As originally published in LifeNews on June 2, 2013.
“I thought that I was the only one until I found this website.” “Me, too!” “I’ve never told anyone about this, but I felt compelled to share it with you.” “I’m a survivor, too, and I can’t live with the pain anymore.”
These are just a few snippets of the profound emails that I’ve received lately from other abortion survivors.
Just a few weeks ago, I wrote an article that discussed how, at that time, I had heard from 131 other abortion survivors throughout the course of my pro-life work and The Abortion Survivors Network ministry that I founded in 2012. I am overjoyed to share that even since that article was published on May 14th, I have now heard from another seven survivors, bringing the current total to 138!
In addition to the overwhelming number of emails that I’ve received from survivors lately, I’ve also received a large number of responses from fellow pro-lifers like the following: “I’ve been pro-life since I was a child, but I feel so dumb because I never knew until now that there were any abortion survivors, nonetheless a whole lot of you!”
For the record, I just want to be clear that no pro-lifer should ever feel ‘dumb,’ for not knowing about survivors. Over the last 40 years, the pro-life community has not spoken of survivors because they have been largely unaware of them, and not because they are oblivious, but because most survivors don’t speak about it openly. Even in my case, as a survivor, I was unaware of other survivors for many years.
After I found out at the age of 14 about surviving my birthmother’s abortion, I spent the next five years feeling terribly alone and afraid. Then, in 1997, I discovered Gianna Jessen’s story online, and it changed my life. Just knowing that I was not alone as a survivor was life-changing for me. To read about how Gianna was using her survival to make a difference additionally provided me with the encouragement and strength that I needed to prepare myself for coming forward publicly as a survivor.
The Abortion Survivors Network is now my opportunity to give back to survivors and even to the greater public, just as I was given information, hope and strength through finding Gianna’s story years ago. If you haven’t visited the website yet, you can find us at www.theabortionsurvivors.com.
Although I regularly update the site with new survivor testimonies, I will be sharing exclusive previews of survivor stories here on LifeNews.
I am excited about this opportunity to work with LifeNews to share a perspective on building a culture of life and working in the pro-life movement that is unique—that of an abortion survivor. I am equally excited about how my regular blogging here will provide readers of LifeNews with more knowledge of survivors and our experiences, which I hope will provide readers with real-life examples to strengthen their position on life and motivate them to keep moving forward in creating a culture of life.