Montana,  United States
I had my abortion when I was 17. I was on my own, trying to figure out life.  My boyfriend and I moved in together, and I was abandoned by my family, so I thought I had to do anything to make the relationship work. 

I drove myself to the abortion clinic.  There were protesters and a guy dressed as Uncle Sam screaming. I made my way in the door. I was looking forward to getting this over with, so I could get in my way. There was a problem, however.  I was further along than expected, and I had to do the seaweed insert and come back the next day. The clinic was cold and just interested to the point of what needed to be done. I can't believe I didn't back out. I went along with it, thinking it was going to give me a second chance. 

I was such a mess because of all the abandonment in my life.  All I was concerned with was when I could step back into my sex life. I thought if my boyfriend didn't get what he wanted I would be homeless.

I was in an environment of drinking and drugs.  I never thought I would do the things I did. I used more and more to try to numb my pain. I began to cheat on my boyfriend for drugs and was in a downward spiral. 

I struggled with my self-worth more than ever, which took me into an unhealthy co-dependency lifestyle. I would do anything, sacrifice anything, to make people love me. 
I accepted Christ at 28 and saw a video of what abortion really was. I knew at that moment that I had made the biggest mistake of my life. 

I also found out from my aunt that the physical scars I have always had and needed answers about were the result of my own mother’s failed abortion attempt of me. She would use lye in a douche until she passed out. She would wake up and do it over and over. I was burned, but I survived.  

Several years later I found myself at a crisis pregnancy center. I went through the Forgiven Set Free study and started to volunteer. I thought I was healing. Unfortunately, I never really surrendered my will to Christ and because of the pain I chose to bury it, which was almost was my demise. 

It wasn't until 2013, when I went to a Rachel's Vineyard retreat, that I had a major breakthrough. I was also participating in Celebrate Recovery. That is where I learned that God had completely forgiven me, and I chose to forgive myself. I had held myself hostage for over 30 years because of that horrible decision I made at 17.  

After making the decision to forgive myself, it opened the doors for God to really do a healing work in my life. I am totally different than I've ever been my entire life.  I am so full of joy and happiness, and I no longer have regrets, and that's why I'm silent no more. I want to be able to unlock the chains for other women, so they can know that they don't have to hold themselves hostage anymore, either.
Priests for Life