Why I Hold A Special Place In My Heart For Planned Parenthood

fetusWhere would I be without Planned Parenthood? My life would look so much different. How, you ask? I would have a sister 9 years younger than me. I never got to know her. Her life was snuffed out at the Santa Barbara Planned Parenthood back in 1985. Planned Parenthood holds a “special” place in my heart because a piece of my family was destroyed there.

The situation that led to my sister being aborted was not a simple one. In fact, most people will say that out of any abortion, my mom’s is the one most understandable, the most logical. She had been raped by a friend in the small town where I grew up. As the town’s only licensed childcare provider, my mom babysat this man’s children. After the rape, my mom remained silent to protect this man’s wife and 4 children. A month or two later, it became clear to my mom that she was pregnant. After discussing with my dad and her doctor, it was recommended that she have an abortion. The pregnancy was early enough that “it wasn’t a baby yet” and surely out of any unwanted pregnancy, this one wins the prize as the most unwanted. But my mom was hesitant. She made the appointment at Planned Parenthood, hoping to receive some counseling before the abortion, but on the day of the scheduled abortion, while waiting in the office with my dad, she had second thoughts. As they brought her to the back room to perform the procedure, she began crying and said that she changed her mind. The “nurse” impatiently let her know that my dad had paid extra to have my mom put to sleep and she’ll feel better afterwards, so my mom went through with it. She remembers waking up feeling like she had cried throughout the whole abortion procedure. She was led out a back door with crackers and orange juice so that those waiting up front wouldn’t see her vulnerable state.

As a 9-year-old girl, I wasn’t aware of any of this. The only thing I knew was that one day my mom was going to have a baby and then the next day, I was told that she had a miscarriage. It never occurred to me that all of the crying she did after her miscarriage-crying alone while doing dinner dishes, crying while doing simple chores around the house- it wasn’t because of a miscarriage, but because of an abortion. She lived in silent depression for 6 years. Then in a turn of events that no mother ever wishes to go through, she had the opportunity to be free from the pain of the loss of her unborn child .

She hadn’t heard those words in 6 years, but there they were again: Planned Parenthood. Santa Barbara.

PlannedParenthoodsignI was 15 and pregnant. My doctor told me that the best thing for me to do was to schedule an abortion at the Planned Parenthood in Santa Barbara. I wouldn’t even have to tell my parents; it could be set up secretly. It sounded like the best way out of a terrible situation. I told my doctor that I would ask my parents about it, but I was fairly certain that they would agree that abortion was the best answer.

Surprisingly, they didn’t agree. They were actually very against abortion. Why? I had no idea since they had not vocalized an opinion about it up to this point. They were now adamant that they would do whatever they could to help me through the pregnancy and into motherhood. I must admit that even though the horizon looked dark and scary as a pregnant teen, the thought of not having to go through an abortion lightened my load considerably.

It wasn’t until after I became a mother at the age of 16 and my son was 3 months old that everything came out into the light about my mom’s “miscarriage”. When my mom came home from a training session to become a crisis pregnancy counselor, I could see that she was an emotional wreck. When I asked her why she had been crying, she told me that she had to learn about abortion procedures. I understood why that would be difficult, but I didn’t understand the abundance of tears. When I went back to my bedroom, I believe it was the Holy Spirit that spoke to me and reminded me of my mom’s pregnancy when I was 9 years old, a pregnancy that was blocked from my mind. And the words were whispered in my ear, ‘Remember the miscarriage your mom had? It wasn’t a miscarriage. It was an abortion’. I felt my breath catch in my throat and knew that I had to ask my mom about it. When I went into her room, she was sitting on her bed, still crying. I asked her point-blank, “Mom, the reason you’re so sad, is it because you didn’t really have a miscarriage all those years ago? Did you have an abortion?” Shaking her head yes, that’s when everything came out in the open about the rape, abortion and hidden depression.

My son, Andrew, and me. 1995.

My son, Andrew, and me. June 1995. I was 18, Andrew was 2.

Today I know that representatives at Planned Parenthood would tell my mom that she did the right thing, that there’s nothing to be ashamed of, that it wasn’t really a baby yet, only a developing fetus. But I know that these words are lies. The abortion was the more violent of actions in comparison to the rape because it was the taking of an innocent life- my mom knew this. Abortion in crisis situations is not the right thing because I lived through the other side, the side of not aborting, the side of choosing life for my son. It wasn’t easy for me. There were many sacrifices. There were feelings of shame and hopelessness, but when I look at my 22-year-old son now, I feel no shame. I have no anxiety or hidden depression about whether I made the right choice or not. When I look at my son, I feel joy.  His life is something to celebrate. My sister’s was, too. Her life is worthy to be acknowledged, just the same as all of the other 56 million other babies aborted since abortion was legalized.

Seeing the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood sparked in me a raw nerve. At first it was one of anger. Now it is one of pity and sadness. I pity the Planned Parenthood reps who choose to lie to the very women they are paid to help. I pity them because they do not come alongside women in crisis pregnancies as their advocates and rejoice with these mothers as new life is brought into this world. I feel a deep sadness for the pregnant women who have been told that this is the only choice they have and that they should be proud of that choice. Abortion is not a choice worth choosing. It is defeat. I feel sadness for the countless people who have not had the opportunity to adopt an “unwanted” child because that child was taken from them before birth. I pity our selfish nation that would more easily pay for the disposal of unwanted babies than offer real, practical (even monetary) help for mothers in crisis situations.

Let’s stop with the stupid masked words used by those in the pro-choice movement. Abortion is murder. A fetus is a human life. Murder is wrong. A human life is worth living. My family knows firsthand the pain of abortion and the joy of an ‘unwanted’ baby.

To Planned Parenthood employees and supporters: Please reconsider your position. Politics and financial gain aside, choose humanity. Every life matters, both the women and the unborn children. They both are precious in God’s sight.

To my parents: Thank-you. Thank-you for supporting me in the face of ridicule and condemnation from others. Thank-you for loving me unconditionally and for making big sacrifices those first few years of my son’s life to ensure that your grandson was welcomed with open arms.

To my mom: I am proud of you for facing the demons of your past, for coming out into the open on behalf of wounded post-abortive women and helping them receive the love and care they deserve.

To my son: I love you and am thankful to be your mother. My life was changed for the better the day you were born, August 21, 1992.

To my sister: I am sorry. I truly am. You did not deserve this. Mom and I both look forward to that first embrace in Heaven.

weeping

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About Brenda Weatherly

Christian wife and mother to 7 children. Board of Directors at Center of Light, Team Leader of Woodlawn Refugee Ministry.
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14 Responses to Why I Hold A Special Place In My Heart For Planned Parenthood

  1. Karen Ingle says:

    Brenda, thank you for sharing this bittersweet, beautiful story of amazing redemption. Wow. Your mom’s testimony is also such a tribute to the compassion and healing of our tender Father God. I am praying that many women–and men–now suffering in silence draw courage from this story to go to Jesus for the peace and healing they need. I love you, you mother, and your father even more now that I understand the deep place from which your abundant compassion flows. God shines through each of you.

    • Thanks so much, Karen. Yes, our God is a loving and forgiving Father who- through these heartbreaking circumstances, of abortion and teen pregnancy- brought my family into a complete change of heart towards the unborn. He opened our eyes to the lies of the enemy. But most importantly, because of the depth of our pain, we found faith in Him. He is so good!

  2. Beautiful. God’s grace is all over this testimony.

  3. Sunnyside Up Queen says:

    Brenda, I remember as a child when you were pregnant with Andrew (because it was the same year my Aunt Angela and my mother were both pregnant with Megan and my brother, respectively). Growing up around your family and having great memories involving both of our families, my heart ached for you all. I’m so glad that all is good now and not only do you have Andrew but two sweet grand babies! I hope all is currently well!

    Sending love and best wishes your way,
    Katie

  4. Vonna Nelson says:

    What a lot of courage it takes to tell your story. I am sure it will help so many women to choose life for their child! I hope you have encouraged other women to tell their stories too. I for one am very proud of you and your mom for sharing your story. A scripture comes to my mind, Know the truth and the truth will set you free! God is good💜

    • The Lord gave me the courage to speak about this in hopes that someone’s heart and mind will be changed towards abortion, so that unborn lives will be saved, so that people may question their positive stance of Planned Parenthood, and to show that those who are facing a crisis pregnancy or have had an abortion can find mercy, forgiveness and grace from the Lord Jesus. Thanks for your encouraging comment!

  5. Judi Paparozzi says:

    Brenda, I have been in the pro-life movement since my mom got me involved in the late 1960s, and I must tell you that your testimony and that of your mom’s was one of the most powerful I have ever read. Thank you for sharing your stories with the world. You bring such clarity to the issue; the choice between life and death is all about truth and love. The truth is that it’s a child, and the love is that which your parents had in saving you and your son. Your sister must be smiling down on all of you! God bless you.

    • Thank-you so much, Judi! The pain of what my family has been through has been completely redeemed through the grace, forgiveness and love that Christ has shown us. My son’s life was saved because my sister was aborted and because my mom experienced firsthand the regret, misery and shame of abortion. Satan intended to destroy us, but God turned it all around for good, the saving of many lives. When I receive emails or private messages from people telling me that they have changed their mind about abortion, it means the world to me.

  6. Jonathan Brooks says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I needed it, after talking with so many of the callous weird pro-abort types in the comments. This lifted my spirit, and I thank God that I read it.

    • I understand what you mean. I’ve written pro-life comments on several articles and I end up being slammed for my story. Most of the time I choose not to go back and continue the argument because to me, it’s not an argument I’m trying to have; I’m simply trying to tell the story of my mom’s experiences and mine, but if a person is so angry and closed to the truth about abortion, nothing I say or do will change their minds- it’s only the work of the Holy Spirit. Thanks for your comment!

  7. Amy Phillips says:

    Beautiful story! I didn’t know what I was getting ready to ready, but I’m so glad I opened this story.
    Thank you for your story. I too would have have *I believe* a Sister just a few years younger than me. My biological father beat my mother and threatened her because he did not want another child. I was in the dark until I was 30.
    I become angry on the inside when I see those post on FB that will say, “If you love your Sister, share this.” I get angry, but not at anyone, just the fact that she is gone and I never knew her. Your last line assured me that I will see her in heaven one day. What a glorious day that will be.

    • I’m sorry for your loss. People don’t realize that abortion affects a lot more than only the unborn child and mother. Whole families are impacted. I believe that for those of us who are having to live with the devastating consequences of a lost family member, we need to be brave and speak out about the value of the unborn, no matter how emotionally traumatic it may be for us. Thanks for your comment. I’m glad to hear from you.

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