Tag Archive: abortion


the purpose of Taboo Topics is dealing with some life issues that affect a lot of people but that are rarely if ever spoken about or into… and this topic, ABORTION, must be one of the hugest of those…

what to a lot of people might seem like a black and white, right or wrong kind of topic suddenly becomes a lot more tricky and entangled when you talk about decisions that have to be made to save the mother’s life for example, and other possible complications, but even when it was a wrong decision that someone made when they were in a tight spot and perhaps felt like they had nowhere to turn ours is not to judge… the purpose of hearing these Taboo Topic stories is not to figure out if the person was right or wrong but to really try and listen to their story and walk alongside them in their pain or questioning where that is a result, to love on them and be praying for them and remembering that we serve a faithful God who is amazing at bringing beauty out of ashes, at restoring the years the locusts have eaten and in all things [good, bad, and hideously ugly] working for the good of those who love Him [Romans 8.28]

so to the people who are bravely sharing their stories here, i thank you, and trust and believe that for many out there who have been suffering in silence and in some cases holding on to this secret and trying to continue walking all by themselves, that they will be a source of encouragement and hope and at the very least the knowledge that someone has walked a similar type of story before…

as well as a reminder, that each one of us really, is in some way responsible for the death of a child… God, who in His incomparable love sent down His only son Jesus, to die in our place, so that we would not have to… and if God can forgive us for being a part of killing His own son, then surely anything else we do can be forgiven if we just go to Him and ask…

to read the story of Irma, click here

to read the story of Dani, click here

to read the story of ‘A’ click here

I read the post from the friend of yours who is still in so much pain over losing her baby and it made me feel so much less alone. She puts into words so much of how i’m feeling. Words that I haven’t had for the last 7 months.

I had an abortion. I never thought those words would apply to me. But they do. I desperately wanted my baby. But the doctors told me he would never live. Non-viable. Not compatible with life. Such ugly words.

I was so sick while I was pregnant. My hormones took over and I was also miserable and depressed. I even said at one point “I’ve changed my mind”. I didnt mean it, but oh how I wish I never thought it! I wanted my baby. Then the doctor said everything wasnt ok. He was querying downs syndrome and spina bifida. And sent us into a spiral of turmoil and despair. One of my early reactions was “I want it out”. We prayed and prayed for a miracle, for guidance. My gynae mentioned termination and we just didnt know. Do Christian people do this? Could we? But could we cope with a disabled child? We were so afraid. For 5 days (the longest five days of our lives) we prayed. We asked for clear answers, for guidance, for a miracle. We prayed that we wouldnt have to make the decision. Then we went to see the specialist who said that our baby would die. Probably not make it to term, and definitely wouldnt live more than an hour or two if he was born. She said it was so bad that she would terminate the pregnancy up until the day before i gave birth. She said that she was a Christian and she would still do it. We went to our church and the minister said the same thing. That he and his wife had suffered through a number of miscarriages and he would still terminate the pregnancy in our situation. We thought we had our answers. There was no possibilty of any kind of life. We didnt want our baby to suffer in utero for as long as he may live. We were afraid to continue with a pregnancy, just waiting for our baby to die. So we decided to end it. We went to counselling at church the night before the procedure and i left there with peace.

I was terrified on the day. They gave me tablets to start the process, and pethidine and i spent the day floating. When the doctor came to see me, I was in so much pain, and I just wanted to get it done. I drifted into the anaesthetic, thinking when i woke up, this nightmare would be over. Then I woke up and it wasnt. My baby was gone. I wasnt pregnant anymore. I had gotten rid of this life that I never appreciated enough. I only realised how much i had loved that baby now that it was gone. I woke up a mother. And racked with guilt for every moment of not being grateful enought to be pregnant. Filled with regret for spending the morning wishing it was over with, rather than cherishing my last moments with my baby inside me. For panicking and not waiting a little bit longer to make the decision. I just felt like I had killed my baby.

Its been 7 months and I still dont know what to do with it. I didnt decide my baby would never live. God did. But I did end his life. I know that I prayed. I prayed that God would stop us from terminating if He didnt want us to. Instead, all sources seemed to point to it. Is it ok with Him that we did what we did? Or did we fail some major test? Can I just be allowed to deal with my grief, or should i be dealing with guilt as well? I didnt trust God anymore. I was so angry with Him, with everyone. With everything. I was suicidal. My heart and my faith were shattered. Still are. I am able to function more normally now, but its like there are two of me. the one is logical and dispassionate and says we did the right thing, the merciful thing. Our baby’s heart was beating, but we had lost him nonetheless. The other half of me is just bleeding, and screaming with pain. Did God lead us to do what we did or did I just kill my baby? And regardless of how our baby was lost, he is still gone.

What your friend writes about how people are, and how she feels in church and how much it breaks you inside to have people make their pregnancy announcements around you – all these things are real to me too. At first I couldnt function at all. I would go to work and sit there, waiting for the day to end. I couldnt focus. I would write in my journal, telling God how I couldnt go on. I would go home and just want to be dead. I’ve moved forwards from there now. I was given new projects at work and had no choice but to focus. So I fuction again. But it is still dark. Some days are better, and I tiptoe through them, hanging on to a tenous thread of sanity, not looking around me for fear of something setting off the darkness again. I feel like i am lost in a dark cave. I dont know the way out, and I’m stumbling around bashing up against things and hurting myself. Sometimes I see a glimmer of light in the distance and I follow it for a while then i trip over a rock and get disorientated and its dark again. I dont know how to fix it, i dont know how to come out of it. I’m just praying that my dark days will continue to lessen.

People want to help. My mother sent me scriptures – about how God took Davids baby away as punishment (ok?!). One idealistic soul apologised (6 weeks after the fact) for not making sure i did the right thing (I’m so pleased she knows what that was becasue I still dont), another told me all about the many babies that she lost – again with the best of intentions (ok, she has 2 perfect children now, but i cant contemplate the thought of having to survive this again and again. She’s on the other side of it now. Will I ever get there?) And the one who told me she thought she was pregnant and considered aborting the baby cos they were done with having children (i guess she was trying to tell me she doesnt judge me, which i appreciated, but otherwise, it didnt help!). And my husband. Who decided on “tough love”, refusing to do housework in order to force me to function (we’re still debating on the helpfulness of that one). My husband didnt feel as shattered as I did. He feels we were given a clear answer and he feels that he protected me from having to carry our child even longer, while waiting for him to die. His mom got very sick soon afterwards and so he had more real things (for him anyway) to focus on and I felt so alone. Some unlikely people did help me though. While some were saying things like “you’ll understand when you are mom” (who may acknowledge my pain, but not that i am every bit as much of a parent as they are. I am a mother and i have had to make a much more difficult decision for my child than they have ever had to make for theirs!), other people understood how torn up i was, understood that I am now a mother and it is these people who helped me stand again: My gynae’s wife who visited me in hospital and hugged me while I cried, my GP who supported me when I went to his office and burst into tears, giving me tablets for the short term and making sure I was in counselling for the longer term, the woman who pulled me aside at a breakfast and took me away to cry while she held me and prayed for me and my baby, the woman who said to me “You didn’t kill your baby”, the woman who took the time to find and send me a poem that someone who went through a similar experience wrote – on exactly a day that I needed it most, and my husband’s assistant who phoned me on mother’s day to wish me happy mother’s day – not an easy call to make, but appreciated more than he will ever know.

So now I’m standing again (or at least trying to). I’m still looking for God again, I’m looking for answers, I’m looking for a way forward. I thought I heard God, but everything I thought I heard turned out to be wrong, so maybe the abortion was too. But I get stuck there, because the alternative is equally unthinkable and I dont know that I wouldnt do the same thing in the same situation again. I dont know that I would either (or how I even could), and I just wish I had the answers. I wish I had peace.

I dont. What I do have is pain and a new empathy for people who decide to have an abortion. The terror, for whatever reason, of not being able to handle whats coming, and how it can seem to be the best solution. I wish I could say it is… I dont know. What I have learnt is not to judge others. Ive learned that some days it feels like I’m too broken to breathe, but somehow I do. And I do still belive in God. That all things are working for my good. I dont understand how, I dont understand Him, and it doesnt make it better, but I am trying to hang onto that fact. That His was are higher than mine, His thoughts are higher than mine. The last couple of weeks, I have been hearing again and again that I should be praising Him through everything. I’ve also been surrounded by pregnancy. One morning I listened to a talk on praising God through pain, then later walked past an old friend in the shops who was heavily pregnant. God, in His mercy, didnt have her stop and speak to me, but i nearly vomited right there in the shops anyway. It hurt so much. But i went home and sang. I sang on the way to the car, all the way home and for the next 45 minutes as I unpacked and cooked dinner. I sang (and cried) to God every song that popped into my head, and slowly some measure of peace descended.

I pray that I will find complete peace at some point. And some kind of answer as to the ethics of what we did. I’m praying that we will have healthy children in future and that I will remember that God is God. He is almighty and my days are in His hands. “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” 2 Chronicles 20:12.

And one day, I pray that I’ll get it.

one of the aims of the ‘Taboo Topics’ series was to have real people sharing real stories about topics that people don’t speak a lot about – up til now i have had people share as themselves but i fully understand with a topic like this, that my friend did not feel comfortable sharing her name and i totally get that… so to those reading this, it is an anonymous story of someone who had an abortion, but i know who the person is and so it is once again a shared story or a real person and i trust it will help others out there who have been struggling with having gone through a similar experience:

It is now three years and 5 months after the day I decided to have an abortion.
And at times I feel fine…and then out of the blue it hit me…I will see a baby or here a song or just a smell or a normal doctors appointment and it feels like a ton of bricks come smashing down on me.

Everything happened so fast and I felt so overwhelmed and confused at that time. I had a very abusive relationship with my mother, and even though I loved her I was so scared of what she would do if she found out I was pregnant. I can remember the one thing my mother always told me was that if I ever get pregnant before I was married I will have an abortion. I can remember how over the December holidays I was soooooo sick and alone. I felt crammed into making a decision…I worked at a school at that time and getting pregnant without being married would get me fired because of the nature of the school added to that neither I nor the dad could afford to raise the child…all these issues threw me into a desperate frenzy.

I felt so alone.

I ended up making the biggest mistake of my life and had the abortion. I can remember each small detail from leaving for the clinic to the doctor’s face …everything of that day. That same day my parents wanted me to come and visit so even though I felt horrible physically and was a mess emotionally I had to pull myself together and make like nothing happened. A week later work started. It was so difficult! Seeing the little children running around and knowing that my boy/girl would never be able to do the same! I blocked everything out for about two years and then my life started falling to pieces. I felt so guilty and the “what ifs” drove me insane.

At the beginning of the year I decided enough was enough. I went for counseling and decided to accept God’s forgiveness on what I did. I made a journal of a letter I wrote to my child, what I missed of him/her (for example I would never she him/her smile, or their first step…or first day at school…I would never be able to tell them how much I loved him/her) I wrote in verses and poems and then Bible verses reminding me that God has forgiven me. The one is: Isaiah 1:18 Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. On paper it sounds so easy but talking to someone about what happened (since I have so far only shared this with three people in my life) and giving it up to God and making the choice to not let my baby’s death be an end of my own life but a mistake I made which will bring me closer to God, was such a hugely difficult process.

To those who have been in this position. I know how isolating it can be. And how little help there really is for mothers who have chosen to go this route and realized afterwards just how much they really lost. But I can assure you that in Abba Father there is healing. You never forget your child. But God can change even your worst mistake into something that will make you grow closer to Him.

And to those who are faced with having an abortion or not. Please please please don’t rush it! Think carefully about what all you will be losing really. And talk to Godly people. Listen to advice. Don’t shut yourself off and make that decision on your own.

i met James at an improv group class i sometimes attend in Philadelphia and he was the first one to jump into sharing his adoption story. even though the story is pretty hectic, it seems like James has somehow come through it really positively without having any major adoption issues. Thankx for sharing, James:

Well basically I’ve known I’m adopted my whole life. It was never some shrouded family secret. In fact the entire process was made very transparent to me as a kid. That’s not to say that I knew all of the darker details until much later.

Essentially the story goes as such: my birth mother, who was relatively young at the time she got pregnant (around 20,) was schizophrenic. She was very naive about sex and wound up in a one night stand situation with a man she hardly knew. When she became pregnant she and her parents went back and forth about whether or not she was going to have the baby. They were a Catholic family and they heavily pressured her to not have an abortion.

Ultimately when I was born my birth mother decided she wanted to keep me. Social workers, however, felt that she was not mentally equipped to raise me. Thus at the age of 2 weeks I was put into a foster home.

I was placed with a family of four who were absolutely wonderful. You often seen foster families depicted as abusive or terrifying, but I lucked out. They became my family for 2 and a half years! What I now know from having unlocked my adoption records is that my birth mother refused to relinquish her parental rights until that time. She was given chance after chance to prove she could be responsible.

It’s really a tragic story on her end. She ended up meeting and marrying a man with whom she conceived another child. He was mentally well, and it seems like she would be able to get custody of me…but then he died suddenly from a blood condition. Now she had not one but two children whom she could not take care of.

The other sad thing is that by the time I as 2 1/2 and her rights *were* fully terminated, my foster family – who had been planning to adopt me all along – realized that their son was developing a problem with cocaine. They felt it would be irresponsible to split their focus on another child, so they allowed another family to adopt me. That’s the family that raised me.

People get very confused, but I always say that I look at it as having three families: my birth family (the woman who actually gave birth to me,) my foster family (who raised me to age 2 1/2) and my adoptive family, IE: they with whom I spent my entire life.
For the first 15 years or so of my life I had very intimate ties to my foster family, often staying with them several times a year for holidays and such.

I don’t have a lot of adoption issues. A lot of adopted people want to know why they were given up, but even before I knew the answer to that later in life I never really wanted to know. I unlocked my adoption record when I was 19 because I wanted to know if there were any medical issues in my family history.

What I found out is that along with the birth half-sibling I mentioned above, my birth mother went on to have two more children later in life who were also taken into the foster system. So in total I have three half siblings out there in the world. That’s sometimes hard for me to think about because I have absolutely no idea how to track them down.

It’s fascinating to me that people consider adoption taboo even in 2012. We should be much more focused on solving the problems within the foster care system than on the weird stigma associated with being adopted!

what next? leaving the old people outside for the coyotes to finish them off…?

sounds far fetched maybe, but i have just been thoroughly revolted by what i have just read [and i know in this day and age we can get mildly upset and tut tutty and each-to-their-own-device but maybe it’s time for people to stand up and SHOUT WILDLY AGAINST THIS KIND OF FILTH…] and we need to draw a line…

it started with me reading my good buddy Bruce’s rant [totally justified and i agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed] or question [but i know the rant is simmering beneath] about the question of whether there should be a filter on what we tweet, which you can take a look at here:

http://baristabruce.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/who-am-i-allowed-to-chirp-what-am-i-allowed-to-tweet/#comment-302

well actually, to be honest, it began a little earlier with this blog i wrote after my encounter with two horrible t-shirts and then the recent one i wrote about young people using the word “rape” to describe a bad sporting or examination encounter

but then i went on to yahoo and happened to catch site of the heading of this article where firstly a guy passes out and everyone is too busy tweeting and facebook statusing to go and help him, and later ends with people taking phone pics of a guy as he dies on the street…

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20101117/sc_yblog_thelookout/if-the-science-guy-passes-out-and-nobody-tweets-it-did-it-happen

as a society we are becoming sicker and sicker and what is the worst part is that it is becoming the norm, it is becoming acceptable – we have legalised abortion (baby-killing) and made divorce easier than getting a visa to fly overseas and our government seems to have an anything goes policy when it comes to government officials being involved in corruption/mismanagement of funds and so on…

where does it all end?

i’ll tell you where it ends. with the church!

will the real Christ followers please stand up? because this is where the call to be holy, to be set apart, to be different is at its most vital…

Engage the young guys who are wearing those shirts. Refuse to let someone get away with a statement of how they were “raped by that exam” without being challenged to never again use that word (and sentence) lightly. Leave your flippin phone in your pocket and go and get up on that stage and see if that man is okay. Shout, scream, make a noise – IT IS NOT OKAY – THIS IS NOT ACCEPTIBLE – I WILL NOT STAND FOR THAT.

Cos there HAS to be a line. And we need to speak and act and react in absolute love and compassion and know when and where and how to speak and act. [and the Holy Spirit will guide us in this area, if we pay attention] But we cannot stay silent any longer!

‎one of my weekly thort for the week reader friends wrote me an email containing this line:

‘It doesn’t matter how much doctrine I know, if I don’t reflect the God I serve in my daily life, it’s pointless.’

which in essence is a paraphrase of James 2 – faith without works is dead – and James 1.22 don’t just read it, do it.

and it was part of an email from a guy who was part of a local church, struggling with a bunch of questions and being told not to question or leave – don’t ask why we do this, just do this

brainless christianity must be one of the most dangerous things there is and i think is one of the huge things a lot of atheists – or maybe non-believers in general – hold against christianity – because so many people are told to “just believe” or “have faith” in such a way that it sounds very much like switching your brain off and just coasting on this fluffy pillow of ‘faith’

i think this is the issue both anne rice and john ellis are wrestling with – and i am there completely – so sick and tired of religion and rules and posturings – do you reflect God?

hating gay people is not a reflection of the God i serve (who desires that all will be saved) and neither is distancing ourself from a young teenage girl who falls pregnant, especially if she has an abortion; responding in anger or hatred or dismissal to those who speak against us or have different opinions or just want to understand the opinions we hold does not sound like Jesus who said love your enemies and bless those who persecute you; hiding ourselves in the bubble of christian gatherings and literature and bad movies does not seem to fall in line with the command of go and make disciples of all nations, be salt, be light, be my ambassadors, live such good lives among the pagans that…

risk it, come on, dare, be prepared to be kicked out or asked to keep quiet or go somewhere else… reach up and switch your brain back on… i think that is quite possibly what the Jesus i follow and the God i serve designed it for, to be used or something

‘It doesn’t matter how much doctrine I know, if I don’t reflect the God I serve in my daily life, it’s pointless.’

all i am asking is are you reflecting God? if not, go back to begin, do not pass go, do not collect 200 pharisee points, right back to the beginning, to the love God with all your heart, love people square, and roll the dice again…

so this teacher of the law comes up to Jesus and says, “So what is the most important command in the law?”

it’s a trick question and yet Jesus floors the gang of them by summing up the whole law as “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your strength. and love your neighbour as yourself.” [paraphrase, Matthew 22.37-38]

and since then, christians through the years have been well known for hating gay people, and people who have abortions, and the Catholics, and people who drink and do drugs, and those who live together, and black people, and people who run sex shops and so on…

is it just me, or are you thinking that maybe that’s not EXACTLY what Jesus was going for?

in fact, in John 13.34-35 He repeats the command/expectation/inspiration/mission when He says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”

THE CHRISTIAN TATTOO

how is it possible that for the most part it often seems as if christians are known for what they are against, rather than what they are for? we placard, we burn down, we email petition, we march, we ban, we exclude, we look down upon and we gossip, among other things, against all the evil sin that surrounds us in the world (and retreat once more to the safety of the church bubble we have created)

and yet the mark of a Christian, our tattoo as it were, is meant to be love. be known by the love you have for each other. in fact, before we even get to the rest of the world, that’s where we stumble isn’t it? cos we can’t even love ourselves? because we all belong to different demonisations, sorry ‘denominations’, and let me tell you why my church is better than your church, or why you have it wrong, or how you should be doing baptism or communion or singing or dancing or not dancing or whatever…

[at this point i glance over my shoulder and see Jesus fashioning a whip together]

fortunately though, Jesus doesn’t give up on us. and fortunately Love, true sacrificial life-transforming redemptive love is contagious. in Corinthians it concludes the love-is-a-choice list with ‘Love never fails’ – it makes mistakes, it gets it wrong sometimes, it messes up horribly… but it never fails. and that is exciting!

so it can begin with you. and me. let’s commit to being known by the love we have one for another. for those we disagree with. for those who do things we don’t understand or even find downright offensive. for those who sin and don’t even seem to notice and care.  for those who do church differently from us. let’s wear the tattoo of God’s love. let’s be salt and light. let’s be ambassadors, and a fresh fragrance and aroma of Christ.

let’s be followers of Jesus (and not just christians!)

after all, wasn’t it Him who, while suffering a torturous agonising death, called out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

go.

do.

be.

[Love never fails!]

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