19, Knocked Up, & No Good
We are 1 in 4 women. We are in your churches, we are in your bible studies and we are in your small groups. There is nothing from the outside that would make you think abortion is our story. That is… until it’s too late.
There are so many misconceptions about the woman who chose to terminate a pregnancy and why we have done it. The things I have heard are horrendous. Some people think that abortion is just a form of birth control, recently I heard it said that it is a matter of convenience. These are not even the most heinous things I have heard. The name-calling and the judgment has been too much for me to sit with and not say anything about. Some people are happy to lump us all into a stereotype that somehow makes us sound like we are less of a human being or unworthy of the love of Christ.
Every one of us has a story. I wish I could share with you some of these horrific things I have heard, but these stories are not mine to tell. Some of these women do not have the freedom to share their stories as I do. The only thing I can say is things are not always what they seem. Before you cast a judgment, or before you post a rant please remember, you never know who your audience is and you never know what someone has been through. Some of these women have walked through a hell you and I could not even imagine.
This is my story:
My father was the biggest reason I terminated my pregnancy. He had been telling me that I would be 19, knocked-up & no good from the time I was a little girl. I think on some level he thought by telling me this, it would keep me from having sex. As we know though, that’s not how it works. His verbal abuse and emotional manipulation were his ways of trying to make me “tough”, but all it did was break my heart and send me looking for love and acceptance elsewhere. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not trying to absolve myself of any responsibility. It was my choice to have sex and it was my choice to have an abortion, but my abusive home played a big part in both of those actions.
The day came when I realized I was pregnant. I could not bear to look my father in the face and tell him. Now, you might not ever understand that, and that is fine, but that was the truth of it. In my mind abortion was the only option, but even in that, it was a devastating choice. I didn’t debate and I didn’t talk about it. I would not have been able to go through with it had there been any more time to think it over. The father of my baby wanted to marry me and was heartbroken by my decision. My closest friends were divided down the middle of acceptance and judgment. As hard as these things were, they were a distant 2nd to my own self-hatred and guilt.
When my mom found out what I had done, she told me that I had done the right thing because she knew two things; she knew what it was to have a baby and give him up for adoption and she knew my father. At 19 yrs old, my father was still a huge influence in my life and I was desperate for his approval and acceptance, which never came. Even as I got older, the abuse continued. It did not stop until he died.
After it was done and my baby was no longer with me, I could barely function. Not only was my body trying to adjust to the abrupt change it just encountered but my mind… my thoughts were too much. If you think a woman that aborts her baby is without consequence, you are very much mistaken. The consequence is heavy, whether she admits it or not. I was not able to do anything without thinking of what I had done. Shame and guilt were always with me.
The darkest part of my depression lasted about 6 months. It didn’t matter how many people I saw, I was alone. Alone in my grief, alone in my sadness and alone in the hatred I felt for myself. I had proved my father right, I was 19, knocked-up & no good. Just because he didn’t know what happened didn’t change what he said had been true. Every lie my father spoke to me from that point on, every name he called me, I took it and I accepted as truth. He had to be right because look at what I had done, right?
A few years later that same young man married me, but my grief continued. Even after we had our children I found myself grieving over what I had done all those years ago. I was even more convinced that my soul was damned and Hell is where I deserved to be. Eventually, life circumstances landed me in front of an Army Chaplain who shared something with me; the Gospel. I thought he was crazy because he didn’t know who I was or what I had done. I was not a good person and was not worthy of forgiveness. Even more than that though, I had been a young woman who aborted her baby. I thought after he heard this he would finally understand that God could not love a woman like me.
I was wrong though, about everything. This man did not look on me with judgment in his eyes, he looked on me with compassion. On some level, I think he grieved with me over the things I had been through and the things I had done. In this single act, he had shown me the love of Christ, something I had never seen before. He told me that forgiveness was offered for the sins I had committed. I still struggled though; how could God forgive me when I could not forgive myself. It was through the Holy Spirit and the perseverance of this Godly man that I could be open to the possibility that God did love me… even after aborting my baby. No matter how God felt about my decision or what punishment I deserved, not just for my abortion but ALL of my sins, Jesus gave his life for me. That is love!
I have known the Lord now for almost 15yrs. In that time I have met passionate Pro-life people who demonstrate the love of Christ beautifully. I have also met people who claim Christ but speak with the hatred of Satan. I ask you, which way do you think is more effective at showing the love of Christ? Had I been met by those speaking hatred first, I would surely be spending an eternity in Hell because it would be impossible for me to believe any God they served could love a woman like me.
There is a whole group of women that need to be ministered to. They need to know the love of Christ, that he offers forgiveness to those who come to him with a repentant heart. It’s not up to anyone to judge what they have done because Christ took all the judgement already.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be Pro-life, what I am saying is don’t forget there is this group of woman who have already made the choice. We cannot speak hate out of passion or anger and call it “Truth in love”. I urge you to not let your words be a stumbling block to those who are post abortive. I think there is a way to be passionate about what we believe in and bring glory to God! When we do and say things “in the name of Jesus”, we are taking on a huge responsibility.