A Mother’s Perspective

In 1978, my 16-year-old daughter came to me with tears in her eyes to tell me she thought she was pregnant. I took her in my arms and said, “I am so sorry.” I didn’t berate her in any way, criticize her or pass any judgment, I just held her. We talked about her options: 1. Keep the baby with the understanding she would have the responsibility of raising this child, as I was the sole bread winner for our family and would not be able to quit work to care for a baby; 2. Have the baby and make an adoption plan; or 3. Have an abortion. She never hesitated—she chose abortion.

Looking back, I have often wondered if I put too much of the responsibility on her at age 16 in making that decision. Granted (and I am not making excuses here), we had different views on the abortion process in 1978. At this early stage, “it” wasn’t really a baby yet—or so we were led to believe. Even though we “attended church,” we were not where we needed to be in our walk with the Lord. My daughter and I both swept it under the rug and moved on with life.

Years later, I moved to Virginia and got involved with the pregnancy center as a volunteer. I came here primarily to “have something to do” in a new location. I wanted to meet new people and be useful in some small way to the community I now called home. I signed up for the “The Love Approach” workshop to prepare for working at the clinic. On day one, after the session ended, I spoke briefly with the client services director about my daughter and what she had gone through. She suggested I attend the “Forgiven and Set Free” Bible Study—a post-abortion Bible study for women. She pointed out that even though I was not the one that actually had the abortion I “might” have some unresolved feelings about it as well. Quite honestly, I didn’t think I did…it had been such a long time ago and both our lives had moved on in many directions. When the next Bible study was scheduled, Denise, the executive director of the center at that time, came to me again and asked if I would be interested in attending. There must be a reason for this I told myself, God is nudging me through these two Godly women, so I signed up.

I never had a clue what an 11-week journey I was about to embark on.  Day one hit me like a ton of bricks. The chapter was entitled, “How Do I Know Where I Need Healing?”  I didn’t even know I needed healing. I never realized just how much that decision in 1978 had impacted both our lives. It was something neither one of us talked about. We put it behind us—or at least we thought we had.

This Bible study forced me to come to grips with our decision (and I mean that in a positive way). Now I share with others what the long-term effects will be when making such a life-impacting decision. You never forget it. You can bury it for periods of time but it always hangs over your head. I told my daughter about the Bible study and wished I could share it with her but she lives in another state. To this day, her husband of 20 years is unaware of the abortion.  She wishes it had never happened, but continues to try to “not think about it.” I know the Bible study would give her a peace she may not realize she needs—I didn’t realize it myself until I opened the book and the journey began.  

Our two leaders were awesome. So willing to share their own experiences/feelings. They were non-judgmental and made the three of us in the class all feel comfortable and willing to also share.

Even though I did not have the abortion, being the mother is a hard place to be as well. For years afterward, I questioned myself—did we do the right thing? Did I really give my daughter good council? And now, what can I do to help her (even after all these years) get through her healing?

This Bible study has answered more questions than I even thought I had. It has given me a peace to understand and know that our God is all forgiving—even when we make bad choices. I highly recommend this study to anyone (mothers and daughters) who has gone through an abortion—regardless of how many months or even years it has been. You may not think you need healing—I didn’t either—but I soon found out differently and it sets you free. Free from guilt and shame.  God is such an awesome God—loving us, caring about us, and opening His arms to receive us—all we have to do is ask.

Forgiven and Set Free Class