My name is Melody Joy, and I have always felt that my name was the worst irony because until my salvation, I had never felt like a "happy song.” My childhood was full of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse by my father, and at a very early age, I went looking for a man's love through sex. By my 20th birthday, I had my first abortion out of four. I had been raised in a Christian home with a pro-life mindset. I had even gone to rallies and the March for Life in middle school, but there I was at Planned Parenthood - the ultimate enemy - asking for the pills.
The first one was the hardest by far because I was rejecting everything I had ever been taught about what was right and moral. I was struggling with my own selfish desire to please my boyfriend and the idea of killing my baby. Oh, I forgot to mention, I had already given birth to two sons by then. My first child, who I had at age 16, I had kept and was raising, but later lost custody of. The second child, who I had at age 18, was placed in an open adoption, so I was not unfamiliar with the other alternatives, which actually made it worse. I knew better! But I still went through with it, convincing myself that it would be "easier.” I wouldn't lose my boyfriend, I wouldn't have to tell my parents AGAIN and deal with their disappointment, and I wouldn't have to be pregnant and uncomfortable. This abortion was very painful physically and emotionally, and the baby, who looked like a little turtle when it came out, was buried outside because I couldn't stand to flush it. I thought that would be the end, and that I had learned my lesson. But I didn't take birth control of any kind, and my boyfriend hated using condoms, so a short time later, I was back at the Planned Parenthood.
The second abortion was kind of a "back alley" abortion. I had gone to Planned Parenthood for pills and was turned away because I was a few days past the cutoff for having a medical abortion. Well, one of the employees there agreed to help me anyway, and she offered to meet me in a parking lot where she would give me the pills. This obviously wasn't the first time she had done it, because she had a system in place. I got the pills at a mall lot and proceeded to give myself an abortion without any kind of doctor oversight. I don't remember passing this one, I was just very scared of what I may be doing to MYSELF.
The third abortion was done at some random woman's clinic, because they were much cheaper than Planned Parenthood. I ended up in a really bad position where I had taken the pills but was experiencing dark black discharge that was super scary and painful. I didn't have money for the follow-up visit then, so I had to call and ask to come back the next week. They agreed but still mailed me a certified letter to remind me. The next week, when I finally got the cash, I went for my follow-up. I was rejected by the clinic because they said I had to pay for the certified letter. Well, that was another $4, and I just didn't have it, so I explained the clear complications that I was having to the nurse, hoping for some sympathy and a slide on the $4 fee. The clinic refused, and I was sent away. Eventually, the pain and discharge stopped on its own, but I never did get my follow-up. It was clear to me then that money mattered way more than my health to them. But it didn't stop my careless behavior towards sex, because I had not changed nor had I changed what I thought about myself. In fact, the abortions only led to lower self-esteem, because I couldn't deny in my heart what I knew I was doing, and I hated myself for it.
The fourth and final abortion was a D&C type at Planned Parenthood. I was too far along for a medical abortion, so this time I actually had to face the reality. I was placed on a table and stretched and pulled and suctioned, and it was horrifying and painful. The staff was cold and unsympathetic, and the doctors were even worse. It's like they despise you but conceal it under the guise that they are "helping.” I have never felt cared for or understood at these places.
The long string of abortions finally came to an end under the strangest of circumstances. I became pregnant again in 2008 when I was heavily addicted to Meth - a way to self-medicate my pain and depression. I knew I wasn't keeping the baby and continued to use drugs and plan for a trip to Houston, where they perform late term abortions. I also kept hoping that I would just lose it, but God had other plans.
I was broke and homeless and I needed help, so one day I ended up at a Pregnancy Care Center. I knew what they stood for, but still there I was. I ended up talking to the center director for hours, finally confessing the truth of what was really going on in my life. She listened and offered help but no judgement. She never once told me what I "should" do but offered to help in any way. She gave me a grocery store gift card, a gas gift card, and free maternity clothes, and I left. I was still planning for an abortion, but I was broke, so how was that really going to happen?
A month later, I got a message from the PCC director just "checking on me". (No, I didn't have a cell phone - just a Google voice mail number that I could check from other's phones.) I decided to call her back. When we spoke, she actually cared and told me about classes they have at the center that I could attend to earn items that I would need. Since I wasn't doing anything else, I went. I began to hear truths in these classes that I had forgotten (or maybe never learned); that I was valuable, that God loved me in spite of my sin, that I didn't have to stay the way I was, etc. I was struggling, but somehow hope was peeking through.
At this point, I was six months along and now had decided to go to a real OB referred by the PCC and paid for by Medicaid. I found out I was having a boy and now I was going to keep him. Because of my raging drug addiction, that was stupid, but no one at the center said anything about it other than encouragement. I never heard judgement at all. With the classes, I earned "Diaper Dollars" and began "purchasing" baby items from the center—stroller, crib, clothing, car seat, etc. By the time my son was born I had everything except for a place to put it in, because I was still homeless. My delusion about raising him was shattered the day he was born. He was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and had several holes in heart that would require surgery and almost a year on ventilators. There was no way I could provide him with the necessary care, but I was still in love with him. The PCC helped me to find an adoption center that could help me and, 10 days after he was born, he was allowed to leave the hospital with his adoptive parents. He will be 8 this year and, thankfully, his mom is great about blogging, so I get to see him all the time, laughing and playing.
That pregnancy center led me to Christ by being God's love to me. For the first time in my life, when I was at my absolute worst and most disgusting self, I was able to see God showing His love for me. He began to heal my heart from the previous abortions and abuse, and I was able to forgive those people (my parents and boyfriends) who had so deeply hurt me, which then allowed me to forgive myself. I left the drugs and promiscuous lifestyle behind and began the long process of rebuilding and reconciliation.
Planned Parenthood didn't help me, the other Women's Clinic didn't help me, the abortions didn't help me - the LOVE of the staff at the PCC did more than help me, it led me to real salvation and healing, and that is why I am SILENT NO MORE!