Life After Abortion
by Lezlie M. Winberry
Life after abortion: Is there really such a thing?
Although this thought didn’t consciously run through my mind, it burned deep within my heart. I was young and single the first time I became pregnant. Because of morning sickness, I quit my job. I was not eligible for unemployment and was solely responsible for providing my needs. I remember going through the motion of daily living, but I don’t remember ever being so depressed, ill, and confused in all my life. I felt deserted and despondent about the decision I had made to have an abortion. How could anyone else help me resolve something concerning my body and my beliefs?
Because of the hurt we put each other through over the previous years, I no longer dated the man who might have been the father. Yet I yearned to be asked out by someone – anyone – just so I’d know I was still desirable. Misery sank in: no income, no intimacy, no peace. I desperately grabbed onto the first person capable of pulling me out of my pit.
I met Kenny while entering my third month of pregnancy. He was a hard worker and a great provider. We moved in together, but I didn’t share my secret with him. I later wondered if he would have accepted my baby with me if I’d only had the courage to tell him the truth.
At the time, I confided only in my mother regarding my pregnancy. She encouraged me to go away to a larger city to live with my hippie college brother and have the baby. But I didn’t see that as a desirable option. My mother’s advice and wishes weren’t persuasive enough. Pride told me I could handle the abortion myself, so I did.
A Simple Plan?
The lady at the organization where I received my pregnancy test hadn’t told me about possible pregnancy options. She simply referred me to one place. There I went, and they offered the simplest plan available.
The abortion process ran smoothly. I had signed up for medical aid, so I didn’t pay my expenses. Although I entered the clinic by myself, I wasn’t alone. Seated in the waiting room were several other women. One young woman chased after her toddler; this would be her second abortion.
“I didn’t have complications before,” she assured the rest of us. This settled any concerns I wrestled with inside. I trusted that the medical professionals knew their job.
Everything happened as scheduled in my abortion; no physical problems arose. Finally, I thought, this door to my life is closed. But no one had discussed with me the emotional side effects that could occur after the abortion.
Kenny and I married four months after meeting each other. Our first three years together were like a roller coaster with his explosive personality running over my timid nature. After the abortion, I cried constantly without telling him about my inner sorrow. Although I received counsel from a psychologist, I discussed only the surface of my immediate problems with him. Nothing was resolved.
Three years after Kenny and I married, we consented to go to church with a couple who frequently spoke about God. I was six months pregnant with our first child at this time. As I listened, many emotions rose in my heart that I didn’t know were buried so deep. I don’t remember what the pastor spoke about, but I knew I needed help. God was mercifully waiting for me to come to Him.
When the pastor asked if anyone wanted to accept Jesus in their heart, I stood to show that I wanted what he was offering, though I didn’t fully understand what it entailed. After the pastor prayed with me at the altar and I received Christ, the spiritual blinders dropped from my eyes. When I later read the Bible, I realized I had committed sin by aborting my first child. The wounds from my guilt began to heal after I confessed my abortion through prayer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Seven years later when I was pregnant with my third child, I became interested in helping pregnant women. I started donating clothes and money to a local agency that focused on women who wanted to keep their babies.
Then God slowly opened the door wider for me to become more involved. I brought home video tapes relating to the abortion issue. Although my husband didn’t express any interest in God or in what the Bible had to say, he was appalled at how any woman could abort her baby.
At this, I was disturbed: I still hadn’t told Kenny of my abortion. I found myself torn between defending the decision a woman makes and knowing abortion grieves the Lord.
Revealing the Secret
Finally, I revealed my awful secret to a volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center. She encouraged me to tell Kenny about my abortion. I was afraid of what Kenny would think or say and of the questions he might ask: “Whose baby was it? Does the father know?”
I covered myself in prayer, then told Kenny I needed to talk with him about something personal.
When I finished speaking, freedom from the bondage of my past overwhelmed me! My husband didn’t ask any details; instead, he lovingly accepted that part of my life. In answer to my prayers, Kenny gave the acceptance I desperately needed.
Next, I studied a post-abortion counseling manual based on Bible verses. I read many verses indicating that God is definitely pro-life:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him (Genesis 1:27).
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life (Job 33:4).
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:15, 16).
I also read that human life begins at conception and that Jesus loves children:
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18).
[Jesus] said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14).
“You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).
“Do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty” (Exodus 23:7).
I believe that reading these scriptures and the post-abortion counseling manual helped me complete the healing process God had started in me the day I sought forgiveness for my abortion.
Since that healing, I have freely shared my experience with others as God has given me opportunities. I am a volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center, and God has moved me into the area of post-abortion counseling. I’m learning a great deal about the effects of abortion on women.
Just as the scars of death are apparent in Jesus Christ, the scars of my past remain in my life. But just as Jesus no longer experiences pain and suffering on the cross, I no longer experience the pain and suffering of abortion. Jesus’ sacrificial love made me whole; there is still abundant life for me.
The first Bible verse I learned as a new Christian has had more meaning for me throughout my life with Christ than when I first learned it. It is simple, yet profound and promising; it tells of life after abortion: “Weeping may last for a night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5b, NASB)
Scripture quotations were taken from the New International Version, except where otherwise noted.