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  • Writer's pictureDub

My Abortion Story

Updated: Jan 5

Last year the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade which returned the responsibility for abortion policy back to the States. Recently the majority of voters in two states voted to bring back abortion. I originally posted this story before that happened. The reactions were swift, varied, intense, and passionate. Clearly, this is an issue that is divisive and critical. I prayed and considered whether reposting on my new website would be helpful or harmful. In the end, I felt the need to be transparent and let the chips fall where they may. With love, Dub.


On the surface you might consider me the least qualified person to share an opinion on abortion.

  • I’m a man

  • I’m a Boomer, white, and wealthy in comparison to the majority of the world

  • I’m a pastor with a distinctly Christian worldview

  • Did I mention I’m a man?

All true. However, there are other things people may not know about me. I’d like to share my abortion story in the hope that it will help someone.


The 70's


1970's

If the 1960’s were the Swinging 60s, the 1970s were the Me Decade. That unfortunately describes my attitude during those years. I was all about me – what I liked and didn’t like, what made me happy or sad, excited or bored. I spent most of the decade in college, first at Centenary College of Louisiana, a wonderful, private liberal arts school, and then at Florida State University, a large, public university. While I was ostensibly at these institutions to further my education, much of my time and energy were actually dedicated to exploring my freedom in the pursuit of pleasure.


It was liberating to be away from my parents and the cocoon of my small hometown. I had surrendered my life to Jesus in 1970 as did many of my peers. That story is in my book. When I went to college I left family, friends, and mentors. Keep in mind it was the dark ages before the internet, mobile phones, and social media. I was mostly on my own. I made new friends quickly. Many of those friendships are still in place and what I’m about to share will come as a surprise to some. I’m sorry it took me so long to come clean. If there’s ever been a time when humility, truth, and honest discussion are warranted, this is it.


The Big Secret

I got my girlfriend pregnant. The first thing to remember about abortion is that pregnancy doesn’t happen without male involvement. Today we inhabit a very strange world of gender politics, but simple biology has not changed. We had unprotected sex, and she became pregnant. That was a problem for both of us. We were not in a committed relationship and were both unprepared to raise a child. We were convinced our families would not be supportive, so we didn’t give them the opportunity to be involved. Instead, we went to a doctor for a pregnancy test. It confirmed what my girlfriend already certainly knew. There was a baby on the way.


Sensing our dismay at this news the doctor explained that there was a way out of our predicament. He presented the option to abort the fetus. He assured us it wasn’t a baby yet – just a mass of tissue that could easily be removed by a simple medical procedure. In spite of the Roe v. Wade ruling abortion wasn’t legally available in Louisiana. However, it was legal one state over. Relieved, we agreed to go this route. He promised to set up an appointment for us at a clinic.


The Runup

I had to get money together to pay for this. As a full-time college student with very little income, it took all the financial aid I could muster plus a part-time job just to afford school. With our situation on the downlow there was no one to ask for help. I worked odd jobs including babysitting, construction, landscaping, truck driving, and anything else that paid. I literally sold my own blood for plasma. After a month or so I finally had just enough for the procedure and gas for the trip. We made the appointment.


The Deed

On the way to the clinic, we talked and encouraged each other that this was the right thing to do. Our thoughts and emotions were all over the place and we felt we had no choice but to follow through. Arriving at the clinic my girlfriend was taken back while I sat in the lobby. I remember the heat and the glare of the sun beating through the tall glass windows. They told us how long she would be there. It turned out to be a lot longer. I was nervous and sweating. I asked repeatedly what was taking so long? Was something wrong? The lady at the desk said it happens sometimes and I needed to be patient. It seemed like forever. I felt uneasy.


They finally called me back to a room off the lobby. When they brought my girlfriend in, I immediately knew something was very wrong. She was drugged and sobbing. She wouldn’t look at me or speak. I demanded to know what was going on. A representative said the procedure went well and that she was just overwhelmed and emotional. “It sometimes happens,” she said. I was given two prescriptions. One to prevent infection, the other to keep her calm. Then they hustled us out the front door.


Now What?

I had no more money. She was weeping and moaning, clearly traumatized. I had no idea what to do but I knew she needed the meds. I remembered a church in the city that I visited with my youth group. Maybe they could help us? I drove there in desperation and helped her from the car. We went inside and found someone in the office. I explained we were in town for a medical procedure and that something had gone wrong. I asked for money for meds. The lady at the desk got a staff member to meet with us. He was very kind and didn’t ask too many questions. He gave us money to get the prescriptions. Hastily thanking him we left, filled the scripts, and headed home. I couldn’t wait to get out of that state.


The Long Ride

It’s a four + hour drive and much of it was in silence except for her crying and soft moans. I was crazed with feelings of guilt, shame, and fear. I tried to get her to tell me what happened. She finally did. As she was wheeled out of the procedure room, she saw a metal bucket on the floor in the hallway with the fetal remains. She saw fingers and toes among the bloody body parts. She realized, “this wasn’t just a mass of tissue.” It was a dismembered baby, our baby. That’s when the dam broke for both of us as the weight of this terrible knowledge came crashing down. We had killed our own baby. It was a helluva ride back to campus.


Aftershock

I don’t remember much after that. We got back and did our best to act OK. We weren’t. I took responsibility. I asked her to marry me. She didn’t want to, but I convinced her it would be best. We kept our terrible secret for months. At the end of my senior year, she told a mutual friend about it, because she needed someone else to know. I completely came apart at the seams. I stayed blind drunk as often as possible. I graduated and left town. Later that summer I called off the engagement in person and faced the righteous fury of her family. They didn’t know, couldn’t know. I never saw her again. I still have regret about that.


After that I lived like hell until I met my wife Pam. We experienced the unconditional love of Jesus together in a powerful way and His kindness led me to confession and repentance. Jesus saved me again, this time from terrible sin, guilt, shame, and self-condemnation. Upon moving to NC, a dear woman in our church that had also had an abortion helped me understand that I too could be forgiven of the most heinous sin, even the murder of my own child. I prayed then, and continue to pray, that my former girlfriend has or will likewise find forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, and the peace of Jesus. I’m unqualified to help her, but God is perfectly able.


My Truth

If you think I got the benefit of abortion that I would now like to see denied to others, you don’t know how this works, at least in my experience. Abortion is not a wonderful benefit. It is a terrible human tragedy. By now every reasonably informed person knows the science and what abortion really is, even if we choose to ignore it. It is infanticide. Babies are mercilessly killed. The consequences to the well-being and humanity of the individual and the society are devastating whether it is recognized and acknowledged or not.


Once again states and voters are forced to grapple with powerful forces that, once released from Pandora’s Box, are hard to contain or restrain. So, what can we do?


Abortion and the Church

Since 1973 pro-life Christians, including myself, prayed for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. Now, here we are. I am more convinced than ever it is the right call. But the righting of a terrible wrong also carries with it the responsibility to deliver a positive result for the people of our nation. I believe the Church of Jesus Christ has to lead the way and I have some thoughts about this.


First, we need to acknowledge that the Church as a whole has not always been loving or helpful in this area. People facing a troubling pregnancy need the kindness, understanding, wisdom, support, strength, and encouragement of God to help them in their hour of need. They need to experience real life and love through kind, compassionate people. They don’t need our judgment and condemnation.


According to Love Life ministry, 1 in 4 women (and men) in America will have an abortion in their lifetime. Currently in the Southern USA, 73% of those who have abortions are like me and my girlfriend. They identify as Christians. We don’t really have the high moral ground to go around judging and pointing fingers. Instead, we can provide a safe, nurturing family of faith that will love people and help them in their time of need, like Jesus loves us.


How Do We Do It?

We need to acknowledge that women’s healthcare has lagged behind men’s healthcare for generations. Women must have access to reproductive healthcare and be empowered to make their own decisions. No man would ever allow laws mandating their reproductive health decisions be made and enforced by others without their consent. But women have had to live with this reality their entire lives. Men and women are of equal value and worth before God. We must do better. The Church needs to speak to this and work toward solutions.


Fifty years after Roe we know from scientific advances the stages of development of babies in the womb. There are people that argue that life begins at the moment of conception and no other medical concern should infringe on that life. There are also people that advocate for abortion until the moment of birth. A few would allow for a period after birth where the baby’s life can still be terminated with parental and physician consent. That’s a very wide spectrum. As Christ followers and as human beings we are compelled to value all human life. Therefore, we need to be engaged as parents, medical providers, scientists, ethicists, legislators, and caring individuals to sort this out and address these issues.


It’s Time To Step Up

Now that Roe is overturned there may be a lot more babies to care for. Some will be wanted and loved, others will not. The Church must step into this gap. We can all do something. Pam and I became foster parents and encouraged others to do likewise. Some can adopt. Churches can come alongside struggling single moms, single dads, and families without the necessary resources to take care of their children. If you live in a state that still provides abortion a lot of desperate people that need assistance will be headed your way. That care was provided to me and my girlfriend by a local church in one of those states. All of these responses require long-term commitment. That’s basically what we believe is required in our relationship with God, long-term commitment. Surely, we have some commitment left to spare to foster life among strangers and neighbors.


Some have accused the Church of being pro-life until the moment of birth, but not beyond. That charge wouldn’t sting so much if there weren’t some truth in it. We have to do better.


Doing better means addressing the needs of the woman that is in an abusive situation and simply cannot bear the responsibility of placing a baby in harm’s way; the girl that was sexually assaulted, raped, and now has to decide what to do with the child in her womb that continually reminds her of that horror; the family faced with the unthinkable because a loved one will likely die giving birth; the single mom or struggling family that can’t see a way to afford and care for another child, and so many more. Difficult and desperate decisions are often made by women and men that need understanding, love, and support. We also need sensible laws that protect life and don’t cause or compound tragedy. It’s time to weigh in with our legislators and let them know what we expect of them.


The Outcome

Most people would say, “This isn’t possible. We’re too divided. We can’t do it.” I don’t believe that. The Bible says, “The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” ~ Matthew 19:25-26 NLT


Jesus is looking at us intently right now. We have the opportunity to do great good, to literally save lives. We’ve waited all these years. Let’s not let this moment pass us by.

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