6:2-3 “Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak. Heal me, Lord for my bones are in agony.
I am sick at heart.
How long, O Lord, until you restore me?”
After my divorce, which finally took me to rock bottom, I felt such a deep need to search for God. I could hear His calling. I met my God appointed husband and we began searching for churches to attend and I finally gave my life to Christ in February 2003. Before I married my husband, I told him about one of my abortions (but not both), and he was the first person to tell me that God WOULD FORGIVE ME! But I just had a hard time believing it.
God’s hand was on me, because He blessed me with a beautiful baby girl. But about a year and a half after she was born, I began having horrible nightmares. I feared something was going to happen to her and it would be my fault because I aborted my first two children.
Around that same time, a video was shown in my church with some women sharing about how their abortions negatively affected their lives. I couldn’t believe how much I could relate to their pain! My pastor mentioned a class at church for post abortive women and I knew it was time.
I literally crawled into class hoping no one would see me, but that day God began lifting my burden that I had carried for over 20 years. I think the hardest part for me was facing the TRUTH about what I had done, but God blessed me with His mercy and forgiveness.
Psalm 32:5 “Finally I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord. And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone!”
Now I am on fire to share what God has done in my life! I am a leader of Surrendering the Secret, a healing study for post abortive women and Founder and Executive Director of Abortion Hurts God Heals! Ministry. I am on a mission to share my testimony and have had numerous opportunities to do so, both one on one and in large groups. And I am currently an online group leader for post abortive women who have been or are in need of healing. I know my journey has just begun, but I am looking foward to speaking the TRUTH.
Psalm 30: 11-12
“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me in joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.”
My abortions changed my life; there is no doubt. The negative consequences grew like fungus throughout my body, heart and soul. But, my life was changed the day I decided to finally admit what I had done. God took my sins away and freed me from my bondage. The crown I wore as Miss West Virginia was awesome, but it is little compared to the crown I wear as a princess of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
My name is Yvette and I want to give glory to God through my testimony. My life was always good as a child. I lived with my Mom, Dad, and sister. We were happy. We were not raised knowing God on a daily basis.
My father was raised in a Christian home. My Grandfather was a Minister of the Church of God. My father rebelled, and is still rebelling at the age of 73 years. I only caught glimpses of God when I stayed the night with my grandparents and went to church with them. My grandmother would often kneel with me and pray.
At age 9 my father moved us away from all family to Omaha, Nebraska. My life took a turn for the worse when I was 11 years old. My parents divorced. My Mom became deeply depressed and was never home. She would hang out at the bar after work. I was left at home to care for my younger sister. Around the age of 14 years I started to look for love. I felt so unloved. I was very promiscuous.
At the age of 16 I became pregnant with my first baby. I thought I would love this baby more than anything. When my Mom found out I was pregnant, she said she would put me in a home if I had the baby. She wanted me to have an abortion. My father pretended he was going to let me keep the baby so I went to live with him. He really wanted me to have an abortion. He took me to a doctor. The doctor explained the abortion is life plucking a flower. I asked the doctor isn’t it killing a baby?
My father got mad when I refused abortion. He sent me back to live with my mother. My father found a clinic in Omaha that would put me to sleep. I agreed to go through it. This was my 1st abortion.
Psalm 139: 13-16 You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Everyday of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
At 17 I became pregnant again. I got married at 18 and had a beautiful baby boy. When I was 19, I became pregnant again. During my 3rd pregnancy, my husband did not want anything to do with me, or the baby. I went to live with my Mom. My father says, “Why don’t you have an abortion?” I said, “Dad I am 22 weeks pregnant!”
My father found a clinic in Kansas City, MO that did late term abortions. Yes, I could feel the baby move at this point in my pregnancy. I will not go into detail about how late term abortions are done. It is quite brutal and can be looked up on the internet. I thought having this abortion would bring my husband back, and it did.
At age 23 I got pregnant again with my 4th baby. I was so happy. My husband abandoned me again when I was 4 months pregnant. I went to live with my Mom again. I gave birth to a boy at the age of 24. My life was out of control and I was deeply depressed. I started going to church at a Baptist Church. I realized I needed Christ. I raised my hand when they asked who wanted to be saved. I stood in front of the church and gave my life to Christ, my Savior. I became a Christian on this day. My husband also started going to church with his Mom. We got back together for about a year when we separated for good.
At age 27 I applied to LVN School and got in! I needed a good job to take care of my boys. On the weekends when the boys were with their Dad I would go out with friends and hang out at the bar. I became promiscuous again looking for love. I got pregnant again with my 5th pregnancy. I was 28 years old. I had my 3rd abortion. I knew abortion was wrong. I was scared and did not know who the father was. After m y 3rd abortion I got an implant in my arm to prevent pregnancy.
I remarried at age 31. I began to ask God questions. How could I kill my 3 babies? How selfish am I? Who gets 3 abortions? The abortions started to haunt me. I would relive the abortions in my mind. I had built up anger at myself. I became deeply depressed and had panic attacks where I couldn’t even leave the house. I started to plan my own suicide. My life was falling apart. My husband noticed my downward spiral and took me to a mental hospital called Laurel Ridge. I did a day program. I met with a Christian doctor who helped me. He put me on medication for depression, as well as anti-anxiety medication, and prayed with me. I got better to a point.
For many years after giving my life to Christ I never really committed until the Amazing Grace Retreat. The Retreat was a God changing event for me. I heard a sister’s testimony that brought me to tears about abortions. I realized I was not alone. I realized God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit had always been there. God was waiting for me to reach out to him. I realized my abortions were not the unforgiveable sin and that I could be forgiven and set free. 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all wickedness.
Also, during the Amazing Grace Retreat, I found out CBC offered a class for women who have had abortions called Surrendering the Secret. The class helps women heal emotionally and most of all spiritually. Romans 12:1-2 says: So, dear sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be living and holy sacrifices—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn God’s will for you which is good, pleasing, and perfect.
I am certain that when I die I am going to Heaven. I am also certain that when I get to heaven I will see my 3 babies. For I am saved, I am forgiven and set free.
I presently have 4 living children, one daughter, two sons, and a step-son. I have been married 21 years to my second husband. I thank God that I can now live with peace and joy and that I am forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ. Acts 10:43 says he is the One all the prophets testified about saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through His name.
I want everyone to know there is hope, healing, and forgiveness. How precious and great is our God that he sent his Son to us and that He died on the cross for our sins. Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Think about him in all your ways and he will guide you on the right paths.
I am the oldest of 7 girls. My parents got married very young and had me and my sister. They divorced when I was about 3 years old. My father remarried and had 2 more daughters, and my mother remarried and had 3 more daughters. My mother’s 2nd husband was a pedophile and began molesting me when I was very young. I was afraid to tell my mother because he threatened to hurt my sisters and my mother if I told anyone. This went on for many years.
I stood up to him when I was 12 years old and the molestation ended. He was an alcoholic and very verbally, physically and emotionally abusive which continued. My biological father was not active in my life, and I rarely saw him. My mother was not very interested in being a parent. She was involved as long as it was us having fun, but when we interfered in her adult life, she was abusive and mean to us. It seemed that I could not do anything right, and she reminded me often of how much I messed up. I felt very unloved and very unlovable.
My maternal grandmother loved me unconditionally. She took me to church and taught me about Jesus. She also prayed for me and taught me that God would answer my prayers. She said we just needed to follow Him and that He loved us. I have known God all my life and knew that Jesus was my Savior. I had no doubt that I would go to Heaven when I died. I just didn’t believe God liked me, or that He would answer my prayers. John 3:16 teaches us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. I wanted to believe this but had a hard time because God didn’t stop my stepfather. I thought I was not good enough for God’s love.
I was raised Lutheran and went to catechism classes when I was 12. I accepted Jesus as my Savior publicly and chose to be baptized. I thought that my life would finally be better because I was following God by my own choice. Nothing changed much. My mother was still unloving toward me and my stepfather was still abusive. I hated him and I was afraid to make any friends because I thought if I brought anyone home, he would hurt them too. I didn’t make friends and became very lonely.
When I was 15, I started seeing a boy at school and became sexually active. I became pregnant the first time we were together. We talked about having our baby and getting married. We were excited to start our family. I did not want to tell my mother, but somehow she found out. Roe v Wade had just become law in January 1973 and in March of 1973, I had an abortion. My mother told me she would not let me ruin my life like she ruined hers by having a baby so young and that she had scheduled the abortion. I didn’t understand exactly what an abortion was, but I knew it would kill my baby and that it was wrong. Psalm 139:13-18 tells us “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. Your saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
I don’t remember a lot about the days surrounding the abortion. I remember crying a lot before and during the abortion and all day after it was over. I prayed so hard for God to stop it from happening and when He didn’t, I thought He didn’t love or care about me. I remember when I was taken into the room where the abortion was performed; I was crying so hard that the nurse asked me if I was okay and if I was being forced. I was only 15, and I thought I had to do what my mother told me to do. I told her no. Looking back, I realized that God was answering my prayer and had I said yes I was being forced, they might not have done the abortion.
I broke up with my boyfriend a few days later and I stopped crying. I decided I would never cry again. I did not want to feel anything at all and shut down all my feelings.
I became very promiscuous but my mother made me take birth control pills so I didn’t get pregnant. I met and married my first husband when I was 19. I got pregnant very soon after the marriage and miscarried at about 3 months. I was devastated. I thought God was punishing me for the abortion. According to Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
I told my husband about the abortion and about thinking the miscarriage was my punishment. We were involved in church so I expected understanding and maybe sympathy, but he was cold and unsympathetic. I was able to get pregnant and give birth to 3 sons during the marriage. My husband was addicted to drugs and was very emotionally abusive to me. He started becoming physically abusive to our sons. After 10 years of marriage, I got a divorce.
I reconnected with my high school boyfriend and we began dating. I became pregnant a few months later. We talked one time about the abortion very briefly and then never mentioned it again. We had a daughter and then a few years later, we had another daughter. We got married when our first daughter was 8 months old. My ex husband began making threats toward me and our sons when I left him and this continued after marriage to my 2nd husband. One of the things that my ex did was tell my sons that I was not a good mother because I had killed my baby. I had to explain to my preteen sons what an abortion is and the circumstances of mine. It was something they did not need to deal with at their age, but my ex was only interested in causing problems in my relationship with my children and my new husband. He caused a lot of problems in our marriage and my 2nd husband started drinking heavily and becoming abusive. He was very neglectful of our daughters as well as me. After 12 years of marriage, I got another divorce. My daughters begged me to divorce him. They said he was mean and they didn’t want to live with him anymore.
Through all the years, I prayed, felt guilty and unloved and looked to God for forgiveness. I never found that forgiveness. John 1:9 says “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I didn’t understand that God had forgiven me long ago and I just needed to forgive myself and accept God’s love. I made so many bad choices as a way to punish myself because I thought I had lost God’s love.
A few years ago, I was invited to church and after a couple of refusals, I went. It was a beautiful Easter morning and I felt loved and wanted as soon as I walked in the doors. I started going regularly and began a real relationship with God. In 2013, I was invited to a women”s meeting. I was not really interested in women”s meetings but went because a friend had invited me. Saundra was there giving her testimony about her abortion. I didn’t want to hear about abortion and I was very angry at God for bringing me to the meeting. I listened to Saundra’s testimony and started crying. I realized God was offering me healing and love. After the testimony, I went up to speak to Saundra to find out about the healing classes. She hugged me, and it was the best hug I ever had. I signed up for a healing class and found a way to forgive myself, my mother and everyone else involved in the abortion. Forgiving my mother was very difficult because not only did she force me to kill my baby, but she also hurt me by saying I ruined her life. I was the baby she had so young that ruined her life.
I have found a freedom that I never felt before. I see God’s love in all things. I know that my sins are forgiven and I will see my baby, Bryan Patrick, in heaven someday. I will also see my miscarried baby, Kristen Lenore, when I get there. In the meantime, they are in the arms of Jesus and He is loving them for me while they and I wait for our reunion. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
I am not ashamed anymore because I know I am a child of the Most High God and a princess of the King of Kings. I seek Him in everything I do, and I know He is listening to me and is with me even when I feel alone. I know He protects me and watches over me always because Psalm 91:11 says “For He shall give His Angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”
I grew up in a Christian home, which has been a huge blessing in my life. I accepted Christ into my heart when I was 13, had some ups and down, and have rededicated my life to the Lord on different occasions. I grew up in a “normal” family. I have always been close to my mom and brother and my dad was the main provider for our family. Of course we had dysfunctional family problems, just like everyone else.
The year before I become pregnant was pretty rough. My family and I had just lost my father to suicide and so there were a lot of emotions and adjustments during that year. I pretty much kept myself pre-occupied; I always made sure I was busy, hanging out with family and friends, going on dates and also sleeping with a few different men. My attitude that year was pretty care-free, didn’t really care about a lot of things except my family and some of my closest friends.
I was 27 years old when I found out I was pregnant. I was in complete shock to say the least. At the time I found out, I was not 100% sure who the father was. When I was about 5 weeks pregnant, my health took a turn for the worse. I already struggled with different health issues and I got severe stomach pain and nausea. All of that multiplied by 10. In addition, I was struggling with the fact of how much I disappointed God, my mom and my brother, and how I was going to explain to my friends I was pregnant. I was supposed to be the good Christian example and I did not know how I was going to explain myself. Well my health issues got so bad, it was hard for me to even function; I had not slept in almost two weeks. I finally went to the ER to get some morphine to relieve the pain, temporarily.
I wanted the pain to stop, so I had made the bad decision to have an abortion. I was about 7.5 weeks pregnant when I had the abortion. As I got to the clinic that day, I felt completely out of place, but I did have my brother sitting there next to me. I remember everyone who worked there seemed so “cold” and shut off. As I sat in the “patient” room, I had to get undressed from the waist down and I even contemplated for a moment whether this was something I should be doing. Fear gripped me; I felt numb and alone. I was about to have a D&C and I could hear the “vacuum” sound loudly from room to room as the doctor performed an abortion on each of the babies. I could hear the vacuum getting closer to my room, so I knew I was next.
The doctor did not say anything; I was terrified in this moment. I looked up at the doctor before he gave me some anesthesia and I asked him if it was going to hurt. He gave me no response. Before I knew it, I was being pulled off the table. I was so drowsy and the nurse was helping me put my pants back on. I sat in the “recovery” room completely nauseated. When I was finally released, I went home and fell straight asleep on my couch. When I woke up a few hours later, my mother had called me several times. She did not want me to have an abortion, but she wanted to make sure I was okay. It was such an emotional moment when I talked to my mom; we both cried.
For the first time in weeks I finally slept and had relief in my stomach pain. But why didn’t I feel better, emotionally? I was expecting a sense of relief because I thought I made the right decision at that moment, so I could feel better. But it was the complete opposite. I knew what I did was wrong…I just killed my sweet little baby. I felt like the most horrible person in the entire world. I went into a great depression for several months. I constantly had dreams and nightmares. I begged the Lord so many times to please forgive me and shed so many tears. During that process of asking the Lord to forgive me, I finally had to be honest about the entire reason behind my abortion. I was in extreme pain and I wanted to feel better, but fear of judgment from my friends also drove my decision to have an abortion. Once I was honest with myself, I asked the Lord to forgive me and I knew he had forgiven me. But for some reason I could not forgive myself.
Over the next few years, I did mend and heal a little. I started to see a Christian counselor to work through some other issues and she recommended that I go to a “Surrendering the Secret” class at Community Bible Church. I told her that I was okay because I was doing better, plus I do not like to talk in a group setting, especially in front of other women. Like a lot of people, I do not trust others easily and I am a fairly private person. After a few months, I told her that I would attend the class. I provided the leader a different last name to protect myself and my family who worked at the church. During this class I realized that I had not entirely healed from the loss of my baby. There was so much to God’s Truth that the Lord had to reveal to me. Through this class, I had great support from the women in the group. I saw the Truth from the Lord, I cried, smiled, shared, mourned, and celebrated the life of my beautiful baby girl, Alina Joy. The healing process is still a journey, but there is redemption, forgiveness, love, and joy that the Lord has for each of us.
I am Sue Hooker, and this is my story of abortion, forgiveness, surrender, healing, and blessings.
I was born into a Christian family. My dad was a deacon, and my mom sang in the choir. We went to church almost every time the doors were open. When I was 11, I was at a church camp, and everyone was going up to make a decision, so I went up. I was baptized a week or so later, but I knew I didn’t mean it. I grew up knowing about God and Jesus, but they were not personal to me. Although I knew my parents were Christian and lived a Christian life, we didn’t talk about Christ at home.
I was very smart, and I felt like I had to live up to expectations and be perfect. I wanted to please everyone. When I was 14, my parents let me date an older guy, and after a while, he pressured me for sex. I refused for several months, but he said that he would leave me, so I finally gave in. When I was 16, I found out I was pregnant. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t think I could tell my parents, because they didn’t even know I was having sex. I couldn’t tell anyone else, because in the late 70s, you didn’t talk about things like that. I was always such a good girl. Anyone who was in my condition was a bad girl. I couldn’t let anyone call me that. My boyfriend made an appointment for me at a San Antonio clinic, and on January 4, 1980, I had an abortion.
It was a horrible experience. There were so many young girls like me going through the process. They took our money. I was corralled into a room to see a video about what was going to happen. I had lab work done. I was interviewed by a lady who asked if she could call my parents. I told her no, unless something happened to me. I had the procedure. I was parked into a chair in the recovery room. I walked out with the problem taken care of. At least that is what I thought and was led to believe.
I went home and had to lie to my mom about why I was not home sooner, so I made up a story. I had no idea that it would take several hours, so I just told her that my boyfriend and I were going to breakfast. I lay on her bed in pain and alone. For the next eight years, I was promiscuous and thought love meant sex.
I was very depressed. I gained weight. Everything fell apart. I didn’t know why. About 7 years later, things had gotten so bad. I had gone as low as I could. My mom said that I should go back to church, but I had no idea what good that would do. I went back to my home church, and a wonderful pastor had taken over. He counseled me and helped me realize God still loved me. On Christmas day 1988, I was baptized again. This time I meant it. Unfortunately, I hung onto some of my destructive ways. I was a Christian, but I still thought that I had to give myself to a man to keep him.
The Second Time…
In 1994, I got pregnant again. I was scared but excited. I was involved with a man who I thought I loved, and I thought he loved me. I was so wrong. When I told him that I was pregnant, he asked if he was the father. He said that the only way we could stay together was for me to have an abortion. I didn’t want to, but I didn’t want to lose him, and I thought if I were single with a child, no man would ever want me. When I met my husband, I knew Satan had told me a lie. My husband would have accepted me. My boyfriend kept pressuring me and even played on me being a Christian and told me that God would forgive me.
I made an appointment, and he took me. Like the first time, this abortion was a production line. Money, video, lab work, talk, procedure, recovery, out. The one difference was a sonogram. A nurse who was pregnant did the sonogram. I couldn’t help but wonder why she worked there. She was giving life and then preparing me to take it away. She said the doctor needed to know where the baby was so he could make sure he got it. She wouldn’t let me see it.
My boyfriend drove me home, dropped me off, and left. I never felt so alone. I cried the rest of the day and night. I was in so much emotional pain. I knew what I had done. I asked God to take my life before I woke up, but I woke up the next morning and had to live with what I had done. “God will forgive me” is a half-truth. He will, but I had to suffer consequences of my choice. I became an emotional eater and gained weight. I became more promiscuous.
A New Beginning…
On January 7, 1996, my life changed. I started going to a church that God had been calling me to attend for several years. On February 10, I gave my heart to God and asked him to heal it and not give it back to me until he had a man for me to give it to. It had become hard and cold, and I gave it to the wrong men.
On Feb 24, I hosted a singles’ party at my house, and Lewis Hooker came. It was his 40th birthday. He was not like anyone I usually dated. I went out with him a few times, but I didn’t think anything would come of it. On March 27, I was sitting in church, and I audibly heard “I am ready for you to give your heart away.” I knew that meant Lewis, but he was on the church staff, and I knew it would never work with my past. So, I had to talk to him. We went to Dennys, and I told him everything. I had never done that with anyone before. I expected rejection, but instead, he cried because I had to go through all of that alone. We were married three months later.
I got pregnant two months after our wedding and had a few problems, but Douglass was born three weeks before our first anniversary. I got pregnant again when Douglass was eight months old. I had a miscarriage at seven weeks and had a D&C. It brought back all the abortion memories. I had another miscarriage in 1999 and a third one in 2000.
Lewis and I wanted to try again, so in November 2000 we went to a fertility doctor. After the first insemination, I got pregnant. I had to take hormone shots for the first three months and blood thinner shots the entire pregnancy. I got to see Daniel grow from the first three weeks to right before I delivered him. I saw how miraculous conception was and how more miraculous it was to stay pregnant. I went into labor at 32 weeks, but with bed rest and medication, Daniel was born five weeks later. I tell Daniel that I fought Satan to have him. He didn’t want me to have him.
In 2002, God led me to a Forgiven and Set Free class that allowed me to forgive myself of my first abortion. I still couldn’t forgive myself for the second one. I knew God forgave me, but I couldn’t forgive myself. During the class, I wrote 2 poems called “For My Angels” and “Why Would I Not Listen”. These can be found on the Abortion Hurts, God Heals website.
In July 2012, my pastor had a message about total surrender. I knew that there were parts of my life that I had never given to God, so I gave Him my whole life. That was all He was waiting for. In September, through a friend from church, the leader of the Surrendering the Secret class that the church was sponsoring, called me, and I started a course in October. Through the material and the other ladies in the class, I was finally able to forgive myself for my second abortion and was able to heal from my miscarriages. I had not given all of my babies names up until then. Before the memorial service we had for our children, God gave me names for all of my babies: Sarah Elizabeth, Maggie Jane, Grace Noel, Joseph Benjamin, and Julia Bell.
I had surrendered my life which allowed me to finally surrender my secret, and I was indeed set free. God replaced my guilt and shame with a wonderful gift. He gave me the gift of poetry. During the class, he gave me a wonderful poem called “The Secret”. It can be found on the Abortion Hurts, God Heals website.
During the class, we were asked to write a letter from Jesus to us. One of the ladies read her letter, and I had to take it. God had me turn it into a poem that I really love. It speaks volumes to me, and it will to other ladies who have had an abortion. It is called “Dear Ginny” and can be found on the Abortion Hurts, God Heals website.
Once I totally surrendered my life, accepted God’s forgiveness, and finally forgave myself, God was able to pour out His blessings to me. I have a happiness now. I have no shame. I have no guilt. I am able to tell people what I did but can tell of the mercy and grace and healing that God gives. I no longer wear what I think of as the big scarlet letter A. It is not the unpardonable sin.
In July 2015, Facebook recommended a group on Facebook, because the two ladies who led my Surrendering the Secret class were members. The group was closed, but I requested to join anyway. To my surprise, I was accepted into Abortion Hurts God Heals. God has given me a powerful way to share my story and give women hope for healing.
He gave me the words to what has become the ministry’s poem. It is called Abortion Hurts God Heals and can be found on the Abortion Hurts, God Heals website.
How appropriate that it was raining the day of my twentieth birthday. For me it was a gray day in more ways than one. Riding in the car with my ex-boyfriend, I focused on the raindrops wiggling down the passenger window, trying to see designs in the little rivulets as they were pushed across the glass by the wind. Anything to keep from thinking about what was about to happen.
I was perched on the edge of adulthood, my whole life ahead of me. I had recently begun dating a wonderful man and was head over heels in love. I would surely lose him if he knew I was already pregnant when we met. I had plans! I couldn’t be pregnant! I was going to finish college and begin a career in nursing. But another life was about to end before it ever had a chance to get started.
Arriving at the Planned Parenthood Clinic, I got out of the car and ran through the rain into the nondescript building. It was January in North Carolina, so it was cold. But it was nothing compared to how cold it felt inside. I would have driven myself to the clinic but I had been instructed to have someone else drive me home. The nurse had told me at my previous visit, “Termination is a simple outpatient procedure, but we have to take precautions.” Termination….what a sanitized word for abortion. My friend said he’d be back at four o’clock to take me home, and off he drove in his parents’ Oldsmobile. He didn’t look well. We had gone together back in high school, but now we were just friends. I didn’t know who else to call to help me out. But he was sympathetic and willing, and I didn’t have many options. I never had any close girlfriends. And asking family was certainly not an option. My mother could NOT know I was pregnant. It would just devastate her. Some of my relatives had gotten pregnant out of wedlock and my mother treated it as the family scandal.
I checked in at the front desk, and paid the $200 which was, to me, blood money. It nearly wiped out my bank account. That was a lot of money back in 1981. The receptionist told me to have a seat and wait to be called. I wondered if the other women in the waiting room knew that I was about to get rid of my unborn baby. I thumbed through the pages of a women’s magazine, not really reading, just trying to keep from thinking. In due time, my name was called by the nurse.
I was led down the hall to a tiny changing room with an accordion door. Obediently, I stowed my clothes and purse in a narrow locker and kept the key on a band around my wrist, then put on the stiff white paper gown. Once again, I heard the nurse beckon me from further down the hall, “We’re ready for you, Virginia.” I followed the nurse. The sign on the door read Treatment Room. I climbed onto the narrow exam table and my feet were placed in the metal stirrups.
At this point, my mind was starting to race, vacillating back and forth between self-justification and truth. It’s now or never. It’s not too late to change my mind, is it? This is so wrong! Get up, run out of here, now!! Get a grip! I am here by choice! This is my body. This is my right! I cannot continue this pregnancy. It would kill my parents, especially Mom. And I’d have to quit school…..Ooooooowwwww!!
I was not prepared for the sharp penetrating force of the dilator entering my cervix. Then came the awful sucking noise. Out of my left eye, I could see the clear tube that ran from between my thighs to a glass container on a stainless steel cart. The tube bobbed with every jerky in-and-out movement of the doctor’s arm. When bloody liquid tissue began to slurp up the hose, I shut my eyes tight and gripped the sides of the table. I could feel tears filling up both my eyes. “It’ll all be over soon, hon,” the assisting nurse said, and she took my hand. It’ll never be over, I thought to myself.
I recovered in a vinyl reclining chair for the next few hours, trying to make my mind go blank. But all I could think of was the sucking noise and the tube, my dead baby. No! It’s just tissue, no different than having your period. That’s what the clinic had told me about the bleeding that would occur afterward, my body just getting rid of cells, like with my period. So it must be true. Get a hold of yourself!
At four, my friend picked me up as promised. He’d been drinking, I could tell. Just get me home is all I could think. Mom and Dad and my new boyfriend would be wishing me happy birthday tonight and there would be a cake to eat and presents to open. How was I going to get through it? How was I going to act as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened? I was going to put on a happy face and fool them all, like I always had. No one really knew me.
Over the years, though, I fooled myself most of all. I struggled mightily, alternating between self-justification and guilt over the truth of what I had chosen. But for ten years, self-justification won out over guilt every time. It took a lot of mental energy to stuff down the guilt. I would become very defensive whenever the topic of abortion came up. Not verbally, because that would blow my cover. Inside I would boil with resentment at those self-righteous right-to-lifers who couldn’t possibly understand. You couldn’t understand unless you’d been there, in my shoes. But I didn’t dare declare myself to be pro-choice. I didn’t want to arouse any suspicion about why I believed in a woman’s right to choose.
Deep down though, I knew I was wrong. I was raised in a Christian home. I knew what taking a life (born or unborn) was. It was murder. So if I knew it was wrong and I did it anyway, what kind of a person was I? Having the abortion only confirmed what I really thought about myself. I was a bad person through and through. An older male relative had introduced me to sex when I was ten, and I had been sexually promiscuous since I lost my virginity at fourteen. The molestation was kept a secret in my home, and I kept my promiscuity a secret from my parents. I was the picture of wholesomeness to them and to my youth group at church. That meant I was a liar too. I kept up a double life throughout high school.
When I started college, I moved out of my parents’ home and worked three jobs to be able to live on my own, to do my own thing. My life really got wild at that point. I partied hard. I stopped attending church. I didn’t want any more weekly reminders of which commandments I was breaking Monday morning through Saturday night. I already knew what a sinner I was. My choice of sexual partners was fairly indiscriminate. Many were nameless strangers met at dorm parties or bars. It wasn’t long before I contracted an STD. That felt so dirty, being told my diagnosis by the university infirmary nurse. But I was a dirty person, so no surprise. Early in my sophomore year, I hit a real emotional low. I was depressed and began to have suicidal thoughts.
Looking back, I think I knew that I was going nowhere fast, and that something horrible would happen if I kept up this dangerous lifestyle. Self-preservation kicked in, and I moved back home with my parents. I dropped all but one course at school. I began to work in my parents’ shop and pretty soon, I was beginning to feel better about myself. I met a great guy, a grown man with a good job, not a college boy. We quickly became serious. It was Christmas time. It snowed at Christmas that year. The world was perfect….then the bottom fell out. I realized I was pregnant. Because of the timing, I knew it wasn’t my boyfriend’s baby. I called the clinic and made my plans. Another secret to hide behind my all-too-familiar mask. I hated myself.
According to the post-abortion instructions, I was to abstain from sex for six weeks. My new boyfriend couldn’t understand why I was cutting him off suddenly, when the relationship was going so well. After a week or so, I caved in and told him about the abortion. To my surprise, he said he would have adopted the baby as his own and married me, had I just told him. I was incredibly touched at such sweetness, but at the same time, I felt a huge weight of guilt that this baby could have had a chance if I had been honest. We married that same year, but rarely ever spoke about the abortion during the 25 years we were together. Other than my husband and my old friend, no one knew. It was my secret.
I lived with my secret for ten years, feeling incredible sadness and regret, especially on my birthday. I often reminded myself that if I could take a life, nothing else I could do was nearly as bad. I had thought that marriage would make me the “good” person I wanted to be, to escape who I was. It didn’t. I was not a good and faithful wife, although to the outsider looking in, I appeared to be. I kept up appearances. My husband and I had three beautiful babies of our own. But I never felt worthy of being a mother. Mother’s Day was nearly unbearable. Why in the world was I being celebrated?! All the kids at church would bring carnations from the altar and give them to their moms. All I could think about was the child who was never given the chance to do that. I missed out on the joy of my living children, clouded with the thoughts of the one whose life I snuffed out for my own convenience. I suffered from depression and had to be medicated.
Then, one Sunday, the pastor read a passage from Psalms 139 that gripped my heart like a vise. I could no longer run away from the awful truth. I tried to resist, but my fortress began to crumble with every word of beautiful and shining truth: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and knit them together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous – and how well I know it. You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe.”
At that moment I gave up the fight. I took accountability for my guilt. Then I handed the guilt over to God and was given forgiveness and an incredible, supernatural peace in return. As is customary in the Baptist church, there was an altar call at the end of the sermon. I could not have remained in my seat if I had tried, so strong was the prompting of the Holy Spirit that day. I answered the altar call, and I spoke to the congregation from the front of the sanctuary. I revealed my secret and asked my family and church to forgive me. I remember I stayed at the front of the church for the next hour after the service ended, as person after person came up to embrace me and say encouraging words. Some had tears in their eyes and said nothing. I knew their secret. Others shared how they were touched by my disclosure. One man from the congregation shared that he had fathered an aborted child and had carried the burden of guilt for a number of years. He, too, was ready to be forgiven. Over the next week, I received a dozen or so cards and letters of support from people in the church. They were the very picture of Jesus, casting no stones. And my parents, who were there that day as well, said they loved me still and would have supported me had I told them about the pregnancy way back then.
Over the next 22 years after my church confession, I would think often about the finality of my decision, but the pain was gone. I came to terms with what I did. Understand that I did not feel justified that I chose abortion. I continued to feel tremendous regret, and I suppose I always will. I regret that I lacked the courage to go through with the pregnancy. I regret that I didn’t give my parents the benefit of the doubt about their ability to love me despite not living up to their expectations. I still cry about it at times. Regrets, so many regrets….. But I knew I’d been forgiven, that slate wiped clean by Christ’s compassion and promises. I thought that since I was forgiven that I was healed and that maybe, somehow, I could help other women who had chosen abortion and were hurting. But I was FAR from being healed, and God knew this.
In many respects, I was still in the grip of my past. The behaviors that began when I was an innocent ten year old continued as an informed adult with no excuse. I slipped back into a double life, cycling between faithfulness and devotion (to my family and my God) and a seedy existence that was carefully hidden from everyone. I compartmentalized and even kept it from my own thoughts when I wasn’t actively engaged in it. The mask was firmly in place. I knew I had a problem, but I was powerless to control it. It eroded the foundational trust in my marriage and ultimately led to its demise. I am certain that it had an effect on my children; they were perceptive and knew things weren’t right, no matter how well I tried to conceal. But God had a plan. He knew that I would come to a point where I would reach out for help.
And eventually I did. I was post-divorce and in my ultimate rock-bottom place. I had caused everyone a lot of pain. In my shame, I began to reach out for God. And He answered. Just like when He cancelled the guilt of my abortion, He embraced me and forgave me for all that I had become; totally unmerited favor, total grace. What an awesome God! He put people into my life that helped to turn me around. I met and married a man who insisted on church attendance. At first I went just to please him, but soon I realized what I had been missing out on. I gradually grew in my long-dormant faith and began a fresh relationship with God. My new husband encouraged me to seek professional counseling for the sexual abuse and subsequent fall-out that had nearly destroyed my life. I went to a Christian counselor who specialized in sexual abuse and addiction. So many layers were peeled back and my serious issues finally dealt with. Through this counseling, God revealed more and more my need for HIM to be the focus of my life. And when I surrendered to His will, a beautiful spiritual unfolding began.
A pivotal point in my journey came when I attended the Amazing Grace Women’s Retreat. I met Saundra Decker at this retreat. She shared her testimony about God’s grace following her abortions and how He set her feet on solid ground after years of living in pain and ugliness. Through her encouragement, and the support of my husband, I attended an abortion recovery bible study called Surrendering the Secret. This class opened my eyes to so much! I was able to process the anger and the grief associated with my abortion. I finally saw my aborted child as an individual with a personality. I had always wondered about the child who never was. Through prayer and surrender, God gifted me with the certainty that my lost child was a boy, and I gave him the name Kenneth Benjamin Miller. I was able to honor his memory at a beautiful memorial service. He is real to me now, not just a shadow linked to my abortion and the old guilt associated with it. I can now visualize how I’ll meet Christ AND my child in heaven one day, and that I’ll be greeted by both of them with open arms. Now I am healed. I am a willing vessel, ready to serve the Lord by helping women whose path of abortion and suffering I understand so well. God has blessed me abundantly and I am so pleased to be able to give back through the ministry that is so aptly named: Abortion Hurts. God Heals!
“And they overcame him [Satan] because of the blood of the Lamb [Jesus] and because of the word of their [Suzi’s] testimony……” Revelation 12:11 “For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt, your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things.” Isaiah 59:3My testimony begins January 1975 at age 16. Months earlier I learned I was pregnant by a man that worked for my parents. His girlfriend, a friend I thought I could trust, had told him that I was raped when I was thirteen. He used that knowledge and my fear of my mother to get me to have sex with him.Because I was a ward of the state, my social workers took me on December 16, 1976, to have a suction abortion at a clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I didn’t understand all of it. I just knew that my foster mother said get rid of it or you don’t live here. After a long day, they drove me back home. I was still pregnant. The woman’s clinic said I was too far along to have a suction abortion. The word abortion wasn’t what was used though.
I remember on Christmas day my mother’s anger towards me. I was so nervous that I accidently broke one of her mixing bowls that had stuck to the other bowl. She was so upset, she was yelling at me, accusing me of ruining Christmas for everyone. To make matters worse I told the man I was pregnant and he told me to lie and to use the name of a guy he had been in the army with many years ago, because he didn’t want them to know it was him. I did, but they didn’t believe me, so I finally told them the truth. They spoke with him and he lied to them, and sadly they believed him and not me. It was truly the first time I thought of taking my life. When my mother told me that I was still lying – that he said he never touched me and yes I had come to his house to see the new kittens, (the story he made up in case someone saw me leaving his house). I was doing the dishes when she said they believed him. I was washing a knife and I laid it on my wrist with the thought of cutting my wrist to end it all.
My case workers set up an appointment with the hospital that the woman’s clinic said would do the type of abortion that was needed for being as far along as I was. Again we made the long trip to Pittsburgh, this time to West Penn Hospital. I remember the woman explaining all that would happen. She shared with me that it was not really a baby at this point but tissue like that of liver, not formed. She also said that the discomfort would not be any more than what I experience when having menstrual cramps. She explained that they would numb my adnominal area below the belly button and insert a needle. I don’t recall them ever using the word abortion, but using a word like “terminate”. Given I didn’t have the knowledge of things like teens do today, I didn’t understand everything. I just knew I didn’t want my parents angry at me anymore and wanted to get back to way it used to be.
My case workers brought me home and explained everything to my parents. They would pick me up and drive me to Pittsburgh on Sunday, January 5, 1975. We would stay in a motel that night and they would take me to the hospital, get me admitted and stay till my parents got there early Monday morning, January 6. Monday came and it was time to go to West Penn Hospital. Little did I know how that day would affect the rest of my life.
I remember going into a huge room with at least 25 or more hospital beds. There were all the usual things that nurses do, checking your vitals, questions, etc. To the left of me there was a woman in her middle to late twenties, having the same thing done and to the right of me a girl a year younger than me. We were all three just waiting for them to take each of us back.
They first took the woman to my left. She shared this was the second time she had this done. She told us it wasn’t that bad. She said the risk of spina bifida was very high in her family and that both times the doctors felt it was best for her to have it done, since her first child died from it. When she returned, I remember looking to see if she was hurting. She didn’t seem different so that eased my nervousness. A few hours later she was uncomfortable, I didn’t understand why and the nurses pulled the curtain so that we could no longer see her. After few hours she was discharged and left.
I was next. I remember the long walk down the hall. I entered a room with a doctor and nurses there. They seemed friendly. They had me lie down and they prepped my abdomen to keep it sterile. The doctor said that I would feel a little sting from being numbed. I thought, okay that wasn’t so bad and how my menstrual cramps are worse than that, recalling what they had told me weeks earlier, that it wouldn’t hurt any more than what your menstrual cramps do.
Next, I saw the doctor with a larger needle. I remember her saying not to move and try to relax. No problem I thought since when they used the tiny needle to see if I could feel it, I couldn’t because of being numbed. She put the needle in and pushed it into my abdomen and the pain that went through my body was beyond words. (Even now as I write this the emotions affect me with tears and my heart is racing. I wanted to call my best friend that understands but didn’t want to bother her at work. God is so good because she just happened to call me, she shared that she been praying for me.) I started screaming for them to stop, the doctor was yelling at me to stop moving and I tried but the pressure was beyond words. She yelled for the nurses to hold me down. I remember nurses holding my arms, legs and one holding my head so tightly to stop me from moving. Fluid was shooting out of the needle. (Not knowing till years later that the fluid was the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby.) She took a syringe and removed 60 c.c. of the amniotic fluid (I am sure they didn’t count what was coming out) then she took a large syringe and put in 180 c.c. of 23.4% sodium chloride through the needle to my womb which even made the extreme pressure worse. Once that was done I kept saying how I was in pain. Trust me the doctor was not patient or comforting, she kept saying don’t move. I was shaking, crying, sick at my stomach, the pain going through me was like nothing I had ever felt before.
They rolled me back to my room once they saw that I was a little more calmed down. Once in bed I laid there. I don’t recall them saying what would happen next. They then took the younger girl back. When she returned she was crying. I know it bothered me because I knew what she had just gone through. They don’t tell you the truth about the pain.
The nurse said that my parents were there to see me. My mom told me that they had been there earlier but that is when, well we know what was going on then.
The rest of the afternoon the young girl and I were alone. We talked about the usual things teens would talk about. My parents came back later that evening to visit, but didn’t stay long.
I remember thinking okay is this over, wondering if things had happened and I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I slept that night off and on because I remember I would at times feel this pain in my stomach area or something moving around. The nurses would give me some medicine that seemed to help. I was also hooked up to an IV.
January 7, early in the morning, things changed. I was throwing up. I was feeling something moving inside my lower abdomen and was having very sharp pain. I called for the nurse and asked her why my stomach was moving around. She checked my abdomen and told me that it was just my muscles tightening. (Sadly, I learned the truth years later. It was my baby moving around as she was slowing dying from breathing in the sodium chloride that replaced the amniotic fluid.) Then I felt pain and as if I was peeing myself.
Around noon, the pain got worse, sharp pain one after the other. I noticed that they pulled my curtain around like they did for the first woman that went before me. I tried so hard not to cry out because I didn’t want to scare the young girl beside me, as the reality was she would soon be going through the same thing. I remember grabbing the head of the bed as I would try to get through the pain, a pain that I didn’t understand. I thought it would never end. I noticed also that one nurse was staying with me more, coming in and putting her fingers in to check something (I didn’t know about any of this kind of stuff at 16 and had no friends that had a baby to tell me.) She would also press on my abdomen, and she put a bed pan under me. I could feel pressure and then I felt something come out. It felt like a sliding feeling and I heard it fall in the bed pan. The nurse started pushing on my abdomen again, and I felt a tugging feeling inside, not knowing what she was doing. She removed the pan, I remember she covered it up with a cloth and handed it to another nurse. She removed some pads that she placed under me before placing the bed pan. Afterwards she cleaned me up. She gave me some more meds and walked out of the room. I laid there not understanding anything that had just happened to me, wondering if this over now or was something else going to happen.
At this point it was little after one in the afternoon. Not even an hour after the nurse with the bed pan left, another nurse came in and told me they would be taking me down to make sure everything was okay. The room she took me in was the same room that I had been in the day before. I was scared but the male doctor explained to me that they wanted to make sure that everything had expelled. Being a teen, I didn’t understand what that meant. They would use a curette for the curettage of the endometrial cavity. Again I felt pressure that was uncomfortable but not as bad as the last time being in that room. He joked with me and it bothered me. Afterwards I was taken back to my room.
My parents came in. My mother had a gift for me and asked how I was doing. I said I was okay. She had no idea of the nightmare I had just gone through and I wasn’t about to tell her. The gift was a blue skirt. (I still have it to this day.) She took me to the bathroom and she brushed my hair, and washed my face. Again she asked how I was doing. I told her I was okay. It’s as if I felt she was happy. I was confused. The past history of her abuse, the last months of her anger toward me, why was she being so kind to me now? Was it because now no one in our town or their business would find out I was ever pregnant? I wanted to think that she was hurting for me – that maybe she felt bad.
Later on that evening the nurse told me that things looked good and I could go home that evening. BUT, something happened that would change me wanting to leave that evening. The girl that was younger than me started to go through a lot of pain and throwing up. Her mother wasn’t there. It bothered me to think of her going through this alone. The nurse once told us that there have been times that every bed was filled in that huge room. Well this evening that wasn’t the case and so I lied to the nurse and told her that my stomach wasn’t feeling well and was still having pain. I know my parents were not happy from the expression on their faces when the nurse said they would like to keep me overnight to make sure there were no issues.
Things didn’t go as quickly with the young girl. Her water had broken and she had not passed the baby. She was in pain all night. I would call the nurse when she needed her, and I even sat and held her hand.
January 8, 1975, that morning while still dark outside, things started happening and they pulled the curtain. When the nurse wasn’t there I talked to her through the curtain. I knew what she was about to go through and I cried in my pillow for her as she cried out in pain.
The nurse told me that my parents would be there soon. The young girl asked if I had any change because she needed to use the pay phone to call her mother to come get her. We did keep in touch for a short time. She wrote me a letter saying how she appreciated me staying with her. She knew I lied so that she would not be alone. She even taped the change she borrowed to the letter. She told me that I would make a great nurse and I had a kind heart. That was the only letter I received from her. I never forgot about her and even to this day wonder how she is doing. I wonder if she also learned of the truth of how they had lied to us or if she struggled or found peace, healing, comfort and forgiveness through Jesus. Did someone come into her life as someone did mine by the name of Karen Cross that changed my life through hearing her testimony? That there could be healing from the painful memories, that Jesus loved her and that He forgave her and one day she would forgive herself and all those involved with her abortion.
January8, I was discharged. My parents didn’t say much to me. As we drove down the road my dad asked how I was doing. My mother spoke up and said that we would never talk about this ever again. We stopped at a store and they bought me a pocket camera. As I look back was it a reward for having the abortion. I wanted things to go back to normal or should say the way things were before all this. Get back to school, band, working in my parents restaurant. But, things would never be as it was.
I went back to school. My mother told them I had a kidney infection and had to go out of town to a hospital. I tried to be who I used to be, but that would never be. I had nightmares. I wondered if people knew, I didn’t want to eat lunch with the other girls and would go and eat in my English teacher’s room. I used the excuse that I wanted to do school work. I kept thinking of how the man lied every time I saw him working at my parents business, the times they invited him to have dinner with us. I thought of taking my life because I didn’t understand the pain but I wanted it to stop and I didn’t want to see that man’s face every day. My foster older brother knew I was now more the black sheep and he would lie to mom and make it worse. She would say I messed things up in the home. But I held it all in, trying so hard to make her and my dad proud of me.
A few months after my abortion, while waiting for my mom to have tests done at the local hospital, I saw a Newsweek magazine (March 3, 1975 edition) and on the front page it said in white letters and red background “ABORTION and the LAW,” I saw a picture of a baby on the front that was inside the sack and below it were FIVE words I read that threw me into a spiraling reality of what I had done and how I had been lied to and I was 18+ weeks along. The five words were “A 16-Week-Old Fetus.” I can’t even express in words the emotion, thoughts going through my head. I remember running out to the car and sitting there screaming, “They lied to me, they lied to me.” It was a fully-formed baby, not tissue like liver that I had been told. I sat there crying. The image of that picture of that baby was burned into my memory. My mother came to the car and asked what was wrong and I told her. Sadly, I can’t repeat what she said to me. Clearly she wasn’t showing an ounce of understanding or sympathy.
After that day, things truly were never the same. To this day I don’t trust doctors. I went into depression. I remember hanging out with one of the women that worked in our restaurant that had a newborn baby. I held her baby because she was doing something and she was fussy so she handed her to me. As I was holding her I looked down into her face and I just burst out in tears and I could not stop crying and crying. My friend took the baby and laid her down and then came to me and asked what was wrong. I couldn’t tell her. Finally in time I did.
I hated myself, I hated everything about myself. I didn’t care about myself and I tried two times to take my life. I went to church but felt such shame. I thought there was no way God could ever forgive me. I hated that the guy that lied to my parents still worked for them. It would make me sick to see them laugh together or sit in my home. In my mind, I would scream “tell them the truth!” I wanted to put a gun to his head and scream tell them the truth. The abuse with my mom and brother worsened.
My dream was to be a nurse. But, my mother felt that I was not smart enough and said I should do hair. I so wanted her to be proud of me. She reminded me time and time again how I messed things up. So I went to beauty school.
There are things women that have had an abortion will do to deal with the pain. Some drink, do drugs or some become overly sexually active because they just don’t care who uses them. Well, I was the latter of the three. I didn’t care. I felt there was no one that could love me.
Even while going to beauty school I did end up living at my English teacher’s house from high school and her husband was a pastor. I went to church with them. There was a revival and they mentioned the babies that were dying from abortion. I sat there trying to hold it together. Then they sang this song and I slowly got up and went outside and cried. My teacher came out to check on me. I said nothing but she said, Honey we will talk when we get home. Once home, I was downstairs doing schoolwork and she came down. She looked at me with such kind eyes and said, “Suzi when you were in high school did you have an abortion?” I couldn’t believe what came out of her mouth. I started to cry. I asked who told you. She said no one – she saw the change in the girl I used to be. How I pulled away from people. She could see the signs of depression, pain in my eyes. I didn’t laugh and smile like I used to. She sat and held me as I cried and told her what happened.
After finishing up going to beauty school, I went home for a while and tried to help my parents in their business. I met a man that was older than I. I think it’s because he was soft spoken and kind. We dated and my mother hated him. By then I had moved back to Morgantown. We even lived together. Four and half years into the relationship I learned I was pregnant. I was surprised because my boyfriend had heard some people talking about a young girl that her mother forced her to have an abortion and that the girl didn’t know it but her mother had them tie her tubes. When he told me this, he realized when I shared about my abortion that it was me they were talking about because the guy had said my mother’s name. I thought was this what the guy was really doing that day that my baby was aborted. Tying my tubes? I had no means to find out. So when I learned I was pregnant that was an emotional release that it was nothing but a rumor. He had been divorced, raised his kids and really didn’t want any more kids. I also knew how my parents – especially my mother – would react. So since I had one abortion and it was later, maybe with this one being early wouldn’t be as bad. I really didn’t want to go through with it but I was drained with fighting so I went to the Human Services Department, got a Medical Card and contacted an abortion clinic that was about hour away from where I lived.
So we drove up, stayed at a motel and went early the next morning to the clinic. He said that he needed to find a dentist because his tooth was bothering him so I went upstairs alone. I remember going in and being handed all the forms to fill out. I sat there for about hour. A woman took me back to confirm the pregnancy. She asked me about the information I had put down and asked about the first abortion. I remember this sick feeling as I recalled. The anger of being lied to. I told her about how they lied to me about the pain. That it was not tissue like liver, that it was fully formed and so on. She said how traumatic that kind of abortion was on a girl so young. She informed me that since I was I think only ten weeks that I was not to worry that it was not formed yet.
She took me back to a room where I got undressed, put the gown on and laid back on the table. She talked with me as we waited for the doctor to come in. She told me what he would do. That he would numb me to. I remember me saying I don’t want numbed. She said I needed to be and I said NO! I felt that I deserved to feel the pain because of what I was about to do. She held my hand and as the pain was so intense she kept telling me to look at the different colored dots they had on the ceiling to look at. I cried and cried through the pain. I remember the pressure – I don’t really remember the sound. I do remember an instrument he picked up that hurt when he used it, but I kept it in as much as I could because I felt I deserved the pain.
Afterwards she helped me get dressed. My legs felt funny, like I couldn’t feel them and she helped me back to the room to lie down. She asked if I wanted some juice or some crackers I said no. I sat there just crying and looking straight ahead.
My boyfriend was in the waiting room and I overheard the nurse telling him that I seemed to be in shock. Just to wait and let me talk when ready. I cried all the way home. I went to bed and cried and cried and cried. I didn’t eat. We didn’t speak though he tried to talk with me. Two days later I pushed it all in and went to work. Put on a false face to get through, would go home and to bed and cry. I cried so much that my face was drawn on one side from the stress. Every day for a month I cried. A few months later the relationship with the gentleman ended. To this day I don’t remember the date, day, or time of that abortion. I only remember that it was November the week before my state boards. A year after almost to the time of that abortion the father of that baby tried to get back with me. He cried and said how sorry he was for pushing me to have an abortion – that he had no idea the emotional pain that it would have on both of us. The next day after coming to talk with me he took his life.
Months later a friend asked me to go to church with her. I struggled because I wondered how God could forgive me. Not only did I have one abortion but I had two. Now churches were speaking out more about abortion, the killing and taking the life of the unborn. Each word a pastor would speak or someone speaking on it would stir up flashes of memories and emotions and shame. I would slip out, go home and cry. I would go to another church. Again, the same guilt, shame to even ask for God or Jesus to forgive me or even more what if other Christians knew I had two abortions? What would they think of me? How would they judge me?
So I didn’t go to church as often. I met my future husband through a co worker where I managed a business. We started dating, got engaged and few months later I found out I was pregnant. We married. My son was due the latter part of August. I remember the first time I felt him moving, my thoughts flashed back and I thought, “oh my God, what I felt at sixteen was my baby moving around inside me.” Then my water broke, and I went into labor. The reality of what happened back on January 7, 1975, began to hit me: my water had broken, I had been in labor and I had delivered a baby.
The emotions were running high. First my son was not due for another six weeks. I began to think because of my abortions he was coming early. When we got to the hospital they said because my water broke that I would have to stay there. My husband said he would go home because the nurses said it would be a while since it was my first child. They were concerned because they knew he was coming too soon. I did sleep some and at four something in the morning the labor pain hit. My brain registered that I had felt this pain before. They tried to get ahold of my husband but they couldn’t so I was there alone giving birth and scared I would lose him because of coming too soon. My son was born and I heard that first cry and they said he had all his fingers and toes. Then when they were letting me see him they rushed him out of the room. My heart sank. I could tell by their expression something was wrong. They rushed him to NICU because of being born so early. I didn’t get to hold him for a whole week. As I looked into his face, I thought about the two babies I would never know.
When I held him finally so many emotions ran through my mind and my heart. Such joy to hold him, but in the back of my mind I thought of the two babies I would never hold.
As time went on I wondered if Jesus came now if I would go to Heaven. I had enough head knowledge of the Bible but not as much heart knowledge because I felt no way could I be forgiven. I also felt He would take my son for he was an innocent little baby. So I started watching Christian TV, I started praying. I didn’t talk about my abortions when I prayed. At times I asked God to forgive me after my first but I thought could he really forgive me because of taking their lives? Even when people would say they felt I was forced, I still struggled whether I could be forgiven.
When my son was about three years old I started going to a new church, Covenant Evangelical Methodist Church. I had only gone there a couple of Sundays and really liked it. I loved the family friendly church, loved how the pastor gave the message. But, one Sunday I went, my emotions really flipped on a roller coaster. It was a Sunday in January known as “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.” I didn’t understand what it was about.
Pastor Ed got up and started to speak after the praise and worship. He told us what the Sunday meant and said they had a special speaker that would be sharing her testimony. As he spoke he talked about babies that die daily from abortion. That since Roe v Wade so many babies had died. I wanted to get up and leave but I thought I can get through this.
My mind was trying to tune him out and I was starting to get angry. Then he introduces this very well dressed, beautiful blond named Karen Cross. She began to talk, saying that she had her notes, but felt God wanted her to use the blank pages. (God had other plans of what she was about to say that changed a person’s life that day and I am sure others in the room as well. I am glad she didn’t use her notes.) She shared about what the Sunday meant and she talked about women that have had abortions. Shared how the babies die from different types of abortions. I wanted to scream at her to shut up. I was having major flash backs of my abortions.
I kept saying in my head shut up, shut up. I wanted to slap her face off and tell her to just stop. After I felt I could take no more I went to get up and leave. I couldn’t. I tried to rise up again and couldn’t. It’s as if there were hands pushing me back down, holding me there. She kept talking and then she said, “Jesus can forgive women that have had abortions.” It caught my attention, especially when she talked about healing from the nightmares, pain, depression, thoughts of taking your life, healing and forgiveness for those that either pushed for the abortion, forgiveness for those that performed the abortion and so on.
She shared about her own pain and I realized someone understood, as if she was talking about the very emotions and struggles I had been living with for years. At that point I couldn’t wait to go up to her and learn more about the post abortion bible studies that help women with healing. I did and she was so kind, she shared with me information to find the help needed. (If she only knew what I had thought of her just less than half hour before.) That Sunday changed my life and helped me realize what an amazing Heavenly Father I had and what Jesus did for me on the cross.
I did go to the bible studies, and events that were pro-life. Even a couple of weeks after meeting Karen Cross that Sunday, I ran into her at an Amy Grant concert. Of all the thousands of people there I saw her. I ran up to her and gave her a hug.
After that and the bible studies I realized Jesus had forgiven me. I had a peace that I had not felt in many, many, years. I also had to learn to forgive myself. It was easier to ask Jesus to forgive me but forgiving myself was another thing. In time I realized that not forgiving myself was putting me above Jesus and what he did for me. Saying that his dying on the cross was not still enough for me to even forgive myself.
Through the time of healing, learning more about the truth of what abortion does to not just the babies but the women, and the families. Karen and I became closer friends. I even started working at the state office with Karen. Wow the huge, huge amount of information. I admit some of the pictures I would see were hard to look at. I remember the first picture of a baby that had died the same way my first did, then to see the pictures of how my second baby died. I even had a chance to be the speaker at a few Walk for Life events. During my time at WVFL I became pregnant with my second child. Again near the end of the pregnancy I started having contractions and I feared that I would have her early. I began to understand about what effects abortions could have on a woman in the future. My son came early and my daughter was trying to as well. She did manage to come closer to her due date. As I began to share more I decided to take and write for my records from West Penn Hospital. I called and they sent me the forms I would have to fill out. This was late 1990; sixteen years after my abortion at West Penn Hospital. I received a fully stuffed envelope, with the postmark date, Jan 22, 1991, from West Penn Hospital.
I didn’t open it and waited till I would get back to the office the next day so that Karen could be there with me. As I opened it, it had all my records from those three days. As I read I thought more lies. Especially how well they said I did, or what they called it: “Saline Therapeutic Abortion.” “Therapeutic.” Are they kidding me? I began to feel the anger I felt when I first realized how they lied to me. I learned that my baby was a girl, she was 21 cm. and she was 5 2/3 oz.
I cried and cried and Karen held me. I was so thankful to have her there with me. After calming down some, I began to look through the rest of the papers the hospital records sent. Then I came across one that no words can express the emotion I felt as I looked at it. I began to truly lose it with uncontrollable tears. Before me was a copy of a death certificate. “A DEATH CERTIFICATE!”
I was never told that there would be a death certificate. After some of the shock was over, we continued to look at the rest of the papers. Then we came across one that we both just stood there. It was the pathology report. Remember the baby was aborted Jan 7, the date on the report was Jan 15. It said “specimen and consists of fetus of indeterminate sex which is macerated.” Wow, eight days my baby sat in whatever they had her in to the point they could not tell her sex.
After seeing all this – especially the death certificate— I thought if there was a copy at the hospital there had to be some record of her death at the state vital statistics. So I called their office, again received the forms I needed printed out and few weeks later received my baby’s death certificate that is recorded for all those that died on Jan 7, 1975. But there was more to this certificate, there was the state seal, as well as on the bottom a funeral directors signature. It also had marked “cremation.” That hit me like a ton of bricks.
I can’t express what it meant to have Karen there with me, who is my best friend and today very close like sisters. Through the years she has been there for me when a memory would come back or an emotion would bother me and sometimes I didn’t know at the time it had to do with my abortions. Like when I told her my mom was cremated and it upset me so much that she was and then it hit me why.
Because my second child tried to come early I had to stop working for WVFL. Though I would do what I could to help get the truth of abortion out there: help with mailings and educate people about the truth.
In 1994, there was a young lady that was going to be speaker at the WVFL Convention. Her name was Gianna Jessen. As I heard who this amazing woman was. There was a heaviness in my heart at the thought of meeting her. She was a young lady that had survived the very type of abortion that my daughter died from. I struggled with going to the convention. How could I look into the face of someone knowing what was done to my daughter? The day came and trust me my nerves were on overload. As I walked in the room there were people there speaking with her and her mother. Karen knew I was very nervous meeting her. I had gotten her a small gift. I first spoke to her mother. Karen was with me, we then went over and Karen introduced me to Gianna. I looked into the face of a beautiful young woman. The emotions overwhelmed me as I tried to hold myself together. I shared why I was nervous to meet her. What happened next still today was from God. She looked at me and then gave me a warm hug. It was so healing. She and her mother shared how they pray for women like me that struggle with their abortions. When I first went in I had a feeling of such guilt and shame to meet her, but I walked away with knowing more of God’s love through a young girl that didn’t know how healing it was to meet her.
In 1995, I was pregnant with my third child. Things were going along fine with the pregnancy until the last few months when she dropped down so low that they put me on a six week bed rest. Again my baby was trying to come early and the reality was the floor of my uterus struggled to hold the babies where they should be until the due date. She ended up being born just a few days before her due date. Praise God.
Matter of fact, when I was pregnant with my third child I was 38. Usually having a baby this late they would do an Amniocentesis test. Both of my doctors were pro-life and knew of my testimonies about my abortions, especially the one at sixteen. They didn’t want to do the test because it required them to put a needle down to the womb to get some amniotic fluid. They felt that doing that would be very unhealthy for me because of the emotional trauma of that abortion and could cause me to lose the baby I was carrying.
Between my two girls, I had a miscarriage. After the miscarriage I had some problems with bleeding and they needed to do a DNC. I was so nervous knowing what they were about to do was what they did after my first abortion and for my second abortion. The nurse could tell that I was struggling and she asked if I wanted my friend Cindy to come. I said yes and the nurse also said she would be praying for me. As they both held my hand and they started. Emotions flashed back to my abortions – both of them. I started shaking and crying and I told the doctors that they feel abortion is so good for women but they don’t’ realize the long-term trauma they go through and how it affects them many years later.
In 2004, we learned that my oldest daughter had cancer: Neuroblastoma. It required that we not only go through chemo where we lived at the Children’s Hospital but also go to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. Because she had to have stem cells removed, I remember one night unable to sleep watching her sleep and watching the tube move with each beat of her heart that was in her neck removing the blood that would be going through a machine and then returned to her body. As I sat there I thought that just across the city at another hospital my first baby girl died from an abortion.
I cried out to God. I knew he was with me through my daughter’s cancer because of things he was showing me. Yet, the mixed emotions of remembering my first daughter and not knowing if my second daughter would make it through all she was going through. My faith was strong. I had grown a lot in my walk. I also wasn’t going to let Satan start with his attacks either like we know that he will try to do. I remember telling my daughter when she asked if she could die from this. I told her God would heal her one of two ways: either He would heal her here on earth and we would share in the glory of what He had done or He would take her home and she would stand in His glory. I could say that because I learned through the post-abortion bible studies how wonderful my Heavenly Father was, how amazing my Lord and Savior was and how GREAT their love was. I will say that she did make it through the chemo, the surgery to remove the nine pound tumor and the stem cell.
At this point one may wonder what she went through has to do with what I went through with my abortions. Well, a year after her treatments and she was off the meds that had stopped her periods because there were times her platelets got so low she would have severe nose bleeds. They were concerned if she continued to have periods she could bleed to death. We made an appointment for her physical with an OB/GYN doctor and told them she had not started. The doctor said that can happen when a teen as young as her, (she was 12 years old when we learned of the cancer) that it can take some time. But, she said they would do tests to see how her hormone levels were.
When the doctor called, I could tell in her voice something was wrong. As she started to share with me the test results she started to cry and said she was so sorry but my daughter was like a woman in menopause and that she would never be able to have children. I cried, I could not find any words. All I could do is tell her thank you for calling. I was home alone and I cried and then I thought of my abortions. Here my daughter can never have a baby and I had taken two babies’ lives. Satan was trying to have a field day with that one. But, I began to pray and stand on God’s word. I had to tell her and it was so hard but she seemed to handle it OK. They even sent us to a reproductive doctor that told us the same thing I stood on the fact that God was the ultimate physician.
Six months later my daughter said she wanted to tell me something and she didn’t want me to get all upset or excited. I had no idea what she was going to tell me. I sat down on her bed and she said she had started her period. Mind you it took all my energy not to jump up and down and praise God. I told her how important it was for her to have them at her age. She cried, she said she didn’t want them. I joked with her some to get her to smile. I told her I can imagine her going to sleep and telling God that next time mom is praying for something to come to her first. Sadly when she married and got pregnant, she miscarried.
As a mother of two aborted babies, I don’t forget about them. I know they are with Jesus and one day I will meet them along with the baby I miscarried. January 7 of last year was harder than most years remembering my baby. A dear friend of mine that had been sick was in the hospital. Her time to leave this world and stand before our Lord was nearing. I was at the hospital all day with her family. I talked with my dear friend, talked to her about Jesus, told her I would keep her dear husband in prayer. They were so very close. I sang Amazing Grace to her. Through it all there were moments I had to go and be alone as I was remembering where I was forty plus years ago. I thought how she would be seeing her loved ones that went before her. What a reunion, then I thought of the day I would see the faces of my babies.
Through the years we have heard more and more about people that have survived being aborted. Karen loaned me a book to read, “You Carried Me.” As I began reading there were times that it took me back. One point in the book I just broke down and cried and cried. It really hit home for me, I could so connect with what her birth mother went through. Being forced to do something that she didn’t want.
I could share so much more with my journey of healing from my abortions. The healing is a journey, you can be going along in life and something flashes you back to that day, an emotion that you may not understand why something is affecting you so deeply. I can’t even imagine where I would be if I hadn’t been sitting in that church that day and hearing Karen share. I know I am so thankful and so blessed by the friendship that grew over the years. She has seen me through the roughest moments through my healing, through seeing my daughter go through cancer and hearing my cries when told she could not have children and how I struggled with the guilt. Even as I was writing this as I shared, she called when I needed her encouragement and prayers.
I must say that God knew long before that Sunday that one day my healing would begin, that I would share with others my testimony, that I would receive my records and in it be a copy of something so powerful that when I have faced those, especially politicians that are pro-death and challenge them that babies are living and alive in the womb. I ask them why someone would be given a death certificate. The answer is always because they have died. Then I ask what happens that the doctor announces the time of death. The answer is that their heart has stopped. Then I show them my daughter’s death certificate. I tell them to look and see how she died. Then I tell them if she is counted for dying in Pennsylvania, has a death certificate that means that she was alive before January 7, 1975.
I must share that not only the prayers of those praying helped me get through 21 pages of memories, but also recalling my daughter Heather sharing something with me months ago when she read in John 5:8, where Jesus held a man and told him to take up his mat. She said that it was interesting how he didn’t just tell the man to just go. But, he told him to take his mat. That mat represented who he used to be. A man that spent years and years on a mat unable to walk. I can imagine the man saying, see this mat, I laid on it year after year because I could not walk, but Jesus came and healed me. In the beginning my testimony was the mat, but I sit here now not laying on my mat but standing healed, sharing the truth about the lies of abortion, sharing with women the love, hope, forgiveness and healing through the blood of Jesus. The truth is the sword that cuts through the lies of those that fight to hide the truth of what happens to the babies and to the women and families that go through abortions.
This is my story of redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ:
I grew up in a Christian/broken family and was a product of divorce by the tender age of 1. I had 2 step dads by the time I turned 5. My mom had a successful marriage with my step dad #2, and my half sister and half brother were born shortly thereafter. I was always very involved in church, and I believe I was saved at 10 years of age.
I was born In Mayaguez, P.R., but moved to Miami, Fl at 11 years old. I was placed in public school. In Puerto Rico the schools weren’t very good. So, as you can imagine, I was very anxious, not only about the move, but about starting in the middle of my fifth grade year in a public school and a strange city. It didn’t give me enough time to make any friends and made it twice as difficult. I made some friends that summer and began to embrace the new environment at my new middle school.
A year later, at the end of 7th grade, my mom got offered a teaching position at a small Baptist Christian School. When she accepted, it was new for me all over again. Getting acceptance as one of the teacher’s daughters was very difficult, and I didn’t make “Girl Friends” very easily. It wasn’t until my 9th grade year that I started showing interest in boys, and I started dating . I fell head over heels for my first boyfriend! He had a passion for Jesus just like I did, and he also got teased for being the Pastor’s/Principal’s grandson. We had so much in common. Not only was he my “boyfriend”, but my best friend. I had so many emotions and hormones flowing, and I had finally gotten my fist kiss and lets not talk about all those butterflies in my stomach.
I quickly learned that what I envisioned as love was only a quick experiment for this boy. That summer of ninth grade, my boyfriend started dating a close friend of mine, and we broke up. I was devastated and started feeling rejected and unloved, those where the same feelings that I had when my Father would break promises and not want to see me or spend time with me.
Apparently, I wasn’t dealing with all the daddy issues I had. I also didn’t realize that I already had a Daddy that loved and cherished me, and that He wanted me even before I was conceived! I was the daughter of the One true KING! But I’ll get to that in a little bit…
That was about the time that there was a turning point in my life. During the summer of my 9th grade year, my family took us kids on a camping trip to a beach. That was a cool experience, especially when I didn’t want to think about my breakup and all the emotions that came along with it. It was there that I met this cute boy a year older than me, and he swept me off my feet. He put me on the back of his jet ski and that was it! My teenage hormones and his, we thought we were invincible and that we were soulmates. I finally felt “loved, important, worthy, cherished”.
We immediately started dating and quickly turned into something more serious. We became intimate a month into the relationship. I lost my virginity and basically Lost it all! It was very painful and embarrassing.
That’s when I fell… I fell so deep, spiraling down into the lies that satan had fed to me. It was May of 2000. A week before Mother’s Day, I peed on a stick and bam! FEAR CAME OVER ME! I felt an urge to throw up. There was no escaping my mistake. This consequence would haunt me for the rest of my life. I told my boyfriend and he knew the solution, I had never heard of abortion and I had heard of adoption through a girl that got pregnant at my school the year prior. She was sent away to a young girls school who were all in the same predicament, hidden away from the world. It was so shameful if I were to tell my mother. My boyfriend then asked the person he could trust, his father and he provided the money needed to take care of this dire problem that was his “grandchild” we then called a clinic named “A Woman’s Choice”. I was so scared, but felt a sense of relief, because no one else was ever going to know about this.
On May 10, 2000 (Mother’s Day Weekend) I walked into the abortion clinic with my boyfriend. There were 5 or more other women in that waiting room. The paperwork/consent forms were given to me on a clip board. I started filling them out. Anxiety crept up to the point where I wanted to run out of there and disappear. It was an uneasy feeling (maybe the Holy Spirit was nudging at my heart). I heard my name, “Jennifer Morales come on back!”
There was no turning back. I was taken to this little waiting room already in a gown. Another girl was sitting there as nervous as me. We looked at each other in the eyes as if we knew that this was going to ruin our lives.
There I was in that small waiting room watching Sleepless In Seattle ( I’ve never been able to sit through that movie again). The “nurse” came in and took the only other girl that was in line before me, out of the room. I was so alone! I felt this was wrong and still sat there waiting my turn with tears streaming down my cheeks. There was no counseling, no other options given. There was no explanation of the procedure or what consequences and risks I would be taking.
It was now my turn. I was taken into this very COLD (in every aspect of the word) and DARK room. It looked like a dentist chair with stirrups, a monitor to my left hand side, a container where the baby would go when suctioned out of my body, operation room lights in the ceiling, and an IV drip on my right(because we had paid for the sedation). I was sobbing and the nurse kept shushing me (she was not kind and was very cold, I kept telling her how scared I was. She told me she was going to start the General Anesthesia.
She started the drip and told me to think of something nice so I wouldn’t have any negative effects. I couldn’t stop sobbing. Then she had me count…100,99,98,97. The abortionist came in and sat down in front of the monitor. He pressed down hard on my belly with the ultrasound machine and said, “Yep, there it is.” He forgot to turn the monitor away and the last thing I saw was my baby. It was a real little image of a baby, my little gummy bear…
After the abortion I woke up in this room full of crying women on recliners. It was horrifying! And then the image came to mind of that little baby and then OUCH, a very big cramp! Now I had become one of those women sobbing on the recliner.
Thirty minutes passed and it truly felt like a lifetime, they finally got me my clothes. They told me to get dressed, gave me a little bag with medicine, and sent me on my way. I got in the car with my boyfriend. I then remembered it was Mother’s Day weekend, and I had to show up to the Mother’s Day brunch at my church so my mom wouldn’t sense there was anything going on. I never wanted to disappoint her.
So, I arrived an hour later at that brunch, recently butchered, and having to celebrate all those moms! What a nightmare!!!! They sat me down next to my mom and my little sister and served me a huge plate of breakfast. I was not hungry, but I took a bite so my mom wouldn’t suspect that I had just gotten an abortion. I got the urge to throw up! “Not in front of all these women!”, I thought. I ran to the bathroom with the throw up in my mouth and let it all out when I walked into the stall. I was hemorrhaging blood, which was gushing down my legs, filling my grey pants all the way down to the floor. My moms friend a fellow teacher and friend saw me and rushed to get her. My mom asked “What’s wrong? Are you ok?” I said I didn’t feel well, and she drove me home, continually asking if I was ok; Never really insisting in getting all the answers I laid down in my room and we went about our lives.
Three years pass by and I end up in the same predicament with the same boyfriend, except now I’m thinking that I get to keep this baby and make up for the one I got rid of. I remember telling my boyfriend that we could get married and everything would be fine. I was already 18 and I was sure I wanted to keep this baby.
My boyfriend refused and things got violent and out of control. I was terrified!!! Oh no! Not again! I swore this would never have to endure another abortion.
I cried uncontrollably in the waiting room of that same awful place. I then had my second abortion. It was April of 2003. To this day I block this abortion out completely. I don’t remember the procedure or the nurses or the abortionist. Its like I hit delete to it all.
I was in a spiral going from bad to worse, so many years of guilt, shame, and regret!
After divorcing the father of those two aborted babies in 2005, I hit my lowest of lows. There was lots of drinking and promiscuity! I thought God hated me already for murdering my babies. I started to resent my God. My doubts that there was even a God became a lifestyle and a crutch to live life without a care in the world. I didn’t care what happened to me and lived my life so carelessly. It was such a lonely road to be on.
For almost three years I was on a self destructive path. I moved to San Antonio searching for something. Little did I know, it was Jesus my God and savior searching for me! I was dragged to church (CBC) by my mom. I did not want to be there. But God had other plans for me! I walked out of church feeling complete again. I had hit the reset button so to speak.By rededicating my life to Christ I knew my life was never going to be the same. I had a purpose and was finally walking down the path that the Lord had laid out in front of me.
I got married in 2008 to my husband, had my first baby girl in 2009, and my second baby girl in 2012. I quietly longed for my 2 other children (my deep dark secrets) who would have been 12 & 9 years old at that time. I knew I needed help to deal with all these emotions and all of this guilt. I couldn’t let anyone see beneath my mask. How do I seek redemption if this is the unforgivable sin?
I was invited to go on The Amazing Grace women’s retreat offered by my church in April of 2012. God had plans to heal me from my abortions. I finally let the secret out that was buried for 12 & 9 years!! I felt a sense of freedom & released so much weight off my shoulders. I wanted to get baptized, the visual of the cleansing of my sins was a must. So I did and as I got out of the water, 2 of my sisters in Christ hugged me and walked me to my room to change. One of them was telling me that I had to meet this lady. That this lady knew my pain, and she was leading some classes at the church for post abortive women. It was called Surrendering The Secret. That’s when we looked up. God had placed this lady right there in front of me, like an angel. My friend said, “Well, I guess God wants you to meet now, because that is her”! Talk about a divine appointment! I didn’t have to say a thing. Her eyes glanced at my tear filled eyes. Then she pointed at these two small pins on her left shoulder. There they were, two little baby feet; and with just a nod of our heads, I knew she understood my pain. God had sent me an angel by the name of Saundra Decker.
In November of 2013, I memorialized, grieved and named my children. My 2 boys, Nathaniel & Jay. The genders were revealed to me by God in a dream a week into the class. My purpose on this earth became crystal clear. This is the story that God wanted me to share, the story of His redeeming grace in my life.
God has been so good to me, and I know my babies are waiting for me in heaven. Jesus has been taking care of them for me. And most of all, they forgive me for what I did. There is complete healing through Jesus Christ! I am Jennifer Padilla, and I am REDEEMED and SET FREE!
Please don’t hesitate in contacting me if you would like more information on alternatives to abortion or healing classes for post abortive women.
These are some of my favorite verses:
So I have reason to be enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus has done through me in my service to God. -Romans 15:17 NLT
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. -Psalm 139:13-16
Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. -Matthew 5:
At the age of 15 I became sexually active with my boyfriend. He was my first love and first consensual sexual experience. I became pregnant soon after and was both excited at the prospect of a baby and afraid of what my mother would think about it. My mother was divorced from my father and worked very hard to give me and my brother the best education and everything we needed.
I wanted to keep the baby but I was a fifteen year old child still living at home with my mother, with no way of supporting myself or a child. My mother, understandably so, was not happy that I was pregnant at such a young age. She felt I needed to finish school and having a baby at that time would ruin my life.
I reluctantly made an appointment at Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in my neighborhood. The staff was very professional and impersonal. I went in for a free pregnancy test to confirm my pregnancy. Once I received the positive pregnancy test, I was immediately advised that I could have an abortion without parental consent. No other options were discussed. Just that if I did not want to keep the baby, it was my right to terminate the pregnancy and if I did not want my parents to know or be notified, it would be kept confidential. I told my boyfriend and he asked me what did I want to do and if I was going to keep the baby. He didn’t really say much but just went along with whatever decision I made concerning the pregnancy. I wanted to keep my baby but I felt pressured by what I was told about how it would negatively change my life and the things I would miss out on by having a baby. So, I decided to “get rid of” my baby.
I don’t recall ever talking to a doctor, only nurses and staff at Planned Parenthood. Just matter of fact information about being on time for the appointment and making sure someone was there to pick me up after the procedure. When I showed up for the appointment, I was given a gown to change into and instructed to lay on a hard, stainless steel table in the room. The doctor came in, said a few words to me and begin the procedure. The nurse was there to assist the doctor and told me it would be over in no time. I heard what sounded like a vacuum machine and felt excruciating pain in my abdomen area. It was very loud and painful and it felt like he was suctioning my insides out of my body.
As I laid on the table, the reality of what I had just done hit me so hard that I begin to cry uncontrollably. I had just allowed them to rip the life of my innocent baby from my womb. I let them kill my baby and I felt terrible about it. The nurse told me it was almost over and everything would be fine. But I knew it would never be fine again. When the doctor finished he threw the gloves in the trash bin and instructed me to get up, get dressed, and meet the nurse in the room again once I got dressed. When I entered back into the room the nurse gave instructions how to take the pain pills I was prescribed and ushered me to the back room to be picked up. After a few days of bleeding and cramping, I went back to life as it was before the abortion but the painful memory of the abortion remained.
The second pregnancy happened less than a year after the abortion at the age of sixteen. This time when I went to the abortion clinic, I scheduled the appointment but miscarried the baby prior to the procedure. I distinctly remember that I miscarried the baby in the restroom toilet right before my scheduled appointment. I think this happened because the Lord knew I could not emotionally handle another abortion but I did have plans to do it again. I think I was given pills to take prior to the appointment and this may have played a part in the miscarriage. But to be honest, I truly don’t remember. The fact that I intended on going through with another abortion has still weighed heavily on me through out the years.
For years, I suffered in silence and acted like everything was okay. But it was not. I was responsible for allowing death to touch the one place designed to protect my unborn children. I allowed death to enter into my womb that was created to bring nutrients and life to my babies. Me! I was the one who walked into the abortion clinic and laid at the table. I laid there as the life of my unborn child was sucked violently from my womb and I did nothing. I believed the lie. Abort your baby and your problems will be solved. It is not a baby; it is a problem and it is your right to do what you want with your body.
I never discussed the abortions with anyone except at doctor appointments when they asked how many abortions I’ve had. My reply was always, “one abortion and one miscarriage” but I always felt, I should say “two abortions”. I carried the weight and guilt of my abortions for many years until I gave it to the Lord. I asked him to help me with the guilt, shame, and despair that I silently held within my heart over the years. When I asked for forgiveness and called out to him, he heard my cry and delivered me from the weight of the abortions. I felt free and whole for the first time in years. Now, I am free, I am able to minister to and help others through their journey of forgiveness and deliverance from the pain of abortion.
When they tell you that abortion is the answer to unplanned pregnancy, it is not. When they tell you that you can have an abortion and go on with your life as before, it is a lie. You will never be the same. When they say it is not a baby, it’s just undeveloped cells, it is a lie. It is a baby at the time of conception. When they say it’s no big deal, it’s just an abortion, it’s a lie. It is a big deal and it will affect the rest of your life. Hear my voice hear my cry. You will suffer loss if you “let” your baby die.
God created Adam and Eve, two sinless beings formed in the image of God, and God said that their new creation was very good. However, one fate filled day the serpent entered the Garden and whispered lies to Adam and Eve that said, “Surely you will not die if you partake of the forbidden fruit. You will become knowledgeable and know good from evil, and you will be like a God.” Genesis 3:4
I imagine that Adam and Eve, not thinking of the consequences, looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and thought,” What could it hurt?”
Psalm 51:6 states, “Behold, you desire truth in the innermost being, and in the Hidden part. You will make me know wisdom.”
Eve took the first bite and then Adam. They didn’t stop each other from disobeying God’s commandment.
Because of their disobedience God casted them out of the Garden.
The story of my abortion, I believe, is a story of my disobedience to God and how I and my boyfriend (now Husband) decided to not receive God’s Garden he made just for us.
I grew up on the southwest side of San Antonio with both my parents and two siblings. Both my parents worked, so I spent a lot of time at my neighbors/friend’s house. Growing up the only belief that was consistently instilled in me was that I had to graduate from high school, college and whatever you do, “DON’T GET PREGNANT!”
Luckily, I made it through High School without getting pregnant. While at college I realized I reached my goal to attend college, but I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to become, nor did I have values that I lived by. I definitely didn’t have God in my life, even though I was raised Catholic. I didn’t have family or friends that were actively involved with God either. In fact, I didn’t really think twice about God.
At 22 years of age I found myself living with a man I wasn’t married to, still attending college, and working full time. I thought to myself as I moved in with this man, “What could it hurt?” 12 months into the relationship I found myself pregnant.
I wasn’t feeling very good so I decided to go see the doctor. At my visit he told me I wasn’t sick, I was pregnant! Congratulations! Well, it didn’t feel like Congratulations to me. He must have seen the look on my face because he asked me if I was alright, and I said, “My boyfriend isn’t going to be happy about this!” He asked me, “Do you live together?” I said, “Yes”. He said, “Well he has already made a commitment to live with you. Tell him; he might surprise you!” I walked out of the doctor’s office wondering if that could be true, feeling hopeful and a little bit excited that I was going to be a mother! I mean we were already “playing house”, might as well make it official!
Going home I pondered how did this happen to me? I had been so careful to be on birth control. The man I was living with did not have children from a previous marriage so he told me he couldn’t have any children. I thought to myself, “That sounds right, great I don’t have to worry about birth control! Right?! Sure! What could it hurt?” So I believed him.
I knew my boyfriend wouldn’t believe that I was pregnant, so I went home and took a pregnancy test and I showed him the results. At first, he responded positively, then he began to get scared, then angry and shouted, “If you have this baby I am going to leave you and that baby! You will end up stranded, alone and living in poverty!”
He knew my fear of poverty and used the words he knew would reach me. Remember the belief that was instilled in me was that I must graduate from college and I must not get pregnant. I was so frightened I didn’t know what I should do. I am sure I called my friends and weighed my options because I always did in these kind of situations. I can’t remember what they told me, but I don’t remember anyone having any convictions about not having an abortion. I definitely remember that I did not turn to God for help.
I went to my Gynecologist and he confirmed my pregnancy. I told him of my decision to have an abortion. I remember him telling me that there were other options, but I was dead set. He gave me the name of a doctor that performed abortions in his office. I did not want to go to an abortion clinic. Somehow, having an abortion at a doctor’s office made it seem more like an operation than mimicing the life of a drama movie shown on Lifetime. The nurse told me that the Dr. only performs abortions every two weeks on a Wednesday. The next available date is on June 16th, do you want it? I gasped, that was my birthday, the day I was delivered into this world. “Yes”, I said. I didn’t want to wait another two weeks and allow the baby to get older.
On the day of my 23rd birthday, my boyfriend drove me to the doctor’s office to have the abortion. In speaking to the Dr., he said my name and asked me if I was related to Rita and Elaine. I said, “Yes” that is my mother and sister. The ironic thing was that the referring doctor had just delivered my sister’s baby two years earlier. My boyfriend stayed in the waiting area as I was taken back to the exam room. As I laid on the cold table I began to cry. The Dr., who was ready to begin, asked me, “Are you sure you want to do this?” I said, “Yes, if I don’t, I won’t finish college. I won’t make it out of poverty.” The kind nurse grabbed my hand as the tears rolled down my face. The doctor turned on the machine that sounded like a vacuum and inserted a long tube. I felt sharp pain as he worked at terminating my 8 week old baby. I didn’t think of him as a baby at the time. That was it; the physical pain was over very quickly. I had officially bitten into the forbidden fruit. My young life and my boyfriend’s young life were changed forever; we removed ourselves from the Garden that God had planned for us.
“My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:15-16
As we drove away, I was sick from the Valium so I vomited in the parking lot. When we arrived at our apartment, my dearest friend left me a gift at the front door. It definitely surprised me and made me feel loved. I felt like I didn’t deserve it, but I was so glad that my kind friend thought of me. I have learned that God showers us with gifts even though we/I don’t deserve it.
God gave my boyfriend and me a gift, a gift of life to save us from ourselves. We gave the life back and for the next few years we dug our grave and created scars we are still healing from. In this life it’s not that we are there to raise our children, but our children are sent to raise us.
The meaning of the song, “Mary did you know” by Marky Lowry and Buddy Greene took on new meaning to me as I thought of my first child God had sent to deliver me. The lyrics go:
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.
Exactly, two weeks later I was hired at a corporation that had excellent health coverage and actually paid for my college education. Wow, God had a plan for me and my child all along. I believed the lies that we were told that it wasn’t a baby yet growing in my belly just a clump of cells. Even though at 8 weeks my child already had a beating heart.
I tried to forget about what I had done. I started my new career, completed college, and went on to marry my boyfriend 4 years later. Sixteen years later, the pain of ending the life of my first child through abortion still remains. I was, and still am, ashamed of the choices I have made. However, thanks to God’s desire to heal his children, he has sent me many gifts in the form of friends that truly carry the love of God within their hearts. They loved me first so that I could love another. I took a Surrendering the Secret class and found out that God forgives me, and that I don’t have to carry the shame around any longer, because Jesus died for my sin. Thank you Jesus for making me know wisdom!
Psalms 51 goes on to read:
Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean;
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow,
Let me hear joy and gladness;
Let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquity
Create me a pure heart O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit in me.
Do not cast me from your presence
Or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
And grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
In the end, we don’t need to worry about living in God’s garden since his spirit lives within. My prayer is that this story gives others courage to have faith in the plan God has for your life and a willing spirit of joy and love to sustain you!