Abortion, Female, 19
“The first step in this healing process is telling your story to someone.”

Describe the situation of the crisis pregnancy:
I knew from the moment I had unprotected sex that I was pregnant, but the thought never returned until two weeks later. I felt like I needed to take a test. I found out I was pregnant in my friend’s bathroom. My thoughts were all over the place. I didn’t have a job. I had no money, and I didn’t want to be with the father. Abortion was screaming at me, and when a friend suggested it, I said yes. I take full responsibility for the decision to take life away.

Describe the progression of your emotions after the abortion:
Immediately after the abortion, I did feel a sense of relief, but as far as emotions, I rarely allowed them to surface. The only times my emotions were triggered were by being around babies, especially my nephew. As crazy as it may be, my twin sister and I were pregnant at the same time, and I’m almost certain we got pregnant on the same day. Seeing my nephew born affected me tremendously. The nightmares started soon after the abortion. I had dreams of the doctor who performed the abortion killing babies that were already born. The flashbacks didn’t start until after I got saved and the Lord was walking me through the healing process. Flashbacks tormented me for weeks. I couldn’t stay focused, and I would look up and 3 hours would be gone. I could remember every detail, down to the smallest things, of that day. My mind would not think of anything else. It wasn’t until a girl from church prayed for me that the flashbacks would leave, and I got breakthrough. In the midst of me praying, God did something beautiful. God showed me what my daughter looked like. She had blonde hair pulled back. After we were done praying, the girl from church said that God showed her a little girl with blonde hair pulled back. The flashbacks ended instantly, and God replaced them with joy.

Describe the process of opening up to others about the abortion:
I didn’t tell too many people. The only people that knew were the people closest to me at the time. I wasn’t ashamed to tell them because they were pro-choice, and I knew they wouldn’t say anything about it. All of them told me I did the right thing.

Did you struggle in your spiritual life after your abortion?
Honestly, God never crossed my mind during that time in my life.

Was there a turning point in your life and/or spiritual walk where you went from brokenness to peace and hope?
The turning point in my life was when I got saved. The abortion was the first thing the Lord wanted to discuss with me, and it was during a college class worship night at church. I knew God was telling me to go get prayer, so I did. And the woman, now friend, who prayed for me told me, “Ask Jesus where He was in the room with you during the abortion.” So I asked with tears running down my face, “Where were you?” Instantly I heard, “I was in the empty chair in that room. You weren’t alone. I was holding you as you cried from the pain.”

If you were talking to a girl who was in a similar situation of dealing with a past abortion, what advice would you give her?
First, I would tell her that God does not condemn the choice she made. He forgives. I would also tell her that God can completely heal her from the inside out. She doesn’t have to talk this process out alone, and she needs to tell someone who can give her Godly advice and wisdom. The first step in this healing process is telling your story to someone. That is freeing in itself.

With the political and social conversation around abortion often being so argumentative and abrasive from both sides, as someone who could have chosen abortion, what did you find unhelpful, hurtful, or disconnected about how people talk the abortion in public?
I had an abortion, and it upsets me to see people who choose life condemning women to hell and openly shaming them. There is a gentle way to protest, but telling a woman she’s going to hell from having an abortion is not the right way to show love or life.

Society today is becoming more and more aware of how destructive, crippling, and powerful shame and stigma can be. With that in mind, how do you think shame and stigma impact those struggling with a past abortion?
A lot of the shame is hidden. The abortion in itself is shameful, but the shameful root it creates is more destructive. At one point, after I became a Christian, I was asked to look in a mirror and describe how God sees you. I couldn’t even look at myself. I just cried. It was like the shame on the surface was gone but the shame underneath was unbearable. It stole my voice. It stole my confidence. I felt ugly on the inside. Abortion takes away the life of a child, and it chips away your life as well if you don’t allow Jesus to fully heal your heart, body, mind and soul.

How do you think the church needs to walk with people who have had an abortion in their past?
They need to be more transparent and open and realize that abortion isn’t something that rarely happens. It happens every day, and they need to have something or someone available who can minister to women at their church.

What would you say you learned about yourself through this situation?
I’m stronger than I know. It takes a courageous person to walk through the healing I went through and allow God to surface things so they can be dealt with.

If you were to go back and change anything you did after the abortion, what would you do different?
I wouldn’t have stuffed my emotions down, and I would have reached out for help from Godly people.