Lisa S. was only 16 when her boyfriend and his mom pressured her to have an abortion.
“I let my boyfriend tell his mom, who called Planned Parenthood for help. They told me I was too young to have a child, it would be hard to get out of my small town to go to college and girls who chose adoption often regretted it because they never knew where their child was,” Lisa said. “My boyfriend and the counselor continued the conversation about ‘terminating the pregnancy.’ That was not why I was there. I just listened and heard it was a clump of cells, not a baby, and the procedure involved simply cleaning out late period tissue,” Lisa said. “I was asked my age then told I could fly on a plane to Dallas (without my parents’ permission) where they knew of a doctor who could do this procedure. We were given instructions: skip school, fly to Dallas, take a taxi to the clinic, have the procedure, fly home and lie to our parents about where we had been all day. It seemed ridiculous and felt overwhelming. I felt pressured to make an appointment, which only made me tell her I needed more time to think,” Lisa said. “For weeks I was pressured by my boyfriend, his mom, and Planned Parenthood’s phone calls to hurry and make up my mind. I still hadn’t been able to tell my parents. When time was running out I decided to tell them but was begged not to and told it would ruin our chances at college and a football scholarship for my boyfriend,” Lisa said.
Lisa was being pressured to have an abortion – what is known as forced abortion. The Justice Foundation, founded by former law professor Allan Parker, has resources for those working to prevent forced abortion. According to their website:
“The Justice Foundation has developed a project called Center Against Forced Abortions (“CAFA”) which provides tools for centers to protect and advise every pregnant teen mother facing this situation.
No one – not even her parents – can legally force a pregnant teen mother to have an abortion. But sometimes these teens, their parents, school counselors, and perhaps even pregnancy center staff may not be aware of this fact. The Justice Foundation in cooperation with Care Net, Heartbeat and NIFLA, will provide pregnancy centers with new tools to empower and help protect these young women from the horrible trauma of forced abortion.” Unfortunately for Lisa, her story ended in an abortion.
“In Dallas, I signed my own consent forms. I was terrified seeing the surgical instruments. I was never told it was surgery. I met the doctor for the first time with my feet in the stirrups. It felt vulnerable and embarrassing,” Lisa said. “I was terrified. The sound of pieces of my baby coming up through the suction tubes would haunt me for years,” Lisa said.
Lisa was hastily shooed out of the abortion facility so she wouldn’t miss her plane home.
“I was asked to skip recovery because they were in a hurry to do my birth control and post-op counseling. I couldn’t miss my flight home! I was told not to call them with any problems but to call an ER. On the plane, I wondered if complications had occurred with any girls who had flown in and out of that place after their abortions.”
After the abortion, Lisa felt haunted and miserable.
“After the abortion I wanted to turn back the clock, change places with my child, and I had suicidal thoughts because the pain was too much to bear,” Lisa said. She added that she developed an eating disorder and felt separated from God. “There were many times I would count back to see how old my child would have been. I wondered, especially after my kids were born, what he might have looked like or how he may have resembled each of them. I suffered from low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and difficulty parenting my children. I was always afraid God would take one of them away from me as punishment,” Lisa said.
It wasn’t until Lisa’s own marriage was facing difficulties and her daughter was a teenager that she began to face her past. She finally found peace in counseling, where she shared her heartbreaking story.
“What I thought would be condemnation became the first time I ever felt true grace. Referred to an abortion recovery class, I was finally able to process the abortion, understand what I had done, and grieve the loss of my child who was acknowledged and honored. I made peace with God. The heavy burden lifted. I believe abortion is a wound of the soul and Jesus Christ the only healer of that soul and of the hole in our mother’s heart,” Lisa said.
By sharing stories like Lisa’s, our hope is that other women will have an opportunity to see the truth—abortion hurts women. To learn more about The Moral Outcry movement and petition to overturn Roe v. Wade and end abortion in our nation, please visit www.themoraloutcry.com. This original blog post was written by Olivia Briscoe, a pro-life journalist and media professional. All rights are reserved. Please email The Justice Foundation and The Moral Outcry media team at firstname.lastname@example.org for interview requests or reprint permission.