One Man’s Story
Abortion affects every life it touches . . . and for many, it hurts. I know. This is my story.
I was raised in a family that was thoroughly pro-abortion. We didn’t just believe in the idea of a woman’s “right to choose;” except in perfect situations, we believed that abortion was always the best option. I honestly believed growing up that anyone who had a baby without the ways and means to guarantee that child a privileged, nearly perfect, life was a fool. The very idea of buying a child’s clothing at thrift stores or yard sales was almost equal in my mind to child abuse.
Here in the state of Washington, abortion was legalized several years before abortion-on-demand became the law of the land. When I was young, my family even took in a cousin of mine from the Midwest so she could claim Washington residency in order to obtain a legal abortion in this state. I was taught, by both word and example, that abortion was the best solution in anything but perfect situations for bringing a life into the world.
My wife and I had been married for about two years when we conceived our first child. We had been having some serious difficulties in our marriage (I’d recently had an affair with one of her good friends), and we were attempting to put our shattered marriage back together. But things were still extremely rocky between us.
Then, to top it off, my wife and I both became unemployed. We both lost our jobs within weeks of the conception of our baby. I suddenly got scared and starting looking for an easy way out of the pressure I was feeling. My thoughts immediately turned to abortion. Ours was no longer the perfect situation, so to my thinking, abortion became the preferred option.
When my wife refused my suggestion that she have an abortion, I started to threaten her. I told her that I’d leave her if she didn’t have the abortion. Since this was all happening so soon after my infidelity, she had no doubt that I meant business. To say she was confused and frightened would probably be an understatement. The more she pleaded for the life of our baby, the more certain I became that this was the best solution. She would cry and carry on so much that I felt more and more certain she was unstable and couldn’t possibly be a good mother anyway.
After weeks of my emotional blackmail, she finally relented and gave into my demands. I thought now our troubles were over. We could find work, get on with our lives, and not have to worry about adding the burden of a baby to our stressful situation.
But our troubles were only just beginning. After the abortion, I watched my wife sink into a depression that lasted for years. Every day, she would cry and grieve for our baby. She was almost fired from a job for crying in the restroom at work. She was working at a medical laboratory where the local hospitals sent the “products of conception” to be checked before disposal.
Part of my wife’s job consisted of visually checking the specimens arriving to the lab. Looking into those jars day after day and seeing tiny body parts–arms, legs, heads–was overwhelming. The grief from her own abortion was compounded every time she looked into the latest courier delivery. She became suicidal, believing that the only way to atone for the life of our baby was to take her own life.
After the abortion, I felt some relief. At least the arguing over whether or not to have the abortion was over. But I was also surprised by my own reactions and feelings. I found that I felt guilty, like I’d stepped over a line that shouldn’t have been crossed. There was also a feeling of dread, of impending doom. I sensed that some sort of divine punishment was waiting for me, and it was frightening.
I kept trying to find ways to run from that feeling of punishment. I wasn’t a Christian at the time, and I had no idea what I was feeling, or why. Our country’s lawmakers had made abortion legal, hadn’t they? They said everything was fine about it. So, why did I have these feelings? Why was my wife having these problems? During that time I started drinking more. I got more actively involved in sports. I did anything I could to try and cover up the feeling. I just wanted to quench it.
I didn’t want to think about the abortion or have anything to do with the subject, but my wife’s distress was a constant reminder. I tried to ignore her. If I allowed myself to believe that her problems were the result of the abortion, then I’d have to admit that what I did to her was wrong. I was very stubborn and very prideful. I had a heart like stone.
But one day I had a revelation. It was almost like someone removed scales from my eyes, allowing me to see clearly for the first time what I had done. My heart softened and I saw what abortion really was–not a solution to a problem, but the taking of an innocent life.
This happened after my wife came to realize that she didn’t need to take her own life to atone for our baby’s death. She discovered that 2,000 years ago, God had sent His Son, Jesus, to the earth for the sole purpose of dying a painful, agonizing death in order to take the punishment that she deserved. My wife discovered the love of God that day, and accepted Jesus’ death on the cross as payment in full for her own wrongdoing.
A few months later, the recognition of my own guilt before God led me to understand my need for God’s forgiveness for my sin, as well. We were now able to stand clean before God. We had forgiveness. We had hope.
Facing Other Christians
But even after becoming a Christian, I still had some trouble in my life related to the abortion. Now that I recognized my wrongdoing, I had to work through the emotional turmoil of grieving for my lost child. I had to deal with the reality of what I’d done to my wife. I didn’t know how to deal with all of it. I didn’t feel I could share it with a Christian friend. I was afraid I’d be looked down on, or they’d be shocked and say, “How could you have actually done something like this?!” I never shared with anyone what had happened, not even my closest friends.
Several years later, my wife got involved with a post-abortion counseling ministry in the local area. One day they had a men’s outreach. I went, but I really didn’t want to share anything personal with this group of strangers. I was mainly there because my wife asked me to go. At the meeting, the men talked about why they were there. Most of them were attending the men’s outreach because their wives were currently in counseling for dealing with abortions from their past. The men were trying to find ways to help their wives deal with their grief and pain.
As they talked, many of the men expressed feelings of anger towards their wives’ former boyfriends, men who had pushed the women into having abortions they didn’t want to have. After hearing these stories, I thought I would never be able to share openly with this group of men without them all hating me. But I took a chance. I opened my life to these Christian men and told them what I had done to my wife.
I expected anger . . . but what I found instead was compassion.
I expected judgment and condemnation . . . but what I found instead was forgiveness and acceptance.
I expected hatred . . . but what I found instead was Christ’s love being expressed through His people.
Grace and Forgiveness
There is no sin so great that Christ’s death can’t cover it’s stain. There is no hurt so deep that God’s love can’t heal it’s pain. If you’ve done something similar to what I’ve done–forced a girlfriend or wife into having an abortion–God can forgive you. If you’ve been in my wife’s shoes and agreed to an abortion you never wanted, God can heal your broken heart.
In the words of old the song, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
Jesus truly is the only answer to post-abortion guilt.
The author of this story wanted to share his true, personal experience with abortion. He and his wife recently celebrated their 22nd wedding anniversary–a living testimony to the healing power of the Gospel in the lives of real people. They have three other children now, and have been involved as a couple with various pro-life and post-abortion activities for many years.