Redemption

I was willing to risk eternity in hell for legal abortion, then I saw one.

I traveled the same route to my house from the Planned Parenthood facility I managed day in and day out. Marshals, that came in to our facility to provide “safety training” for us annually, recommended to us changing our route home. They warned us about how dangerous the pro-lifers were outside our facility. Ha.

You never want to take the same route home. Always change it up. You never know when one of them could be following you,” they said.

I wasn’t too concerned with the pro-lifers outside my facility. I knew them. They knew me. They constantly offered me help and seemed to genuinely care about me. That was annoying. It made it really difficult, if not impossible, to hate the people who were so nice to me, despite the fact that all of my supervisors taught me to hate them.

On September 26, I had witnessed something that had shaken me to my very core, something I could not un-see. I watched a 13 week old baby die by abortion. I watched him struggle for his life, right there before my eyes on an ultrasound monitor.

I was numb, shocked, horrified, and quite honestly, I felt so stupid. How could I have fallen for the lies of this organization?  How could I have let it happen for eight years?

On October 4, I sat in my living room. I held my daughter, and I contemplated. Did I have the guts to admit that I had been wrong for so many years? Did I have the courage to admit that I was a liar? I hate liars, but it hit me that I had been the biggest liar I knew. Could I walk away from my friends? Could I walk away from my huge salary and promise of promotion?

That Sunday afternoon, I didn’t know. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to be uncomfortable. However, I wasn’t able to justify what I witnessed. I knew I couldn’t rationalize my behavior or my life.

For several years, I had asked myself a question: “If I died, would I go to heaven or hell?” I remember thinking that I would probably go to hell for my active and proud participation in abortion. And somehow, I had convinced myself that it was okay. I was willing to spend an eternity in hell in order to provide abortions.

On October 5, I sat in my office and asked that same question. This time around, my answer changed. No, I was not willing to potentially spend an eternity in hell so that women could continue taking the lives of their children. No, I would no longer be an accomplice to this brutality.

Now, I faced new questions that emerged. Where would I go? Would these pro-lifers really accept me? They always said they would, but how could I believe that? How could they just accept me knowing my past? How could they forgive me for how I had treated them for so many years? I didn’t know what their reaction would be, but there was no going back from here. This was a risk I was willing to take.

So, I took a left instead of a right out of our parking lot. I went to their office. I spilled my guts. I admitted that yes, I had been wrong… so very wrong.

What was their reaction? Well, they forgave me. They haul off on my past faults, naming all of my sins. They didn’t make me beg or force an apology out of me. They simply extended their forgiveness.

I remember after my story hit the national news, a reporter had called and asked to talk to one of the staff members from the pro-life office where I had turned for help. This reporter wanted the scoop. How bad was I when I worked in Planned Parenthood? What were some of the terrible things I had done to them out on the sidewalk?

I expected, and I waited, for all of my embarrassing, dirty laundry to be aired when she answered his questions. Instead, I heard this from her, “I don’t even know that person anymore. Abby is a new creation in Christ and that’s the Abby I want to talk about.”

I never experienced that type of love from a friend, but now I was graced with it from a woman who I had only met three weeks earlier. This is a woman who I had cursed and yelled at. She witnessed the very worst side of me, but here she was offering me this gift of forgiveness.

Certainly, this was a gift that I didn’t deserve from her, but there it was without any strings attached. I often think about that moment.

Can you love people into truth? I definitely think so. I think it really comes down to whether or not you’re willing to love someone that much. Are you willing to put aside their past sins and see the God’s creation that He made? Are you willing to reach out with the love of God, His love and mercy, instead of anger and condemnation?

Are you willing to just meet people where they are and care for them no matter how far they are from where you want them to be? It’s more important where God wants them to be. He has the power to change the hardest of hearts, but can’t we attempt to love our neighbor the way God loves each of us?

Did Christ not say he who is without sin cast the first stone? We owe it to each other to explain where someone through their action is leading a life that could separate them from their Creator for eternity. However, we do not have authority to condemn them because we don’t know the state of their souls. That particular is for God alone because He knows us to our very depths and the fruit we bear in our lives, or lack of fruitfulness. We can know to some degree based on the way someone acts, but we can only correct, or try to correct, bad actions.

It always makes me laugh when I explain to people how many abortion clinic workers leave their facilities through my ministry, And Then There Were None. They are so shocked! They can’t believe 128 people have come to us in the past two years. Who knew these people could have such a profound change of heart? We pray for this to happen, and then when it does, and we are surprised!

Friends, these workers are leaving the abortion industry because they are finally able to see that there is real help for them. They don’t leave because people have told them that they are “baby killers.” They certainly don’t leave because someone tells them they will “burn in hell” for working in the industry. They leave because they are able to receive help from us and are, as well as a and a place to heal. They leave because they want something better for themselves. They leave because we are finally helping them see that we do genuinely care about them.

We need to remember as often as we are able to that people can change, and we always need to hope and pray that they do.  Even if these clinic worker’s or anyone else who chooses evil, are our enemies, Christ calls us to love our enemies more than we love those we love. We are not required to tolerate evil, but we need love those that commit it. Evil cannot be overcome with more evil. They need our prayers for their conversion.

Regardless of how rude they are to us, how much they ignore us, no matter how many times they tell us to “get a job” or something similar, they WILL eventually leave. However, that will only happen if we reflect Christ to them. We don’t have to preach to them. I remember hearing one time that “God is a gentleman.” God will not force Himself on someone, so we shouldn’t either.

Pray. Be kind. Love them. If you don’t think you can love them then stay away from them. The only thing that will keep an abortion worker in the industry longer is a pro-lifer who condemns them.

What if you were the reason an abortion worker took a left instead of a right? It’s possible. I thank God every day of my life for the people who made me “change my route.”

For more information about what you can do to help abortion facility workers, visit And Then There Were None.

*The original article was published by LifeSiteNews.com. Any reproduction or quotation from this article must give appropriate credit and sourcing to their website. 

 

 

For eight years I helped kill unborn babies. How did I not see the truth?

A couple of months ago, my husband and I went to the theater to watch “The Giver.” I had heard it had a pro-life message, so I was pretty excited to see it.

It was an intense movie. Well, it was for me, anyway.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you watch it. It’s a movie about a futuristic type of life where there is no emotion, no love, no hate, no war, and no death. Sure, people die, but they don’t call it death…they call it “going elsewhere.”

It's a society where only the “best” people are kept. Those who are unable to contribute are sent to “elsewhere.” Those who are elderly are sent to “elsewhere.” And yes, babies who do not pass specific infant evaluations are also sent to “elsewhere.”

The whole plot is too complicated to explain in this article, but basically a young man is given the power to see emotion. He is able to love. He is also able to see the truth about sending people to “elsewhere.” He realizes they are killing people. One of the best lines in the movie is when this young man says, “They haven't eliminated murder. They just call it by a different name." Hmm. Similar to our society with abortion.

Anyway, this young man realizes that his father is one of the people killing these babies. In the scene of this realization, he is furious. He is shouting things like, “How can he do this? He is killing them!” An older man looks at him and says, “He doesn’t see it. He doesn’t see what he is doing.”

That scene shook me to my core. Five years ago, that was me. I was killing babies. And I also didn’t see it. I watched the rest of the movie, but couldn’t get those words out of my head. I didn’t see it.

There are a few fairly common questions that you receive when you leave the abortion industry. How did you not see that it was a baby? How did you not realize that you were killing babies? How did you see these babies in the POC lab and not leave? (The POC lab is where the fetal body parts are put back together after an abortion). How did you have a baby and not see the problem in what you were doing?

My answer…

I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I really don’t know. Guys, I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand it. I know I’m a smart person, and somehow I was duped by the abortion industry for eight years. Why did it take so long for me to see the truth? I don’t know.

The fact is, I don’t have the answers to these questions only affirms that we are fighting a spiritual battle. We are fighting evil and evil will literally blinds you to the truth. Our sin blinds us to the evil it produces. 

You see, as an abortion clinic worker, I experienced evil in a way that most have not (praise be to Our Lord). I have physically experienced evil. I have touched it when I pieced these tiny babies back together. I have seen it in those little glass dishes that I dumped their bodies into. I have heard it as the suction machine violently pulled these tiny bodies out of their mother’s wombs. And yes, I will go as far to tell you that I have even smelled it. Abortion has a very specific smell, one that you will never forget.

When evil comes into your life in such a real and tangible way, it changes you. You know what though? You don’t even see it. You truly don’t realize what you are doing.

And then one day you do. That blindness you were once veiled with is lifted from your eyes. This isn’t removed by human hands, but by the hand of the Holy Spirit.

So my question is this? How can we condemn those who are truly blinded by evil? We can’t. Maybe we're blinded by our own specific evil such as gossip, lying or some other evil. We shouldn't be condemning anyone. We don’t know the secrets of their heart. We can only guide others to God by informing them, but in order to do that we need to be living examples of virtue.

We also need to approach those situations with others committing evils acts carefully. We need to pray for them, but we also need to pray for God to reveal to us how we are to proceed with them. Any good we do is because of God. He is all that is good, so go to the source. Besides, are we in this for Him or for ourselves?

How do we bring about conversion of those living in blindness? This is accomplished with love, charity towards our neighbor. We offer forgiveness by truth in charity. By offering forgiveness, we offer mercy. We need to pray for them and for ourselves in how we interact with them. Everyone has the power to change, so hope in God alone in all things.

I’ve heard pro-lifers yell at abortion clinic workers that they should “REPENT!!!” Repent of what? They don’t understand see what they are doing as something that needs to be repented of. Why? Because they are blinded by the evil. Do you think yelling at them will remove that blindness? Unlikely.

Is that how God inspires us to repent? Not exactly. It’s possible He might use those things to change us, but God is patient, love, and goodness itself. He extends His mercy to those who ask for it and live it out in their own lives.

These worker’s don’t see it. They don’t know what they are doing. That sounds familiar, doesn't it?

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!” You see, Christ recognized spiritual blindness in others, and even prayed for His enemies. How is it, yet we are not able to see? That is part of our own blindness. Christ gave us the perfect example of how we should treat those who truly don’t know. We pray for them. We forgive them. We love them. We extend mercy to them.

There are those, while claiming to be devout, think they know better than Christ. Blindness. Making ourselves the authority is to place ourselves alongside the devil, God is our master, not ourselves.

We’ve all been blinded or are currently being blinded by some sort of sin whether it’s mortal or venial. All sin is an offense towards God. Would we want to be judged the way in which we judge others? "...Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us..."

We are all afflicted with our own spiritual blindness. That’s what sin does to us, and we all sin. We are all guilty of the blood of Christ when we sin, over and over again. We hold the whips, the nails, the hammer, the rope… all of it that caused His affliction was due to our own sins and we deepen His wounds when we continue to sin. 

We would do better to look into our own hearts and deal with our own sin before we condemn the sins of others or else when we do correct others we would appear as hypocrites.

Does this mean we don’t judge right from wrong? No. Of course not.

I’m not talking about taking a stand on moral absolutes. We must do it to defend our rights and the rights of those who aren’t able to defend themselves.

Is abortion absolutely wrong? Yes. Are the people who work in these facilities absolutely evil? No. Why? Well, because Because they have the ability to change. They have the ability to receive the love and forgiveness of Christ. Abortion does not change. Murder under any name is still murder. It always ends the life of another human being. Since we did not create them and were not given the authority to do so, it is wrong.

Murder is always violating the rights of an individual person. Nothing will ever change about that. Abortion clinic workers can change. And they do change. I am a prime example of that because I changed. We have 132 clinic workers in our ministry, And Then There Were None,  who have changed.

Don’t ever doubt the power of God to change any heart. As long as a person lives it is possible to change. Let’s extend love to those He may be working on. Let’s not do anything to disrupt His hard work.

They will know we are Christians by our LOVE. Hate begets hate. Love begets love. Let’s choose to love and to love well.

 

**The original article was published by LifeSiteNews.com. Any reproduction or quotation from this article must give appropriate credit and sourcing to their website. 

I helped so many women abort their babies. How do I live with that?

I spent eight years of my life with Planned Parenthood, so as you could imagine I have many memories of my time there. Some of those memories are good, some are not. Nonetheless, those memories are there packed away in my mind. It’s easy to forget them. I have forgotten so much about my time there in just four and a half short years.

I found my old business card the other day. That is a tangible memory for me. It made me think of the day that I heard I had been promoted to direct the clinic. I was so happy, hugging and jumping up and down with my supervisor. She was so proud of me.

I reflected on the day I moved everything into my new, big office. I put pro-choice stickers all over my filing cabinet. I called my parents to share the news. They were, of course, proud of me, but hated my work. I can’t imagine how conflicted they were in their minds and hearts.

Human resources sent me my new paperwork. There was my new title, along with my new and amazing salary. A few days later, my new business cards arrived. I remember placing them in my new business card holder on my desk. I filled up the business card holder that I kept in my purse. I had already become used to hearing myself say my new title.

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I was proud of myself. I was proud of the hard work I had put in to earn that new title. I worked so many hours, sacrificing so much of my time with my family. But, I knew it would all be worth it, especially now that I had my new job title to prove it.

I remember proudly passing out my new business cards to anyone that would take one. Being pro-choice wasn’t only a movement to me, it was a lifestyle. I fully embraced that lifestyle and loved being a part of it.

These tangible reminders that I occasionally find are sometimes hard to work through. I remember receiving the records from my medication abortion. That tangible reminder of my past was difficult to manage.

I look at my “Employee of the Year” award that I received from Planned Parenthood and ruminate on the night I received it. I ended up deciding to place that old award on my desk as a reminder of where I came from and how much my life has changed. Seeing that plaque no longer brings back those tangible memories.

One of the reasons I was so taken aback when finding my old business card was not just because it was a reminder of how proud I had been to run an abortion clinic, something I find deplorable now. I was taken aback because of all of the things I engaged in while I had that big title.

I remember handing women small monetary checks to pay for their silence after we had left them with a serious infection after their abortion. The memories of watching women bleed out on our abortion table and being instructed not to call the ambulance because we didn’t want to let the pro-lifers know that we had a medical emergency. The memories I have of “joking” about the babies that died in our facility by abortion. The memories I have of training our abortion facility employees on the “normalcy” of abortion and how to convince women that abortion is the best choice for them.

Part of being a former abortion clinic worker is learning how to deal with your past sins. The woman that came to your clinic for an abortion could also be the familiar face that you bump into at the store. It could be standing in front of your former abortion facility and remembering all of the damage your thoughts, words, and actions caused so many women. It could be finding that old business card that reminds you of the pride you felt when you became the director of an abortion facility.

People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it’s a true story. It’s my story.

One day I was watching the kid’s movie “Kung Fu Panda” with my daughter. In the film there is a wise, old tortoise named Oogway.  He is talking to one of his students who is frustrated with his current situation. Oogway asks his student, “Do you know why today is called the present? Because it is a gift.”

That little line by an animated tortoise hit me like a ton of bricks. Today is a gift. There is absolutely nothing we can do with our past. There is very little we can do to control our future, or if there is a tomorrow for us in this life. All there is for us is the present. We live NOW. We serve NOW. We choose to move on from our past NOW.

I don’t know what your past sins are. I don’t know how frequently you are reminded of them. However, as someone who has to face their past sins on a frequent basis, almost daily, I can tell you that you can be free from their burden. Past sins do not have to be a source of constant grief.

You have been given the opportunity to transform your past into something positive. Maybe you could help others make different choices than you did. Maybe you could help others heal from the same struggles that you lived through. I don’t know what you are being called to do, but as the saying goes, “God can turn our mess into a message.”

Carrying around past burdens doesn’t help us in any way. Sometimes you may remember the person that you were and the decisions that you made, but you can thank God for pulling you out of it each time it comes to mind. Count your blessings daily.

Just know that you can be forgiven. Accept that forgiveness. Use your life to help others. The present is indeed a gift.

**The original article was published by LifeSiteNews.com. Any reproduction or quotation from this article must give appropriate credit and sourcing to their website.