I get sent a lot of hate mail from pro-lifers…yes, I said pro-lifers. I don’t support the “right” legislation. I don’t say quite the right things. I don’t mention the right groups. I don’t give enough credit to certain people. I’m not “pro-life” enough. I’m too young to know what I’m talking about. I’m just doing all of this for the money. And so on and so on. The messages can get quite ugly. Sometimes it is hard to believe they are from people who call themselves pro-life, much less Christian…but, unfortunately, they do. When I first started receiving these messages, I was shocked…and sad. I had done the right thing, right? I had crossed over to the right side, right? So, why were some people treating me like I was still doing something wrong? Did they want me to go back to Planned Parenthood? Were they sorry that I had left and was now pro-life? Did they not want clinic workers to leave? I eventually got to the point where the messages didn’t bother me. I had gotten so many; they all started to look the same. Every once in a while, I would get one that was shocking…but it didn’t happen that often. But one has stuck with me. I think about it often. It didn’t actually come in the form of a message. It was a post about me on a discussion board. A friend of mine had told me some people were discussing my story and I should go check it out and comment. Their discussion had quickly turned from my story and had moved on to something entirely different. One woman started talking about how frightened she would be if she ever saw me around her children. The others started chiming in. They were all going on about how terrifying it would be to see me holding a baby…that the baby’s life would certainly be in danger because of my past. I should definitely never be allowed to be alone with a child…you never know what I would do if I’m not supervised. I simply can’t be trusted. I once killed children. I could do it again…and it could be your child. It just kept going and going…and I kept reading and reading. I was devastated. I couldn’t even post a response. It was too hard to get my thoughts together. Is that what people thought of me? Did they think I am threat to their children? I would never hurt a child…but I did hurt children…I was party to their murder for 8 years. Do people think it’s the same? Do people think I am a violent person? I didn’t think I was hurting anyone. Only now do I see the hurt I caused. How does someone like me, a former clinic worker, explain this type of discrepancy?
I don’t know if you can…if I can. I’m not sure it needs to be explained. I think we simply need to ask ourselves a question: Do we want clinic workers to leave the abortion industry or not? If we do, then we will just have to understand that there are questions that will be unresolved. There are things that some people will never be able to wrap their head around. We may say things that people don’t understand. We may be insensitive at times. We don’t mean to be. Our hearts are different. You see a picture of an aborted baby and you cry. We see that same picture and we remember how that picture was at one time very real to us. We remember carefully sifting through pieces of tissue until all body parts were accounted for. We remember the smell. We remember the sounds. We were there. It’s not just a picture for us. We can’t cry. The tears just won’t come. There is a part of our heart that is hard…it had to be. It still has to be. We protect ourselves by holding on to that small part of our hardened heart.
I didn’t know I would need to protect myself from the pro-life movement. I didn’t know that little hardened part of my heart would come in handy when dealing with my “own kind.” Friendly fire? It sure doesn’t seem friendly. So, what do these people want? Do they want people to leave the abortion industry? It doesn’t seem like it. Do they want people to turn away from the sin of abortion? It doesn’t feel that way. What do they want from those of us that have left? You know what we want? Peace. It’s not easy to leave your job, income, friends, stability, insurance, and everything else that is familiar to us. But we do it. Why? Because it is the right thing to do. It’s not easy, but we do it anyway. We know it is a risk. We know we could lose everything…end up in court…everything is uncertain. But we know it is worth the risk. Even with the risk, we feel joy. We have done the right thing and it feels amazing. We feel a sense of peace that we have never felt before. We don’t leave our jobs to please the public. We don’t leave because the public thinks it is wrong. We leave because one day, something snaps and we see the truth. We leave for us. And even though we do our best and we fight the enemy (sometimes publicly) and our lives change in the blink of an eye…for some it is just not good enough. And all we want is peace. We don’t have to please everyone. We don’t want to. But this? Every word scrutinized? Every move analyzed? Every story put under the microscope?
I am pro-life. I am imperfect. I mess up a lot. I love kids. I used to work in an abortion clinic. I have aborted two of my children. My daughter is the most important thing in my life. I have and love tattoos. I try my best to go to church every Sunday. I love to shop. I hate chick-flicks. I can’t explain every part of who I am. I can’t explain all of the mistakes I have made. I can tell you that I will continue to mess up…sometimes I might do it in front of a lot of people. I can’t always give you the answer you want…the answer you are looking for.
But even with the unexpected stress, I am still glad I crossed that line. I would never take it back. Sometimes I think these people who message me want me back in the abortion clinic. It was easier to hate me when I was inside those walls. Is that what we want as pro-lifers? We want to hate people who make the right decision? We want to continue to villianize them? I had hoped we were better than that. I had hoped we respected each other more than that. I had hoped we had more faith in each other.
Are we pro-life, or just pro-birth? Do we only care about the babies, or do we care about everyone involved? If we say we are truly pro-life, then we must desire and yearn for conversion in every clinic worker and abortionist. Their lives are just as important as their children who are aborted. Are we committed to the sanctity of all human life, or just some?