Prodigal Daughter

by Debbie Ramsey

I am no public speaker-as you are getting ready to find out for yourselves. But, God prompted
me to share my testimony with you …so here I am.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, one in every five women who gets an abortion identifies
as a Christian. Given that more than a million women abort each year in the US, this means a
staggering 200,000 Bible-believing Christians receive abortions annually. And according to
Christian ministries working with this population, a vast majority of them will never reveal their
secret.
We don’t talk about it. Women who have had a history of abortion feel alone and isolated. We
feel we are the only ones who carry the guilt or shame.
I know this because I had 3 abortions… One in 1977, one in 1978 and one in 1984. During those
years of my life, the easy way out was the way I took. I turned my back on God and was living
my life-my way.
That rebellious streak didn’t come from an unhappy childhood. (Far from it). My parents were
together, no broken home. I grew up in a loving family. No excuses.
It all started out innocently enough. I married my first husband and gave birth to my son, Chris
at age 18.
But it was the 70’s and the women’s movement taught us that we could “have it all” so I felt
compelled to seek a career and I began to put other things before my marriage. I was divorced
in 1976 and my life became more and more out of control with drugs and alcohol and one bad
relationship after another.
I would get myself in trouble and abortion was an easy answer. If I could come up with
$250…problem solved.
I thought my problems were solved…What I didn’t realize was that a much bigger problem was
just beginning. During the next 23 years I repressed any negative feelings that would even try to
surface in my head and I got pretty good at it. I told myself it wasn’t really a child, just a mass of
tissue. But, there was always an uneasy feeling I couldn’t quite shake off.
I used to get furious at the pro-life women on TV, probably because they made me think. And,
thinking about it was the last thing I wanted to do.

I married again and things seemed fine on the surface. Bob knew all about my history and he
was ok with it. After all, we were both forward thinking adults. Right?
But, then my first grandchild was born in November of 2000. Holding him in my arms triggered
a response that I could not deny or hide.
I became depressed and I had horrible reoccurring nightmares about the abortions. The dream
that I remember most was walking into a warehouse filled from floor to ceiling with parts of
babies and all the while I could hear them crying. It was so bad that I started not being able to
sleep at all. I couldn’t shake a feeling of emptiness and despair. I thought I was losing my mind.
I didn’t know it then, but I was experiencing a post traumatic syndrome called post abortion
syndrome or PAS.
So many women are suffering in silence like I did. We don’t reach out for help because of the
stigma associated with having had the abortion in the first place. Along with guilt and
depression come eating disorders, relationship problems, flashbacks, suicidal thoughts, sexual
dysfunction, and alcohol and drug abuse. We suffer, thinking we are losing our minds. We don’t
realize that we are not alone.
I found forgiveness from my Savior, Jesus Christ. One night after a horrible nightmare, I fell out
of the bed on my knees and asked for forgiveness. That was my first and most important step.
But, I had to learn how to forgive myself as well.
That was a journey that took some time. I found a group of women like me who shared their
wisdom in a recovery group called “Her Choice to Heal.” These women showed me how to
forgive and to be forgiven. That was my first “safe environment”, a huge turning point in my
life. I’m not going to tell you the healing is immediate. It’s a journey that is sometimes hard to
face, but so worth the peace you receive.
Every abortion results in one dead child and one wounded mother. Just remember the blood of
Jesus Christ is enough. I had to seek His forgiveness first and then learn how to forgive myself.