laytonby Lead moderator Carla

It was my pleasure to interview Pat Layton, author of Surrendering the Secret: Healing the Heartbreak of Abortion, in honor of Abortion Recovery Awareness Month.

Carla: Please share some of your personal story with me.

Pat: I had an abortion when I was 23 years old. I had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia and was rushed to the hospital and put on a respirator. Weeks later I had to go back and abort the rest of my baby. I never thought about what I was aborting. After that there was 7 years of drinking, doing drugs and other self destructive behaviors including suicide attempts. I surrendered my life to Christ and wrote the Surrendering the Secret bible study in 1986. I started a Pregnancy Resource Center and began to minister to post abortive women using Surrendering the Secret.

In 2008 Lifeway approached with their interest in publishing and since then the floodgates have opened! I have seen my work embraced by the church and positioned by God to explain abortion – to train, teach and equip churches to help the post abortive woman and man and couple!

Carla: Please tell me about the training needed for Surrendering the Secret.

Pat: There is a training program available to become certified in leading Surrendering the Secret. There are 1,045 leaders and trainers so far across the nation. On my website there is a map that shows how many leaders and trainers may be in your area in order to receive the training.

Carla: You also hold conferences for women. Please tell me about that.

Pat: I hold weekend conferences entitled Imagine Me Set Free. It is a 2 day conference that focus on “Peace with the Past” where I share my story; “Purpose in the Present” where women have quiet time to think of their own stories and what burdens are holding them back. There is ceremony to symbolize laying those burdens down. “Passion for the Future” is a happy send-off.

Carla: Please tell me more about PTSD in post abortive women and men.

Pat: We need to offer hope and help and support to women and men struggling with PTSD. Even more common than physical injuries are the psychological side effects of abortion. These commonly include grief, regret, shame, guilt, degradation, and a sense of worthlessness. Other side effects are insomnia, nightmares, exhaustion, nervousness, and severe depression. A known fact is that the suicide rate following abortion is twice that subsequent to a normal birth.

Carla: What are the main things you would like to stress to the readers of Jill Stanek’s blog?

Pat: We need to teach the importance of post-abortive women raising their voices and speaking out after receiving healing. Who will they tell their story to?

There is healing and help for all of those affected by abortion. We want that healing for ALL of them!

I also had the chance to hear the story of Pat’s miracle baby – her adopted daughter, Julianna. See video:


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