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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Faith Steps excerpt: As nation focuses on inhumanity of baby body parts harvesting, we maintain focus on abortion's harm to women as well

As the nation focuses on the revealing horror of harvesting baby parts for sale by billion-dollar nonprofit Planned Parenthood, we continue to focus on the individual women harmed by abortion. Following is an excerpt from my new book, Faith Steps, which encourages and equips people of faith to engage on controversial public policy issues. From Chapter Ten, Abortion:

Every year in the United States alone, over a million women experience the life-changing trauma of abortion. The issue is a lodestone for public policy battles, but it carries a deep and tragic private and personal impact. Women like Pamela relate a painful story that reflects the personal tragedy experienced by millions of women and men:

When I was 17, I thought I was pregnant and finally told my mom.

She called my dad who said, "Get rid of it or I'm leaving."

She called a friend of hers, a nurse. Next thing I know, I'm at the doctor’s office thinking I'm getting a checkup to see if I am pregnant. And he gives me a shot and tells my mom to bring me back in tomorrow to finish the procedure.

There was no chance to talk, to run away... it was done.

I guess I was just numb. Because I can't remember anything but lying on a table, staring at the ceiling with tears coming out of my eyes, and the nurse saying over and over, "Are you okay?" And me not saying anything.

She told the doctor "Oh, she’s fine–she just won't talk."

I remember my dad driving us there. His name was well-known around the community because of being involved in youth sports. He didn't want to ruin "his name" with a pregnant daughter.

I ended up drinking, doing drugs, sex–I just didn't care.

Later I was married to an abuser and divorced two years later. Found out during that time that the boyfriend who got me pregnant was trying to hire someone to push me down the stairs at school for $500 so I would miscarry.

I later remarried and got pregnant. They thought I miscarried and put me in for a D&C [dilation and curettage, a surgical procedure often performed after a first trimester miscarriage] with a bunch of other girls getting abortions, laughing and joking about it. Well I ended up in an emergency room and it was a tubal pregnancy which they removed.

Felt this was my punishment.

Got divorced and later remarried. Had another emergency surgery on my other tube that was twisted and full of cysts. So I no longer could have children.

I'm 52 and have never had a day where I haven't felt guilt.

I was raised in a very Catholic environment, so as I got older it was hard to understand how my parents could make this choice. Granted, my mother still to this day apologizes and says it is the biggest regret. And I end up trying to make her feel better. I guess I have forgiven them and myself.

But it’s just a pain that never goes away.

My heart breaks for those getting abortions because they don't realize the effect it will have, if not now, then later. The one thing that keeps me going (though I did try suicide and by the grace of God the doctors brought me back after my heart stopped twice) is knowing I will see Anthony and Joseph someday.

I had I guess what you could call "The Light" moment when I was lying on the table when they were pumping my stomach. Jesus was standing there next to me with a white robe, and the hood was over his face.

He said, "This is who you need to love.” I expected to see His face. When I looked over, it was my face.

I'm still in a marriage that is...well, we're married. He could care less about kids, so it’s not an issue. I would have liked to adopt but never felt worthy. Now it’s not even an option in my situation. So I'm just patiently waiting with my ‘pet’ kids to see my children someday.

I am now 52 and still cry about it.

I could go on and on about the messed up life I've had, but that just is expected with such guilt-ridden feelings.

I'm still healing and will be till the day I die.[1]

Abortion as empowerment?

The reality experienced by Pamela and many others who account for the over 55 million abortions since the legalization of abortion in the United States[2] hardly matches the picture portrayed by the abortion industry. That savvy and well-financed industry has peddled abortion as a sterile medical procedure that simply excises a "blob of tissue."

Abortion ideologues also hail abortion as a socioeconomic tool, a cornerstone of women's rights and progress. The early women's rights movement advanced the notion that preventing babies through contraceptives and abortion holds the key to women's independence, economic advancement and empowerment.

Kate Michelman, president emerita of the abortion group, NARAL Pro-Choice America, explained in a 2013 USA Today column marking Roe's 40th anniversary,

The goal of Roe v. Wade was to ensure a woman's right to control the most intimate aspect of her life. Without this right, women are unable to participate equally with men in the nation's social, political and economic life.[3]

That would be news, of course, to the millions of women who have had children while also making meaningful contributions to society, politics and professional enterprises.

Yet the Supreme Court in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision accommodated the view of empowering women through the death of their babies, inventing a "constitutional right to privacy" where none had previously existed. The Court's unilateral and legally inventive decision abridged the right to life, expressed in the Declaration of Independence ("…endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life…") and the US Constitution ("nor shall any State deprive any person of life…"). It also tore decision-making power away from the citizens of individual states and opened the door to nationwide abortion on demand.

The decades-long fight to overturn that unjust decision has included not only public advocacy, but also personal outreach. Thanks to the compassionate work of thousands of pregnancy centers around the country, women who face financial and personal challenges during pregnancy and after giving birth are receiving financial, medical and practical help plus emotional and spiritual support. Young fathers are learning, through pregnancy centers' education, counseling and mentoring, to share in the responsibility and fulfillment of bringing a new life into the world.
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[1] Pamela X, testimony on Silent No More website,, accessed November 22, 2014.
[2] "Roe foes add up 55 million legalized abortions," Washington Times, Jan. 23, 2013. Figures based on Guttmacher Institute reports. Web accessed Jan. 27, 2013.
[3] "'Roe v. Wade' about much more than abortion," Kate Michelman and Carol Tracy, USA Today, Jan. 22, 2013. Accessed Jan. 23, 2013.

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