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Abortion: Dealing with the Guilt and Shame

abortion

Abortion and the emotional baggage that comes along with it are things that some women (and men) struggle to deal with on a daily basis. I have issues related to abortion that still come to mind years after being exposed on a very limited basis to the abortion issue.

While working as a Deputy Sheriff, I was called in to work overtime on the abortion run. The Deputies assigned to the abortion run had the responsibility of taking young women who were pregnant at the time of their arrest to the clinic to have abortions. Considering the sensitive nature of this assignment, all Deputies working the abortion run were given the option of turning down the assignment. I accepted it.

You can’t do a thing in the world about what has been done in the past but you can control how your life is lived in the future. Confess your sins and give the cares of an abortion from your past over to God

That day, my partner and I loaded 3 young women into our van and headed off to a West Los Angeles clinic to their scheduled abortion appointments. Having never worked this assignment before, I had no idea what the van ride would be like into West LA. I suppose I envisioned a lot of sadness. Lots of tears and plenty of opportunity for intervention.

As I drove, I could hear the girls casually talking about how and why they were arrested and how long they expected to be locked up. There were no tears and there didn’t seem to be a lot of sadness in the van on the ride to the clinic. I kept waiting for a show of tears, but none were detected.

Upon arriving at the clinic, the girls filed out of the van one by one. Once inside, my partner removed the wrist, waist and leg chains from each of the girls and they were taken into a sterile room that had no exterior exits. My partner and I found a waiting area facing the door the girls were taken into and we began our 3 hour wait.

Neither of us had a lot to say to one another. We made small talk and thumbed through a few magazines. From time to time women dressed like nurses milled around the clinic doing whatever nurses do in abortion clinics. This assignment wasn’t turning out like I thought it would at all.

Waiting for a Intervention

I imagined myself putting on my Superman cape and talking the girls out of killing their babies. I expected a big pat on the back from supervision when we got back to the jail when it was brought to light that we helped these young women make the right choice of keeping their babies. No, this wasn’t turning out anything like the scenario played out in my mind.

After 2 hours, a nurse came out into the waiting area where my partner and I were waiting and told us that the procedure was done, but the girls were in recovery and would be there for about 1 hour. After the hour in recovery, my partner and I went in and secured the girls, then loaded them into the van for our trip back the LA County Jail.

No one spoke on the ride back. The only sign of possible remorse was a single tear rolling down the face of the girl farthest to the back of the van. About 6 months later I was asked to work the abortion run again as an overtime assignment. I turned down the opportunity and was never asked to work this assignment again.

Abortion guilt

For months after the abortion run assignment I struggled with questions of if I was an accomplice to the murder of these babies. No, I didn’t make the choice to abort these little ones, nor did I suggest that the young women have abortions. But I transported them to have their abortions, when this was an assignment that I clearly could have turned down. I struggled with the same guilt I had approximately 20 years earlier when my then co-worker had gotten pregnant and had an abortion.

abortion

Please forgive me. I’m looking forward to getting to know you

Even though Juanita was the one who made the decision to have the abortion, I felt guilt, shame, and disgust over how we could have allowed an illicit affair to result in the abortion of a life. Even though I wasn’t a Christian at the time, guilt hounded me for years. Even today I still reflect back on this traumatic time in my life. My “little girl” would be 34 years old right now, had her mother and I made the correct choice. She would have been my first born.

I know she’s in heaven now and instead of feeling anxious about one day seeing her face to face and explaining the actions of her mother and I, I look forward to meeting her and having the relationship with her in heaven that I never got to have with her here on earth.

Although I’m not a woman and I will never know what it’s like to carry and or abort a child from that stand point, I have an idea of what it’s like to carry the guilt of having an abortion. If you’ve had 1 or more abortions and you’re strapped with guilt, shame, thoughts of suicide or any other crippling emotional baggage, I’d like to encourage you to hand those cares over to Jesus.

Casting your Cares on Jesus

You can’t do a thing in the world about what has been done in the past but you can control how your life is lived in the future. Confess your sins and give the cares of an abortion from your past over to God. Life is too short and you are too precious to live the remainder of your life paralyzed by guilt or shame.

Allow God to take your past and use your testimony to help some other young woman who is at a crossroads in her life to make the right decision regarding her body and regarding her baby. God loves you. In Jesus Christ you are forgiven. And if you are forgiven, He remembers your sins no more. Now you go and do likewise. Forget about your sins, as He has forgotten about them.

 

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