It took Years to Unwind my Long-Held Beliefs

  Rene Leaver
Kentucky,  United States
When I had my abortion at 26, I had only heard the lies about abortion. I, and all my friends, believed the lie that an abortion was an easy solution - that it empowered women.  To me, there was one side of the abortion argument; women could choose. Full stop.  When I found myself pregnant as a result of a “bad night”, I felt no shame or ambivalence.  So, I called the Planned Parenthood clinic in DC, and scheduled an appointment.  

I took that Friday as a vacation day, and I drove myself to the clinic as scheduled.  It was a nondescript row house near Dupont Circle.  I was shocked at the old and rundown condition of the clinic.  I never met the doctor until I was in the abortion room, and he was all business.  

As he started the procedure - without anesthesia - the pain overwhelmed me.  I passed out at least twice; the nurse revived me, and the doctor was aggravated by the inconvenience - I found no “care” in that “healthcare”.  Once the procedure was over, I went to another room to rest a bit before leaving with an antibiotic prescription.  I have a few vivid memories of that day, and waiting for the prescription to be filled is one of them.  I will never forget standing in the aisle of the drugstore.  I can’t begin to describe how alone, disempowered, and violated I felt.

This was the first crack in the scales on my eyes.  However, I needed to justify, so I didn’t back down; instead I doubled-down.  A few years later, I was living in Milwaukee when Operation Rescue planned a summer campaign.  I answered the call to be a clinic escort. During this experience, I saw the pro-abortion underbelly of the pro-choice movement.  It was about the movement and the ideology, not women.  Another crack in the scales.  

I realized the full magnitude of my “choice” in 1999 when I miscarried.  It took years to unwind my long-held beliefs and the trauma of that abortion. Admitting who I am and what I’m capable of justifying was a painful process; at times I felt I was being flayed. I know God was with me every moment during these 35 years.  

With God’s mercy and the support of my husband and two beautiful daughters, I’m able to share my story.  I’m here to tell anyone who has justified their abortion because “I'm fine” or “my life has turned out well” that healing is real. Forgiveness is real, and there is freedom beyond the empty promises and justification of abortion. God has much more for you than that.  That’s why I am silent no more!

Priests for Life