Read C.C.’s story
“My abortion was 30 years ago and still impacts my life today.
At the age of 21, I entered into a relationship with a man that I felt was great marriage material. He had a good job and owned a house. I felt secure with him. We occasionally attended church and I liked his family. I hoped our relationship would restore the years of dysfunction, abuse and divorce I had experienced as a child. I now realize that was a lot to ask of one person.
Several months into our relationship, I found out I was pregnant. I thought that this would be an exciting new adventure and challenge for us. I remember waiting until just the right time to share, with excitement, the news of my positive pregnancy test. As I told him about the results, I could see his countenance change. He shifted in his seat and squarely told me that he did not want to be a father and he would pay for an abortion. I was reeling inside trying to process what he was saying. I loved this man and wanted to marry him. How could I reconcile that I was going to have to choose my boyfriend or my child?
I’ll never forget the day of the “procedure”. It was rainy and I remember entering the doctor’s office to see several women in the waiting room. These were not women, myself included, that were empowered by the choice to have an abortion. It was clear to see we were all uncertain about what was about to happen to us. Some were staring at the floor, others cried quietly. I remember signing in, thinking, “What am I doing here?” “How can I get away?” I don’t remember my boyfriend being there, although he must have been because he drove me and paid for the abortion. I felt entirely alone; a member of some club I had no desire to be apart of. Who was this person that signed in, numbly took the Valium, and silently waited for my name to be called? Where was my voice?
To this day, I can’t remember how far along I was but I know I delayed as long as I could in hopes that my boyfriend would change his mind about the pregnancy. I now know that it must have been an early second trimester abortion, because the prep started a couple of days before the procedure. When my turn came, I clearly remember shutting down emotionally, trying to ignore the sound of suctioning and coldness of the doctor and nurse. I asked the nurse if she could tell if it was a boy or a girl. She said she thought it was a boy but it was too early to tell for sure. I remember returning to a room afterward where other girls were laying on beds that lined the wall. I remember vomiting and wanting to die as I listened to others weeping, obviously feeling the same way I did.
As I walked out of that clinic I remember feeling the finality of the decision I had just made. I could never undo what had been done. I felt like my very soul had been removed from me. I was especially aware of how ashamed I felt because I knew my choice was wrong and that, even though I had recently become a Christian, I made a decision motivated by fear and a desire to please another person. I felt a separation in my relationship with God that I had never felt before. I had not trusted Him. I just wanted to hide.
Along with feelings of despair, I was confused because initially I made the decision to abort in order to maintain my relationship with my boyfriend. I hoped that I could remain in the security it afforded me, but the second the procedure was over; I wanted nothing to do with him. I had lost all respect for him and wondered how I could have made such a sacrifice for someone I no longer wanted. He had not stepped up and reassured me that we could make it through this challenge. He had not rescued me at the clinic but instead delivered me to the door and let me pay the price.
The days, weeks and months after the abortion were the darkest of my life. I had in the past turned to God for comfort when I was hurting but I found it difficult to cry out to Him because of the choice I had made. How do you approach a Holy God after taking a life? I tried many different things to try to fill the void in my life but nothing satisfied me. In those dark days, God heard the cry of my heart because slowly He began restoring my life and surrounding me with authentic Christian people. However, it would be years before I felt safe enough to share my “secret” with them. I faithfully served at church but had conveniently tucked my abortion into a locked safe and pretended it never happened. I returned to work and school and I later met my husband, who I’ve been married to for 27 years. I studied and became a nurse and went on to have 2 children.
Only 5 years ago, God began to reveal that only healed people can help others to heal and hidden things are not necessarily healed. In order to work with an organization that helps men and women facing an unplanned pregnancy, I had to attend a post-abortive recovery class. I am so thankful I did! This is when the real healing began. I was able to really look at why I had made the choice I did and how this impacted the choices I made after the abortion. The class also allowed time to grieve the loss of my child. And most importantly, I was able to “come clean” with God by discovering that Jesus sacrifice even covers the sin of abortion. There is nothing more freeing than having the weight of such an offense lifted. God revealed His incredible mercy, grace and restorative power, not only for me, but anyone who is crushed in spirit and asks in repentance for His forgiveness. Psalm 51 and 1 John 1:9 remain as some of my favorite reminders of these truths.
I now meet with men and women facing the challenge of an unplanned pregnancy, hear their stories and provide support and resources that might make it possible for them to choose options other than abortion. I also facilitate post-abortive classes for those who have chosen abortion in the past and are seeking hope and healing.
In retrospect, I can see how God has used my “mess” from so many years ago to become my message to this generation. Namely, that abortion is not empowering for women. It is not the magic eraser that so many believe it is. It is a big deal! It takes a life and can destroy or at least alter the lives of those involved for many years.
If you are post-abortive, I encourage you to find a safe place to tell your story and so begin the process of healing. You won’t regret it!” – C.C.