I agree with all the adjectives I've read and heard in the recent weeks about late-term abortion. It's horrific, it's sickening, it's sad. But those are the same words that come to my mind about my abortion. I chose to abort my baby at six weeks. Honestly, I wanted to do it sooner. I wanted to get it over with; clean up this mistake and forget about it. I had to wait, though, the clinic told me. I needed to be at least six weeks along, the nice receptionist had told me on the phone. I didn't ask why at the time but years later I found out. At six weeks the parts of the baby's body are big enough to distinguish. All the pieces can be accounted for to ensure the entire baby was removed. A gut wrenching discovery after I had been told by multiple medical professionals, that my baby was nothing more than a blob of tissue. But, sadly, I don't believe that information would have changed my mind at the time. I'm not sure what would have changed my mind at the time. My young, college self used the blob defense to rationalize that it was okay. This seemingly quick solution blinded me to the years of sorrow and shame ahead.
Will women who have a late-term abortion have any more sorrow? Will their pain be multipled by the number of weeks they carry their child? Perhaps. They may be haunted by memories of kicks and floating baby flips in their bellies. They may remember feeling the baby hiccups that kept them awake at night. They may be saddled with memories that those of us who "got it over with" do not contend with. But are they any more wrong? Any more guilty? While it may seem worse, uglier, more barbaric, we have both ended lives. I wish we didn't live in a world where we discussed at what point is acceptable to take a life. I wish every young pregnant girl had a family that looked at her through the lens of grace. I wish that every handicapped baby could be born to parents who were mentally, emotionally and financially able to care for him. I wish we lived in communities where single moms were surrounded by support. Where people would reach and say, "you don't have to do this alone." I also wish that everyone who looked upon women who have had abortions with judgement and hatred knew the truly amazing grace of God. I've read posts declaring that anyone associated with late-term abortions, from politicians to doctors to mothers, will burn in hell. I'm fully aware that there are folks out there that feel the same way about me. Some have told me so. But the same merciful God, who so lovingly forgave me and lifted years of shame from me, can and will do the same for anyone who asks. There is nothing too big for His forgiveness; an abortion at six weeks, an abortion at nine months or a heart of bitterness and unforgiveness.
Carla Edmisten lives in Ladysmith, VA with her family. She is a social worker, writer and speaker. Invite Carla to speak at your event, get more information here.