The following story was written by Tracy, from Connecticut in the United States. Because of my role as a pro-life organizer (with "Silent No More" and "Rachel's Vineyard"), I receive stories of people who have had abortions and how it affected them. This story is appropriate for WTNESS.ORG because it tells of how God played a part in this woman's recovery after her abortion. I am also a friend of Bill Griffin, another regular contributor on this site. His wife works at the same hospital as my wife, and my daughter babysat their children when they were young.
Within a year of my parents' divorce, when I was sixteen, I left home to avoid the mounting responsibilities of being the oldest of five children. Against my mother's protests, I moved in with a man I met, who gave me a diamond ring and promised marriage as soon as I finished high school.
Before Christmas that year, I found out I was pregnant. My boyfriend demanded that I get an abortion. It was easier to be pushed into abortion than to fight for my baby, not knowing how I would be able to manage on my own.
He went to work and told me to "take care of it". The clinic was filled with other women, some somber, some laughing - all of us going in pregnant and coming out alone. The pain of the procedure was worse than I thought possible. I was crying the whole time. For over an hour afterward I was throwing up, repulsed by what I had just done. I told my boyfriend everything in graphic detail. He cried and told me if he had known how horrible it was, he would have never made me do it.
Less than a year later, still on the pill, I got pregnant again. I thought this time, we would get married. He simply said, "You know what to do." I started screaming my objections. He insisted. I packed my things and told him I would never kill another one of my babies again and I moved out. A few weeks later I miscarried. I was sure it was retribution from God for my abortion.
I felt condemned. I couldn't look at a baby without crying. I built a shell around myself to deaden the pain. I was angry at myself, afraid of God, angry at my boyfriend and my parents. There was plenty of blame to go around. I was angry much of the time.
Later, I had two more miscarriages, one before and one between my two children. I thought God was still punishing me for my abortion. I didn't know God was grieving over my pain and leading me to my healing. I tried to be a good mom, to teach my kids how precious Iife is. I went back to church, listened to people talk about God's forgiveness. Layers of pain came off as God revealed more of His Love for me.
I got involved in pro-life events, found out about Silent No More and donated to pro-life organizations. I tried to talk to people little by little, but the shame was still strong. I started writing a book about my abortion and the power of taking personal responsibility for our own choices. It was a pivotal step in being able share my experience.
I met a woman at a Care Net fund raiser and who led me through a post-abortion Bible study called "Forgiven and Set Free". I never expected the release God brought me. I finally felt the weight of the guilt drop off, the relentless self-condemnation was over! I am now free to speak about ALL my children. I will never be held captive by the silence again! When we are silent, we are imprisoned. When we speak we share the way to freedom.
The past no longer has a choke hold on my voice - and I will be silent no more!
Tracy from Connecticut