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  • Feb 20 / 2017
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Abortion, Pro-life, Unintended pregnancies

I Regret My Abortion- An Interview

 

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Recently, Billie Garza publicly shared about her personal abortion experience. She was gracious enough to answer some questions in an interview with our Assistant Director, Katie Van Dyke. We are very thankful to her for allowing us to share her story!

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Katie Van Dyke: When did you have an abortion?

Billie Garza: I had the abortion in February of 2000, when I was 21 years old.

 

KV: What were the reasons surrounding your decision to have one?

BG: There were several things that led me to this corner. For one, I had a 3 year old son whose father had chosen to be absent. I was on my own, with little family, trying to raise this sweet little guy and I already felt like I was failing him. To add to the despair, I was pregnant by someone whom I was no longer in a stable relationship with. The relationship was not only over, but it’s end was tumultuous and volatile. We had a physical altercation in which he attempted to strangle me. I could not conceive being linked to someone like that for the rest of my life.

 

KV: Was it an easy decision? Why or why not?

BG: It was the hardest decision of my life. In middle school, I had performed many debates opposing the act of abortion. It was a place I never could have imagined that I would find myself. It took several attempts before I was able to actually “see it through”.

 

KV: How did you feel in the moments right after it?

BG: To be honest, it all happened so fast that I am not sure how I felt right after. That stage for me was … numb, I suppose. But a sad and defeated numb, if that makes sense. I will say this, it was the onset of a deep dark depression for me.  I felt like everyone expected me to be grateful that I had side stepped this landmine, but I just felt more lost than ever. How had I ended up here? How could I have just done this? It plunged me into a downward spiral of inner turmoil. I felt alone. I felt like no one understood my sadness. I guess, in hindsight, I was mourning the death of my baby, but the feelings were magnified by the fact that I was the one responsible for the death.

 

KV: Did you have any long term emotional effects?

BG: Seventeen years later and I can hardly speak about it without it triggering extreme sadness and regret. It is the one single most regrettable moment of my life, and I have lived a largely misspent life full of poor decisions and bad choices. Still, I regret nothing more than this.

 

KV: If someone would have been there for you to completely support or encourage you in choosing life, would that have made a difference?

BG: That is a tough question. I have often wondered this very thing. I don’t know for sure if I would have changed my mind. However, there was no one- not one single person- who believed there was a better option than abortion. So, I would have to say, having someone there offering encouragement surely could have made a huge difference.

 

KV: Were you ever able to find forgiveness?

BG: Yes, but if I am honest, this has been a journey for me. I have found total forgiveness in Christ. And I believe His blood has washed away my every sin, even this horrendous sin of murder. But it has not erased the pain, sadness, and regret that I continue to carry. I still ache for the baby that grew inside of me but that I never got to meet.

 

KV: What word would you give to churches on addressing this issue?

BG: We have to continue to be on the front lines on this matter. Not only fighting for the sanctity of the unborn life, but also in ministering to these girls (and the fathers). Many of them, just like myself, never imagined they would be in that place. Many are longing for someone to come along side of them and show them a more excellent way. They are scared and they feel alone. They need someone to tell them that it is going to be okay, and that this little person growing in them is a blessing and not a curse.

 

KV: What word would you give to women who find themselves in this situation?

BG: I would tell them that even though the baby will be removed from their womb it will never be removed from their memory. It will forever be a part of them, and a possible source of pain and regret if they choose to take this baby’s life away.

The clinics never prepare you for the mourning that takes place afterwards. They make you feel as though once it is all over, it will just be a relief. That was NOT my experience. All I felt was pain and sadness, I never felt the “relief”. I would want any woman facing this decision to know the gravity of it.

Most importantly, I would tell them what I wish someone would have told me- there is hope. There can still be a bright future. There is not just one resolution to the situation they have found themselves in. There are other options and many people willing to help them choose the best one.

 

KV: Thank you so much for your honesty and transparency. We appreciate you sharing your story with us!

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Billie is not the only one to have experienced this. In fact, there are many women right now who find themselves in a similar situation. If churches were meeting these women where they are and engaging them with the truth and love of the gospel, the outcome could be so different. As a gospel believing people, we have such a great responsibility to care for these women and their unborn babies. At S4U, we focus on equipping local churches in doing just that. We would love for you to partner with us! Click here to learn more about our exciting strategy for 2017.

 


Billie Garza lives in Houston, TX where she serves her community by teaching the Word of God in her church, Star of Hope, and through various other speaking opportunities. She is a devoted wife to her husband, Henry, and mother to her 3 beautiful children. She and her husband are members of Park Temple Baptist Church.

  • Feb 13 / 2017
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Uncategorized

My Son Should Have Been Aborted

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I remember speaking to a pro-choice activist who worked for years in children’s services. She recounted the unfortunate conditions of some orphanages she had visited, made worse only by the high number of children that lived there. They had no family. They were totally dependent upon the system, just years away from being turned loose upon a society that largely had rejected them. In her mind, these were the epitome of “unwanted” children. Knowing my position on the sanctity of life, she challenged my pro-life convictions by touting a supposed lack of concern for children like these. After I asked for specific ways that our local churches could help, I couldn’t suppress the question that lingered in the back of my mind since the beginning of the conversation. I asked her, “Do you think that any of these children should have been aborted?” Without hesitation, she retorted, “Yes, each and every one of them.”

I thought about this conversation not too long ago as I stood in the middle of an African orphanage. The courtyard of the small complex was filled with young children. Some wore tattered clothes, likely hand-me-downs from those who came before them. Many had flies covering their faces like bees on a honeycomb. Most of them were abandoned as infants. All of them were laughing and smiling. One of them was my son. After nearly a five-year long adoption process, here we stood, watching our son kick a ball with the only family he had known to this point in his life. He didn’t understand it then, but he had a new last name. And while there are many questions surrounding the early weeks of my son’s life, we do know that by the world’s standards he was unwanted. Then it dawned on me: according to this pro-choice activist, this is precisely the kind of child that should have been aborted. As I watched him toddle around the courtyard with friends, I felt the chill of her cold and icy words. Yet my heart was warmed towards these children. Many of them may have been “unwanted,” but these were real people with real smiles and very real personalities.

It is hard for me now to imagine our family without my middle child. To be clear, my son did not become valuable as soon as we received the adoption referral. Human beings are not valuable because someone wants them; they are valuable because God made them. And we need to remember that this is exactly what we are talking about when we talk about abortion. We must never forget that beneath the compassionate rhetoric of the abortion industry is a beast that bears its fangs against actual human beings. The Scripture says that the Devil prowls like a lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). He is not simply interested in an issue; he is interested in image-bearers. The Adversary is unconcerned with who wins the abortion debate, so long as there are the bodies of men, women, and children left in the wake.

The pro-choice movement has sought consistently to dehumanize the unborn. Whether it is changing the terminology (“fetus,” “pregnancy tissue,” ect.), or shifting the focus to the rights and health of the woman, the abortion industry tries to make us forget that we are talking about human beings. We must remember, abortion is not simply about an issue to be debated, it is about lives to be defended. We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from the fact that lives are taken through abortion. The rhetoric smokescreen filling our culture should never cloud our view on what is happening. For we know that life is precious at every stage.

How should Christians respond? Through our faithful witness, the people of God should display the glory of a gospel that leads to a high value of life. Our local churches should be beacons of hope in the midst of this culture. On any given Sunday, for instance, my local church is filled with families that reflect God’s love for the unwanted. There are transracial families united through adoption and foster care. There are men mentoring others recovering from destructive patterns of addiction. There are children with special needs being celebrated as fellow image-bearers. There are single mothers patiently teaching their children about the life-giving message of the gospel. There are brothers and sisters sacrificing time to serve children in the nursery. All of this is a declaration to the world that the kingdom of Jesus is different.

Jesus modeled this when he welcomed children (Matt 18:1–6; 19:13–15). Contrary to the expectations of the disciples, children have a place near Jesus. When the children did come, he did not separate them into those with stable home situations and those without. Both the ‘wanted’ and ‘unwanted’ were welcomed. Rather, he blessed them all, stating that “to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 19:14). In the gospel, we see that privilege and priorities of the world are put to rest in an empty tomb. That is why for James it is unconscionable that a follower of Christ would not care for the vulnerable (James 1:27). This is integral to our Christian identity, because we too were orphaned and in need of rescue. While we were weak, says the Apostle Paul, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly (Rom 5:6). Before the creation of the world, God purposed believers to be part of His family. We love like this because we have been loved like this.

While they may not say it so bluntly, the world looks at my son as one whose life should have been cut short. Maybe his birthmother couldn’t afford an abortion. Maybe she lacked access to available “reproductive healthcare.” Maybe the cultural stigma of abortion was too much to bear. Either way, if she had taken the life in her womb, there would be a gaping hole in my family. But more than that, there would be one more image-bearer consumed by a prowling beast hell-bent on destruction.

As the people of God, we proclaim and display the glory of a better lion, one who has jaws strong enough to swallow death. In Him, we are reminded that the unwanted and unlovable are safe. I journeyed to Africa to bring my son home; God came from heaven to rescue His. And He will stop at nothing to make sure all His children make it to the place he has prepared for them. As we uphold the sanctity of human life, we make clear that people are valuable, not because they are wanted, but because they bear the image of their creator. This may be counter-cultural proclamation, but such is life in the kingdom.


Andrew King is the Executive Director of Speak for the Unborn. He holds degrees from Mississippi State University (B.A.) and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., Ph.D. candidate). He lives with wife and three children in Louisville, KY. He is a member of Immanuel Baptist Church.

 

  • Feb 06 / 2017
  • 0
Pro-life

Standing for Life: A Call to Men

Holding Hands

Our team recently attended the 2nd annual Evangelicals for Life (EFL) conference in Washington, D.C. Hosted by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and Focus on the Family, EFL equips Christians to think about the implications of the gospel on the sanctity of human life. As followers of Jesus, we know that we cannot simply offer words, but must act. Being pro-life is much more than a statement; it is the heartbeat of a gospel people.

All are created in God’s Image

A notable thing about the conference is the emphasis on the dignity of every single human being. Many times when we hear ‘pro-life’, our thoughts automatically jump to the unborn. While being pro-life certainly includes caring about the unborn, that is not where it should end. For what is in the womb is in continuity with what is in the world. In Genesis, we are told that man (male and female) was created in God’s image (1:26-27). God does not distinguish between the man and the woman as to who was created in His image. Both hold the same status as image-bearers

In Psalm 139, David marvels at the fact that he was a person before he was born. This amazing truth is the same for us. God knew each and every one of us even before he knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. When it comes to the unborn, they are no less the image of God than a grown man or woman. Every single human being is valuable and worthy of care regardless of age, race, sex, or disability. In order to truly be a pro-life people, we must celebrate this truth.

Speaking for life is not just for women

However, pro-life views are not the only thing we need to think about. We also need to be mindful of who is actually involved. When it comes to different issues, we can sometimes pick and choose who we think should get involved in them. One big way we see this is when it comes to the issue of abortion. Many times, we think of it being a women’s issue. In fact, our culture explicitly says that it is a women’s issue. Men are often told they do not have a voice in the matter since they cannot bear children. Unfortunately, I fear this mentality has trickled down into the church. When it comes to pro-life ministries, the presence of men is greatly lacking.

During one of the panel discussions at EFL, Roland Warren, President and CEO of Care-Net, spoke candidly on the absolute necessity of men being involved. Warren says that men may actually be a leading factor in women choosing life. He suggests that perhaps this is the reason they are silenced by the pro-choice culture. They want to keep the key players from having a voice. Warren’s words are striking. We often think of men having a voice, but not as the determining voice. This fact presents important insights. Though men have the potential of playing a significant role in protecting life, the wider culture devalues and silences them.

Some may find these insights difficult to believe, but Warren’s observation is sound, even from a biblical perspective. He referenced the event in Matthew’s Gospel where Joseph, Mary, and Jesus had to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s murderous attempts. Matthew 2:13 states, “An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt.’” When it came to the protection of Mary and Jesus, Joseph was the one to answer that call. He was the one who ultimately was responsible for the well-being of his wife and child. The same can be said today.

Men’s voices matter

Men’s voices really do matter when it comes to women in unintended pregnancies. In fact, during the same panel mentioned above, Krissie Inserra, who volunteers at a pregnancy center, stated something similar. She said that most of the women she counsels state they would feel much more confident in choosing life if the father of the baby offered his complete support. Think about that. The main factor for women deciding to choose life is men who are willing to support them in that decision. While the culture is telling us men’s voices don’t matter, they actually may be the most important voices we can hear.

As a people who deeply cares about the sanctity of life, the church must stand against the culture’s claim. We must encourage men to use their voices in speaking for the unborn and their mothers. There are so many loving husbands and fathers who support and provide for their wives and children. What if they reached out to young men and encouraged them to do the same? Think of the great change that could occur if strong men stood up and spoke. We cannot continue to let our culture silence them. The pro-life cause is not just for women. Men’s voices are needed more than ever.

  • Jan 30 / 2017
  • 0
Uncategorized

Win Signed Copies of the Gospel for Life Books

 

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The Gospel for Life series, edited by Russell Moore and Andrew T. Walker, is designed to apply the truths of Scripture to issues that we all face in ordinary life. These excellent books are an easily-accessible resource for helping Christians cultivate a Kingdom mentality on a number of important issues.

We are excited to give away signed copies of four books in this series. Gain entries for the giveaway below! The winners will be notified Monday, February 6th.

 

 

  • Jan 23 / 2017
  • 0
Abortion, Pro-life

Breaking the Silence: My Abortion Didn’t Empower Me

Breaking the Silence

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.jacobsjourneythroughautism.blogspot.com. She received her Master’s degree in special education from Ball State University. Allison lives in Houston, TX with her husband and three children where they attend Northeast Houston Baptist Church.

  • Nov 02 / 2013
  • 1
Pro-life

The Inadequacy of Being Pro-Life

Vote-Pro-life-Uncle-Sam

People are pro-life for many different reasons. Recent statistics evidence a slight tilt in public opinion to a more conservative position on the issue of abortion in this country. While the results of such polls can fluctuate, what is sure is that a large number of Americans identify themselves as “pro-life” to some degree. Yet, with such a large cross-cultural demographic comprising the pro-life movement, inevitably there is a wide range of belief systems represented as well. In many cases, religious differences are set aside for the common goal of the rescue of the unborn. Here one’s personal religious convictions are said to be divisive, and therefore out of place in the discussion. Yet, I would suggest that separating biblical doctrine from pro-life ethics is a damning dichotomy.

Let me state up front that I am thankful for those who speak for the sanctity of human life. The defense of the helpless in any culture is an evidence of God’s common grace upon a people. Governments that uphold righteous laws and punish wickedness are instruments of God’s justice (Romans 13:1-7). Likewise, those who champion the cause of life are, in some sense, agents of God’s restraint of evil in a society.

That being said, I think that it is a fundamental misstep to try to divorce one’s theology from one’s pro-life ministry. I have said many times on the sidewalk that the only reason I am pro-life is because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, if Jesus has not been raised from the dead, I could not care less what a woman does with her body and/or family. But in the resurrection, Jesus defines what it is to be truly human. The problem is not ultimately unfavorable legislation, but rather, global rebellion against the sovereign king of kings. An honest look at one day of your life betrays your guilt before God. The Apostle Paul says that the God’s Law speaks “so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God” (Romans 3:19). None are exempt from his verdict. No one can get off the hook without serving the just sentence for cosmic treason.

It is just at this point that the person and work of Jesus comes clearly into view. When one understands how dire their situation is, they begin to grasp the necessity of a savior. Jesus came into the world to stand in the place of his people, bearing the full punishment of sin in order that they may be reconciled to God by faith and repentance (1 Peter 3:18). Or as the author of Hebrews says, “Consequently, [Jesus] is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). This is truly glorious news for sinful people who come to Christ: he takes your punishment and keeps you secure in him for all of eternity.

When the pro-life narrative is set in context of a biblical worldview, primary and secondary issues emerge. Though a 5 second interaction outside an abortion clinic may consist of pleading for the life of a child, the ultimate aim of a truly pro-life ministry should be the salvation of souls. This is of primary importance. Any call to choose life that does not include a call to repentance is part of a culture of death that stretches all the way back to Genesis 3. There are many on the last day who will say, “Lord, Lord, did we not sidewalk counsel for years in your name, and legislate abortion restrictions in your name,” as though a pro-life badge is an entry card into the favor of God. Yet, all those who would cling to their righteousness on the day of judgment will be found without refuge. This is a hard truth, but one clearly delineated in the Bible (cf. Matthew 7:21-23).

I would implore you to discern the motivation for your pro-life ministry. Speaking for the unborn is necessary, but it is not enough in and of itself. Our ministry here is first and foremost about the gospel. We are pro-life because God has caused us to be born again to new life in Christ. We seek to rescue the unborn in obedience to the God who saves. But ethics, however right, without sound theology is deadly. Both pro-life and pro-choice proponents are unified in this: both are desperately in need of the forgiveness of sins. The good news is that Jesus is very much a pro-life savior.

  • Oct 27 / 2013
  • 0
Abortion, Biblical Application, Pro-life

Is There Blood on the Hands of the Spectator?

The Two Brothers

goodsamaritan3There were two young brothers who went to the same school. The younger of the two was clumsy and prone to hurting himself. Instead of trying to act tough, he would lay on the ground and cry, yearning for sympathy for his (often illegitimate) injuries. This occurred almost daily in the middle of the schoolyard. In contrast, the older brother was athletic, intelligent, and liked by all. He loved to obey the rules, which endeared him to students and teachers alike.

One day, the younger brother was on the ground in the yard crying and fussing, nursing his wounds. But today was different. Instead of the other kids just walking by, they began to tease him, and then pinch him, and then really try to hurt him. He was alone in the middle of this group of attackers. This only gave him more injuries to wail over and he felt more and more alone as those he thought to be his friends were mocking him.

But then the older brother approached the scene. With one word he could have called off those who were hurting his brother, but instead he observed what was happening and then ran in the other direction leaving his brother defenseless. He ran away priding himself in the fact that he was not the one hurting his brother, it was all those other bad kids.

The Mugging

And this situation happened once before, but on a much grander scale. There was a man traveling in a relatively dangerous part of the world. One day he was walking down a street that was known to be particularly dangerous. His worst fears materialized as a group of armed men approached, demanding all his money. He quickly gave them all that he had, hoping that was the end of it, but then they beat him badly, stripped him of his clothes, and left him unconscious.

Fortunately, a leader in his church walked by soon after the mugging. But this leader panicked. His eyes caught a glimpse of a bloodied hand sticking out from behind a rock. Without even thinking his feet hurried to the other side of the street. It is probably too late to do anything anyway. Honestly he did not give the situation a second thought, his mind distracted by searching for a sermon illustration for the coming Sunday.

A second man walked by and this was a man who happened to be from the victim’s hometown. Seeing that same bloodied hand he gasped. How could something like this happen?  This city is terrible, full of crime that must be stopped. These thoughts rushed through his mind as his feet hurried to the other side of the street. Subconsciously he prided himself in being a moral member of society who would never do such a thing as hurt another person.

Mass-Murder

And then there is the story of mass murder that took place in a very powerful nation. This country prided itself in having washed its hands of prejudice. No longer was it acceptable to hire or fire someone based on his or her gender, race or sexual orientation. This country, once having once been guilty or enslaving another race, now hung its head in shame and sought at all costs to right those wrongs. This country was benevolent, welcoming refugees seeking asylum from oppressive governments, giving food to those experiencing famine, and sending relief to victims of natural disaster all over the world. This was a country of wealth, power, and change. A country that could dream of something, make it happen, and the rest of the world would follow. Yet, there was a lingering prejudice within the borders of this country:  the prejudice against the size of a person. The laws were such that it was legal to murder those who were smaller, who were yet to be born.

As if that is not shocking enough, the oft-benevolent members of this society habitually looked the other way. Every day powerful lawyers passed by the buildings where it was legal to kill children rushing to work in order to battle for justice for those companies whose patents were being infringed upon. People with Christian bumper stickers avoided the streets with these killing-mills on them altogether. They hated this evil so much that they did not even want to see be around it. Pastors in churches loudly preached about loving refugees and fighting sex trafficking but hesitated to mention the killing of unborn children because they did not want to offend. The mass murder continues to this day…

Who is Guilty?

In the story of the two brothers, was the older brother innocent?  In a sense he was innocent of mocking his brother because he simply did not participate in that action. He ran the other way. But what was he guilty of? He was guilty of a lack of love, a cold heart consumed with self-preservation rather then mercy, a heart that wanted to maintain his popularity. A heart that failed to put himself in his brothers shoes. He may have been innocent of one sin, but he was guilty of a multitude of others.

In the story of the man who was mugged, were the two men who walked to the other side of the street innocent? In the same way, they were innocent of the abuse this man suffered because they were not the ones who beat him up and took his money. Yet, the list of their other sins remains. They were self-consumed, merciless, and heartless.

As for the powerful nation who legalized the killing of children, were its citizens who voted against this practice innocent? Again, they are innocent of the crime of killing children, but they are far from innocent. They are guilty of letting apathy come into their hearts and choke out love for the helpless. They are guilty of trying to keep their hands from getting dirty in an attempt to rescue a few of these lives. They are guilty thinking more about self and reputation then about the sufferings of the oppressed. They are guilty of drinking the Kool-Aid of tolerance instead of being consumed and controlled by love itself.

As it says in James 4:17, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”  It is sin to do nothing when one knows the right thing to do. It is sin to walk by the suffering and look the other way. It is sin to think of self while others are mocked, or stripped naked, or beat-up, or pulled limb from limb.

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Jesus said, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”

He said, “The one who showed him mercy.”

And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Luke 10:36-37

  • Oct 23 / 2013
  • 4
Abortion, Adoption, Pro-life, Sidewalk Counseling Ministry

I regret my abortion

It’s Saturday, October 19. It’s almost time to pack up ministry for the morning. All the girls are inside awaiting their procedures. One has walked out and left, saving her baby, to God be the glory! It’s raining pretty heavily as I walk up to Jason on the sidewalk. There are two escorts standing and chatting at the corner. I jokingly ask him if he is trying to avoid a shower later, standing directly in the rain like that. He tells me that the escorts have discussed a piece of my testimony, which I had shared with a couple of young ladies as they were walking toward the clinic. My hope was that these girls, both looking to be in their early twenties, would hear the pain they were setting themselves up for and change their minds about ending the lives of their unborn babies. I shared with them as many small bits and details of my story that I could fit in as we walked down the sidewalk. Mostly, I wanted them to know how I regretted my choice to abort my child and that God loves them and their babies so much that he would make a way for them to either keep and raise them or place them in a home with a loving family through adoption. “Women don’t regret abortion. No one regrets an abortion after they have had one,” is the conclusion these two escorts, both women, have come to. I look over at them, I look back at Jason, and I say, “Someone regrets their abortion. I regret my abortion.”

When I arrive home from the clinic I plant myself in front of my laptop and type “do women regret abortion?” into the search engine. I have researched this before, so I already know what I will find. All of the top results come from pro-choice sites and they say that women do not regret abortion. It breaks my heart to see how Satan has used these sites to lie women and make them believe their unborn children are only clumps of tissue, masses of cells. They tell them it’s a simple medical procedure and they will be able to continue their lives as if nothing ever happened, as soon as its over. They do not tell them that their babies had heartbeats just 18 days after conception and brain waves after the 6th week of pregnancy. They fail to tell them about the sadness they may feel after their children are ripped from their wombs. They don’t tell them that the date of their children’s death may be forever burned into their memories or that, even years later, they might wonder “what if I had chosen life?”.

I decide to change it up a little and I type “I regret my abortion” into the engine. Two seconds later my screen is filled with account after account and testimony after testimony of women who regret their abortions. A twenty year old lady said, “I cried and cried until I had nothing left in me but it wasn’t enough to bring my baby back to me.” Another said “ Its been 4 months now, and it still hurts like it was yesterday.” If that cannot be called regret, I’m not sure what can be. The stories of these young ladies and others like them can be found at http://www.gargaro.com/regrets.html, but there are thousands more that will pop up if you search “I regret my abortion”, showing that women do indeed regret abortion.

As for me, I was 18 years old, a few weeks from turning 19. I worked at Taco Bell. I had a 16 month old son and we lived with my parents, but they were preparing to move out of state and I would be moving in with my boyfriend. I was a party girl. I drank often and used various drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and LSD. I learned I was pregnant when I went to the health department to get on birth control. I was scared to tell anyone that I had done this again, after already having a baby at the age of 17. I waited a couple of weeks, delusional that it would just go away or that I could will it away, before I told my family and my boyfriend. The immediate response from everyone was abortion. “What in the world are you going to do with another baby? You can’t do this alone. You’ve been partying, the baby will be born sick or with disabilities. I will leave you if you have and keep this baby.” Those were the kinds of things I was hearing from my parents and boyfriend. At this point, I saw no other option and chose to go through with the abortion. My heart was heavy. Despite what doctors and nurses were saying, I knew this was a baby growing in my womb, a human life, but I continued on with the abortion. I thought I would get used to the idea, get over it. There was no way around this. The regret came immediately after I awoke from a surgical abortion. I remember thinking “I was pregnant when they put me to sleep an now I’m not…but I don’t have a baby.” I was unable to forgive myself until I met and fell in love with Jesus about 14 years later. Through his grace and mercy alone, I am forgiven and by having faith in his forgiveness, I was able to let go of the self hate I had harboured from this for so many years. I know that he is not dwelling on my sins, so I shouldn’t either. God’s forgiveness and forgiving myself have not taken the regret away. Through Jesus, I have found healing for the wounds, but that does not extinguish memories and regrets. My baby was due to be born on September 26, 1998. He would be 15 years old today, a sophomore in high school. I wonder what he would have been like. Would he look like me? I wish I could have held him. I find comfort in knowing I will meet my baby in heaven when the time comes, and we will live together eternally.

Maybe there are some women who have buried their regret after abortion. Maybe some have been lied to so fiercely by the enemy that they never had regrets. In my own personal experience, I can say that there are definitely women who regret their abortions.

  • Oct 12 / 2013
  • 1
Uncategorized

A Woman’s Choice and Necole’s Place: Celebrating 25 years

Last night some of us had the privilege of attending our local crisis pregnancy center, A Woman’s Choice annual banquet.  This year marked the 25th anniversary of the ministry helping women and unborn children. It was a special celebration of honoring those who laid the foundation for the ministry as well as an opportunity to hear the history of A Woman’s Choice and Necole’s Place.  The ministry estimates that 8,000 children have been saved during the course of its 25 years!

awc wall at banquet

The wall behind the stage displayed 25 pictures of saved babies, one for each year the ministry has existed.  Some of the mothers of these children gave testimonials in a video played later in the program.  Many of them gave testimony as to how glad they were that they went into the wrong building on the day of their abortion appointment, but decided to stay at AWC for an ultrasound. One mother wept with emotion stating that she couldn’t imagine her life without her son she nearly aborted  Others gave thanks to AWC and Necole’s Place for the ongoing support they themselves have received after having their babies. Praise God!

Dr. Russell Moore was the keynote speaker and he reminded Christians about the spiritual warfare they face while defending image-bearers of God.  Thankfully, Christians “stand with a gospel that is unabortable!” he encouraged those listening. He later tweeted:
awc tweet

If you’d like to hear Dr. Moore’s address, please contact A Woman’s Choice.  Praise the Lord for the 25 years of faithful labor and service in Christ’s name!

awc wall

  • Apr 12 / 2013
  • 0
Gosnell
Abortion

Have You Heard the #Gosnell News?

As of tonight, #Gosnell is one of the highest trending topics on twitter. Is it because we all saw the story on the nightly news and now need to share our collective gut reactions? Or maybe we’re venting our disbelief over at those shocking new revelations that came out during today’s court proceedings?…

No, as of right now, the collective national outrage is focused on a target other than Gosnell himself. Right now, the masses are disgusted with the likes of @CBSnews, @ABC, @NBCnews, @nytimes, and the rest of the mainstream media for completely ignoring the most horrific homicide case currently unfolding.

Kirsten Powers writes in USAToday:

We’ve forgotten what belongs on page one.

Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A childscreaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven’t heard about these sickening accusations?

It’s not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page.

Well thankfully, the pro-life community is making up for the media’s serious lack of coverage; and here at S4U we too want to raise our voice for the victims of 3801 Lancaster Street.

Don’t let the media bias keep you from being informed. Here’s a round up of some of today’s outstanding articles that tell us the hard to hear truth. We can’t ignore this tragedy. We can’t forget these victims. Speak for the born and the unborn – the precious lives slaughtered by Dr. Gosnell.

Philadelphia Abortion Clinic Horror – Kirsten Powers, USA Today

8 Reasons for the Media Blackout on Kermit Gosnell – Trevin Wax, Gospel Coalition

9 Things You Should Know about the Gosnell Infanticide and Murder Trial – Joe Carter, Gospel Coalition

A 15-Year-Old Allegedly Helped Kill Live Babies at Philadelphia’s Nightmare Abortion Clinic – Erin Fuchs, Business Insider

Krauthammer Explains Why News Outlets are Ignoring Infanticide – Denny Burk, dennyburk.com (multiple articles)

Gosnell Trial Coverage – 9 Articles, World Magazine

Worker at Gosnell Clinic: Baby’s Chest Moved After Neck Snipped – Steven Ertelt, LifeNews (ongoing coverage daily)

Or if you’re on twitter, I suggest following @MZHemmingway since she is constantly posting updates on the trial and its coverage (or lack thereof).

We’re hoping to see more mainstream articles released in the coming days especially as the social media outrage continues to grow. Do you want to help get the media’s attention?  Be a part of getting the news out and show them how valuable news reporting is done. We wholeheartedly agree with @OwenStrachan’s advice:

“I vote for every evangelical who has a Twitter account to Tweet about the Gosnell horror tomorrow. Social media is powerful, right?”

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