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Reflections : Choosing Abortion
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Choosing Abortion

By Rusty Wright, Founder of Rusty Wright Communications
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When I met her at a media convention, she seemed so vibrant and alive, full of zest and eager to interact, an attractive woman with a bright smile and sparkling eyes. I would not have guessed the emotional anguish and physical torment that lay in her past. Gut wrenching stuff.

As Luana Stoltenberg told me her story, I learned she's been haunted by some choices she made earlier in life. Like many women, she had found herself with an unwanted pregnancy and confronting difficult decisions.

It's a dilemma millions of women around the globe face each year. If you're in this situation, how will you support a baby? Will the father be responsible and help? What will your parents say? How might a child affect your career? Your social life? Your marriage plans? Ending the pregnancy might eliminate these complexities, or make them more manageable.

Three Choices

Luana faced that decision three times, the first at age seventeen. Each time she made the same choice, to terminate her pregnancy. She says she remembers the experiences vividly.

"I lay on the cold table with no anesthetic for the pain," she recalls, "staring at the ceiling, wishing I were someplace else. It seemed to last forever, and the pain was unbearable. No amount of anesthetic could dull the pain in my heart and mind."

"The types of abortions I had were the vacuum aspirator method. I could hear-by the increased labor of the suction machine-when a part or limb of my baby was being extracted. Each time I tried to look at the jar with my baby's remains they would push me back down. To this day I still hear that haunting suction sound."

"When it was finished I was sent to a waiting room with the other girls. I was given a cup of juice and told I could leave in 20 minutes if I felt alright. I told them I felt fine, when in fact I had never felt worse. I just wanted out of there. On the drive home I was in extreme pain and bleeding profusely. I called them for help, but was told it wasn't their problem, to call my doctor."

"My life was a mess"

Luana says that later, the reality that she would never see or hold those three children weighed heavily. Anger and depression set in. Alcohol abuse and drugs led to three suicide attempts. "My life was a mess," she admits, "and it was because of the choices I had made."

After some years, she made a different choice that turned her life around: She discovered a forgiving God and placed her faith in Him. She married and sought to start a family, but learned the abortions had rendered her infertile. "The suction from the vacuum aspirator destroyed my tubes and ovaries." She says the suction damage led her to have a hysterectomy.

Her belief system and its certainty of forgiveness have helped her through her nightmare. She points to a statement by an early follower of Jesus that encapsulates her life: "Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"

Today Luana has dedicated herself to helping people understand the implications of decisions like those she faced. She has a passion for offering hope to those for whom life seems hopeless.

Abortion, of course, is extremely controversial. Amid the heated political, legal, medical, social, and philosophical debates, real human experience can lend valuable perspective. How do you react to her story?

Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively.

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I'm glad Luana is willing to share her story and offer hope to others. Many people who are cool with abortion never hear how grotesque the procedures actually are. I think in many cases, during pre-procedure counseling, medical and social workers fail to explain the risks of physical pain and injury as well as the possible long-term psychological effects of abortion. Therefore, many women go through this ordeal without the ability to give true informed consent. Many others who are against abortion disapprove of it being mentioned for fear of re-opening trauma for those who have endured the procedure. However, those who have experienced an abortion may not experience healing relief if the topic is avoided. Thanks for presenting compelling information in a hope-filled manner and thank God for desiring to heal all!
12/4/2008 1:29:15 PM - Ryan, Member of Delve into Jesus since 12/30/2007

Hi...real touchy subject for me...I had a child at age 16....a couple of years later I got pregnant again by an older man...His choice was for me to have an abortion...He said I wasn't capable of bein the mother of his child...and that if I have the child he would take it...he was powerful...and had money....young and dumb I did just as he asked of me. The decision haunted me. I later got pregnant again...I kept that one two. My first born is now 18 and in the Airforce the way SHE is beautiful...and the last one....13 handsome son...Even after having them in my life it didn't take the pain out of my heart of the one I aborted. It wasn't until I received Christ into my life that I learned how to deal with the pain I was feeling. I haven't spoken of it in years...Thanks to you I thought of it again..but in a good way. I am older now...forgiven...and you reminded me of how far God has brought me.
12/28/2008 12:01:41 AM - mexbias08, Member of Delve into Jesus since 12/25/2008

My wife and I discovered she was pregnant in early 2008. Shortly thereafter we went to the doctor for a couldn't be read because of a problem we later found out to be fatal for our baby. Every doctor and specialist told us that we should abort. And we seriously considered it. But something inside of us told us that we should not go through with abortion, and shortly thereafter found a doctor who happened to be a Christ-follower. He completely supported us in our decision to carry full-term.

Samuel lived only a short time...but I would never trade that moment for anything in this world. I can only remember little snapshots now of holding him, kissing his forehead, crying, and whispering to him "I love you." It was this moment that hit home exactly why things like abortion are biblically displeasing to the Lord. Until you hold a little life in your arms and know that there's nothing you can do to make him better, and that you have to leave him in God's arms, one can only imagine what a difference the right choice makes. We still feel so much pain, but we had some time with him and we know we'll see him again someday.
1/12/2009 7:39:59 AM - anonymous

Gosh I never thought I would write down my situation for all the world to read. I'm in a place in my life now where God is working on my heart for some great things one being a mentor or speaker to young woman. My life changed forever when I was 19 and a man took advantage of me when I was drunk. 9 months later I had a little boy which at first I resisted but later came to cherish. Being a single mom with no help from the father (I didn't know who the guy was) was very hard. When my son was 3 I got pregnant again and I really liked the father, I too listen to him and had an abortation...although I wasn't a follower of Christ then I did pray before the procedure and ask God to forgive me but I couldn't take care of two babies. I truly feel he heard my prayer that day and took away the pain. Then I feel into the wrong path and ended up pregnant twice more and didn't want the responsibility so I ended both of their little lives. A few years later I found a wonderful man and once again ended up pregnant, this time I was going to keep the baby but sadly the baby died before I even hit 3 months and the doctors had to take it. I have never forgiven myself for being so selfish and only thinking of what another child would do to me that when I did want one it was taken away from me. I want young woman to know that you can make it work, God always took care of me even when I wasn't following him. My only son just graduated high school last spring and I'm so thankful that I have him in my life! God loves us no matter what is going on in our lives...just call upon him and he will answer!
1/26/2009 1:44:38 PM - anonymous

Amen....It really took me sometime to get over this. I tried ignoring it...acting as if it never happened...but everytime my kids called me mom I thought of it. I myself NEVER thought that there would ever come a day that I would freely and openly speak on it. I thank God for being a forgiving Father and EXCELLENT Teacher...I know what NOT to do ever again.
3/11/2009 8:25:32 AM - mexbias08, Member of Delve into Jesus since 12/25/2008

To all the women who have shared their abortion stories: may the Lord richly bless you and thank you for sharing, so perhaps others don't make the decision to abort. In 1979, I was counseled to have an abortion for medical reasons, and because I was alone, but I went ahead and had the baby. It was a time when abortion was new and the "vogue", and I felt much pressure from the doc because I was quite young (20 yrs old) Everything was fine with my daughter - she's a lovely mother of four children today. I went ahead and had seven more children and I am so grateful I took a stand against abortion. **I've had much sin in my life... no better than anyone who has aborted a baby.*** I'm just sharing this to encourage anyone who may feel pressured to abort - choose life and you will be blessed.
5/15/2009 9:35:21 PM - anonymous

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