I HAD AN ABORTION. Do I have your attention?
I have never openly spoken about this before. Mainly because I have been ashamed and I feared the way people would look at me if they knew.
But once I realized that speaking out about my abortion would do more good than harm – I decided I don’t care who knows anymore.
When I was 21 years old, I had an abortion. Yep, little ole me, from a middle class, good Christian family and already a mother to a 3-year-old. I didn’t have any medical issues that would’ve prevented me from having a healthy pregnancy. To my knowledge, my baby wasn’t at risk for any abnormalities. I wasn’t raped. I was simply… scared.
I am not saying that what I did was right and I am not saying that I am proud of my decision. Nor, do I want anyone to think I am boasting about it. At that time in my life, it was a choice that I made. And at that time, I thought I was making the best decision; as do most women when they make the choice to terminate a pregnancy.
If you are reading this, then you should know that I am not the only woman you know who has had an abortion. In fact, one in three women will terminate a pregnancy before the age of 40. That means you work with us. You go to church with us. Your kids have play dates with our kids. You are friends with us. We are your family. We are women you know. We are women you love.
I guarantee that anyone who has made the decision to end a pregnancy did not do it with ease. No one skips happily into a clinic and no one smiles walking out. It is something that we will live with for the rest of our lives. Something that we may never fully work through. Something that we will replay over and over again in our heads, questioning the “what ifs” and the “I wonders.” Something we will never forget as much as we wish we could.
Recently (in response to the upcoming election), I have seen and heard many speak badly on women who have chosen to have an abortion. They call us heartless. They call us repulsive. They call us evil. They even call us whores. But the reality is, none of those words describe us. Although, there is one word they could call us that would accurately fit our description – sinners. Then again, that word could accurately describe them too.
But guess what? I have repented. Because of that, I am forgiven by my all mighty and merciful God (Daniel 9:9). And so are the other women who have and will have an abortion. I want anyone who is struggling to make that choice (or anyone who has already made the choice) to know that I do not judge you – because I have been there. And maybe, just maybe, if more women who have experienced an abortion spoke up and shared their stories we could help those that are struggling.
It’s so easy for people to label a woman selfish because of a choice she made. But most women who decide to have an abortion are doing it for the exact opposite. The majority of abortions are done out of panic and anxiety on the mother’s part. They fear not being able to properly care for the child (physically, financially, emotionally, and/or mentally). The guilt, the hurt, and the shame that these women carry follow them for the rest of their lives. So many women feel they have to keep their abortion stories to themselves. They feel they must keep their regret, their torment, their sadness, their anguish, their tears, and their emptiness inside. I want to change that.
I know the confusion, the fear, the uncertainty, the doubt and the worry that comes with an unplanned pregnancy. I know the emotional damage, the grief, the shame, and the regret that follows an abortion. But I also know the magnitude of God’s forgiveness, His mercy, and His compassion. (Psalms 103:8)
I am writing to the women who have had an abortion, like me. I want to let you know that you are still beautiful. You are still worthy and no one has the right to judge your choice but the Man above. He is the only one you owe an explanation to. If you truly feel convicted for your actions, I encourage you to turn to Him and repent. He will wash away your mistake as if it were never there. He will forgive you and allow you to forgive yourself. (Acts 3:19)
I am writing to the ones who cannot relate and the ones who call us outside of our names. You, my friend, are no better than I. I will not stay silent while you judge us anymore. How easy it is for you to shout judgments when you have not personally been faced with this decision yourself. I pray you learn to show sympathy and compassion, instead of kicking others when they are down. (Matthew 7:1-5)
I am also writing to the women who are considering having an abortion. You are not alone, even though I know you feel like you are. I want to let you know the pain that follows is something that you don’t want. What if I told you how horrible it made me feel? What if I told you the pain from the actual procedure itself doesn’t even amount to a fraction of the emotional pain I felt? What if I told you I didn’t feel an ounce of relief? Instead, I couldn’t fathom the fact that I had actually ended the life of my own flesh and blood. What if I told you I couldn’t look a baby in the eye without feeling instant guilt? What if I told you I begged and pleaded to God to reverse the hands of time and give me another chance? What if I told you how often I think about my unborn, and what a wonderful person they would have turned out to be if only I gave them the chance of life? What if I told you, years later, when I became pregnant with my son that I lived in fear? Terrified that God may decide to take away the gift that I decided I was finally ready for. What if I told you it wasn’t worth it?
Although I know I have been forgiven and I have learned to forgive myself – I will never, ever be able to forget. I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish someone would have talked to me about their personal experience. Maybe, just maybe, things would have been different.
But they weren’t. And I cannot go back and change my past. But what I can do is help change someone’s future.
I am taking it upon myself to speak up and speak out. And who better to do it than someone who has experienced it hands-on? I am very aware that me choosing to publicly share my abortion story leaves me open to judgment and critical opinions of others. No one has forced me to share these previously hidden details about my life. I realize I could have chosen to remain silent and continue to hide my truth, but then I wouldn’t be sharing the testimony of how forgiving my God is. Only He has given me the power and the strength to share this chapter of my life.
And even if I only help ONE woman. Even if I only save ONE life. Even if I only steer ONE person closer to God. Then to the judgments and harsh commentsI may receive… I’m ready to face it.
Margaret Fuller, a journalist and women’s right activist from the 1800s, once said, “If you have knowledge, let other’s light their candles in it.” Knowledge is power. Like many women, I have knowledge on both sides of the spectrum. I know what it’s like to deliver a child and I also know what it’s like to abort one. One of those decisions I am proud of, whereas the other I am not. And if I can be the fire that other women light their candles on, then let my flames shine bright.
If you are struggling with abortion, please know that you can safely and confidentially confide in me at firstname.lastname@example.org. While I am not a professional, I know what it’s like to feel alone & I would love to help you walk through your healing process. Please remember, you are not alone. Don’t lose hope and do not give up on yourself. And most importantly, pray.
12 thoughts on “I Had An Abortion, Do I Have Your Attention?”
Praise the Lord! You have overcome/are overcoming by the blood of the lamb and the power of your testimony! What the enemy meant for evil God is using for good.
My beautiful daughter. I admire your strength, courage and conviction. I am blown away and feel so very blessed to see Yahweh (the LORD) so active in your life. I am proud beyond measure to be your mom. Thank you for your humility, honesty, transparency, vulnerability … I know that Yahweh will bless many women (and men) who are struggling with the decision to choose life through your writing.
Thank you mom. I am so proud to be your daughter. Love you.
Your article is amazing. I’m so glad I have read this. As I have walked the same path. I have a daughter . Before she came I made the very difficult decision to abort. The what ifs and every feeling to go along with that still come to mind this day. I have not been so outspoken myself about this. As fear of judgement from others and so forth. Thanks for this!!!
What a very powerful post. I admire the courage that it took for you to share your experience and the beauty with which you addressed all aspects of it. You are so right that God is a merciful father and washes us clean from all of our transgressions. I’m so glad that you’re using this platform to transform people’s lives and that in doing so God is also transforming yours. It’s is such a wonderful thing to witness and I’m so blessed by it myself. Although you can’t change what’s happened, you can be better because of it and I’m so glad you are.
Great post.. You are amazing for having the courage to share this and i have no doubt it will go on to touch many lives. ❤️
I started reading this after seeing it on the FB group and my initial thought was – well done for speaking up. Then you lost me a bit as I don’t think there is a god, but thought – good for you. If you need your god’s forgiveness and mercy that is fine.
What I do find rather sad however is that I feel like you are making feel women bad who may consider an abortion right now. At the beginning you rightfully say, the decision is such a personal one that really nobody else should have a say in it either way. Only you can decide what is the right call for you or for your family. However, having that said that it is such a personal choice also means that only you feel the way you do. I am sorry to hear that you have regretted your decision, I really am. But to put this on women who are considering their options as a given is wrong. Personal advise fine, but to make it sound like everybody will regret it – not so fine.
Not everybody feels bad afterwards. Not everybody regrets or fears afterwards and yes, for some women an abortion is an easy decision and they are happier for it. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!
So while I applaud you writing this story and am happy for you that you are coming to terms with your decision, I would have appreciated it more if your advise came without guilt- and fear evoking questions towards some who might be in the situation now.
Love the name of your website by the way 🙂
What’s so awesome about this post is that it encourages dialogue about abortion in a way that is just as controversial as it is inspiring. In reality, we live in a world where the voice of one side of an issue is often louder than the voice of the other side. In many cases, to avoid being seen as discriminatory, we often find ourselves sheltering our beliefs or worst yet, denying them all together in the name of inclusion. Simply put, we have an aversion for an assertive and objective perspective on any topic because it leaves little room for the vast variation of choices that exist in our world. In my opinion, I think that’s at the center of your comment about this article and many others who might read the post and feel similarly.
You see, it’s hard to accept it, but there is actually a right and a wrong. What Aerica describes beautifully is the reality that although she isn’t being judged by her decision, she does acknowledge that there might have been a better one. As with any other experience in life, when you have the opportunity to reflect retrospectively your perspective about certain choices evolves.
I haven’t experienced this myself so I wouldn’t dare speculate on the decision. I would however venture to say that it’s a decision that people SHOULDN’T take lightly and anyone who wouldn’t read this post and at least challenge their thinking about terminating a life likely has issues that extend beyond this decision.
I don’t believe in absolute rights or wrongs and if you are calling an abortion an absolute wrong I will wholeheartedly disagree.
I completely understand where she is coming from and that she feels in retrospect her decision should have been different but nobody can say if her life would be better for it now. However, I just felt her questions to someone who is in the same situation as she once was, weren’t helpful. I (and that is just how I read them!) felt they were trying to guilt people into making a different decision, simply because she now feels her decision may have been wrong. I don’t think being guilted into decisions for seemingly morality or religious reasons is not a good guide either.
And as far as taking the decision lightly – we seem to differ again. To presume that everybody needs to feel guilty about this is just, well, presumptuous. I think it is not a step in the right direction for women to say – okay, you may have an abortion and speak about it too, but only as long as you feel guilty about it. That seems one step forward and two backwards.
wow not a lot of women who had abortion can come out like this and say it out loud because the world is full of judgmental people, I think once you reach the I don’t care what will people say its the perfect ah-ha moment.
Wow. Just, wow. That was a very deep post. I admire your courage, and how you are willing to put yourself in the open. Knowing that by doing this people will inevitably judge you. I thank you to sharing your story and only hope I can be brave enough one day and do the same. God bless you
Thank you for sharing your heart and your experience. I pray you will light many candles!