Good morning. My name is Frances, and 38 years ago, as an 18 year old unmarried college freshman, I learned I was pregnant. Afraid to tell my parents, and fearing that the father of my unborn child would end our relationship were he to learn of the pregnancy, I sought counsel at the local Planned Parenthood. There, without the benefit of an ultrasound that would have shown me the child growing within me, and without a discussion of the life affirming options of adoption or parenting resources, I allowed myself to be convinced that through a simple, consequence free abortion, I would be making the best decision for myself and my future. No greater lie has ever been told to me or to the millions of men and women who suffer the wounds of abortion.
The day of my abortion I walked alone to the local hospital and signed the final consent papers that allowed me to legally end the life of another human being who was simply at the early stages of his or her God given life. As the abortion was completed and the child within me die, but instead of the promised sense of relief, I felt an overwhelming guilt at what I had done. I walked home alone a spiritually dead young woman.
In the months that followed I attempted to move on with my life, but the guilt I carried from my abortion was overwhelming. I struggled with the eating disorder bulimia and substance abuse in an attempt to end the gnawing guilt I carried. With counseling I was able to eventually overcome my struggles with substance abuse, but my battle with bulimia would continue for many years. I knew that God forgave me, but it would be many years before I would be able to forgive myself for rarely a day went by when I did not think about the son or daughter whose life I had ended, and so I carried my wounds and shame silently for many years.
Like many women and men who carry the secret shame of abortion, when I married I brought the burden of that secret into my marriage. Three years into my marriage I shared the secret of my abortion with my husband. With compassion he urged me to seek further counseling and I eventually overcame my battle with bulimia. Ten years ago I took part in a Project Rachel Healing weekend where I set out on my journey of true healing. I came face to face with the deep emotional wounds that I still carried from my abortion. In accepting responsibility for the actions of our pasts, we are able to emerge from the depths of despair as we accept the truth that we have ended the life of an innocent human being, our own child. It is a truth that the secular media, steeped in the culture of depth would have us deny or rationalize away.
And as we journey on the road of healing, we find the grace and strength to share our stories with others who carry those same wounds so that they may know that there is forgiveness, and healing, and joy. And that is why I am Silent no More! Thank you!