Facilitator

Dawn Jackson

 

The Post Abortion Ministry at Alamo City Christian Fellowship was birthed out of my personal experience with abortion and the need for healing.  I walked in the silent world of shame for over 30 years.   
 

I  learned I was pregnant in June of 1974, one month shy of my 16th birthday.  I was gripped with fear and terrified that my parents would find out and I couldn't believe this was really happening to me. To cover up all of it, I took the life of my unborn child. The consequences of that choice will forever affect me; and every day of my life, I regret that “choice” was ever an option.

     When I told a friend I thought I might be pregnant she told me she thought I could have something done about it which was music to my ears at the time.  This all seemed like a bad dream and I just wanted to wake up and pretend it never happened.  What I wouldn't realize until much later was that my life would be adversely affected for many years. 

     Since there were no over the counter pregnancy tests then and I didn't feel as though I could go to my family physician, my boy friend drove me to a doctor across the state line that my friend found in the phone book. We both sat in silence waiting for the results.  After the doctor told me I was pregnant, I told him that I had heard something could be done about “it” and asked for his assistance. I will never forget the look of disgust on his face. He told me he didn’t do that and promptly escorted me out of his office. His reaction made me feel even more ashamed and desperately out of control. I have since thought that if he had been caring and had counseled me that I might not have gone through with the abortion. Not one person tried to discourage me; in fact, they were all trying to help me get an abortion. They all seemed as desperate as I was, including my boyfriend. With the help of an older friend, we found an abortionist. My friend made the appointment, and my boyfriend paid for it. 

     I never thought in terms of “having a baby” – just that I was pregnant and didn’t want to be. Because I was under age and was told I needed parental consent, an older friend impersonated my mother. No form of identification was required and  I didn’t even use my real name.

     I didn’t have a clue what to expect. Never did I think of abortion as a surgical procedure.  I sat very scared in the waiting room until, my fictitious name was called. I don’t think the nurse said much of anything to me, except, “take this off ” and “put this on.” The abortionist came in after I was on the table. I don’t think I ever saw his face, and I’m pretty sure he never even said “hello” to me. Then the horrible vacuum started and then the pulling and tugging and pain began.  It was at that moment that I realized what I was doing, but it was too late. I kept thinking, “I am killing my baby,” and I started crying. That was the first time I remember thinking a baby.  I was not sent to recovery – just sent home with some pills without a follow-up appointment.

     Afterward I became very sick and began to hemorrhage; but because I was so afraid that my parents might find out, I said nothing. Thankfully, I got better and thought I could get back to normal, but normal would never be the same again.

    The night of my abortion my boyfriend began drinking.  I don't remember ever seeing him drink before.  The abortion was never discussed by anyone involved. Everyone just acted as though it never happened, but as the months passed I became very depressed and cried a lot. I had messed up so badly that I just wanted to cover it up and pretend that it never happened – to make it all go away, but it didn't.  And at the same time I remember thinking, “Does everyone know what I’ve done?” Not only did I take my child’s life, I deceived my parents. I was so afraid they would find out and be so disappointed in me.

     I later married the father of my aborted baby, but our relationship was never the same after the abortion.  I had a huge longing for a child and was very depressed a lot of time and he drank a lot. Desperate to fill the all consuming emptiness, I tossed my birth control pills in the toilet, knowing my husband did not want children right away. A week or so later, I felt guilty and began taking the pills again; but I was already pregnant. Three months after my son was born, my husband informed me he wanted a divorce. I was devastated. Things careened out of control. My self-esteem was very low, I was young, divorced with a baby and an abortion in my background. I thought “who would want me?

     I felt like I was walking around with a scarlet letter tattooed to my forehead. I felt guilt, shame and condemnation. Out of desperation, I married again very soon and was divorced within a year. After that I didn’t want much to do with a permanent relationship. But then my precious husband entered my life. I fell madly in love and married Jerry after a very short courtship.  He was wonderful with my son and he didn't flinch when I told him I had had an abortion.  But it was not spoken of again for 15 years. 

      After we had been married for a short time we decided we wanted to have more children.   But after trying for about 6 months nothing was happening.  We learned there were problems with both Jerry and me.  After many tests and a surgery it was determined that my fallopian tubes were blocked by scar tissue and my uterus was attached to another organ because of the scar tissue as well.  The doctor was able to detach my uterus but they were not able to repair my fallopian tubes.  I wondered at the time why I had scar tissue and never thought about the abortion and the hemorraging afterward.  I was still so ashamed that I never told my doctor I had had an abortion.  

      For years, I bought into the whole feminist philosophy and I was pretty angry with men in general. At that point I believed abortion was wrong and that what I had done was wrong; but I also believed that under certain circumstances women should have a choice.  After all who was I to say anything different. 

     However, after years of the feminist view of most things I gave my life to my precious Lord and Savior, Jesus and my life has not been the same.  He began to transform me.  2Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].  Romans 12:2 (Amp)

      And one day I began to think and ponder the whole abortion issue.  And as I did I asked myself a question -- Do you, Dawn, believe life begins at conception?  And my answer was a resounding "Yes" and at that moment I realized that all life is precious no matter how that child was conceived. -- 2 Kings 14:6 “Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor children for the sins of their parents. Those deserving to die must be put to death for their own crimes.”

     For many years after I began walking with the LORD I still walked in shame of the abortion and I continued to ask the Lord for forgiveness over and over again.  I would shirk back in the pew of my church believing I would be condemned if anyone found out my "secret".  I really believed that I was the only one in the church who had had an abortion.  But The Lord Jesus began prompting me to share the secret with someone -- I resisted, but He gently continued to move me in the direction of speaking, first to one person, then to two, and so on and each time I did, the links in the chains that had kept me bound began to break and each time I shared no one condemned me; my Pastor didn't condemn me, my bible study leaders didn't condemn me, the church staff didn't condemn me.For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  Romans 3:23

    I was finally able to share my abortion with those in the church and that was so very freeing, but there was something else I needed to deal with.  He wanted to show me my child and the need to grieve and mourn the loss of my daughter, Annie Elizabeth, and as I did more chains were broken until finally one day they were completely gone and now I walk in total freedom. 

       It has been because of my relationship with my Lord and my husband’s support that I have finally been able to come to terms with what I did. I know I am forgiven, and I want other women to know that there is forgiveness and healing after abortion and they are not alone!  Statistics show 1 in 3 sitting in the church pews have been affected by abortion.

      My prayer is that you will take the first step by joining a post abortion recovery study in your area.  Allow the Lord Jesus to bring restoration and healing into your life as He has done in my life and the lives of other brave women. 

His for Life!

Dawn