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This is a moderated blog is a project of the Ruth Institute. Have a story to share? We're listening.
Posted on: Monday, December 09, 2019
I was praying and sidewalk counseling outside of Planned Parenthood. A couple pulled into the parking lot and stayed in their car. We prayed they’d leave. They got out and started loudly arguing. I made all kinds of judgments on the man. He had long dreadlocks, a macramé cap, baggy, drooping pants, and tattoos. All I could think was, "What a thug this guy is for pushing her to kill their child." I was happy she was yelling . . . until she angrily strode over and slammed into the building. Imagine my surprise when he came over and asked me if I would pray for him and their child.
Dwayne told me he'd been trying to talk his girlfriend out of killing their baby for weeks but her mother said she had to kill the child. He said he'd agreed to drive, hoping he could still change her mind on the way. He said he'd succeeded, until her mother called and told her he was never going to be able to support a child and she needed to "get rid of it." He asked me, tears streaming down his cheeks, "How do they know I won't ever be able to support a child? They don't know that. I could be rich someday. I could own my own business. How do they know I won't be able to take care of my own baby?"
It was heartbreaking and the opposite of what I’d thought. We held hands, bowed our heads and prayed. Then he agreed to try one more time. He said he’d tell her he loved her and would take care of them. We hugged and said we'd cover him in prayer. He went in, then came out, alone, looked over, shook his head too choked up to speak, tears falling again. He looked down, walked to his car, got in and waited. I told him we loved him, were so sorry and were praying for them.
I worried about what he’d do later that night and was angry with the mother, grandmother and others. They not only didn’t believe in him but weren't giving him a chance. The low expectations and verbal abuse could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I thought, “I bet that same grandmother blames society for holding young black men down.”
I thought of my own son, around the same age. He’d left college and was working while trying to find a new path. When people asked me about him, I'd say,
"He's not sure what he’s going to do but he's a great guy, smart and a hard worker. We know whatever he decides to do he'll be successful at." Juxtapose
those two. One being told he was worthless and would never be able to support a child and one being told whatever he did, his family knew he'd do well
I thought, “If this happened to my son or his friends, they’d be expected to step up.” People thrive when challenged especially when it's for their children, not just themselves. It's sad to see young men raised around people who don't believe in them. How hard that must be to be told you’re not good enough. I made the decision to never again judge like I did Dwayne or assume fathers were driving the killing.
It's wrong to demonize men at abortion clinics. Yes, some do drive the decision to abort, but many feel, and are often told, they have no say. The mothers and others expect them to not stay around or have lasting relationships as husbands and fathers.
Many people hope I'll say the mother changed her mind but she didn't that day. Thankfully, there are ones who do walk out. Three saved baby girls turned a year this year. The parents are so happy. Those moments of joy make the hard moments like this tolerable.Since that day, many of my saves have been through fathers. You talk and pray, and they find out they have a say. They want their child and the opportunity to step up. Often, it’s as simple as the father telling the mother he loves her and will support her. The families I’ve kept in touch with are thriving and thankful for their living children.
Lost fatherhood needs more discussion. Many are not expected or allowed to take roles in families. The disrespect and disregard for men, of all colors, has hit a crisis point.
Couples who marry and have families make more money and are happier. Why is our society pushing them to kill their children, destroy their relationships and live as childless singles? What can we do to get the message out that they will be better if they trust their hearts and do not listen to those who set limits on them, hold them down and keep them from thriving?
Submitted by JH.
Posted on: Thursday, April 18, 2019
Yesterday my boyfriend said to me, "I wish I had a chance to just hold my child as he cried."
Posted on: Friday, March 17, 2017
I am a happily married woman and mother of three beautiful boys who regrets having an abortion.
It all happened about 24 years ago when my husband and I got engaged. We were, and are very much in love, which is the most disturbing part of this story. One would think that because of this strong love, once we found out that we were expecting it would have been the happiest thing. However, it was just the opposite. We were engaged at the time, due to be married in the next 2 years, and happily planning our future.
The first real issue was that we were having sexual intercourse, although I was on the birth control pill. So, we didn’t think anything would actually happen even though we knew that there was always a chance that the pill would not be 100% effective. Now, we are both Catholic and should not have even considered having sex out of marriage or using birth control, but we were products of this permissive society that almost expected us to be sexually active. We bought into the whole idea that you couldn’t possibly consider marrying someone without having “tried them on” so to speak.
Anyway, there we were, in love and getting ready for marriage when we discovered that I was pregnant. I remember crying and having panic attacks thinking how I/we could have this baby out of wedlock; it would be such a scandal. That’s the thing; I should have been thinking how we could abort this beautiful baby created out of our love in union with God’s obvious will for our lives. I felt pressure to hide this mess up, which is how I thought about the situation. I thought that I messed up and couldn’t possibly be capable of bringing a life into the world that was so unplanned.
I thought that I must terminate the pregnancy. My then finance supported me either way, and with regret now too, he drove me to the Planned Parenthood facility and the abortion was completed at around 7 weeks.
I remember the facility being very cold and non-human. I remember being told don’t worry this will all be over soon. I was never offered an ultrasound or any counseling as to other options. They just took my call, scheduled my abortion, and proceeded with it without any other words of advice.
I did have a lady I was working with at the time who tried to convince me to keep the baby, to give consideration to adoption, or get married sooner, but I was not listening. As a result, I’ve spent many years of emotional torture and regret. I long for that baby and still feel an incredible amount of pain and sorrow for having gone against God’s will and his commandments. I did end up going to confession for this and my sin was absolved. For that I am forever thankful that Our Lord showed so much mercy toward me and this horrible decision.
My deepest regret is that I bought the lie that society tells you. I bought the lie that says God only exists on Sunday… that it was ok to abort a precious gift from God because it was just a blob of tissue. Plus, it was legal to do, so why would it be wrong?
I pray that my story will help others choose life, choose to listen to God’s will and honor him by obeying no matter what the circumstance because if not…
you will end up in the dark world of regret, which is no place for a child of the light.
Posted on: Thursday, November 03, 2016
The expression, "I've been to hell and back," is a perfect description of my life, and the hell was mostly self-inflicted through my abuse of alcohol.
Even though I came from a loving, supportive, Christian family, I always felt like an outsider and “less than.” That all changed when I discovered alcohol. As a well-known A.A. Speaker once said, “I was a duck until I took a drink and then turned into an eagle.”
Alcohol took away my moral compass, and everything I learned growing up disappeared into the deep recesses of my mind. It also gave me a sense of indestructibility, which turned into carelessness and made me extremely vulnerable. I ended up being gang raped after one night of partying. (Feeling I deserved it, I didn't call the police).
My promiscuity resulted in three pregnancies. One pregnancy ended in miscarriage but the two others I terminated by abortion. After the rape and abortions, my drinking and promiscuity escalated. I acquired a nickname, “Pass Around Patti." I tried settling down thinking that would help but ended up with two failed marriages. It was at the end of my second marriage that I hit bottom. At around six o'clock in the morning, I called in sick to work because there was still beer in the fridge. After downing a few, I was hit with an indescribable feeling of self-loathing and despair. I went to the bathroom and got a bottle of prescription medication, grabbed another beer and sat at the dining room table. I had pills in one hand and a beer to wash them down in the other when “something” compelled me to call for help. As I was being admitted to a psychiatric hospital, the psychiatrist asked me why I wanted to die. I told him I was already dead inside and just wanted to finish the job.
After I was determined no longer a danger to myself, I was transferred to alcohol rehab. It was through A.A. meetings at rehab that I was reintroduced to God. It took some time but I eventually realized He did the intervention at the kitchen table. He wanted me to heal and to clean up the mess I had made of my life. It wasn't easy. In fact, coming to terms and making amends for the damage I had caused myself, family and friends was excruciating. My family and some of my friends forgave me but it took time to rebuild the trust. Forgiving myself was another story.
Although I had reestablished a relationship with God, it wasn't that strong, and I still carried feelings of unworthiness and self-loathing. A few years ago, He once again intervened and guided me to a healing retreat for post-abortive women. He knew I had finally reached the point of emotional and spiritual readiness to face my past and fully accept not only His love, mercy and forgiveness, but my own as well. I also learned that even though I turned away from Him, He never turned away from me. He was there all along, but I was too blinded by self-will to see.
Some have said, “It's a shame you wasted so much of your life,” and before that retreat I would have agreed, but now I consider those dark days a blessing.
If it weren't for the darkness, I would have never seen the light of His love and mercy. If it weren't for the darkness, I would not be able to share
the light of hope with others.
Submitted by P.S.
Posted on: Tuesday, October 25, 2016
First person testimony from a survivor of the late term abortion experience. Please note: this author did NOT actually have an abortion. Her baby had already died, and needed to be removed from her uterus. In the Mother of All Insensitivities (in my opinion) her doctor sent her to an abortion clinic where they specialize in evacuating the uterus. As a pro-life mother of 4, who was grieving the involuntary loss of her baby, without having a guilty conscience over being the cause of her child's demist, this author's perspective is invaluable.
Highly recommended for those struggling with the aftermath of abortion.
Posted on: Monday, May 30, 2016
Leave it to pro-choice political operatives to make a blackmail threat against a pro-life politician and his family. And leave it to the King of Kings to bring light out of darkness and to write straight with crooked lines.
It seems that "an unnamed source" told Michigan State Rep. Lee Chatfield, a pro-life Republican, that they planned to make public information about his wife's abortion years ago. I suppose this was supposed to embarrass Rep Chatfield and his wife Stephanie that they would, do what, exactly? That he would stop calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood? That he would withdraw his sponsorship of a bill to ban abortions that dismember the child?
In any case, Mrs. Chatfield made her own decision to not allow herself and her husband to be manipulated by her past. She beat them to the punch and told her own story of her high school abortion. She told the story on her own terms: a story of rape, abortion, regret, forgiveness and healing.
When I read her story, I could not help but think how clueless the person who threatened must really be. Or maybe she/he/ze did not know the full story. The young Stephanie, a high school student, was obviously a victim of rape, the very sort of person the Sexual Revolutionary feminist claims to be trying to help. Stephanie did just what the feminist/sexual revolutionary playbook called for: she had an abortion. But the abortion did not solve her problem, as advertised.
I made a decision that I’ve thought about and regretted nearly every day since. It’s haunted me. It’s made me weep. It’s made it difficult to look in the mirror at times. I knew that what I did was wrong at the time, but I never imagined the weight and guilt that I would carry as a consequence.
I give Stephanie Chatfield a lot of credit for how she is handling herself. This is exactly what the Ruth Institute hopes more people will do: tell the truth about what happened to you. Reveal the lies of the Sexual Revolution. You will take the sting out of them. You will heal yourself, and heal others. As Mrs. Chatfield said:
No matter the intentions of anybody wishing to see this story go public, this I am certain of: God meant it for good and will glorify Himself through this....And to everybody reading this, remember what I had forgotten – that God is greater than our sin. I am confident that God can continue to use an imperfect person like me to bring Himself glory. And while the life vs. choice debate will continue to wage on, this I know for certain: I made the wrong choice. Yet, I plan to use my story to help girls, love others and serve as a living testimony of God’s grace and forgiveness.
This is the real, Christ-like solution to the problems of the Sexual Revolution. As I have said many times in my talks, if it is not Christ-like, I'm not the slightest bit interested in it. And if it is not Christ-like, it won't last anyway.
Share your story with us. We may include it on the Tell Ruth the Truth blog. You have no idea who may benefit from your experience.
Posted on: Friday, February 19, 2016
My mother left when I was six. My sister and I went to a beautiful old house we called “the home” - a group home for girls whose families were under stress.
We were fed and dressed well, had lots of play time but, even with my sister there, I was scared. I saw Matron rub a twelve year old girl’s nose into
her urine-soaked sheets, and I had seen her pull down underpants in public, in order to spank other girls. That was when I began to live on the margins
and keep watch. Like the kid in the movie 'The Blind Side’, I became "99% self-protective”.
At age eight I went back to live with Daddy. I hardly can recall my mother but Dad remains my hero. He and I shared long evenings reading or listening
to the radio and talking about plays, music and politics. With him, I participated in anti-apartheid marches. My love of history came from trips
we took to ancient places like the Roman ruins at St. Albans and, every year, we went by ferry to his Irish homeland. I loved sitting on deck at
night, singing old Irish songs.
By my early teens I began getting in trouble and ended up in boarding school. The school was in a 19th Century mansion, its grounds filled with exotic
plants, lakes, a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts. A tolerant staff kept watch over us. We danced to juke-box music every weekend. Boys
and girls found all kinds of secret places to meet - in fireplaces, by laundry baskets, in the woods and at the trout stream. And we knew not to
go “all the way”.
By 1965, the naive little boarding school girl, heavily influenced by an atheist/socialist Dad, went to nursing school and became a bleeding heart.
Assisting with abortions was part of the surgical rotation. I never thought to question the morality of it and none of my peers did either. There
was no public discussion about it, no talk about women’s rights. It was a scandal for a young woman to be pregnant outside of marriage. They were
my peers, and I wanted to shield them.
When Evangelical friends put a Bible in my hands, my life changed radically. By the time I read the Gospels the third time, I was sensing a protective
and tolerant Presence, yet I struggled with accepting Christianity. Then came terrible nightmares about dead babies. I felt prompted to read my
Bible and start writing. I realized I was dreaming about the abortions I’d participated in and which, for fifteen years, I never had a second thought
about. In nursing school, I had believed as I was taught, that the baby was a “blob of tissue”.
The words of Deuteronomy 30:19 jumped out - “I put before you Life and Death, choose…” I saw two armies, one standing behind Jesus and one behind
Satan, and my inner ears heard, “there is no gray area”. It was a mandate. My choice had to be an eternal one. After 29 years I went back to the
Church, and I was (flinchingly) in the pro-life camp.
However, I continued, as a Public Health nurse, thinking that birth control was a lesser evil than abortion and that the Church’s teachings were wrong,
until I learned about the beautiful spirituality of natural family planning. I began to remember women who had strokes as a result of birth control
- and malignant hypertension and pancreatitis. Could my sister’s death, from pancreatic cancer have been avoided if she had not taken birth control
for thirty years?
Following a hunch, I discovered many horrid complications of artificial contraception besides abortifacient properties - cardiovascular disease, cancers of breast, liver and cervix, egg-producing male fish, personality changes, sterility, miscarriages and STDs.
I know now, as my 69th birthday approaches, that the Church had wisdom about the terrible consequences the sexual revolution would bring - long before science began to identify them.
Submitted by L. P. February 2016.
Posted on: Tuesday, February 02, 2016
The uproar over the Obergefell decision by the Supreme Court, as well as over the Planned Parenthood videos of aborted infants, has brought to light in my heart the brutal, circular journey I myself have made from devout Catholic school boy of the 50s to passive, liberal “hippie” of the 60s and 70s, and back to recommitted catholic – a gradual process that started in the 80s and continues to this day.
Specifically here I feel called to reveal the mindset that allowed me to rationalize my participation in two abortions of my own children with two separate women during my 20’s – not in the form of a confession, but to illuminate how pernicious this type of thinking has become in our culture, and how difficult it can be to overcome without a foundation in faith.
I was in the mid 70’s a young man attempting to make a living as a songwriter and musician in Los Angeles. I met a young Hispanic woman who was bright, articulate and as totally engaged in the whole drug culture and sexual revolution as I was. We began an intimate relationship that resulted in the conception of a child. When she gently notified me of this event I did the typical male prevarication thing and we ended up deciding to seek an abortion. I say “we”, although I’m pretty sure in retrospect that was not the solution she was hoping for. So I gave her the money, she had the abortion and our relationship ended rather abruptly.
I eventually met my future first wife around 1977, a woman who had grown up in an abusive family environment as the only daughter of a pedophile father and violent mother. We moved in together and in a very short time she became pregnant. I remember the look of disappointment in her eyes as we discussed the inconvenience this child would place on our lives. This time I was an active participant in the murder. I clearly remember sitting outside the door and hearing the whirring and sucking sounds of the machinery as our child was removed from her womb and disposed of like so much trash – or possibly, as we now know, sold off in pieces to some research lab. I saw the raw effects on the mother immediately as she came out of the recovery room to be driven home by me, her accomplice. She was absolutely devastated by the experience and for several days nothing I could say or do was any comfort to her.
Eventually we moved on, got married and had two beautiful boys, although the marriage was very stormy and ended several years later in a bitter divorce. As I began to recover from my profligate life and tried to guide my children through the treacherous rapids of the post-divorce world, I started to feel the tug at my heart every time I became intimate with a new woman. But I eventually realized that my behavior was inconsistent with my beliefs, and I struggled with celibacy, slipping many times before falling in love with a woman who understood my dilemma and was willing to support a Christian courtship.
I am now over 30 years clean and sober and married to that same wonderful, faithful woman, who is a Catholic convert. We are active in our church and community and have started a very successful bible study in our parish. I have at long last accepted that human sexuality is not the ultimate physical/spiritual experience I formerly thought it to be, but only a dim reflection of man’s participation in God’s unending creative glory. Used morally, a very great good – used immorally, a very great evil. But the tale bears telling if for no other reason than perhaps the chance to stir the consciences of other folks like me who were led astray and now find their lives empty of meaning as they pursue the gods of mammon – yet may still hope to find the one God of the universe ready and waiting to love and forgive them.
My constant prayers go with them.