This is Dianne’s Real Abortion Story
“My boyfriend and I had been dating for 1 ½ years when I got pregnant. When I told him the news, he panicked. Without asking, he made an appointment at an abortion clinic and called to let me know.
My world was crushed! The man whom I thought loved me, was unwilling to do the right thing. We had talked about marriage and I had been anticipating a proposal in the near future.
As Dave drove me to the clinic I was consumed with fear and felt the pressure to follow through with the abortion. I wanted to talk to my best friend but I was too ashamed and afraid. I felt I couldn’t talk to anyone.
As a Christian I was carrying the shame of being pregnant out of wedlock. While I bought into the world’s claim that my baby was mere tissue something inside me made question if this was really true.
I was very afraid. Everyone that day was telling me that everything would be fine.
Laying on the table as the doctor’s wife held my hand I was dying inside. I felt overwhelmed with guilt, and then … it was too late. I was devastated and filled with regret.
Still laying on the table, I was sobbing and begging God to forgive me. The nurse tried to console me saying, “Everything’s alright.” And I remember telling her, “No! Everything is not alright!” I had been deceived. I had been lied to. I felt like I had been thrown to the wolves. I was just a dollar sign to them. I left that place empty; a broken woman.
I was in shock and in mourning. I had to plaster on a fake smile and pretend to my family and friends that all was good.
Dave and I stayed together as a couple, even though our relationship was now anything but healthy. I still loved him but I hated what he had done to me. He made me feel so worthless by pressuring me into an abortion, instead of taking on the responsibility like a decent, honorable man should. I had such low self-esteem, I felt unworthy of anyone who would have treated me any better.
Ultimately, Dave proposed and we were married. We began our marriage with baggage that would take years to sort through. There were constant reminders at every turn – TV commercials, a baby footprint pin on the lapel of a pro-lifer, seeing a newborn baby – they went on and on. I’ll never forget holding my first-born baby boy in my arms and knowing what I had done and feeling like I didn’t deserve such a beautiful gift.
From the day we left that awful facility in 1981 to the fall of 1987 we never talked about the abortion. I suffered in silence that screamed heartache, anger, regret and sadness, almost each and every day. In June of 1987 we were again blessed with another baby boy. There were some difficulties with my 3rd pregnancy and I miscarried. I was heartbroken and wondered if the abortion I had, caused me to miscarry. I pictured this baby meeting his or her sibling in Heaven and it gave me comfort.
In 1987 I attended a Concerned Women for America (CWA) National Convention in Washington D.C. to support Robert Bork, who was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan. My Mom was a Regional Director of CWA and she had asked if I was interested in attending with her. Trying to protect my secret was consuming me. I feared my Mom’s friends would not accept me and even judge me If they knew my secret. Because of my passion for the protection of the unborn, I decided to go, even though I knew I would be uncomfortable.
When we arrived, we joined with other women making signs, which we would hold while marching on the Capital steps the next day. I felt like a hypocrite. But, I also felt like I was doing a good thing.
On the 3rd day of the convention, a woman who had adopted a baby who was close to being aborted spoke at the breakfast meeting. She told the story of her adopted baby girl almost being a victim of abortion. Then, she began singing a song she had written about her daughter called, “I Almost Didn’t Know You.” I started feeling sick to my stomach. I worked hard holding back the tears but I knew I couldn’t so I excused myself to my guest room telling my Mom I wasn’t feeling well. I reached the hallway and the tears began to flow. I reached my room and I couldn’t stop sobbing.
On the return flight, my mom began recounting the conference. She didn’t know I aborted her grandchild. She didn’t know the pain I was carrying. I struggled to carry on a normal conversation, like everything in my world was fine but I was overwhelmed with sadness and shame.
On my first day back home, after my husband left for work, I was thinking about my experience at the Convention. I was glad I went. I remember being alone in the living room. I closed the curtains. I cried out to God for forgiveness. Tears began flowing. How could I continue with this internal pain? I felt so alone and so sad. God spoke to me that morning. I heard Him tell me in that moment of my agony that he was going to use me for his glory. It’s not like I heard Him audibly, but He spoke to my mind, my heart, and my soul. I didn’t really know what it meant but I believed that somehow and someday God would use me, even if He were only to use me to help just one person. I felt God tell me that it was time to take a baby step – a baby step to begin the process of healing.
The next day I said to my husband, “We have to talk about the abortion. It happened. We’ve swept it under the rug all these years and we’re not going to make it in our marriage unless we talk about what we did.” This was the first time in over six years that I had even spoken the word, “abortion.” The pretending needed to end. All those years, I would sit in church and look around thinking that I was the only woman in church who had had an abortion. I felt so bad about myself all the time. It was way past time to seek help. Dave agreed to try to get help. We went to our first counseling session. It was the first step toward seeking healing and Dave and I were actually talking about the abortion.
Over the next few years, Dave focused on work and supporting our family and I focused on doing what Moms do. We found a church home where we attended a few more counseling sessions. These loving, caring, Godly men tried to help us but they weren’t trained to work with post-abortive women and men.
No one knew about my abortion except for the counselors we had gone to in the past. One Sunday an ad in the bulletin about a “post-abortive support group” caught my attention. It was to be held at the local Crisis Pregnancy Center. The problem with that was that I knew the Director of CPC very well and she did not know that I had had an abortion. Also, my Mom’s best friend served on the Board and she did not know about my abortion either. Finally, with God’s leading, I decided to tell them about my abortion. The time came and I was afraid, but God gave me courage. I started crying as I shared my story. I was afraid they would reject and judge me. Instead they cried with me. They prayed over me and I left feeling grateful and encouraged. I attended that first class, another step toward healing.
Shortly, after that, I attended, a new Bible study that was offered at CPC, for post-abortive women. I learned more deeply about God’s grace and his love for me on a fresh and new level. While I was indeed accountable for what I had done, God wanted me to accept the gifts He was offering me – Grace, Forgiveness and his Unconditional Love. God’s Word came alive to me and I finally received healing and made peace with God regarding my abortion.
In 2001, God placed on my heart the desire to go through leadership training to help other women find healing through His Word. I thought back to the time in my living room with my curtains drawn, when I cried out to God and He spoke to me. But, before going into leadership I would need share my abortion story with those closest to us.
Dave and I called a family meeting with our boys. At the time, our three sons were 18, 14 and 12. We were both fearful and didn’t know how they would react. I didn’t know if they would think less of me. As their Mom, I didn’t want to let them down. It broke my heart looking at them and knowing it could have been one of them that had been aborted. God gave me peace to finally share our story with our precious boys. Dave talked about his part in it, we wanted them to know that we messed up…that we were imperfect but that we had a perfect God who can take anything ugly and disgusting and use it for good. Because of being miles apart, I wrote my parents a letter to share my story. They were loving, and forgiving, and supportive. The next time they came to visit they brought me a bouquet of beautiful roses, sending a message of their unconditional love and forgiveness.
It is a miracle that Dave and I have now been married for 32+ years. Part of my healing process was focused on “forgiveness.” We are all called to forgive others for wronging us. God showed me grace and I in turn needed to show grace to my husband. It didn’t come naturally – I had some deep-seeded anger to deal with. But, God gave me the ability to love unconditionally just as He loves me unconditionally.
If I hadn’t had Christ in my life to carry me through my darkest days, I most likely would have turned to alcohol, drugs or something else to mask the pain. I am also thankful to those who prayed for us through the storms of our lives. Prayer works.
Abortion does not end in the clinic—that’s where the suffering begins. If you have your own abortion story, I pray that you will replace fear with courage so you’re able to take that first baby step toward your own journey of healing. It begins with truth – for the truth shall set you free!” – Dianne