I grew up in a Christian home. In the late 70's I observed girls going to the Richmond Abortion Clinic from college my freshman year. I said, "I'll not do that." So I got an IUD. It failed my senior year. I had an abortion right after my graduation. I went to DC where I was treated very nicely by the people in the clinic. Yet, I needed someone to tell me that there was room in this world for my baby. I was in a panic because I saw no money and no marriage coming forth. I did what was easy for everyone around me...I had no job yet. No car.
I regretted my decision immediately. The delicate relationship with the baby's father crumbled. I married someone I did not love on the rebound. My mom tried to find some help for me in the form of a private counselor, who did not believe that abortion was my problem. She offered me no help. I knew exactly that the abortion was the big bomb that blew my life and mental health so far off the track. I was stuck in depression and grief. I had married someone else and was tormented by the fact that I could not get closure on the painful end of the relationship with the baby's father. I had nightmares that I was desperately trying to find him.
I'm sad to say that I had a horrible experience in the early days of the local pregnancy help center where a zealous woman wanted to stick me in a little room to watch the Silent Scream. The Silent Scream is a graphic short film. (I'd gone to church with my sister and someone talked about a crisis pregnancy center. I thought maybe they could help me even though I'd already had an abortion.)
A quiet girl at the desk (not the zealot) managed to hand me a brochure before I ran away from them that day. I attended a local support group whose phone number was on the brochure. A lady in the group helped me get into a Bible Study and, many years later, I attended a Rachel's Vineyard Retreat.
I have gladly watched the steady and forward growth of healthy healing groups emerge over the years. I also want to say that even though I had an unfortunate experience at the crisis pregnancy center in which I was handled badly as a traumatized post abortive woman, I'm sure everyone has learned to do better these days. A good pregnancy center like that could have saved me from my panic-driven abortion decision, because I was not abortion minded and one voice of hope could have turned the tide.
Today I'm grateful for the internet where people can hear other people's testimonies of healing, understand their own pain, and realize they are not crazy. Today it is easier for people to find help groups and be encouraged to fight for their own lives...to fight, on all fronts, their way back from devastation and lies and loss. I learned that God loves sinners and that He is kind. These truths are important for all to know. This is why I must tell my story. This is why I am silent no more.