Reproductive women’s rights. That’s what they’re calling it these days. It has a much better tone for what abortion clinics are actually selling.
I’m one of the 60 million women since Roe v. Wade who exercised my “reproductive right” to choose over 30 years ago when I purchased my own abortion for $350.
When I found myself alone after my husband abandoned me, I became a single mother of two struggling to make ends meet. It was one of the most difficult times of my life. That’s why a year later when I became pregnant again by my new boyfriend, I was terrified.
It would also be the first time I heard the word abortion in a conversation about me, when my boyfriend convinced me it was our only option.
So, I found a phone book and easily located the number of the abortion clinic in Charlotte, Noth Carolina.
The kind, compassionate woman on the other end, Helena, assured me “it’s just a blob of tissue, honey, there’s nothing there, you’re so early.”
When I continued to share my story of desperation, she went on to say, “don’t you think it would be very selfish of you as a mother already to bring another mouth in the world to feed when you can barely take care of the two you have?”
She reminded me again and again how irresponsible and selfish I was to even consider having another child. She was quite convincing, very well-rehearsed. I believed her. Why wouldn’t I? I mean, why would she lie to me? At the end of our conversation, she’d done her job, securing my appointment for the following Saturday morning.
When I arrived for my “procedure,” as they like to call it, Helena called me into her office to collect my payment.
I asked her again through tears, “Are you sure I’m doing the right thing, that this is OK?” I knew the outcome of a pregnancy, as I already had two little girls at home waiting for me.
She reiterated what she’d already told me over the phone, reminding me how selfish and irresponsible it would be to have another mouth to feed, then she placed her hand on mine and softly said, “You’re so young, you can have more later when the time is right. Now, when you leave here, never think of this again.”
Funny thing is I never stopped thinking about it.
After my “procedure” was over, I knew my life would never be the same. It took over a decade before I was a whole functioning human being again. To this day, I still think about it. I wonder who my child could have been. On that Saturday morning, the abortion clinic erased the life of my child within minutes, but they could never erase the memory of my child.
This is a story I hear day after day from men and women who’ve walked into abortion clinics across this country. They tell us it’s empowering to have the right to choose. But there’s nothing empowering about living a life of shame, guilt, remorse and regret.
Recently, I hosted a private screening of the newly released movie, “Unplanned,” the true story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director, who after witnessing the abortion of a perfectly formed 13-week old fetus, becomes staunchly pro-life.
As a post-abortive woman, it was extremely difficult to watch “Unplanned.” I felt like I was watching my own story as Ashley Bratcher, the actress playing Abby, used some of the same terminology I’d heard when Helena was “selling” me an abortion. I was shocked by the similarities.
Movie critics have slammed “Unplanned,” Planned Parenthood claims it’s filled with lies and propaganda, networks refuse to advertise it, claiming it’s too “political” (give me a break) and even Twitter briefly suspended the movie’s Twitter account, wiping out their followers from 7,000 to 0, although it denies it had anything to do with the movie itself. I find that explanation rather convenient.
Yet, despite all the challenges this movie has endured, its undeniable success says much more about the climate and culture we’re living in today regarding the abortion issue, than they may want to admit.
For decades, abortion has been a taboo subject. If we keep our heads stuck in the sand, ignorant of what’s really going during an abortion, we don’t have to do anything about it, right?
Historically, pro-choice advocates claim “it’s her body”, “it’s her reproductive right,” while pro-life advocates fight daily for the unborn and an end to abortion, pleading with the woman considering abortion to fully understand there are other options. Post-abortive women like me share our stories in hopes others won’t make the same mistake.
It’s no secret there are some losing sleep over this movie’s success. They’re terrified of the sold-out movie theaters across the country, worried it’s going to expose the truth and lies behind the abortion industry. Let’s face it, if too many come to the realization they’ve been sold a lie, abortion could become unthinkable. If that happened, it would hit them where they care the most. Their pocketbooks. After all, abortion is big business. A multi-billion dollar business, to be exact. The industry has no intentions of going down without a fight. Abortions pay big salaries, fancy cars, boats, vacations and luxury homes.
Then, others worry laws will change, that we’ll be taken back to the dark ages where women, God forbid, will be forced to give birth to their own children.
Whether “Unplanned” will be a motivator for overturning Roe v. Wade or any other abortion laws, I don’t know. But, there’s an undeniable truth this movie’s release is having a huge impact on both sides. And, some people don’t like that one bit.
What are they so afraid of? I could take a guess. You see, if enough hearts and minds are open to the truth and the lies are exposed about abortion, it may not matter if any laws change. Because I’m convinced when people know and understand what happens to an unborn child in an abortion, even to that child’s mother and father afterwards, then and only then, will abortion become unthinkable.
Once you know what you know, you can’t plead ignorance anymore.
Despite what some would want you to believe, this movie IS making a difference. That’s why there’s so much opposition from the other side.
“Unplanned” is breaking box office records. People are lining up at theaters to see it. And, yes, hearts and minds are changing. And, that’s a huge threat to the abortion industry.
Reports are coming in from all over the country. Theatergoers are walking into the theater adamantly pro-choice, and some of those same people are walking out pro-life.
While those walking in the theater pro-life are walking out with a newfound conviction to do more for the movement.
I truly believe those outlets who’ve championed for the demise of “Unplanned,” doing their very worst to ensure such an outcome, are in a panic.
Let’s face it. We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar industry. They’re not likely to give that status up without a fight.
You have to wonder if they’ve been holding secret emergency meetings across the country trying to figure out their next move, their next campaign slogan or figuring out how to combat the damage control.
Since Roe v. Wade, millions of Americans have lived with their secret. A secret some will take to the grave.
Too many of these men and women are suffering in silence, ashamed, guilt-ridden or living with regret. Some have never had or been able to have more children, while others become promiscuous, turning to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain.
When a woman walks into an abortion clinic, she won’t walk out the same person.
If you’re brave enough to walk into the movie theater to see “Unplanned,” you won’t walk out the same either.
The timing of this movie couldn’t have been more perfect. There was nothing “Unplanned” about it.
Victoria Robinson is the Director of External Relations for Save the Storks. She’s the author of several articles on the subject of pro-life, as well as the post-abortive mother and father. She’s an author, public speaker, television personality and former host of “Real Talk with Victoria” where her guests included politicians, teenagers, authors, speakers and athletes. Victoria became an advocate for the pro-life movement following an abortion at six weeks of pregnancy. Involved in the pro-life arena for over 20 years, she has also worked as the Executive Director of three separate pregnancy centers.
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