At the age of 17 I found out that I was pregnant & because I was worried about what others would say about me & how disappointed my parents would be in me, I chose to have an abortion. I will never forget my boyfriend & I sitting outside in my driveway and us making the decision to abort our child. My friend drove me to the abortion that week, where I made the biggest mistake of my life. I went in that clinic a fun, vibrant young women & came out depressed & full of guilt & shame from my decision. No one told me this was how it was going to be. They told me it would solve my problem, but it didn't it only created more. Due to all the guilt & shame I was feeling from killing my own flesh & blood, I turned to drugs & alcohol to mask the pain, but every day I would just wake up with a hangover & the reality of what I had really done would hit me all over & over & over again. Years went by & when I was finally ready to get myself cleaned up & have a husband & children. But after 2 miscarriages & 1 premature birth, I decided I would never be a mother & that God must be punishing me for what I had done all those years ago. I decided I would never try to get pregnant again, but 1 year later I was pregnant again. This time I went to a high risk pregnancy clinic in Greenville, NC where they saw that the abortion all those years ago had torn my cervix & thats why I kept losing babies. They had to take me into surgery at 15 weeks of pregnancy and do surgery on my cervix. They told me that there was a very high possibility that I would lose the baby during the surgery. That's when I finally cried out to God and said "Lord, please forgive me for what I did to my child, Your child all those years ago. Please allow me to be a mother. I will raise this child as you would have me to & I will do whatever you want me to do with my life." I can still remember going under the effects of the anthestha with the song "Jesus Loves Me" playing in my head. I had never thought that He loved me until after I had prayed that prayer & asked Him to forgive me of my sins. I came out of surgery & everything went well. Six months later I gave birth to a healthy baby boy & God reminded me of all those promises I made to Him in that operating room, so I went to church, dedicated this child to the Lord & gave my life to Him! He led me to begin sharing my testimony of how He forgives us no matter how ugly our sin is, no matter what we've done. Then He led me to Eastern Pregnancy Care Center in Kinston, NC where I began to volunteer helping other young women see that there are other options besides abortion. That abortion is NOT the answer to an unplanned pregnancy. That it only causes a woman years of guilt, shame & heartache & it kills an innocent life. Instead we show them they can parent or place their child for adoption. Years later my family moved to Roanoke Rapids, NC where I have now served as the Execuitve Director of the Pregnancy Support Center for 10 years. I am living proof that abortion does hurt you & I will never stop saying it was the biggest mistake of my life. I would much rather have my precious 23 year old daughter with me here today, than to have to tell people the ugly truth...I chose to kill her instead!