This morning, after Mass, I decided to go to a nearby abortion mill at which I knew our church group would be praying. We watched a young couple go in. After a bit she came to get something from her car and came over to the four of us, toward one of the members waving an invitation. She said they were just having a consultation as they hadn't made up their mind and didn't have the money. We felt optimistic since she walked all the way to the sidewalk where we stood. She went back inside. Our prayer vigil ended, and I told my prayer partners that I was going to stay and wait until they came out to talk about my abortion and how it had derailed my life. I tearfully told them my story, which they were not aware of.
In 1979 I was 22 and traveling with a friend around Europe. I had discovered I was pregnant from a one-night stand. It was a going away party for us, and he was a guy from another state. All I knew was his first name. My friend Judy and I had been partying heavily and, before leaving the US, we had to get vaccines to visit third world countries. I answered that I was not pregnant as I didn't know I was. I took the pregnancy test in Athens, Greece, and it was positive. Some people we had met helped arrange the abortion at a hospital. Judy had said with all the partying and vaccines that the baby would be messed up. She had two abortions. She was not Catholic, as I had been raised, and I knew it was wrong. I remember her saying, "It's legal, so it can't be that bad."
After healing (physically) after the procedure, I just stayed drunk to numb myself for the rest of our trip. I had lived at my parents’ home and my sister knew I was not alright. I was depressed and moving into despair. I had considered suicide, because I knew I was going straight to hell. I went to our parish priest and confessed, and he said since I didn't know about being excommunicated for this sinful act that I would not be. I may have gone through the motions, but I "knew that I was not worthy of forgiveness." I didn't know my Catholic faith at all. I had been catechized in the 60's and our family went to Mass on Sunday, but that was about it.
So, I began a career of partying and promiscuity. I was away from the church for 20 years. I had become alcoholic, never having any lasting relationships. I attended a funeral at the Catholic Church I now belong to, and the Holy Spirit got me. I came back and fell in love with the faith. Twelve years later I got sober and have been for 7+ years. A friend at church suggested Rachels Vineyard, and I was so grateful I did. I forgot to mention that my mother died exactly a year after me coming back to the faith. She never knew, as I only told a couple of people. I knew it would destroy her if she knew. She knows now, and I feel that her prayers are what prompted me to get sober, as well as to get involved with the pro-life movement. I joined 40 Days for Life two years ago and our parish's pro-life group. I felt compelled to look up the Silent No More website today after talking with this young couple. I gave them each a Miraculous Medal, my phone number, and they listened to me for about 10 minutes. I may have been a little rugged, but they thanked me. I want to get better at talking about this to help others, because I'm no longer fearful and refuse to be Silent No More.
I had just finished proof reading this writing, and my cell phone rang. It was the young woman from the abortion mill. God is so good. We talked for 16 minutes, and she had to end the call to get to a class. I don't think she will get the abortion. She is going to call me tomorrow. I am so elated that our dear Lord is using me to help her. Keep us in your prayers.