The argument started in 1969 when Jane Roe (her real name is Norma Leah Nelson McCorvey), a single, unemployed, and depressed woman got pregnant for the third time. She knew she could not take care of another baby. She wanted to abort the child. Initially, she accused three black men of rape because rape could result in legal permission for an abortion. However, there wasn't any evidence for her initial rape case to be successful. In 1987, Roe admitted that the accusation of rape was not true. Shelly Lynn Thornton is the baby Jane Roe tried to abort. She was born June 2, 1970, and given up for adoption.
Roe said her involvement in the Roe vs. Wade case was “the biggest mistake of her life.” She reached out to her daughter, Shelly in 1989. They had several phone calls but never met in person. Shelly explained that she did not know she was the “Roe baby” until she was in high school and that realization caused great emotional problems.
Many stories are surfacing of women who considered having an abortion. NBA superstar, Stephan Curry was one of those children. His mother had an abortion before him and planned to abort him too. Sonja Curry said that abortion is on her mind all the time.
I can relate. In 2005, I was pregnant with my third biological child. We fully intended to have the baby; however, the 5-month ultrasound revealed anencephaly. This is a rare condition where the skull is not fully formed and the brain was missing. The baby could survive in my stomach because I acted like life support, but once our baby had to breathe on his or her own, they would die. I was advised by my high-risk ob/gyn to get a therapeutic D&E. This procedure is dilation and evacuation. The more common D&C is dilation and curettage. The D&C is done after a miscarriage. The D&E is done with a living child. It is vacuum aspiration. I was advised to go to the women’s surgical center because they do these “all the time” and the doctor had the most experience in the state. I was told I would enter through a different door so I wasn’t in the same room with the women getting an abortion. The reality was, I did have a separate waiting room, but I was getting an abortion and I would be in the same procedure room as dozens of other women. The cold, sterilized room was eerie. I was so scared. The way it was explained to me sounded different from abortion. It sounded more medically necessary. The risk was that if I carried our baby to full-term, the baby could attach to my pelvis and a bone graph could essentially take place. If this happened, I could have severe, life-threatening complications. At 29 years old, I reached out to my pastor for advice and we both agreed I should just follow the doctor’s orders. The entire time my husband and I proceeded in this direction, the narrative I was being told from all sides was that the baby would die and I needed to save my life. Years later it hit me. I had an abortion. I killed my child. If I could turn back time, I would have carried my baby full-term and let God be the deciding factor. I would have had a second opinion from a different doctor too. That was something I did not consider until after the fact. I assumed the women’s surgical center was a real doctor and would have done everything needed for the best interest of mother and child. When I asked the ultrasound technician at the surgical center for a second opinion they agreed I needed to continue with the D&E.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have never gone to the EMW Women’s Surgical Center. That was the name of it. I wish I had never gone through with that. I did not even get to see my child and I never got to see the ultrasounds at either facility. The surgical center literally vacuums the baby out of my body and it goes into a pile of other dying babies. I don’t know if I had a boy or a girl. I am so sorry that I ever made that decision. This is, by far, my biggest mistake in life and I pray I will see my child in heaven and will be able to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry doesn’t seem enough for a mother that murdered her child.
Not all parents went through with the killing of their child. Other people had a choice to terminate their pregnancy and choose life instead. According to the World Health Organization, there are about 73 million induced abortions worldwide each year.
- Andrea Bocelli, an Italian singer who was expected to be disabled and his mother was told to get an abortion. He was born in 1958. He has congenital glaucoma and was totally blind at age 12. But he is now a famous musician known for his opera and pop music.
- In 1965, Brooke Shields was almost aborted. Her father was a young aspiring Ivy League graduate and her mother was from a working-class family. The two families did not align and her paternal grandfather (with cash in hand) tried to convince her mother to terminate the pregnancy saying, “having a child out of wedlock would risk [her father] getting kicked off the social register.”
- In 1968, Celine Dion was almost aborted too. Her mother had 13 children before her pregnancy with Celine. She had put her time in for 20 years and was ready for a break. The youngest were twins and about to enter school when Celine’s mother found out she was going to have her 14th pregnancy. She was advised by her priest to not get an abortion.
- In 1946, Cher’s mother, Georgia Holt, was given two options. She had left her husband and was living with her mother when she found out she was pregnant with Cher. Her mother told her she could go back to her husband or have an abortion. Being a single mother was not an option. Georgia proceeded to the abortion clinic ready to terminate her pregnancy. She recalls that the chairs were chrome and she was sweating (I can relate – it was the same with me in 2005). Georgia; however, made the decision to leave the clinic and return to her husband.
- Jack Nicholson’s mother was a teenager when she got pregnant in 1936. She considered abortion because she was also young and was unmarried. Instead, he was raised by his grandmother but did not know that she was his grandmother until he was 38 years old. He thought he had a sister, but that was really his mother.
- Justin Bieber’s mother was also a teenager when she got pregnant. She was 17 and already had a history of sexual abuse, drugs, alcohol, depression, and a suicide attempt. She wasn’t married and was encouraged to terminate the pregnancy in 1993. But, when she was in the hospital after her suicide attempt, she accepted Jesus and she knew she could not go through with the abortion as a Christian.
- Nick Cannon is now an actor, comedian, and musician. But his life almost ended in 1980. His mother, Beth Gardner was a teenage, unwed mother. His father was 17 at the time and had only known Beth for weeks before she got pregnant. She went to the abortion clinic, but like Cher’s mother, she decided not to do it and ran out of the clinic.
- Sean Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, was almost aborted in 1975. The two love birds had just reunited after an 18-month split when they learned she was pregnant and Yoko Ono said she didn’t want to burden John. It was John Lennon that said he wanted a son and was not in favor of the abortion.
- Can you imagine a world without Steve Jobs? His mother was 23 years old when she was pregnant in 1954. She was unmarried too and it was not acceptable to have an illegitimate child at that time. Abortion was considered but it was not acceptable in the small Catholic community where Joanne Schieble lived. She traveled to San Francisco to live with a doctor who took care of unwed mothers and arranged for adoptions.
- In 1987, doctors told Pam Tebow that her son, Tim Tebow, was a tumor and she should have it removed. While in the Philippines, she contracted amoebic dysentery. She was in a coma and received strong drugs to fight the infection. The medication caused her placenta to detach from the uterus. Tim was getting very little nourishment nor oxygen in the womb. Pam was advised by doctors to terminate the pregnancy due to the lack of nutrition and the damage (severe disabilities) the medication would cause. They also said she could die if she didn’t do it. She chose to continue with the pregnancy and trust God. When he was delivered, the doctor said that Timmy “was the biggest miracle he had ever been part of.” He was born at 7 pounds and was malnourished.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have continued with my pregnancy in 2005. I don’t know if a person can ever forgive themselves for such a heinous act. I think of the pain my child went through. I went into the clinic on a Friday and they inserted kelp strips into my uterus to dry it up. The lack of amniotic fluid alone would cause my body to start having contractions over the weekend. Then on Monday, I went to the clinic to have the procedure. There were no pictures of babies in the office. It was unlike any building I had ever been in. Instead of nurses or administrators having pictures of their families, they had pictures of dogs. The basement was where it all happened. The large room was full of examination tables with stirrups like you see in a gynecologist or obstetrician’s office. Every bed had a woman there. We were all being sedated and then the doctor went down the line systematically to such the baby out of our stomach. When we returned to consciousness, we were escorted up the stairs to the waiting room where our driver could take us home. I passed out and had a seizure on my way home. It was the worst day of my life.
The good news is that God forgives us. I may never forgive myself and I don’t expect my son or daughter to forgive me, but God forgives us. I’ve murdered my child and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has made a way so I can be forgiven and go to heaven where I know my child is waiting. One day, we will all be reunited as a family and we will finally have a name for our precious child.
If you have experienced a similar story, reach out. If you are considering abortion or adoption, reach out. We need a better way to offer support to mothers and fathers who are pregnant and are unsure of what to do next. One resource that is available is Abby Johnson and her ministry Pro Love. Another option should be your local church. If you can’t find help, don’t stop trying. I would like to hear from you and learn more about your story. His Kingdom Matters.
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