Hi, my name is Barbara and I’m
from Boise, Idaho. The year was 1985. I was seventeen years old and
I had just graduated from high school. I had hopes and dreams to go on to
college with a scholarship, to go to med school – pre-med and medical school.
And I just had this incredible hope for the future.
Then one day I found out that I
was pregnant. And after really just thinking it over and looking at what I
thought were all the options, I decided to have my baby. I didn’t think my
boyfriend would have a problem with it, but to my surprise the day I told him,
all of that came crashing down. He could not believe that I would even
consider having the child. After, you know, going through the discussion
with him, and also my father who loved his daughter very much and knew that she
had all of these hopes and dreams, he convinced me and my boyfriend that
abortion was my best choice.
So my mom one day drove me to the
abortion clinic, and I can tell you for several months after that, that I can’t
recall a single day – but that day is so vivid in my mind that I cannot forget
it. I laid on the table. And I can tell you the nurse, she had blond
hair, white lab coat. The doctor, grey hair, grey beard, white lab coat.
And I laid there and I was shaking and I started to cry. And I looked at
the nurse and I said, “I don’t want to do this. I changed my mind.”
The doctor got annoyed with me. He said, “Oh, that’s normal; you’ll get
over it.” And then he said, “It’s too late.” And we know that that’s
a lie now. It wasn’t too late.
After that I fell into this
incredible despair. I stepped into the abyss. I turned to drugs, I
turned to alcohol, to try to mask the pain that I was feeling and to escape from
this incredible grief, because the day that I killed my daughter, I also killed
myself. That day, a part of me died. My innocence and my hope was
gone. It took me eighteen years to come to a place to realize what my
abortion had done to me. It took two marriages, because I married twice,
not because I was in love and I thought that I would be there for the rest of my
life, but because I was trying to fill this incredible emptiness within me.
I was looking for a way, as so many women do to make my life make sense somehow,
to make it better, because I didn’t know why I felt the way I did.
I didn’t know why my life was so different than I have ever imagined it would
be. I just knew that deep down something was incredibly wrong.
I’ve been blessed with four
wonderful, beautiful children, absolutely wonderful. My son is here
tonight to witness this, and he now stands for life. But I can tell you,
after having two boys, I thought I was done. As I approached my thirties,
I began to yearn to have a daughter as well. But I remember thinking
within myself that I would never have a daughter because I had killed the one I
was given originally. I remember when I became pregnant with my third
child after having a miscarriage. I remember praying with all my heart and
soul that God would grant me the grace of a daughter. But deep within I
didn’t feel that He would because I was waiting for that incredible punishment.
I was waiting to be punished, for Him to say, “No, you’ll never have a daughter,
because you killed the one that I gave you.” By the grace of God, He not
only gave me one, He gave me two. And now I have two beautiful girls.
In May of 2003, May tenth, to be
exact – Mother’s day weekend, I attended the first Rachel’s Vineyard retreat
that was held in our state. I went as a helper, because when I saw the
announcement looking for volunteers, I thought somehow in my head that I could
help because I had had an abortion. This was coming from a woman who had
never admitted publicly or to anyone that she had an abortion. So God got
me there, in the guise of being a helper. And I can tell you that weekend
changed my life. By the grace of God I came to know Christ once again in
my life. The separation for eighteen years that I had had from God was
mended and bridged. And I learned that Christ truly does forgive each and
every one of us. He just is calling us back; He wants His daughters back,
He wants His sons back. And He’s letting us know that now is the time: we
need to be “silent no more.”