It has been awhile since I posted a conversion story. This comes from JM, who gave me permission to post. It contains thoughts for pro-lifers, including me, to take to heart. And this story is a real tribute to Bethany and MK, Bethany in particular. Any disparaging comments will be deleted:
When I was in high school I was very much pro-LIFE.
When I came to college is when I began to be pro-choice. It was the point that I really started to have an opinion about the matter. I had the view that I would never have an abortion myself, but couldn't make the choice for anyone else. I knew I could never have one, because I knew if I ever did I would regret it later and feel guilty. I am a very emotional person and I knew myself enough that I couldn't have one.
Abortion didn't make me happy, I didn't want people to have abortions, but I felt like it wasn't my choice to make. I started going to your site because I heard about it on a pro-choice facebook group. I came because I enjoyed debating. I enjoyed sharing my opinion and hearing others' opinions. When I began to feel judged for my beliefs I left and haven't really been back....
Although while I was still going to your site I told my friend Brad, a huge feminist, about the blog. He often loved debating, too, and I thought the blog might interest him. As I began to tell him about the blog he said something like this (keep in mind he is a huge feminist and major with women's rights. He studied philosophy and womens studies in college), "Abortion is a tough one for me. I haven't quite figured out how I feel about it. If I think about it as a moral issue then I think its wrong, but if I take the women's rights stand point then i'm not sure."
It was an interesting point and seemed to be identical to how I felt about it as well. At least when I look back on it that's what it seemed anyway. Which is part of the reason I quit going to your site. I didn't like abortion, I didn't want people to have them, but didn't want to make that choice for anyone, yet I was called a "pro abort," and "murderer." It made me angry and I felt hurt. So I quit going.
I met Bethany there. She seemed like such a sweetheart, and I guess I started going to her blog instead. I think i've been going to her blog for close to two years now. I honestly think I had this view about abortion like, "out of sight out of mind." If i didn't have to really think about what was happening with this "choice" people made then I was okay with it.
I went to Bethany's blog because I felt she did not judge me. That she saw me as a person and even though my thoughts were different from hers she was still kind and friendly to me, and I now consider her a dear friend that I would love to meet someday. Words can not describe her kindness or her personality. I LOVE her!
In 2007, I moved to... so I could use my degree and begin a teaching career. I have a brother who lives there and getting a teaching job is easy because they are really in need. Getting a teaching job in the midwest is well... HARD.
I met a teacher there who said he thought a lot of kids in school that can understand abortion disagree with it. He thought it would be outlawed someday. I disagreed right away. I still had this, "not right for me" view. He ended up comparing abortion to slavery. It at first made me angry, how are they even remotely the same?!?! Then I thought about it, and while the two are very different there is similarity. Slavery happened, and while it was happening there were people who didn't see anything wrong with it, and there were people who disagreed with it. African Americans were seen as useless and not human. When look back on it now, we can't believe that anything like that could have ever happen, and yet it did. I think that's how unborn children are viewed right now.
I returned home the following November, because it was horrible experience. The students were disrespectful and rude, and it was effecting me emotionally and physically. I would have regular panic attacks and lost about 20 pounds in about two months. I would actually email Bethany and MK (who I haven't spoken with in months. She was also kind and friendly. She knew my views and did not make me feel like a bad person.) I emailed them several times throughout my experince, and I really think they both helped me get through it.
Anyway I resigned and came home, and I think this is when I started to feel differently about abortion. I was like Brad, not really sure how I felt about abortion, and I continued to feel this way until recently.
I was an "in betweener."
About a month ago I went out with a friend from high school. We used to be best friends and still kind of are. We aren't as close as we used to be, but we're still good friends. She started telling me that she had gone to the drug store to get the Plan B drug. She stated she had been having sex with her boyfriend when the condom broke. They stopped shortly after this but she was worried, hence why she got the drug.
I asked her how much it cost. She said about 50 bucks. I commented on how that was a lot of money. Her exact words were as follows, "Yeah it is a lot but I figure 50 bucks now is better than 300 bucks later for an abortion." It just rolled of her tongue like it was nothing.
I suddenly felt sad, angry and upset. My friend used to tell me about how she would have sex unprotected with previous boyfriends and how she was surprised she didn't get pregnant. I knew why now she didn't care about using condoms and getting pregnant, because she could "take care of the problem later" if she needed to.
I just couldn't believe it. I was "out of sight out of mind," remember. I couldn't believe it. What if she marries this current boyfriend? What would she tell her children, "You could have had an older brother or sister but mommy decided to kill it instead"? I just couldn't believe I had a friend who would have an abortion... wow! This was the moment that I realized I was pro-life.
I emailed Bethany right away to tell her my story. I am sure you know how she reacted. At that time, which was probably two weeks ago, I told her I didn't know how I felt about birth control (hormonal). She told me to pray... or in my terms I like to say reflect about it. I asked her to tell me about her experience with it because I knew she had used it a long time ago and regretted it. She told me that she didn't like the side effects it caused her. She stated it was lately that she found out about the other stuff (fertilized egg not attaching to the uterus).
Recently I have decided to see if I was experiencing side effects with mine. Guess what... I was.... So this past Sunday I decided I was not going to use the nuvaring any longer. (I of course sent an email to Bethany within 24 hours to tell her... hehehe... again I am sure you can imagine how happy she was.) And my boyfriend is supportive of this decision. We will still use other forms of contraceptives though, and I am hoping that if I do decide to come back to your site I will not be judged because of that.
Funny thing about "the pill." I was sitting with my aunt last evening and my mother. We began to talk about hormonal birth control and my decision to stop using it. I am close with my mother and my family in general. For the sake of this conversation I am going to refer to hormonal birth control as birth control.
My aunt had said she could not believe people used IUD's because they abort babies. I said, "You do know that when you use birth control an egg can still be fertilzed, the drug just prevents the egg from attaching itself to the uterus." (My aunt is in her 40's, my mother is 56.) They disagreed with me and said it stopped you from ovulating. I said, "I don't think so." The next morning I googled it and read the right facts to them. Turns out they were partly right and I was as well. I guess it confuses the egg and the sperm but also won't attach if the egg does become fertilized.
I think aboriton will one day be illegal. I just don't know when.
I may return to your site. Perhaps I will start out as an observer and eventually comment again. But I wanted to tell you my story because I thought you might enjoy it, and I hope you did.
Well JM, from one math teacher to another, congrats. I enjoyed reading about your journey. God love you.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 20, 2009 1:51 PM
Very nice thread, Jill, and good job to JM for telling her story.
(And of course I totally agree about Bethany and MK.)
DougPosted by: Doug at February 20, 2009 1:54 PM
I love you. Thank you for your courage in telling your story and I am praying that it resonates with others who may be wondering just where they stand on abortion. You are very special.
JM, I'm so glad to hear your story!Posted by: Lauren at February 20, 2009 2:19 PM
Nice story. Congrats!...
Posted by: Jasper
at February 20, 2009 2:41 PM
JM, thanks for sharing your story here. God bless you :-)Posted by: Fed Up at February 20, 2009 3:01 PM
God bless you, JM. I'm so thankful for you, and I'm so glad you shared your story here.
I hope that many hearts will be touched by reading what you wrote.
In this story, her friend who made her realize she was pro-life was just really irresponsible. She takes abortion for granted completely. And I'm sure there are, sadly, many others who feel that way too. But there are the women who are fastidious with their birth control but something goes wrong, or those who are victims of rape, and because of that I am still pro-choice. Actually, I've always been pro-choice because if you make abortion illegal, women will still seek it out anyway, and in more dangerous ways. You can throw statistics at me that say back alley abortions were never that high-frequency even before Roe v. Wade and women wont resort to them if it's overturned, but if even one woman wants to terminate her pregnancy so badly to seek out an unsafe abortion, we have failed her. I'd love to think that if abortion was made illegal every woman with an unplanned pregnancy would jump up and embrace motherhood or adoption, but that's just unreasonable. Women will always want to have abortions no matter how much others abhor it.Posted by: AM at February 20, 2009 3:16 PM
AM, why not provide alternative solutions for women instead? If a woman is that desperate to abort, it is usually due to a serious problem and that problem is what needs to be taken care of- and that problem is not the baby.
You help a woman when you offer to help her with food, support, shelter, clothing, etc.
You don't help a woman by offering her death for her child.
Abortion doesn't solve the problem for the woman- it only introduces her to a whole new set of problems to add to what she already has to deal with.
And also, most women who abort do it because they are pressured to, not because they want to. http://www.unchoice.infoPosted by: Bethany at February 20, 2009 3:30 PM
if even one woman wants to terminate her pregnancy so badly to seek out an unsafe abortion, we have failed her.
Did you know that more than 1 woman seeks out unsafe abortion every day right now?
Please take a moment to read the book "Lime 5" by Mark Crutcher. You can get it at amazon.com for 1 penny.
JM, thanks for sharing your story.
Bethany and MK, you both totally rock. :)Posted by: Kel at February 20, 2009 3:44 PM
JM, I'm sorry that you felt judged (probably because some of us did judge you). You certainly picked out two wonderful, patient people to befriend in MK and Bethany. I hope you will visit this site from time to time, not to read or post on every thread, but maybe those that are of particular interest to you. From your narrative, I can see that you have a lot that is of value to share.
Finally, Godspeed with your transition off of hormonal bc. I hope all physical side effects from the pill are temporary and will cease soon.Posted by: Michael at February 20, 2009 3:52 PM
I have to leave work now but will reply later. I haven't retreated to my corner, I swear :)Posted by: AM at February 20, 2009 3:56 PM
I have never forgotten you. I have continued to pray for you at Mass each Sunday and before the blessed sacrament. Just this Sunday, I pulled out my now well worn slip of purple paper and read your name. For some reason this week, your name is the one that jumped out at me.
I haven't been to this site for quite some time, which means I haven't been brought to tears in a while. But I'm crying now. Happy tears.
Thank you Jill for giving me a heads up. Thanks to all for your kind words.
Thanks to you JM, for keeping an open heart, for being willing to hear the truth, and for having the courage to share your story.
I am SO proud of you. So proud. God Bless you.
Thank you God.Posted by: Anonymous at February 20, 2009 5:46 PM
And of course, that last post was mine...it stinks not being able to go into the bones and fix a comment... ;)Posted by: mk at February 20, 2009 5:47 PM
Bethany asked, "Did you know that more than 1 woman seeks out unsafe abortion every day right now?"
To me, I see that as women who are already being hurt by attacks on abortion rights, like how in South Dakota only one clinic serves an entire state. Further restrict access to abortion and the numbers of women seeking potentially unsafe abortion should skyrocket, it seems.
I'm on your side with the idea that food, funds, shelter and support should be offered to women dealing with an unwanted pregnancy to encourage them to keep their baby. That's a wonderful solution to women who want to have the baby but think they can't afford to or wont be able to for another reason along those lines (family will turn them away, etc.). But for those who are simply convinced that they don't want to be pregnant and have a baby, that helps none. I've met many women who you could throw a million dollars at them and they wouldn't want to be pregnant at that time in their lives.Posted by: AM at February 20, 2009 6:21 PM
AM, I'm sorry but I have no sympathy for a woman who simply "doesn't want to be pregnant."
It's not like society says that they have to raise the child, or even pay for their medical care during pregnancy.
All that is being asked is that they do not actively take any action to kill the child.
I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I'm just so tired of all of this.Posted by: Lauren at February 20, 2009 6:28 PM
"yet I was called a "pro abort," and "murderer." "
JM, I have to ask, who called you a murderer?Posted by: Jasper at February 20, 2009 6:34 PM
You don't have to be sympathetic towards the woman who aborts because she doesn't want to be pregnant and give birth. Legally, it's her choice. All you have to do is ignore her.
Lauren, the essential element is that we disagree about when life begins and the definition of murder. I don't think first trimester abortions are murder. I never wiill.
You may be tired of it, but there will always be women who abort for selfish reasons.Posted by: AM at February 20, 2009 6:35 PM
even though the heart begins to beat early on in the 1st trimester, AM? And brain waves are detectable very early on? And the child is formed very early, resembling a tiny human by 11-12 weeks?
This is scientific knowledge, not religious.Posted by: LizFromNebraska at February 20, 2009 7:41 PM
JM, thank you for sharing your story. God bless you.
And you are right -- Bethany is a real sweetheart!Posted by: Eileen #2 at February 20, 2009 8:20 PM
There is one clinic serving the entire state of ND and one in SD. It may seem to you that might be a lack of access to "reproductive health"(abortion)but that is your opinion. PP has bigger fish to fry.Posted by: Carla at February 20, 2009 8:28 PM
JM, thank you for sharing your story. It takes a lot of courage for one to admit that they changed their mind and explain why.
I like Bethany's blog, too, BTW!
May you be filled with God's mercy.Posted by: Milehimama at February 20, 2009 9:01 PM
There is no question to when a new, unique human life begins. Science has answered this question at amphimixis.
I realize that there will always be women who abort, just like there will always be people who kill and steal. That doesn't mean society should allow abortion as a government sanctioned choice. We should treat it with the disdain we treat other crimes against humanity.Posted by: Lauren at February 20, 2009 10:00 PM
We miss you... :(Posted by: Leah at February 20, 2009 10:20 PM
God bless you JM! I'll keep you in my prayers...please do the same for me!Posted by: Germaine at February 20, 2009 11:16 PM
So how would one make things "safer" if clinics aren't available in an area because there is less demand?
Should taxpayer-funded abortion facilities be required within 100 miles of anywhere there might be a woman of reproductive age?
Should they remove restrictions that attempt to regulate abortion facilities so that they have to be, say, clean, able to care for their "patients," etc.? Or should anyone be able to perform abortions, regardless of ability or training? Or should those with the ability and training be forced to perform an act they believe is murder?
I am guessing that the commenter who felt one abortion facility in a midwestern state lives in a city and doesn't know much about the midwest. There's probably not enough people out there to support more facilities (because there are less people and less want to kill their children), less doctors to staff them, and less doctors who want to staff them.Posted by: YCW at February 21, 2009 7:11 AM
I spent four years at a midwestern college so I think I know a little about it. Although it's nice to imagine living in a NYC penthouse apartment and being totally oblivious to the rest of the world. What a relief that would be. And the Dakotas aren't in the midwest- aren't they Northern Plains states?
With the statistics that 1 in 3 women will have an abortion by the time she is 45, I find it hard to believe that there "aren't enough people out there to support more facilities"- there are just women who have to cross state lines to do so.
I don't believe life begins at conception and science doesn't have a consensus on that either. Different scientists believe many different things- some that life begins at conception, others at implantation, other when the zygote becomes a fetus.Posted by: AM at February 21, 2009 4:45 PM
I don't believe life begins at conception and science doesn't have a consensus on that either. Different scientists believe many different things- some that life begins at conception, others at implantation, other when the zygote becomes a fetus.
AM, do you know what the characteristics of a biologically living organism are?
It makes no sense to dispute that the embryo is a living human organism from the moment of fertilization when that is scientifically proven to be the case. It has the characteristics of a biologically living human organism from fertilization.
It is already growing and developing as it moves down the fallopian tubes to get to the womb to be implanted.
If by "life" you mean "personhood", then that is philosophical, and is what it sounds like you really are getting at..Posted by: Bethany at February 21, 2009 5:31 PM
I don't think first trimester abortions are murder. I never wiill.
What about 2nd or 3rd trimester abortions? What is your view on those. Should they be made illegal or at least restricted in your opinion?Posted by: Bethany at February 21, 2009 5:32 PM
Milehimama, hi! It's been a while since I've seen you! :)
Eileen, you're a sweetheart too!Posted by: Bethany at February 21, 2009 8:17 PM
Embryologists would disagree with you, AM.Posted by: LizFromNebraska at February 21, 2009 10:44 PM
even though the heart begins to beat early on in the 1st trimester, AM? And brain waves are detectable very early on? And the child is formed very early, resembling a tiny human by 11-12 weeks?
This is scientific knowledge, not religious.
Of course, none of that is true at the point when someone takes Plan B, yet most of the supporters of this site would label Plan B murder as well.Posted by: Prochoicer at February 22, 2009 7:28 AM
Not necessarily "murder"...that implies intent. The fact is that Plan B has the capability of killing human beings...that is one of it's intended functions- to prevent implantation of the already conceived embryo.Posted by: Bethany at February 22, 2009 8:54 AM
what Bethany saidPosted by: LizFromNebraska at February 23, 2009 9:33 AM