One of the many programs that Alpha Center offers is AWAKE: After-Abortion Care. This class is led by women who have been through abortion themselves and have found healing. In this series, we have asked some of our participants to answer questions related to their experience, and they have bravely chosen to share their stories.
It is important to note that while not every woman who has had an abortion will struggle with their decision, many can experience post-abortion stress. If abortion is part of your story and you are hurting, or struggling with your decision, you are not alone, and healing is possible.
How old were you when you found out you were pregnant?
How did you choose to have an abortion?
"I didn't even consider or talk through what it would look like to carry, parent, or put my baby up for adoption. When I look back, abortion was the only option for me at the time based on my fear of what I thought having my baby would bring."
What was that experience like (however much or little you want to share)?
"It was the worst day. I was led to a small counseling room where a nurse asked me if I was being forced into this decision. She then gave me a medical gown and a bag and told me to go change and put my clothes and other belongings in the bag. I came out of the changing area and was led into a room where I was prepped for the abortion. They gave me full anesthesia (which I still don't understand based on what I have heard from other women who have had abortions). I was crying before I went under and woke up crying in a row of other girls who were in the recovery room with me."
How did you feel after the abortion?
"I was devastated after the abortion. The reality of what I had done hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt shame and self-loathing. I fell into a depression. I walked away from everything that brought me joy and began punishing myself because I didn't feel I deserved to be happy."
What were you struggling with the most before AWAKE?
"Over the course of 20 plus years, I continued to say that I knew God forgave me, but I would never forgive myself. Every time I would fill out a medical questionnaire that shame would cripple me all over again. I was shackled and imprisoned by the fear of what people would think about my story and it kept me isolated."
How did the AWAKE program help you?
"For the first time, I shared my whole experience with someone. It allowed me to experience God's grace in real time. Sharing the details of my experience, talking about all of my emotions, honoring my baby (not just the pregnancy), being heard and loved through the whole process without judgment was like sitting in a room with Jesus himself and allowing Him to love me through it. The healing that came over the course of the study was more than I could have ever imagined."
What would you say to other women who are considering abortion?
"Abortion is a lie. The promise that it will be a solution to your problems is a lie. You will be trading one set of "problems" for another. Abortion does not bring hope, it steals hope. Hope springs from life, and your baby is life. Your baby is a miracle."
What would you say to women who are struggling with their abortion? Or considering the AWAKE program?
"If you have never received counseling specifically for your abortion experience, do it. Even if you feel that you are "doing okay" there is something for you in this study. The AWAKE volunteers are loving, caring women who can help you lay it all down at the foot of the cross and walk away with a beautiful freedom you never knew was possible."
If you are interested in connecting with one of our AWAKE leaders or learning more about the program, reach out to us at 970.221.5121 or by using the Contact Us form online. We will get you connected to our leaders.