“I think that sharing my story will help me heal,” the post-abortive caller outlined. “Perhaps God can use me to save one child’s life!”
As one of the first women to publicly confess my abortion secret in 1992, I did not count the costs of sharing this secret. God had placed me at the top of the food chain for pro-life efforts at Focus on the Family in the 1990’s. That was no coincidence. He obviously had a plan to use my sin to help others not only make a better choice than abortion, but to help millions of men and women find His healing afterwards.
To whom God calls, He also empowers. His leading in those early days was obvious and my organization encircled me with a great deal of health and prayers at an emotional, spiritual and physical level. Yet even today, my level of sharing this secret is a RARE calling.
I’ve shared my story in front of 750,000 people and audiences of two. Each time I re-experience the horror of my abortion, relive my child’s violent death and outline God’s healing touch. Emotions often fill my heart but they rarely overwhelm me after all these years. Afterwards, meeting people who have a new understanding of how abortion devastates women is a blessing.
Today there are active efforts by pro-choice and pro-life groups to encourage women to share their abortion stories. Twitter campaigns like #shoutyourabortion and #1in3 are designed to get women sharing in order to NORMALIZE an abortion experience and reduce any related stigma.
Sadly, in sharing this tale prior to God’s healing, more trauma can result for everyone involved. The stigma of being an openly post-abortive women is rarely pleasant or healing.
There are several costs that women must count before sharing this secret in public. It is only at great personal sacrifice, humility, and God’s power that one can share this truth in a healthy manner. Some of the costs of sharing an abortion secret include:
The Impact on Implicated Parties – An abortion decision rarely involves just one person. It is often a “shared” sin that involves other influencers with varying degrees of guilt. The potential father(s) of the child(ren) along with friends and family are often deeply engaged in the decision, perhaps working both for and against this choice. “Outing” these individuals in public without God’s healing can wound these players in an ungodly manner.
The Potential for Genuine Rejection – The consequences of obedience for the confessor can be difficult for the non-post-abortive to imagine.This level of rejection is not for the faint of heart. Luke 7:36-39 NIV outlines this way many dismiss those that are obviously sinful: When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
Folks have walked out in the middle of my profession of aborting my child with looks of great disdain upon their faces. One person’s vocal proclamation over me was horrifying – “Your abortion RUINED you! I will not sit here and listen to you justify the death of your child.” She missed the entire point as I clearly took on the full weight of that sin in outlining how wrong I had been.
Her reaction has been mirrored by many others over the years. Even at the large ministry where God was moving and shaking, many would see me in the path and turn and walk in a different direction. Their disdain of me was obvious and there was nothing I could do or say to change their minds.
Thankfully, Jesus addressed the judgmental Pharisee in Luke 7:44-47 NIV – Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
The Consequence to Our Families – While my mother never knew I was pregnant – or had any involvement in my abortion decision – she felt my public confession was telling the world that she was a bad mother. She never embraced God’s calling on my life or my ministry efforts during her time on Earth. Thankfully, the fruit of God’s efforts through me is obvious to her now in Heaven. I never realized that my sharing this sin would cause her such deep pain.
My husband and children have been directly impacted. This calling has set them apart in many circles. My son’s basketball dreams were squelched by a high school coach whose wife was on the board of the local Planned Parenthood. Despite being an excellent player, this Coach simply benched my son for the call God put on my life. Thankfully, God had other blessings in store for the impact on my children’s lives and they have been always proud of my efforts to end abortion one life at a time.
Deeper Pain – God used Revelations 12:10-11 NIV to confirm His leading to share this secret in the public arena – Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Standing in a public spotlight, confessing to taking the life of their child, is not a call that many can embrace. It requires extensive depth, strength and maturity in God. I face deep pain each time I confess and literally relive my child’s death. The spiritual warfare that has encircled my life and my family is often intense.
Publicly sharing a past abortion must be a clear call from God that can only come after His healing process is complete. Some pro-life groups have “used” the testimony of unprepared and unhealed post-abortive individuals to further their own political gain. Without directing them to a healing program, or verifying their attendance, these pro-life efforts can actually intensify the pain and solitude many struggle with before discovering God’s healing.
There are many women today who are fully equipped by God to share this secret sin. If you are post-abortive, please don’t feel pressured to share before God has equipped you. Ramah International‘s booklet entitled, Sharing the Secret of Abortion, is a great tool to learn more about healthy ways to share this secret!