- Posted February 15, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Have you had an abortion?
Define Reality, Give Hope
My reality the fall of 1980, I had recently graduated from high school, engaged to my high school sweetheart, planning our wedding the following spring and I was pregnant, scared and confused. We both were! At that time, the only real "advise" we got was from college professors and the abortion clinic, "it's not a baby yet." "It's just a blob of tissue, a product of conception." "You're still in your first trimester so it'll be a very simple procedure and you and just get on with your life," were the common refrains. Now, there aren't many things in this life that I truly regret but my abortion is one of them. If I knew the truth then that I know now....hindsight's always 20/20 right?!
That dark drizzly October day in that Portland abortion clinic changed my life in so many ways.
The "procedure" was not just about pulling a tooth or two, having my tonsils out or some other body part being removed. The very LIFE of my teeny, tiny baby girl was growing, developing and depending on me and her daddy to protect her from harm. But instead, my womb became a tomb that day. The magnitude of that "choice" sent ripples throughout my life, my relationship with my fiance, the dynamics of our communication changed drastically. There had been so many times over the years of marriage that we didn't know if we were going to make it. Sex wasn't the same for a long time. Current statistics are pointing to the relational and marriage impact of abortion on post-abortive couples being near an 80-90% divorce rate. Abortion divides relationships at the soul level. THAT deserves further attention!
I was numb for so long. For years, alcohol and partying numbed the pain and escalated over the years. Binge eating and excessive, obsessive exercise routines became common place. Had problems being around babies, let alone to hold one! To hear an adoption story brought me to tears. Funny thing was, at the time I didn't understand why I got so overly emotional, because no one was talking about post-abortion trauma and grief back then.
Seven years later our first son was born, interestingly the nightmares started, two recurrent nightmares that always related to death, babies, abandonment and neglect. I just thought it was part of post-partum depression.
Two more babies came along, the alcohol/substance abuse subsided. Once babies came along my husband and I realized we needed to get back into the faith community of our upbringing. We knew we needed help for "something" but again, no one was talking about post-abortion trauma and it's impact on marriage and families.
The years went by and we got by, barely! Then women started sharing in very private and safe environments their abortion experiences.
Through a series of divine and providential appointments in my life I was lead to a place of love, compassion, peace and safety through a healing retreat in Southern California, called Beauty for Ashes. I went three years in a row for the weekend healing emersion. The fourth year my husband joined me to begin to walk through his own personal healing journey from being a part of ending the life of our first baby.
We honestly believe this was a turning point for us in saving our marriage once and for all. We had not talked about that "choice" for 23 years, since after the procedure for about one minute when he asked me if I was okay. Then, not a word of her existence was ever mentioned again until this weekend retreat.
By this time in our lives we had moved to California and in 2003, January 22, 2003, I shared my abortion story on the steps of the California State Capitol. That day I met a woman who invited me for coffee with the director of the abortion healing and recovery program. I heartily accepted the invitation and I am eternally grateful for this restorative season in my life.
Soon after, I joined a group of other women, total strangers, who were just as scared as I was to open up this soul wound of pandora's box that had been locked up tight, for some decades.
I will never forget these friendships. Women from all walks of life and ethnic groups sharing one thing in common, we all had at least one abortion. Over the course of the next 14 weeks we became sisters-in-heart! It was a place you felt safe, a place you could bare your soul and would not be judged, ridiculed, mocked or made for feel stupid or ashamed. I don't know that I had ever experienced such a bond of friendship, love and compassion than with that group of gifted, talented and anointed Holy Spirit led spiritual mentors.
Being able to finally acknowledge the feels for my baby that had been locked away for 23 long years, aside from the weekend retreats a few years prior. There was nothing so freeing to my heart, mind and soul than this journey to the depths of my grief and back again. A journey through denial, anger, forgiveness, acceptance, memorializing the reality of my precious daughter's life so long ago. Finally, my heart could sing again. I mean SING.
That spring a very precious thing happened out of that season of reconciliation, with God, my husband, our daughter and with everyone involved in that fateful decision either directly or indirectly.
That spring a message of hope was planted in my heart....two words merged as one....LifeVictory.
Over the last ten years I have made it my mission to dig deeper under the surface of the abortion coverup. Yes, cover up. How can we still be ignored the last 40 years of empirical worldwide research of the realities of the harm of abortion trauma?
Since my own healing journey I have been committed to being a listening ear to countless women, and men, grandmas and grandpas, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, siblings who have experienced abortion first hand. As I write, and pause to ponder the countless stories, my heart physically aches for their pain, suffering and sorrow. My heart especially aches for the women who were told that their abortions were perfectly safe and nothing could go wrong, that they would be able to have children later, who were never again able to carry a child to full term in their womb. Talk about GRIEF!
These family's individual stories may vary but the soul wounds are oh so common.
Women feeling forced and abandoned without a "choice", whether by the baby's father and his family, her parents or family, doctors, friends, teachers, abortion clinic....the list goes on. So many would have chosen life for their babies had they had a support system. And adoption is so rarely discussed as an option.
My hope through the work I now do is to connect the existing network of support systems for women. To help them make healthy, well-informed and fully aware, spirit-soul-body, of all of their options. I hope for women's right to know laws of what we now know after 40 years of "legal and safe" abortions. When are we going to get the bigger picture? When are we going to stop playing political, social and financial games with women's health, vulnerable women. Abortion is an industry, period. The largest abortion provider in the world receives 1.5 million dollars of taxpayer money per day. That's reality! I think it's high time that we offer women a greater hope and stop protecting those who continue to fight against women getting the whole truth.
Some would say I'm in a "war on women". They can say whatever they want but the truth remains that abortion turns the women against herself, her own divine and unique nurturing and loving nature. Abortion turns the mother against the child. Abortion turns father against mother, and child. In some cases, grandmother against grandchild. How can that be good in a world that was created for love, for creativity, for human potential, for overcoming the impossibilities?
Do we really think we will be free from violence and abuse in our world when we promote, fund and force violence and abuse of our unborn