Good Afternoon. God bless America and God Bless our men and women in uniform. This is for you. My name is Jody. I am from Atlanta, GA. I am a veteran of the US Army. In 1980, as the result of a date rape by another soldier, I became pregnant. I was a young second lieutenant just beginning my military career. Shortly after I arrived at a new duty station, I suspected and confirmed the pregnancy. I was very confused and didn’t know what to do. Since I had just gotten there, I only knew a few people. I confided in another lieutenant with whom I had become friends. Thinking he was helping me, he called a doctor’s office in Tucson and set up an appointment for an abortion that next weekend.
He drove me there the night before. We stayed in a hotel and went to the doctor’s office on Saturday morning. It was a private practice. When I walked in, I noticed several pregnant women waiting for their routine OB checkups. How odd. A doctor who aborts babies on one hand and delivers them on another.
The nurse was trying to be compassionate and told me to relax. The doctor came in, did an exam, and explained that I would feel some pressure during the procedure. I remember hearing the suction machine, feeling the pain and pressure, and then it was over.
I went back to duty on Monday morning and had to pretend nothing had happened. I needed to go the Army clinic that morning before work to obtain a profile excusing me from physical training for the rest of the week. It was total humiliation having to tell the Colonel who was seeing me why I needed that profile.
After the abortion, I was numb. I had difficulty concentrating and doing my job. I experienced a lot of anxiety and confusion. However, I had to go to work every day and act as though nothing had happened. Soon, I buried it and pretended it didn’t bother me. I justified it by telling myself I had a career ahead of me and I needed to move on.
Not long after that, I met and married another Army officer. After our first child was born, I resigned my commission. There were too many memories in the military and I could not bear to put my baby in day care. We had two more sons. I was a helicopter mom. I was a perfectionist. I suffered from depression on and off, I was always angry and didn’t know why. Something wasn’t right and I just could not put my finger on it. I had a great husband, great kids, a wonderful home, a nice community, but something inside was never right.
19 years later, while extremely ill will pneumonia, the abortion experience started stirring up in my mind and heart, causing agonizing emotional and spiritual pain. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I was led to the PATH Ministry in Atlanta and attended a Bible study and Rachel’s Vineyard retreat.
The pain is real, but the healing is profound. Dear Military members and veterans, healing is available. Get the help you need. You are why I will be Silent no More.