What do you do when the abortion is over?  by Bernadette Love
Therefore if any man be in
Christ, he is a new creature; old
things are passed away,
behold, all things are become
new.
II Corinthians 5:17
The topic of abortion has been a heated discussion for many years.  Who judges the right or wrong of it?  Who
decides which babies should live and which should die?  Some experts believe that a fetus is not a baby while
others believe that life begins at the moment of conception.  You can find information on the methods, the social
and political ramifications and the moral issues that surround the topic.  I am going to give you my view of abortion
as one who has gone through it and finally has gotten over it, after 30 years.  My story is probably typical.  What
happened to me happens every day to women around the world.  

I remember as if it was only yesterday instead of 30 years ago.  At the age of 21, when I should have been getting
ready to send out invitations to my graduation from Lamar University, instead I was trying to decide on the best
brand of diapers for my beautiful baby girl.  She quickly became the most important thing in my life.  I realized that
finishing school was now a thing of my past so I concentrated on being the best mom I could be.  I refused to get
on welfare and her father rejected us.   My life consisted of work, taking care of my baby and church.  I had just
accepted the Lord as my Savior and I was excited about that.

A few of my friends kept after me to get back into the saddle and start dating.  Trying to hook up with a man was
the farthest thing from my mind.  I argued that a man was the cause of all of my troubles and I didn't need more.  
But, they were relentless, saying that my lifestyle of all work and no play wasn't good for me and would
subsequently harm my child.  I finally gave in and accepted a movie date from a friend of a friend.  This "friend"
was just home from Vietnam  and seemed to be a really nice guy.  He was sharing a house with a girl friend of
mine so I saw him pretty frequently.  Since he had never tried to get out of line with me and he was wonderful with
my daughter, I accepted his invitation to dinner and a movie.

On the night of the date, I picked him up because he didn't have a car.  He came out to my car and just as he was
about to get in, informed me that he had left his wallet inside.  Since it was dark outside and he didn't want to
leave me alone, he asked me to come inside the house for a minute.  I was a little leery about this as we had
never been alone before, but the prospect of sitting outside alone didn't sit too well with me either.  So, I followed
him in, praying that all would be well.  Ok, it wasn't.

As soon as he closed the door I knew that I was in trouble.  He immediately began to try and kiss me.  I told him
that I didn't feel comfortable and that I wanted to leave.  He became violent in a twinkling of an eye.  Before I knew
what was happening he had drug me threw the house to the room that he used and had  thrown me on the bed.  I
remember pleading that he wouldn't do this.  I instinctively began to fight but it didn't do any good.  He finally told
me that if I didn't stop fighting he was going to kill me.  He reminded me of my "cute little girl" who was going to
grow up without her mama.  I had a vision of her as I had left her that night, fresh from her bath, smiling up at me,
and I decided it wasn't worth it.  My baby was my only reason to live, I couldn't lose her.  I shut up and let him have
his way, praying that he would hurry and finish.  I laid there, numb, while he held a small blade knife to the side of
my neck...I knew that he meant every word he said.

I cried all the way home, surmising that it wouldn't make sense for me to go to the police.  Who would believe me,
I asked myself.  I was a single mother so it was evident that I was not a virgin and I was a regular visitor at his
home.  No one would believe that I had been forced.  Since I had already put my family to shame by having a baby
out of wedlock, I made the decision to keep my mouth shut.  The term "date rape" had not yet been invented.   I put
a forced smile on my face to get past my mother once I got home.  I looked in on my baby to make sure that she
was all right, and dragged myself and my shame into the bath tub.  I stayed for what seemed an eternity and cried
into the water.  I felt dirty and no amount of soap could take away the shame and humiliation that I felt.  I blamed
myself, thinking that I should have seen something that should have warned me, but I hadn't.  What had I done or
said that warranted this total violation of my body.  I had been careful not to dress provocatively and I had not tried
to lead him on.  So why?  Why had this happened?  

Now, I thought that getting raped was the worst thing that could have happened to me.  Little did I know that this
was just the beginning of my pain.  I soon realized that I was pregnant.  I have been against abortion as long as I
can remember.  When I first learned that abortion meant taking the life of an unborn baby, I cringed, saying that I
would never do that.  Yet, there I was faced with the knowledge that I would either have to carry this rapist child for
nine months and then have it in my life for the rest of my life, or kill it.  Talk about being between a rock and a hard
place.  How could I live with myself knowing that I had taken a human life...but then, how could I bear the shame
and embarrassment of having yet another child out of wedlock.  

I was careful not to say anything to anyone while I wrestled day and night with my dilemma.  It was life as usual on
the outside but on the inside I was dying as the baby grew.  As a month went by, then another, I knew that I had to
make a decision quickly because the decision would soon be out of my hands.  I prayed and cried, prayed and
cried, wondering how God could ever forgive me if I killed this baby.  Even more so, how could I ever forgive
myself.  Daily, as I held my daughter and watched her grow with love and laughter, I thought that I was some kind
of monster to even consider taking the life of my unborn child....but I did.

I finally confided in a co-worker and she took me to Houston.  The clinic looked professional enough, the staff all
wore white and the place smelled of Lysol.  I should have been put at ease by their caring and highly skilled
mannerisms.  I was stunned by the number of women who sat there like I did, faces mixed with fear, guilt and
shame.  It was almost like we all had the same disease but we didn't want to touch each other for fear that we
would be contaminated.  They showed us film after film and then we went through individual counseling.  But, they
forgot one thing.  They were very careful to tell us how to care for our bodies once the procedure was over.  But,
they neglected to tell us how badly we would feel for years to come.  The baby was carefully referred to as a fetus,
giving the impression that we were getting rid of tissue instead of a living, growing, thriving person.  I guess they
surmised that if the child is regarded as unwanted tissue it will be easier to digest...WRONG.

I carried my pain over my dead baby for 30 years, not sure if God had forgiven me.  And, I certainly had not forgiven
myself.  I wondered  why I had allowed myself to be abused in my marriage for 23 years.  And after the marriage
ended I still found myself gravitating towards relationships that demeaned me and  belittled me.  I couldn't
understand why I thought so little of myself that I allowed people, especially men, to misuse and abuse me.  I
found the answer in the Word of God.  Because I had never forgiven myself for the abortion, I subsequently felt that
I was getting my just deserts...you know, reaping what I had sown.  I honestly thought that I deserved to be
mishandled and abused.  The abuse was somehow vindication for that child who was never given a chance to
live.  

Thank God i have finally let myself off the proverbial hook.  I know that God forgave me years ago, I just needed to
forgive myself.  I wish that someone would have told me about the emotions that would beat me and rob me of my
peace.  I wish that one somebody at that clinic would have taken me by the hand and told me that guilt would eat
me alive...but they didn't.  I wish now that I'd  had the strength to confide in someone who knew God enough to talk
me out of it, but it didn't happen.  If I had it to do all over again I would have found another way out.  

I am convinced that not one of those nurses or counselors that I saw on the fateful day had ever been through the
emotional agony of an abortion.  I feel that every clinic should have on staff at least one woman who has lived
through it and suffered through the guilt and turmoil that is left long after the procedure is just a bad memory.  This
person would then be able to shed a different light on the situation.  Every woman is entitled to know about the
feelings she will ultimately have to face if she goes through with it, it's only fair.

If you find yourself wrestling with the question of having an abortion or not to, or you have already done it and need
to talk...I'm here.  I may not have all the answers, but I know what the love of God has done for me and how loving
him has allowed me to once again love myself.  If you are faced with the decision to take a life or live with it, talk to
someone who has been there and done that.  

I would like to pray with you and help you get through this.  Use the form below and let's talk.

Bernadette
The Word For Women Network  An Interactive Ministry  
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We found some websites that
may help if you find yourself  
pregnant  and not sure what
to do...
Click the link above for help!