Fall used to be my favorite season. Riding boots. Changing Leaves. Advent on the horizon. And let’s not forget pumpkin flavored everything — because come on, I am a consumer millennial after all. But a few years ago everything I loved about fall gained a small asterisk at the end of it. That asterisk points to a memory I had convinced myself I could forget.
The stale, cold bathroom floor jolted me from the numbness I felt as my knees gave out from underneath me. No amount of what-if scenarios could have prepared me for the darkness I experienced in the minutes after seeing that small pink plus sign. Pregnant. I couldn’t believe it, but with only two months left in nursing school, I obviously knew how babies were made. I guess I just never thought it was going to happen to me.
I don’t really think anyone ever plans on having an abortion. People plan to get married one day. They think about having kids or landing their dream job. We imagine losing a loved one or having to endure heartbreak. But I don’t believe any woman I’ve ever met has wanted to have an abortion. It’s a decision that is deeply personal, impossible to imagine, and often times encouraged by onlookers and advice-givers who have no idea what it will be like to dig through the emotional aftermath.
I too never imagined I would one day consider the option. Growing up in a staunch Catholic home, participating in the March for Life, and studying medicine all helped calibrate my life-affirming moral compass. Yet when I realized every plan I had made for my future and idea of what it would look like was being threatened, my fear instantly demagnetized that compass.
I always struggle to adequately portray the obstacles I was facing and manipulative nature of the relationship in which I had found myself in, but within one week of discovering I was pregnant, I had scheduled an appointment at Planned Parenthood. In that time, I had allowed myself to buy into every lie Satan sold me:
This baby would be spoiled by his/her wealthy father, and I would struggle to make ends meet.
I would be stuck in legal battles for custody for the next decade.
No quality man would ever want to be with me.
My family would turn away from me.
Everyone would call me a hypocrite for getting pregnant out of wedlock after receiving the Eucharist on Sundays.
I wouldn’t be able to find a job when I finished nursing school.
The list goes on. I explored adoption with my then boyfriend for about a half second before he took the option off the table. I felt trapped, and my fight or flight response kicked in. I needed to regain control of my life, and I thought I found the quickest fix.
Abortion: Women Betrayed
While about 70% of abortions in America are surgical, the other 30% that take place are known as chemical or “medication” abortions. This type of abortion requires a woman to take a dose of Mifepristone (RU-486) in order to cut off the nutrient supply (progesterone) to the baby. 24-48 hours later, in the “privacy of her home,” she takes a second dose of medication, called misoprostol (Cytotec), in order to induce contractions. Heavy bleeding, cramping, and a miscarriage ensue. When I first read about medical abortions, I thought I had found the perfect answer. Take a pill, become “unpregnant,” never tell a soul, and pretend it never happened. I made a deal with God: if He just let me do this one thing, I would get out of my relationship and never get myself in this situation again. I convinced myself I could live with my decision as I felt it was the best option I had.
The moment I walked out of Planned Parenthood, just minutes after ingesting the mifepristone, the veil of fear was lifted and the weight of murderous regret hit me like a freight train. I knew I had just made the most horrific mistake of my life; I didn’t want to be alive. I imagined approaching the throne of God one day and trying to explain how my life and lofty dreams could have meant more than the innocent life of a baby. With nothing to cling to but a suitcase filled with deep hopelessness, I got on my phone and googled “Abortion Pill Regret.” A website called ‘Abortion Pill Reversal’ was one of the top hits. With shaking hands, I carefully dialed the hotline number and awaited a live voice on the other end.
A Second Chance
Abortion Pill Reversal is an international hotline staffed by volunteer registered nurses, ready at a moment’s notice to connect callers who regret taking the first abortion pill with one of over 400 doctors or pregnancy medical centers nationwide. These doctors then prescribe the patient a daily dose of progesterone to counteract the effects of the mifepristone. About 65% of the time, the reversal is successful and there is no increased risk of birth defects.
While I longingly wish I could share with you a successful reversal story paired with pictures of my little girl, within a few days of attempting to reverse my medical abortion, I began bleeding and knew it was all over.
I hid in fear and shame of my decision, brushing it under the rug and running from anything that reminded me of what I did. I was entirely convinced I had ruined God’s plan for my life; surely He was out of ideas and had no plan b… or plan z for that matter.
But this, my brothers and sisters, is why God is God and we are not. He has a vantage point that we do not possess. Our loving Father works outside of time and space, and doesn’t have to quickly rearrange the universe to counteract our mistakes. Before He created me, the Lord knew that this was going to happen, and He planned my next steps in accordance.
Now, I not only work for Abortion Pill Reversal, managing the hotline, answering calls, and assisting women in changing the course of their future for the better, but I also have the privilege of sharing my story with the world. The beautiful thing about living for Christ is that He never grows tired of welcoming us back into His loving embrace. When we wholly surrender our lives to Christ, He doesn’t care so much about the parts of us that society highlights as ‘important,’ but rather the dusty mixed up corners of our soul.
When His loving mercy looked upon my life, He used my deepest regret and darkest pain as the foundation upon which He would build my glory story. Only the God of the universe can make a beautiful stained glass window out of shattered pieces of glass, and in doing this, when people look at my life now, they see the goodness of the Lord. I am pro-life because out of love, my Father gave His own so my sins may be forgiven.