Yesterday, January 22nd, marked the 44th anniversary of Roe vs Wade when it was ruled that abortion was a fundamental right protected by the US constitution. This year, it happened to fall on Sanctity of Life Sunday. On this day every year, I am reminded of my abortion ten years ago. This year was no different. In fact, I think about my abortion and my baby often.
This weekend, I thought of my baby as I watched women march in DC for the right to have abortions. Next week, I will be joining evangelicals from across the country to march for life in the exact same place. When I think about why I am marching, it is hard to silence the accusation of hypocrisy.
You see, I’ve had 2 crisis pregnancies. Both times I was unmarried, below the poverty level income, and terrified. The first time I decided to keep my baby. The second time I did not. Those were my choices. I could keep my babies. But, if I didn’t want to, I had every “right” to kill them. So, there is always a voice in my head telling me that I have no right to speak up. It tells me I am a hypocrite for wanting to take that “right” away from other women. But, ultimately, I silence that voice inside of me.
Instead, I know that I must stand up for what’s truly right. As Christians, we know that right and wrong are not ultimately determined by the constitution. Rather, they are determined by the character of God. I hope to encourage other women to not be silent, either. People need to hear our voices and our experiences, no matter how hard they are to share.
If I had heard a mom describe her “fetus” as a baby or read an article about the pain that my “right” would cause me, I may have changed my mind. Even hearing just one woman share her story may have made all the difference in the world.
Current abortion statistics are staggering. This is all the more reason we need to speak up and share our stories, even our hurt, in the hope that even one person would change their mind. We can’t change abortion statistics of the past, but we can for the future if we are willing to speak.
The Pain of Abortion
My “right” hurt me in so many ways. It hurt me physically. I remember screaming, but the nurse told me to stop because I would scare the other women. I remember the nurse asking me afterward if I was RH negative because they forgot to record my bloodwork. They could have killed me had I not remembered my blood type from my previous pregnancy. I remember them running in to give me my Rhogam shot in a panic.
It hurt me emotionally. I remember going numb for months after my abortion. I remember the trust issues I had with everyone. I remember feeling extremely overprotective of my daughter because I thought I didn’t deserve a healthy child. I remember the pain when I found out my son had autism and thoughts crept in of it being a punishment for my abortion.
It hurt me spiritually. I remember feeling so ashamed of myself. I felt low. I felt disgusting and unforgivable.
Years later, the hurt is ongoing. I will never forget the first time I really thought about who my baby could have been. I wept uncontrollably. I still cry for my baby. I remember the pain of telling my daughter that I had an abortion and having to console her the many times she’s cried since. I remember when I saw the Planned Parenthood videos describing what I did to my baby. And, now, I have to forever live with the excruciating reality that I ended my baby’s life.
We often hear the cry about women’s rights and empowering women to make their own decisions about their bodies. These rights are supposed to help us. However, all my “right” did was cause me a lifetime of pain. This is not the empowerment I was promised.
Hope for All Women
However, that is not the end of the story. There is also hope and healing to be found. For those who find themselves in an unintended pregnancy, my prayer is for you to see that God created that precious baby in your womb. God has a purpose for your child. Please know that you are not alone. I pray you will turn to a church who will support you and show you how to be a truly strong woman by choosing life for your child. Don’t make the same mistakes that so many have before you.
For those who have already had an abortion, you can find forgiveness and ultimate healing in Jesus. No one is too far gone for Him to save. Despite our sin which cuts us off from a perfect and holy God, He loved us so much that He sent His Son to live a perfect life, die on the cross, and rise again to pay the penalty for our sin. Only through Christ can we be made whole. My prayer is that you will seek Christ for your healing and forgiveness. He eagerly waits to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Our God delights to give life even to those who have taken life.
A Word to the Church
I also plead with the Church. We must actively get involved in this cause. What about supporting a single mom by helping her with prenatal care? What about rallying around post-abortive women to encourage them in their healing? What about encouraging and empowering women by showing them they can be strong, beautiful working single parents? What about showing women the wonderful and selfless option of adoption? What about offering them ultimate hope by sharing the love of Christ with them? We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are called to care for the vulnerable. I pray that God’s people will not be silent. Instead, we must stand up for these women and their babies. We must point them to the gospel of Jesus Christ where true hope can only be found.
Allison Hill is an autism advocate who is passionate about encouraging other special-needs parents. Her youngest son, Jacob, has autism and is the inspiration for her blog www.