In my life I have struggled with being invisible and feeling insignificant, unwanted, worthless and useless. I hated myself.
I rarely remember feeling truly happy as a child. Although I was one of six children, feeling securely connected as a family was unknown to me. Five of us were adopted by a new father after our father died. Through him, we were cared for and provided a beautiful childhood with structure. However, my mom was loveless.
My mom had a secret.
Praise God, that the abortion attempt failed and I survived. She kept that attempt on my life a secret and became a prisoner of her grief. She could no longer give nurturing love. I was the specific target of this sad situation, but to a lesser extent, my older siblings were affected too, and even the man she married after being widowed knew this bitter reality.
When my dad died, my mom was pregnant with me; her inconvenient 5th pregnancy. Thinking that she could not have another child after being widowed, she made a trip to an abortionist to have my life ended.
This struggle caused much sadness in my heart, but nobody was there to address it or to help. I acted out sometimes, in an attempt to be heard and not be invisible. When I came out from under the protection of my father’s structure and was “on my own” after high school, I began to sexualize my desperate need for a sense of being wanted.
My first child was conceived when I was 19.
The “problem” was managed by my parents, who took me to a hospital for a D&C abortion. A few months later, my mom shared her secret with me, blurting out that she had tried to abort me. She had undergone a D&C procedure too. Through my pregnancy, my mom finished what she had started 19 years earlier. Now I was the one that had a secret tucked deep inside my heart. The generational sin continued.
When I was 25 my second child was conceived. It was 1975 and abortion was being aggressively marketed. I was still invisible with no voice and so I allowed my boyfriend to dictate the solution. He made the appointment for an abortion and I went along, like a zombie, emotionally numb.
That experience was horrifying and traumatic. I felt a strange and acute sense that a terrible injustice had occurred against me. No one explained how awful the vacuum aspiration abortion would be. The pain, the noise, the horrible feeling of the suction in my body.
I wanted to help women who were in the same situation, to provide the comfort and support that had not been provided to me. So, I accepted a job at an abortion clinic. Little did I know that I was actually partnering with the very thing that harmed me.
While working at this abortion clinic, I had a near death car accident where I testify that a messenger angel appeared to me while unconscious, with an encouraging word, that “I was going to be alright”.
After this life-changing incident, I became discontent and started to question everything I had been doing.
I felt compelled to say yes to an offer to finish my graduate degree at a Tribal Health Corporation in rural Alaska. Off I went, from a big city to a rural town with a population of only 2,000 and accessible only by airplane. I ended up accepting a permanent job and became a resident of Alaska.
The open spaces and beauty of rural Alaska seemed to set me free from the struggles that held me captive in San Francisco. But, the childhood trauma from my mother’s abortion attempt and my own abortions, which had constantly predicted my behavior with men, was not altered and I got pregnant again.
This time though, I made the decision to give this child a chance to live. This was the best decision I had made thus far in my life! When he was four months old, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.
The moment I received Christ was monumental for this poor needy girl who had never felt security or nurturing love from any human being.
God’s “agape” love that poured into me that day filled me up as nothing else could. His love is all-consuming. As I began my journey with His hand in mine, He led me to experience the riches of His salvation and provision. Everything in life was beginning to change for the better!
My mom, even though she endured the shame of the abortion attempt, once said to me “there must be a reason why you’re here”. I believed that God had a purpose for my pain.
I had married my son’s father and we also had two daughters together. After five years, that marriage ended in divorce. At this time in my life, my faith walk was paramount. I took care of my children and loved the Lord. My children were taught the gospel. I knew that God was the Father to the fatherless and that my children were really His children.
About two years after my divorce, as a single God-fearing woman, I was seeking the Lord on “how far is too far” in a premarital relationship that would honor God.
Shortly after this prayer, abstinence education came into my life. A small group of moms were seeking to impact the local school district’s sex education curriculum with a policy requiring the teaching of abstinence education. This experience was life-changing for me, as, sadly, I had never heard of, or known personally, that abstinence from sex was an option.
The idea electrified me with excitement because truly this initial decision had so much power in the direction a young person’s life would take. If I did not know about this, surely many others did not either!
As only God could, He provided an opportunity for me to become immersed in the field of abstinence education, which was a growing movement. I was hired as Executive Director of Teen Awareness, Inc., which delivered an awesome abstinence education program in southern California public schools. My dream job! My three children and I relocated from rural Alaska to southern California.
The journey to abstinence education took me full circle in understanding the power of the choices we make.
In the speaking I did over the years with this job, I shared my personal story of sexual ignorance, resulting permissiveness, abortion, disappointment and single parenthood, while directing thousands to a better future by choosing abstinence. I had not known that I had the choice to choose, but loved offering a better way to others. This role became evidence of the purpose God had for the pain I had experienced. He has purpose for your pain too.
I survived my mom’s abortion, I lost two children to abortion and I worked in an abortion clinic.
I am grateful for organizations that led me in healing to address all three of these painful experiences. I came to realize that the common denominator in each of these is trauma.
If anything in my story resonates with you, I want to encourage you to keep the hope of Christ in your vision. Rich Mullins wrote a song called “Bound to Come Some Trouble”. We will all have trouble, tears, disappointment, and loss. We will make mistakes, but there is Jesus. If you know Jesus, you have all you need. Reach out to Him in your need, and He’ll find you where you are. Hold on tight to Him!
Little did I know how God was going to heal me and give me the opportunity to help others. As I look back on my life, I can see how God used people, experiences, and conversations to call me toward Jesus. Now, the calling on my life is to share my God journey with others to help them take one step toward Him and to bring glory to His Name. This is my Reclaimed Story.
May you encounter His love and forgiveness today,
There is nothing too far from the love and redemption of Jesus. If you are a survivor or would like to connect with Priscilla, you can reach her at The Abortion Survivors Network at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you work or have worked in an abortion clinic, Priscilla is also a member of And Then There Were None, a ministry for former abortion industry workers, which was started by Abby Johnson. They are available for you as well.
To contact Priscilla to speak at your event you can find her at Ambassador Speakers, Inc.