Julie Desjardins wrote in to PWPL with her story yesterday. I asked if I could share it, and she has said yes:
I am a registered nurse who will soon be practising on a First Nations reserve in rural northern Manitoba and I am also a proud mother of a beautiful one year old son. I am in an exciting and wonderful season of my life but like many other people, I have had my share of other, darker times.
I grew up in an evangelical family and consequently would have considered myself pro-life however, in my twenties, away from my faith and living in the UK, I found myself pregnant and afraid.
What would not have been an option in another lifetime, suddenly became the only way out. With no counselling, no support and certainly no information, I chose to have an abortion. Of all the decisions and events in my life that I would change if I could – including the death of my beloved mother – this is the one thing I would change above all others. Of all the things I’ve said or done that are worthy of regret or repentance, this is the one thing that can consistently drive me to my knees.
I have never taken part in any public activism related to the abortion “debate” but whenever the conversation bends in that direction, I choose to tell my “story”; I find that an otherwise academic discussion, based on political correctness, can take on a human face and sometimes make a change of heart.
Because of this, I choose not to hide my own past but rather to speak openly of it in order that I might persuade people to take another look at our societal assumptions.
I think talking about this and choosing to not to remain anonymous are very courageous things. We as a society are making this “choice” without thinking, and those who advocate for “access” do so without thought for the long term consequences.
I would highlight there is a silver lining in Julie’s story too. Women who have had abortions are not condemned; they are not alone–and they can find redemption and go on to do great things as Julie is. I think that is important. Some might be incapacitated by fear and guilt; we know statistically that depression is more likely for women who have had abortions. And so I would somehow like those women who have had one to be encouraged. Mistakes are made in every life, and if we can admit to them, we can cope with them and move on.
Thank you to Julie for writing. She’s interested in hearing any comments/responses that come in even as she packs up to move, so I’ll make sure she gets them.by