A Letter to You
So you have an unplanned pregnancy, and you are considering abortion. Oh, how I wish I could talk to you in person, dry your tears, and give you hugs! But that is not possible, and talking to you here will have to do.
Why do I write to you? I have been very, very close to abortion; I have talked to many women about this. Some of my best friends, and even family members, have had abortions. I know the pain and the heartache. I know the horrible nightmares that some women, who have had abortions, experience. I personally have nothing to gain by doing this, except the satisfaction that comes from the knowledge that perhaps I can spare you the agony that they and I have experienced. It takes time to reach out to you. Those of us who provide help do not get anything in return; we are not paid. We donate our time. We donate the things we make available to you. I have to endure slander and so do many of the other people who will reach out to you. If anyone tells you that we have ulterior motives, they do not understand us.
There are a number of things I very much want you to know about pregnancy and abortion. These are things you won't read in the newspapers, and you won't hear on the radio, and you won't see on TV. Many doctors won't tell you these things. Some people will actively try to keep this information from you. But you have a right to know these things. And you have a right to refuse abortion. If anyone is trying to force or coerce you to have an abortion, we can help you. If you feel your circumstances give you no choice, we can help you. It is critically important that if you do have an abortion, you do so completely freely, under no coercion of any kind. If you are not free to refuse abortion, you will have emotional and spiritual consequences. People may try to tell you that abortion will solve your problem. It won't. You may think you need to have an abortion to save your life. Indeed, if you have a baby right now, life as you presently know it will be over. However, this is far different from physically losing your life. And no matter what you choose, your life will be forever changed. Even if you choose abortion, your life will be forever changed. Before you are pregnant, you have the choice of whether or not to have a child. Once you are pregnant, you have a child. The only thing you can choose is whether you will let your child live or not. And by the time you know you are pregnant, and have had the chance to schedule an abortion, it is most likely that your baby already has eyes and fingers, brain waves, and a beating heart. If anyone tells you that what you are carrying is just a mass of cells, that person is lying to you. Don't trust them. If anyone asks you if you want an abortion, or why you are having one, and you are crying, they owe it to you to support you and help you find another alternative. No woman should ever have to face this choice. Even though you are faced with practical problems, you must follow your heart. If your heart tells you not to have an abortion, please listen! The consequences of not listening to your heart may be more than you can ever handle.
Some people are sincerely pro-choice. They will do everything they can to help you make the best decision for you. I am not questioning the sincerity of those people, and you are most fortunate if you run into one of them. But not everyone who claims to be pro-choice really is. This is, unfortunately, a political hot potato, and you, unfortunately, are caught right in the middle. I wish that were not the case, but there is nothing I can do about it.
Some people who claim to favor the choice of abortion will give you certain information and make certain claims. I want to make sure that you understand what it is they are offering. So I will go into some detail.
One of the first things many of them will offer is the chance to work through some kind of quiz or workbook to consider all your options. Aside from the fact that many of these are subtly designed to favor abortion, they pose another very real problem. That is that they do not take into account that circumstances change. They want you to analyze your situation right here and now, before anyone has offered you help, while you are still vulnerable to the hormones of early pregnancy (which can make a pregnancy seem unwelcome even to a woman who wants a child), and before you have had a chance to grow and mature over the next several months. We have seen many, many women who felt they had no resources and no alternative find such resources, and in the end, their babies are warmly welcomed and prove to be a rich blessing to them. Women are pregnant for nine months for a reason. It is so we can prepare financially, physically, and emotionally for this new life. Any questionnaire that doesn't take into account that you have this time to prepare, and that your outlook will most likely change drastically over the next few months, as well as your circumstances, is not giving you a realistic picture of your situation. Do not trust such a questionnaire. Also keep in mind that if you feel you cannot consider adoption, you are already aware that not wanting this baby is temporary! Abortion is forever. You can never take it back. Why seek a forever solution to a temporary feeling that you do not want the baby or you do not want to be pregnant?
And consider that your baby was probably conceived in an act of love, and is a product of that love. Most women really don't have casual affairs in the same way that many men do. If you are already into casual affairs, then I am not sure what to tell you. At the same time, however, this pregnancy is a call to you to mature and become a better and stronger person. But if you are like most women, there is more feeling there for the father of your child than merely casual feelings. You may even be thinking of spending the rest of your life with the father, or at least staying with him for the foreseeable future. It is possible that the father doesn't have the same level of love and commitment that you do. Many of the women we have known will feel compelled to choose abortion if the father of their child is unsupportive in any way. Please know that most men take much more time to get used to fatherhood than most women, and one of the reasons for this is that they don't have the help of hormones, or of the sensation of a baby in their bodies. Even if the father of your baby will make a good father in the end, it is common for the father to abandon the mother of their child emotionally for a time, as he tries to deal with his own emotions. Also, many men know that legally they have no right to protect their child, and this often results in an abandonment as they try to deal with the fact that they have no say, and that their natural instinct to protect their child may be thwarted. If the father tells you it is your decision, you may see this as abandonment, when he may really be dying inside. If you have any hope at all of continuing your relationship with the father, I strongly urge you not to have an abortion, because in the vast majority of cases where a woman has an abortion, the relationship does not last. If you carry your baby to term, the father may still abandon you, but in that case, you and your baby are better off without him, even though it doesn't seem that way right now. It is a legitimate desire for you to want the father of your baby to be there and be a father. But your baby deserves a father who will cherish you and him or her, and if the sperm donor won't do that, you should be open to the possibility that someone else is intended to be the real father to your child. This won't make the emotional pain any less right now, but if you want to have a hope of keeping your relationship together, odds are you are better off to carry to term. A relationship where there is mutual guilt because of a destructive act against the product of love does not have a strong enough basis to endure.
There are also a few fathers who just want you to "get rid" of the "problem." They don't even care that this is your baby you are carrying, and they don't see anything wrong with the violence of abortion. Such a person will not treat you right, either. It is best if you have nothing further to do with such a person. Figuring out if the father of your child is one of them can be very difficult, especially with the emotions you feel and the commitment you may have made. However, if the father really and truly thinks that the violence of abortion is ever acceptable, it is highly likely he will eventually turn violent against you. If the father is already violent against you, get out! You deserve better than that, even if he makes you feel otherwise. The nearest crisis pregnancy agency will help you with the resources you need to leave him.
Some people will tell you that it is selfish of you to want to have your baby. I want to assure you that nothing could be further from the truth! Giving your baby a future is not a selfish act. It requires courage. And if the father or your parents try to tell you that you owe it to them to have an abortion, they are the ones who are being selfish. Some fathers and parents will tell the mother that the pregnancy will ruin their reputation or cause other damage. Just ask yourself: do you honestly think that these fathers and parents would rather be known as the father of a baby killed by violence, or the grandparents of one? And if they don't want the world to find out that you became pregnant, do they really want the world to find out that you had an abortion? We have seen over and over how what was supposed to be a secret becomes known. All that is necessary for a secret to become public is for one person to know about it. You already do. You are that one person. And if you have an abortion and suffer a complication, or die, the world will certainly know about it. Abortion is not a way to keep pregnancy a secret. It doesn't work. If you are afraid to tell your parents, we can help you. Your parents will have a right to be upset, and they will probably be upset. But in our experience, once they have a chance to get used to it, most parents are very supportive. And if you are afraid to tell them alone, we can find someone to go with you, or even to tell them for you. In the links on the other page, there are sites that will offer you specific suggestions on how to tell your parents. And if your parents want to force you to have an abortion, that is child abuse. Don't let them do that to you. Go to someone you trust for help. And if your child was conceived in incest, then the best way to put a stop to it is to have your baby. The person who took advantage of you would like nothing better than for you to cover up what he is doing to you. You deserve to be free of incest. You may not feel you are worthy, but you are. It is not your fault, and if anyone tells you it is, they are trying to get you to take the blame for what someone is doing to you. You may think you are seducing that person. But you may be acting that way out of fear, or you may not be acting that way at all. That person may be telling you that you are doing it. Don't believe it! That person has a duty to protect you, and if that person is refusing to protect you, that is his fault, not yours.
Your baby may have been conceived in rape. If so, many people may pressure you to have an abortion. In our experience, most women who have rape pregnancies don't want abortions. It may be very difficult to stand up to the kind of pressure people will try to put on you. But remember this is your baby, and she or he is a separate person. It would not be just to take the life of your baby for the crime of her father. I have personally known three people who had rape pregnancies. Two of them carried to term, and both kept their babies. Both of them are doing well, and are very glad they kept their babies. The other one had an abortion. She has been in and out of mental hospitals ever since. It is one thing to be a victim of rape, but it is quite another to commit a violent act yourself. Many women see having their babies as a triumph over a very evil and devastating act. If you feel you cannot raise your baby, then adoption is a good alternative. If you want to know what happens to children born as a result of rape, you might want to read a book called His Eye is on the Sparrow by Ethel Waters. I will also tell you that I have personally met a woman who was conceived in rape, and she is out there fighting against abortion. Children conceived in rape say that targeting them for abortion is blaming them for being the victim of rape (and yes, they are victims, too) and making them into second-class citizens.
Now suppose that the reason you are considering abortion is because you want to continue to go to school, or you want to finish your education. It may seem like you cannot do that and have a child. Well, I am living proof that this is untrue. I received my bachelor's degree after I already had four children, and at the time I was finishing my education, three of them were still preschoolers. I actually was pregnant and gave birth while going to school. When my older daughter was born, I was only out a week, and I aced my courses. With a little ingenuity and help, you can do it, too! We can offer you resources to help you with that. And by the way, I have seven children altogether, and they are all grown. Two of them were adopted transracially, and I breastfed and homeschooled all seven children. I am looking for the birthmothers of our two adopted children. I want to thank them personally for giving us such a wonderful gift! Some people will tell you that adoption is horrible, far worse than abortion. Don't believe it. Sure, adoption is hard. But which is worse: turning your child over to loving parents, or ending her life? Adoption is not abandonment. It is an act of courage and love. And if you are concerned about worrying about what is happening to your child and not knowing, you can choose an open adoption, where you keep in touch with the adoptive parents, and get progress reports and even photographs, or even in some cases, spend time with your child. Lots of women are choosing this today. And you can have a say in the choice of parents, or even make that choice yourself.
Another thing certain people will try to tell you is that most women don't suffer any consequences from abortion. Again, don't believe it! Most women who suffer emotionally never talk about it--to anyone. Like a victim of war or a concentration camp, women may be unable to talk about it and may suffer in silence. They may go into denial for many years. Denial is actually a form of protection. These are usually women who were so deeply devastated by their abortions that if they thought about them, they would become suicidal. And in fact, suicide is far more common in women who have had abortions than in any other group of women. I know a woman who has been suicidal three times, and it scared the hell out of us each time. Some women become incapable of certain emotions. Think of what it would do to you if you became incapable of loving. Think of what it would do to your relationships and your future. And if you have other children, and think you are doing them a favor by having an abortion, please think of this: your children will sense that you have done this, or they will find out. What kind of security would you be giving them if they knew that you took the life of their sibling? Would they be afraid that you might do away with them? That is entirely possible. They may feel that they have to measure up; they may lose their confidence in your unconditional love. And having an abortion can interfere with your ability to mother your other children. I have talked to women who had medical abortions, and the experience was so difficult that their very young children had to care for their mother while she was going through it. Do you want your children to be in that position? Do you want to run the risk of hurting or killing yourself so you cannot care for your children at all? That is not impossible. We have much information about mothers with other children, children who became orphans because abortion killed their mothers.
Some people will tell you that abortion is safer than childbirth, or safer than having dental work. Don't believe it! The medical profession and government agencies are keeping information from the public. I won't go into great detail about this, but I will tell you a few things. First of all, such a position isn't even logical. We women were made to carry and give birth. Our bodies were designed for it. Our bodies are designed to protect our children, and the only way an abortion can even be performed is to harm our bodies in some way. Abortion is a deep invasion of the inner core of our being, both medically and emotionally. We know that approximately a third of all women who have abortions suffer permanent damage to their reproductive systems. We know that thousands of women have been killed by legal abortion. We know that approximately 60% of the teenagers who have an abortion have a premature baby with their second pregnancy. And prematurity is a leading cause of infant death, mental retardation, and cerebral palsy. We know that women who abort their first pregnancy are 50-800% more likely to have breast cancer in their 40's, and that one fourth of those women will die. Some people will tell you that this is a lie. Well, guess what! Women are suing over this issue and winning! We know that a woman who has a first trimester abortion is 4 times more likely to have a miscarriage or a tubal pregnancy. Tubal pregnancy is life-threatening, and if a woman goes for an abortion with a tubal pregnancy, it is highly likely the abortionist will not discover she has a tubal pregnancy, which will greatly increase her risk. I have a close friend who had an abortion with a tubal pregnancy. The abortionist did not discover it and she almost died. I have another close friend who had two abortions, and her next baby was born prematurely and developed apnea. He had to be hospitalized for three weeks to save his life. We also know that in most cases, abortions are being performed by the same people who were performing back alley abortions before abortion was legalized, and that now they are being much more careless because they no longer fear the law. To make matters worse, the abortionist is using a sharp instrument on some very soft tissue, and he can't see what he is doing! And on top of that, many abortionists rush through abortions, either because they can make more money that way, or because they are trying to do too many abortions. These abortionists rarely take a proper medical history, or even meet with a woman before they do an abortion on her. They often employ untrained people to administer anesthesia, or refuse to give anesthesia at all. They rarely have adequate equipment for emergencies. This could be the five minutes that cost you your life or health. We have specific information on many abortionists, and at this time we know that somewhere between 10-20% of all abortionists in the United States have seriously harmed or killed at least one woman. We don't know about the rest, but we don't trust them. Neither should you. And if you think a medical abortion would be safer, think again. In 7-25% of all cases, it doesn't even work and you would have to have a surgical abortion anyway. In that case, you will be subjected to two sets of risks, not just one. Medical abortion requires several trips to the abortionist, and you will have to go through labor alone. If you have a complication, you are on your own. Most women who have had medical abortions won't choose it a second time. Finally, among all the other risks a woman runs from having an abortion, count in: bleeding to death, becoming sterile, being killed by the anesthesia, developing hepatitis (I know a woman this happened to), having to have a hysterectomy, having severe damage to other organs, and even contracting AIDS.
Some people will tell you we have an agenda. Yes, we have an agenda. Our agenda is your health, safety, well-being, and future. They have an agenda, too. If they feel the need to slander us, their agenda is clear. They don't want you to have a choice, and they are counting on society and circumstances to force you into abortion so they can pretend they favor choice. People who are really and truly pro-choice don't mind if you talk to us. The trust you enough to know that you won't fall for any lies, and that you will choose what is best for you. They don't feel the need to hide our perspective from you. If you decide against abortion, that is acceptable to them. Be wary of anyone who tries to silence us. They have something to hide. Some people will tell you we are trying to terrorize you. They're right. You should be terrified of abortion. I would much rather terrorize you than go to your funeral.
Some people will tell you that if you keep your baby, you will have no future. Don't believe it. Your future is what you make of it. Some leaders once said that a woman should never have to choose between career and motherhood. If you feel you have to choose, you have been betrayed. But I will tell you that many, many women can and do combine motherhood and career, and that many of us are able to do many things that we dream of doing. I am no exception. My life has been rich beyond measure both in terms of what I have personally accomplished, and in terms of my children. I have never had to give up any goal forever because I had children. And many of the things I accomplished happened because I had children, not in spite of them. And I know other women who feel the same way. You should never have to choose between your child and your future. Don't let people force you to choose.
Sometimes women have abortions because their babies are believed to have defects. This can be a grave mistake for a lot of reasons. First of all, it would be far safer for the mother to have the baby and then let the baby die a natural death. Second trimester abortion is very dangerous for the mother. Secondly, some of the tests that are used to determine if the baby has a defect can cause miscarriage, and miscarriage is much more likely than discovering a defect. Thirdly, these tests often yield false positives. It would be tragic to have an abortion and discover the baby was normal. Also, abortion itself can make a woman prone to have a child with a defect in the future. Remember what I said about prematurity above. Some women are afraid that the doctor will force them to subject their baby to futile and painful care if he is born. But the abortionist will never tell you that you have the option of choosing hospice. In a hospice, you may allow the baby to die a natural death, and all of you will have a chance to say good-bye. One woman I know who had an abortion because her baby had a defect said her biggest regret was that she never had a chance to do this. And if it is still in the mother's best interests to have an abortion, why don't they just induce labor instead, and give the mother that chance to say good-bye? And some people are afraid they won't be able to handle having a child with a defect and raising him or her. Many women pregnant with babies with Down syndrome feel that way. But if they cannot handle this, there are other people who are eager and willing to take care of that baby. The parents can choose adoption. And it is quite common for some people to tell the parents that there are no meaningful resources available, or conceal the fact that the child will be happy anyway, or that the child will lead a relatively normal life, or bring great joy. I have a nephew with Down syndrome, and not only is he much brighter than the average "normal" child, but he has been such a blessing that I am even jealous that my sister got him and not me! And how many preschoolers do you know who knows hundreds of songs and the entire scripts of movies by heart, a vocabulary of thousands of words, and who likes to carry on deep philosophical discussions? My nephew did all of those things. Sometimes choosing abortion is saying No to joy and blessings.
Some doctors will recommend that you have an abortion because you have been taking some medication that has damaged your baby. If your doctor does this to you, seek an opinion from another doctor, particularly a pro-life doctor if you can find one. Most of the time, this is false. I have known of a number of cases where this claim was made, and the baby was born perfectly normal. It is unconscionable for a doctor to lie to a woman in this way. He is just afraid of his legal liability; he is not really thinking of either your baby or you. And once again, abortion increases your chance of damaging a future child. So you may end up aborting a normal baby and as a result, damaging a later baby. And even if a doctor who is conscientious tells you that, remember that doctors are used to intervening. They feel very insecure about leaving things alone. Keep this in mind.
Some people will recommend that a woman go to Planned Parenthood for abortion counseling. That's a very bad idea. Planned Parenthood makes money doing abortions. If a woman doesn't choose abortion, Planned Parenthood won't make a cent. They will refuse to help her with any kind of practical help. They will subtly push her toward abortion. And we know of several Planned Parenthood abortionists who have maimed or killed women. Some people will tell you to go to the local abortion clinic for counseling. Most of them don't counsel at all, and if they do, it is usually a joke. These people are taught to sell women abortions. We know because former abortionists have told us so. And if you go to an abortion clinic hoping they will talk you out of it, don't go! They will almost always talk you into it. They will tell you about all the difficulties you will face if you don't have one. They have only one thing in mind: they want your money. They don't care about your baby; don't expect them to care about you. Once in awhile you'll find a conscientous abortion employee. They never last.
Some of these same people who recommend Planned Parenthood, however, will tell a woman that it is unsafe to go to a pro-life crisis pregnancy agency. While it is true these agencies won't help a woman get an abortion, they will be there for her if she has emotional problems afterwards. They offer all kinds of help, and their staff is almost entirely made up of volunteers. No one makes a profit off women who choose life. Instead, many people sacrifice to make that possible. Yes, occasionally a woman will have a bad experience there. Mistakes were made at first, but the centers learned from this and have improved their care and their approach. If you go to a crisis pregnancy agency and run into someone who doesn't give you love and care, ask for someone else or go elsewhere. It is unconscionable to condemn the vast majority of volunteers because of past mistakes or a few bad apples. So why do I seem to be excusing crisis pregnancy centers but condemning Planned Parenthood? It is really very simple. Bad or nonexistent help is the norm at Planned Parenthood. Their motive is profit and cutting the birth rate (they don't want people to have children because they believe in the overpopulation idea, and they also don't like people of color having children). But with crisis pregnancy agencies, bad care is uncommon. And they are the only place you can get reasonable help with alternatives. Some people will recommend you go to a crisis pregnancy agency only after you have decided not to have an abortion. That is a little more honest, but the result is that vital information will be kept from you while you are making that critical decision. You have a right to know everything you need to know to make the right decision, before it is too late. Remember, abortion is forever. These agencies will make sure you have access to all the information you need. They won't hide anything from you. A person who doesn't want you to go there until after you have decided may well have something to hide.
Some people want an abortion because they don't want children. I have no problem with people not wanting to have children. If you don't want to have children, please put your baby up for adoption instead. You don't have to choose the violent solution to be child free. And keep in mind that even though there are a lot of bratty children in the world today, it's not the children's fault. Parents still can raise decent children if they are willing to put forth the effort. If someone encourages you to have an abortion because children are a pain to raise, they are really telling you that you wouldn't make a good mother, and that's an insult!
If you are having difficulty with things like morning sickness, abortion may seem attractive. Instead of doing anything so drastic, why not seek a natural alternative to prevent morning sickness, or let the doctor give you some medication? Please be aware that being upset about your pregnancy can aggravate morning sickness, so if you are having trouble with this, it is critically important to seek help. There are also good pregnancy sites on the internet that can offer you practical suggestions to help you with morning sickness.
Some women seek abortion because they are afraid of the pain of childbirth. First of all, the pain is vastly overrated. It doesn't become intense until the last half hour to hour for most women, and it is intermittent so you get to rest. There are ways to train your body to minimize pain, and exercise and nutrition during pregnancy help a lot. And the doctor will offer you anesthetic if you need it. I have had five births, and three of them were virtually pain-free. I never had anesthetic with any of my births. There was some pain with the other two, but in the one with the most pain, I only had severe pain for about a half hour, and by the time you consider the times in between, we are really talking about maybe fifteen minutes altogether of actual pain. Is that too great a price to pay not to run the risk of injury or death from abortion? And don't think that abortion is pain-free. I have talked to women who have said that the pain of abortion was agonizing. Some women don't experience pain, but some do. Pain in childbirth is a sign of abnormality. It is not a given. If you have an abnormality, work on ways to deal with it, and plan ahead for the possibility. Have good childbirth training. Plan to give birth in a place where you feel safe. Talk to a midwife. And if you are afraid of complications in childbirth, know that the major source of complications and death is actually Caesarian section. Find a doctor who doesn't like to do Caesarian sections. It is the best way to safeguard your life and health.
If anyone urges you to have an abortion in a hurry because it is dangerous to wait, don't listen to them. You have time to think things through. It may be only a week or two, but no one should ever make such a serious decision in haste. People who are in a panic don't make good decisions. You are full of panic right now. Please take your time and think things through very, very carefully. Investigate everything. No matter what you choose, you will always be glad you did.
Please take a look at the photo on the left. This unborn baby is only four weeks old (six weeks from her mother's last menstrual period). Please notice her eyes and fingers. Most babies are aborted once they are two weeks older than this, when all of their organs are complete.
And don't let anyone tell you that photo is a fake. It is one of the best documented photos we have; the documentation of the age of the baby is accurate; it is in a medical museum, and won a significant award.
To see more photos of unborn children, please go here. This will let you see what your baby looks like at this stage. Do you really think you can live with destroying such a beautiful human being?.
Don't ever let anyone tell you that your baby is nothing but a mass of cells or a parasite. Your baby is not a parasite, and it is demeaning to you for anyone to claim that. Rather, the two of you are a dyad, and your baby will bring benefits to your body. If you have a medical abnormality, go to a doctor who cares for both of you, not one who will take the easy way out. In nearly all cases, your complications can be managed without harming your baby.
You may feel weak and vulnerable right now. But in reality, you are a strong person, and you will be given the strength you need to carry through. Which choice would you rather make? Would you rather yield to weakness and do something you will probably regret for the rest of your life? Or would you rather dip into the strength you never knew you had, and in triumph and strength, and out of love, protect your baby? Please remember, only you can protect your baby. Your baby is counting on you! You are all she or he has. You stand in the way of those who would take your money and do violence to both of you in the name of choice. Be strong!
If you are a Christian, you know that God doesn't make mistakes. Your baby is a gift. Please do not refuse God's gift. Having an abortion could make you feel you don't deserve heaven, and even if you are aware that God has forgiven you, forgiving yourself can be a very different matter. And even if you are not a Christian, that doesn't mean you won't suffer spiritual consequences. In Japan, only 3% of the population is Christian, but 72% of the women there say they regret their abortions.
Here is a link to all kinds of resources on the internet. Through these resources, you can find an agency in your area that will help you with whatever problems you have. You can even find online counseling.
If I get to know you, you will be in my prayers, and the prayers of my friends. Please feel free to email me. I will welcome any emails you wish to send, and it doesn't matter to me how many times you need to email me, or over how many months. I will be here for you. I have met several wonderful women who started by emailing me during a troubled pregnancy, and we have become close friends. They have always been a blessing to me. So don't be afraid to email me as much as you need to. And if you choose abortion anyway, I can't help you get one, but I will be here for you afterward for as long as you need me.