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Behind Closed Doors

Rear view of female college student in university corridor

You never believe it will happen to you. You think about abortion as something you will never have to choose, and if you come to that point in your life, you’re sure you’ll choose life, because after all it is a baby.

I grew up in a small town. When I say small I mean the kind of small where everyone knows everything about you. Your mom is their hairstylist, your brother plays football with their brother, your dad, well, he knows everyone. My school had 250 students 7-12th grade and there were 23 in my graduating class.

The first time I remember having an opinion about abortion was my senior year in high school in a Government class. I sat on the pro-life side of the divided class. The memories are still fresh. My argument was against a good friend at the time who happened to be a male. He made a comment we often hear about this topic, “It’s her body, it’s her choice”. I yelled back, “it is a choice, but it’s a baby we are talking about, that’s murder!” The class quieted.

Fast forward to college, I didn’t have much of an opinion either way, I stayed neutral but always thought the radicals outside Planned Parenthood who showed giant pictures of disassembled baby parts were a little much. In fact, I went to Planned Parenthood numerous times for birth control because it was free. I remember the staff being friendly, but the environment being cold.

In 2008, my senior year in college, I found myself in the midst of a crisis pregnancy. At that time my boyfriend and I were separated and the news was devastating. I was traveling to see my dad in San Jose and I stopped at a Walgreens on the way because I felt sick to my stomach. I bought a test thinking “No way am I pregnant!” It read positive. I was alone, scared, and hysterical. Pregnant?!? How could this happen to me? Why did this happen to me?

And just like that, I was a statistic. Half of all pregnancies are unintended, and of those, 1 in 4 will end in abortion[1]. Before I even began to think rationally about this pregnancy my mind was made up, “abortion, it’s my only option.” As thoughts ran rapidly through my mind, I began believing the lies: you’re not good enough, you can’t be a mom, you can’t carry this baby, you can’t have all your friends see you’re pregnant and not have a baby afterwards, and you can’t let someone else raise your baby.

After a few days of processing I confided in a friend who had been mentoring me for a while. I remember her asking me to go into the local pregnancy center. I refused because I knew deep down if I went there I would change my mind. More than that, I was scared. Scared of being “that girl.” I just wanted to have the abortion and be done so I could move on with my life. I knew that pregnancy center would talk to me about options, and deep down I didn’t want another option.

When faced with an unplanned pregnancy woman feel alone, scared and they often resort in making a quick decision. Current research suggests, as woman considered their abortion decision the most typical reaction/expectations were judgmental and condemning.[2]

Within 7 days of finding out I was pregnant I was on the abortion table. I thought if I did it quickly it would still be just a glob of tissue, not a baby. That was another lie I believed. The truth is that at 30 days the fetus has a heart that is already pumping, at 35 days five fingers can be discerned in the hand and at day 40 brain waves can be detected and recorded.

After my abortion, I ran further away from what I knew to be true. I pushed down all emotions associated with my abortion and began to drink away my memories. I pushed away the people I loved most, and made choices that would forever effect my life. Because the truth is, abortion hurts. It is a decision most make because they feel that is their only choice. It is not a choice that is a once and done decision. Most woman feel relieved initially and may even be content with the choice.

Two years after my abortion I was at a dinner benefiting a local pregnancy center. I was invited by a friend and felt prompted to go. As I listened to a staff member talk about what a post-abortion woman goes through, I began to weep. It was at that moment I knew my abortion had effected my life in many ways I never thought it would. It was in that moment I knew I needed help. I decided to join a post-abortion recovery group. It was through that recovery group my life was forever changed.

It was there where I met Jesus in the depths of my pain. It was there I could tell my story. I could weep, I could mourn, and I could just be me. I didn’t have to hide the pain that was buried so deep. I didn’t have to pretend that everything in my life was fine. You see, friend, when we allow God to expose our pain, when we allow God to penetrate those dark places in our hearts with His life, we experience His forgiveness and we begin to heal.

[1] Guttmatcher Institute, 2014 Induced Abortion In the United States Fact Sheet 
[2] Care-Net National & LifeWay Research, 2015

January 8th, 2016

Posted In: Blog