When Pat decided to have an abortion, she was convinced it was the right thing to do.
Her first marriage had ended a few years before as a teenager when her husband, also a teen, abandoned her, leaving her with a newborn son. She tried to pick up the broken pieces of her life by enrolling in college despite the responsibilities she carried as a single mom. As a student, she wrote articles for the National Organization for Women and wholeheartedly supported abortion as a woman’s right to choose.
But when Pat found out she was pregnant again, she feared yet another man might leave her with a baby, and she had no intention of allowing someone else to have that kind of control over her life again.
In her mind, an abortion was her only solution.
She was told the procedure would be simple – quick and easy, in and out. Instead, she woke up hours later attached to a respirator with her family standing at the foot of her bed. She had had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia. In this case, she was fortunate her operation had been performed at the hospital. Had she gotten it done at an abortion clinic, she likely would have been killed.
But her trouble was only beginning. A few days after she was released, she came down with a fever and had to be readmitted into the hospital. During her checkup, the doctor revealed that, because she had stopped breathing and emergency procedures had been employed, parts of the aborted baby had been left behind. They had to repeat the abortive process all over again.
Then, for years after, Pat had nightmares where she dreamed of dismembered baby hands and pieces reaching out to grab her. She woke up repeatedly almost every night.
Pat suffered physical and emotional issues, and she and her then boyfriend got married and struggled for years with marital problems – “hating each other,” Pat says – due to the weight they carried because they had aborted their own child.
We rarely hear about stories like Pat’s in the secular media. Organizations like Planned Parenthood want us to believe that abortions are “safe and rare” and that women seldom suffer any physical or emotional trauma. The majority of abortions, they say, are primarily to protect the health and well-being of the mother.
However, our guest on yesterday’s and today’s program says 75 percent of women who opt for an abortion do so because they believe their baby will interfere with their lives, because they don’t believe they can afford a child, or because they’ve decided they aren’t ready to be a mother.
Only 4 percent of women who have an abortion say it’s because of a complication with the pregnancy. One percent seek an abortion because of a fetal abnormality, and 1percent report being a victim of rape or incest.
Based on these figures, it’s reasonable to assume the pro-abortion community has resorted to reinterpreting the data to create a more palatable narrative within the culture.
There’s another crucial detail that’s rarely reported in the media. Women who have an abortion because of rape or incest typically report experiencing the same heartbreak as the larger majority who had an abortion without those same tragic factors involved. Abortion adds to the loss and pain rape and incest victims suffer.
On yesterday’s and today’s broadcasts we’re shining a light on that untold part of the abortion story and coming alongside women who have suffered physically, emotionally, or relationally because of an abortion.
Many of these women live in secret. They’ve hidden their choices from family and friends, which only intensifies their already overwhelming feelings of shame and guilt. You may work with them and not know what they’ve been through. They live in your neighborhood. They attend your church. They might even be a close friend.
Our goal here at Focus is not to lay guilt on anyone, but to help those in this situation discover healing and hope. As the body of Christ, we’re here to share redemption, love, and restoration. That’s the reason (in addition to saving babies’ lives) we fight against abortion – to protect women, not to put them down. John 10:10 says, “The thief (meaning Satan, the enemy of our soul, the one who wants to rob of us everything), comes to steal, kill, and destroy.”
I hope you’ll join us for our conversation, “Finding Healing and Hope After an Abortion.” You can hear today’s program on your local radio station, and yesterday’s anytime online or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.
Before I close, I want to say that if you’ve had an abortion – maybe not just once, but twice, or even more – call us at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). We have counselors available to listen and pray with you and to point you to helpful resources.
Your pain is why we’re here. Again, not to condemn you, but to share with you the forgiveness offered through Jesus and to give you a way forward.
Our guest is the Pat that I referenced at the beginning of this blog. She’s Patricia Layton, an author, speaker, life coach, and someone who understands firsthand the pain of abortion. She operated a pregnancy resource center in Tampa, Florida, for 25 years. She’ll share her story and offer her compassionate understanding and God’s hope to women in similar circumstances.
This two-day program isn’t graphic, but it’s still not suitable for younger children, so please use your discretion.