Grace after the Choice :: My Abortion Story {Part 1 of 3}







This post is not about home staging, interior design, or organizing. 

This post is in honor of National Sanctity of Human Life Day and of the memory of my daughter who I lost to abortion through a choice that I made. I am going to be sharing my story with you here. However, it is somewhat graphic at times; I wanted you to know that before you began reading.

Some of the details may be unbelievable, but I assure you that they happened. I saw them with my own eyes, heard them with my own ears. For many years, I have wanted to share this story of sadness and grace with you, but thought that it would cause controversy or that some of you would no longer want to read my blog. But because it is a story of grace, of a makeover of the heart, I feel that it is appropriate to share with you how my past made me who I am today. 

I know that one in four of us women reading have had one or more abortions; I wanted us to be reminded that, no matter what we have done, we are loved by a Father who gives us a grace covering all sins. The world calls abortion a choice, a reproductive right, a freedom, but after this choice I experienced nothing but the knowledge that my right had been wrong; my so-called freedom resulted in nothing less than the chains of depression and the bonds of suicide. God found me in the midst of my shame. He gave me His grace after my choice.

How do I share what happened so long ago (though it is still so fresh in my memory), but to start at the beginning?

I was nineteen, sitting in a lobby in a Miami, Florida clinic. It was a mid-spring day in 1987, and I was waiting for my name to be called, waiting and watching the dazed faces of the other young women who also waited for their names to be called. While I waited, I mused over the months that had led to this appointment.

Too many long nights with too many strangers had led me to too many bad choices, and somehow I knew that this would be one more bad choice to follow up the rest, the last bad choice to hide the other bad choices. But it had to be done.

A few months earlier, when my period hadn’t come, I hadn’t been worried right away; it had always taken me a few months to get worried. Anemia and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis had made all of my periods unreliable. It had been at least four months, though, since my period had last come, which was unusual. One night, reclining on the sofa in the living room, I felt movement in my lower abdomen.

Something was alive inside of me, but I was in nineteen and in college. I couldn’t decide then which I felt more strongly: that I didn’t want to be inconvenienced with a baby, or that I didn’t want anyone to see the evidence of my behavior. Anyway, abortions were legal, and, after all, it was just a fetus.

I got out our phone book and searched for abortions through the yellow pages. I found an ad claiming to assist pregnant teens and made the call. When I told the woman on the other end of the line how long it had been since my last period, she made me an appointment for the next day. I pulled into the parking lot, surprised to see that it was actually a branch of Planned Parenthood. After a free urine test, it was confirmed that I was twenty weeks pregnant. Since I was in my second trimester already, I couldn’t “terminate” at a clinic; I’d have to go to a hospital. The appointment was made for two weeks later.

It would cost $1,000 in cash.  I didn’t have enough, so I asked my dad’s friend Maria if she’d loan me some money. I lied, telling her it was for my textbooks for college. She obliged, and I soon had the cash in hand.

I carried on as usual for the next few weeks, anticipating the trip with some fear and yet some excitement. I packed a small bag with a few things, since I had been told that it rarely was, but it could be, an overnight trip, depending on my body’s reaction to the “procedure”.

“Leslie Brill?” I was called to the open glass sliding window by a middle-aged woman who handed me a clipboard upon which a plethora of forms was attached.  These were just your everyday hospital forms: name, address, SS#, allergies, etc. I wrote down all I knew, signed, and handed it and the cash back through the window.

I waited, picked up a magazine, pretended to read something, flipping pages, nervously flashing a half-smile at the waiting room people. Then my name was called again, and a nurse holding a clipboard escorted me into the examination room.

“Get undressed and put this gown on. I’ll be back for you in a bit.” I did what I was told, waiting on the papered exam table. When she came back, she rolled in a machine and had me lie down. She lifted up my gown and squirted some cold, clear gel below my navel, and then turned to watch a screen that faced away from me as she moved an odd paddle attached to the rolling contraption back and forth across my belly.

Curious, I asked her if I could see what was on the screen. “No” was the answer. I asked her if it looked like a baby. “No, it’s nothing but tissue and membranes,” and even if I did look, I wouldn’t know what I was seeing anyway. Although disappointed, I accepted her answer. She was, after all, a nurse, a professional. She was probably right. 


Go to Part 2 HERE

Jaime


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Shared at Richella's Place: Grace at Home

40 comments:

  1. Leslie,
    Praying that God will use your boldness in sharing to help heal others -- and to show them the grace of our Lord! God bless! ~Sally

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    1. Hi Sally!
      Oh, thank you for your prayer.
      Grace is so wonderful!
      XOXO, Leslie

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  2. Oh wow Leslie, thank you so much for sharing this, for baring your soul, heartache and life choices so others can be healed. Hugs friend! Thank you for letting God's light shine through you and this blog.

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    1. Ange,
      I know that many will be healed.
      May my mistakes be someone else's freedom!
      Love you, girl!
      ~me

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  3. Leslie,
    Your bravery and the truth you speak will be a balm to so many women's hearts.

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  4. Leslie,
    I applaud your strength to share your story with us. So many of us hold these "ideals" without a true understanding of ourselves or others. I will continue to follow your blog, as your strength and openness should be an inspiration to us all. We all make choices that we are not proud of, some small, some much more life changing. I am anxious to read the 2nd and 3rd parts to your story, to experience your past with you...to make that journey along side your memories. God Bless.

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    1. Hi Jamie!
      God uses all of our mistakes, if we are willing, to change us and guide us to better choices, that's for sure!
      God bless you, too!

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  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate your honesty. I look forward to reading the rest and seeing God's redeeming love in action.

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    1. Kristy,
      Thank you for your sweet encouragement!
      I love my Redeemer!

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  6. Leslie,
    I hope the courage and honesty to share your story, will help others faced with that choice, make theirs. (((HUGS)))

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    1. Hi Bea!!
      HUGS to you, as well. I pray eyes are opened (as mine were) and hearts are freed.

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  7. Oh, God bless you, Leslie. It cannot be easy to write about this. I hope He uses you to help others in our troubled world. Susan

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    1. Hi Susan!
      It was a part of my life wish had never happened, But may God receive the glory for whatever he's let me go through!
      XOXO

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  8. I know it isn't easy to share this story but I know it will be a blessing to many who read it. If someone stops reading your blog because of it then they are sadly missing the whole point. Kuddos to you for your bravery and transparency. xoxo

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  9. This is a very brave thing for you to share but also, a very important thing. Bless you for being so open!

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    1. Hi Victoria!
      I have nothing to hide because I have been given much grace!

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  10. You are so brave and strong to share this with us. We support you and hope that your story can help other girls. God Bless.

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  11. Dearest Leslie, praying for you as you bravely share how God's grace carried you, after your choice. The truth shall set you free. And the truth will set others free as you share in honesty. I can only imagine that more readers will follow your wisdom filled, graceful blog. God has given you much, blessed you with wisdom that women of our time need. Love you so much friend! Hugs! Holding your hand in my heart as you take this journey back in time, right by your side!

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    1. Oh Becky,
      It means so much to hear this from you.
      What a wonderful sister you are! I am blessed.
      Thank you for holding my hand, it holds me up.
      Love you!

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  12. Leslie what a brave hard thing to share. One thing I so love about God is how he can redeem our horrible mistakes. He can take our bad choices & use them for good when we allow Him to. I will be praying for you as you share this story & praying for the people who read it. God not only gives unlimited grace but he gives redemption as well. You may never know how your story redeems someone else but I pray that you'll be blessed way beyond the pain you've endured in living & now sharing it.

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  13. Wow. I pray this touches many hearts. And I know God is using you in so many ways! My mom was also 19 when she was pregnant with me and her family, friends and even youth pastor pressured her to have an abortion. She has told me that what stopped her was a dear friend recalling their own experience- something so horrible that she stopped dead in her tracks. So I definitely believe lives will be saved by you having the wisdom to be so vulnerable in Christ! Your words are a blessing to the babies that will be saved!
    -Rachel

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  14. Your courage will be important to many. Thank you for speaking up. The world wants to spew false facts about abortion and young women everywhere are falling for it.

    Spread the truth, sister! Abortion is horrible....for everyone involved!

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  15. May God bless and keep you. And your baby girl.

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  16. I rejoice in the grace that you have received, and the courage He has given you to share this very personal, very important part of your journey. *HUGS*

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  17. Your story will be a blessing to many. We are all in need of God's grace.

    Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady

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  18. Praying for you as you continue this story. May God use your story to help others.

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  19. What a God of grace we serve! Thank you so much for sharing this. When your story is complete, I'd love to share it on my blog ...

    I pray you have wisdom sharing the story, and that others may be blessed by it.
    Love, Anne x

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  20. I don't believe I've ever commented on a blog before. But then I don't think I've ever been as moved before either. May God bless your willingness to share your story and lead others to His saving grace. Thank you for your transparency and being so very real. Praying for others to find the healing you have come to experience.

    God bless, Sheryl

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  21. I can only imagine the courage it would take to post this on your blog! Such a divisive, controversial subject would be scary for some.

    So proud of your bravery to come forward with your story.

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  22. Leslie...I read the title and just wished I could hug you, right then! Blessings to you as you share your story...

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  23. I commend you for your courage, so many of us have a similar story as well

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  24. As I was reading this post, I'm thinking how lucky I was that I didn't get pregnant when I was a teenager. I can't even begin to imagine how you made it through this. The response from the lady at the clinic is amazing and so cold. I will continue to read your blog and not hold this against you, afterall we all have a story or two. Blessings to you as you share this journey!

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  25. Sweet Leslie,

    We are overcomers by the word of our testimony and the Blood of the Lamb.

    Oh, God's amazing grace. My prayer is that those who do not know that amazing grace will come to know it through your testimony.

    In His name alone, and to Him alone: GLORY and HONOR!
    Kelley!
    *hugs*

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  26. I applaud your courage to tell your story, and pray that the Lord does mighty things with your testimony. Looking forward to reading the rest.

    ~ Ferly
    Gifts We Use {to grow, love and serve}

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  27. Bless you. I'm so sorry. To be so young, scared, and unknowing, and then guilty... I'm happy that your faith has brought you peace.

    We were lucky in my home in that my parents showed us the literature on it, though at the time I probably thought them weird. But a couple of my sisters did get pregnant before marriage and when my parents were there to help.

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  28. I'm really sorry for your experience. I've gone with a friend for hers. I tried to talk her out of it and when we went to PP, they were kind but told her she had to look at the screen and really think hard about her decision- that she could only make this particular decision once. They were kind and courteous but it was not a situation treated lightly at all. I don't know if it's the technician you saw or it was the time in society but now things are really different. They do help a lot of people. Even if it's not a choice that others agree with.

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  29. I am so glad you shared this after all, Leslie.
    For His glory.

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