Living in the shadows

“Thank you for letting me talk about this. I’ve never spoken about my abortion with anyone,” Sheila* shared through her tears.

She was a mature, professional woman in her 30’s, who’d come to our clinic to be tested for a sexually transmitted infection. Sheila indicated on her health history that she’d had one abortion. Our nurse asked if she’d like to talk about it.

Sheila shared she had been just 15 when it happened. “I didn’t have a choice. My mother told me this was what we were going to do, and she brought me to the abortion clinic.” Our nurse listened with compassion as Sheila broke down, her entire body shaking with sobs. “We never spoke about it again, and I’ve never been able to talk about it or tell a single soul what happened. It’s such a relief to get it out and to share this with someone.”

What can we learn from Sheila?

First, abortion has life-long consequences. It’s not a quick fix that makes a problem go away. It takes an innocent life and leaves a deep wound in the heart that can fester and grow, hidden beneath the surface. If someone confides in you that they are dealing with an unintended pregnancy and considering an abortion, speak life and hope. They need to know they are loved, not judged, and that God still has a plan for their life. If you don’t know what to say, ask if they’d consider visiting First Care Clinic.

Second, chances are you or someone you know has been affected by abortion. One out of three women was attending church when they had their abortion. Perhaps you were one of them. Or maybe you were the boyfriend who paid for the abortion, encouraged the abortion, or stood by silently. Maybe you know the mother or sister or aunt of someone like Sheila, who coerced, encouraged, or facilitated an abortion for someone because they thought it would make it all go away.

Third, God’s forgiveness and healing are available to all. It says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But shockingly, according to Care Net National studies, 50% of women feel that sermons on God’s forgiveness don’t apply to their abortions.

I’m here to share that God is big enough to forgive all sins. Yes, even mine and even yours. If you, like Sheila, need someone to talk to, someone to work through the grief of a past abortion, please call us. We want to help. 608-259-1606

*name changed