Hilary White

Estonian same-sex partnership stalled after family campaigners presented 38,000 signatures

Hilary White
Hilary White
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TALLINN, June 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The founder of Estonia’s pro-family movement said in an interview with a Polish Catholic television program that the country’s draft law on same-sex marriage will not go forward after his group presented the government with nearly 40,000 signatures defending traditional marriage. Law professor Varro Vooglaid told Polonia Christiana that presentation of the petition from the Estonian Foundation for Defense of Tradition and Family will not allow the homosexualist ideologues to frame the issue in terms of “human rights”.

Last month, the group presented a petition of 38,000 signatures to Estonia’s parliament to oppose all plans that may be put forward to re-define marriage to include same-sex partnerings. This, Vooglaid said, has shown the homosexualist lobby that there is going to be serious and organised opposition to their plans. The petition form was delivered to 580,000 households, in a country with a total population of 1.2 million. 

Vooglaid called the petition, the largest in the country’s history since emancipation from the Soviet Union, an “historic event in Estonian politics”. Homosexualists had become used to having the only voice heard in public, but now, he said, “We have really managed to change the rules of the game.” 

Vooglaid said that the government has indicated it will not at this time be moving forward with the draft law. 

The homosexualist movement, he said, must portray themselves as champions of “human rights,” since their ideology has little support among the public and they know that they will never be successful using the democratic process.

Instead, they “frame it as a human rights issue, and say that human rights need to be recognised. And it’s not up to the people to choose whether we recognise human rights or not”. 

He told Estonia’s parliamentarians, “We can’t allow them to define this as a human rights issue. Our constitution guarantees equality before the law. Absolutely every single person in the republic of Estonia has the right to marry and to found a family. Everyone without an exception. 

“However, nobody has the right to demand the redefinition of the institution of the family and the institution of marriage, so as to get social recognition of their perverted lifestyle.” 

The issue has been under scrutiny since 2011 when the Chancellor of Justice, Indrek Teder, requested that the Ministry of Justice introduce a civil partnership law. He said that examination of the constitution had found that the law could not exclude recognition of same-sex relationships. In August last year, the Reform Party and the Social democratic Party as well as the Centre Party helped to draft a bill to create same-sex civil partnerships, which was under consultation until October 2012. 

The homosexualists, said Vooglaid, have fired back with attempts to intimidate their opposition. The petitioners’ employers received “very strongly worded letters” asking for Vooglaid and fellow members of the Foundation to be sacked or otherwise disciplined. Complaints were also made to the consumer protection board and even to police, accusing the group of “hate crimes.” 

Vooglaid, however, said that such actions really only prove the point being made in their campaign. “We said that if they manage to apply their ideology to our society, teachers will lose their jobs unless they approve the homosexual agenda. And they of course say that we are lying,” he said. 

“But by their very actions, they are confirming that we are absolutely correct. And of course we know from different countries all over Europe that’s exactly what’s happening.” 

Vooglaid, a lawyer and professor of law at the country’s national university, told police that they could press charges of hate speech, but that there was no legal basis for prosecution and that the subsequent public proceedings would only reveal the real goals and methods of the homosexualist lobby. 

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“It will make it even more clear that these are not just very nice people who are looking for more tolerance, but they are really radical fundamentalists who are ready to advance their goals by taking away the most basic rights from other citizens. Freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of belief.” 

Part of the difficulty in many western countries, he said, has been the media’s siding with the homosexualist ideology. This has denied a voice to the majority of the public. While the media portrays the issue as one of human rights or equality, “for normal people, real people, life is very different. For them, their views are very different.”

“If you look at public opinion, if you look at public discussion, then the opinion of tens of thousands of people is almost never represented. It’s just a handful of people who get to express their ideas. And thereby they [the media] develop a completely twisted understanding of public opinion.” 

The petition, however, has put the lie to the media myth, showing “the people in power,” as well as the public at large that there are “actually tens of thousands of people who value family … and who think that family and marriage may not be redefined.” 

Moreover, the movement to preserve the natural family in law comes from the real grassroots, Vooglaid said. Homosexual activists are supported by very few on the ground. These groups, he said, call themselves citizens’ organisations, NGOs, “but the reality is that almost nobody supports them. No simple people support them with small donations.” 

The most influential of the groups pushing for same-sex recognition in Estonia is the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association or ILGA, which is heavily supported by both the UN and the European Union. While ILGA Europe claims to be a grassroots NGO, they receive the bulk of their funding directly from grants from the European Commission. According to information IGLA made public, in 2012 they received a grant of €1,017,055 from the EU. The rest of their €1.95 million budget came from grants from the government of the Netherlands, George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI) and the Sigrid Rausing Trust, a UK organisation with similar goals. 

Vooglaid also pointed to the direct intervention of other western countries, saying that three days after the petition was delivered to Estonia’s parliament, the embassies of the US, Canada, Britain and Austria hung the facades of their buildings in the capital Tallinn with rainbow flags as a public signal of their support for the homosexual agenda. 

He said the action demonstrates that the homosexualist movement is really a form of “ideological occupation”. 

“It’s not something that’s growing out of our own culture, out of our own people. It’s something that is being imposed on us. And we are not even left the possibility to have a say about it. We can’t choose whether to accept it or not to accept it,” he said.   

“What they’re actually interested in is not the right to marry, it’s not about equal rights, it’s not about tolerance. It’s actually about social recognition of the homosexual lifestyle. Recognition from the state that the homosexual lifestyle is just as good as living a family life, and thereby redefining the cultural understanding of morality.” 

He said that his group will continue to oppose the agenda: “We will do it very calmly. We will do it with great dignity, and with great respect for persons. But being tolerant and being respectful definitely do not mean that we need to give up our principles.” 

“Let us understand that being tolerant is not about conformity. It’s not about giving up the principles that were passed to us by our forefathers, which have been at the foundation of our culture for hundreds of years. 

“This is not tolerance. And if that’s the idea of tolerance, then we will be very happy to be intolerant.” 

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Bishop Paul Bootkoski of the Metuchen, New Jersey
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Radio campaign targets bishop in firing of Catholic teacher over pro-marriage Facebook posts

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By Ben Johnson

SOMERVILLE, NJ, March 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Bishop Paul Bootkoski is playing defense these days, as a series of radio commercials urge Catholic faithful around the country to call the bishop and ask why a Catholic schoolteacher may lose her job for rejecting arguments for gay “marriage” on her private Facebook page.

The Lepanto Institute, headed by Michael Hichborn, aired two radio ads during the Rush Limbaugh's and Sean Hannity's radio shows on WOR on two days. “It's wrong that a Catholic school teacher is fired for defending Catholic teachings on a Facebook post,” he said.

Last Friday's ad encouraged listeners to “call Bishop Bootkoski now, 732-562-1990” and “ask him whose side he's on: Catholics who defend our faith or Hollywood liberals who mock it.”

“Tell Bishop Bootkoski to put our values ahead of political correctness,” he said.

Another ad that ran yesterday accused the bishop of “trying to cover up her firing.”

Controversy and confusion has surrounded Patricia Jannuzzi who – depending on whose story you believe – is or was a 57-year-old teacher of theology at Immaculata High School in New Jersey.

On her private Facebook account, she denied that the U.S. Constitution demands that marriage be redefined. The 14 Amendment, she wrote, did not elevate homosexuality to the same level as race or disability, and “We need healthy families with a mother and a father for the sake of the children and humanity.”

Hollywood star Susan Sarandon, whose nephew was one of Jannuzzi's former students, caused the comments to go viral and inspired a backlash calling for Jannuzzi to be silenced.

“The teacher’s comments were disturbing and do not reflect the Church’s teachings of acceptance,” Bishop Bootkoski, who leads the Diocese of Metuchen, said in a statement.

The diocese and Jannuzzi's attorney, David Oakley, are telling conflicting stories about whether the teacher – who is a breast cancer survivor – has been terminated over the post.

In an open letter to the bishop, Michael Hichborn asks for His Grace to be more specific. “What was disturbing about Mrs. Jannuzzi’s comments?” he asked. “What did Mrs. Jannuzzi say that did not reflect Catholic teaching?”

“Was her comment regarding the slow extinction of western civilization disturbing?” he asked. “Considering the fact that no less than five cities (Sodom, Gomorrah, and three others) were completely incinerated for one of the four sins which cry to Heaven for vengeance, it seems that her only misstatement was the use of the word 'slow.'”

“As you can see, Your Excellency, the situation is confusing for the faithful, which is why a clear explanation from you is so needed,” he stated.

Hichborn concluded by saying that “the world is engaging in an all-out assault on the Church’s moral teachings and that our freedom to openly practice our faith is in grave danger. Please reexamine and reconsider the injustice being done to a faithful Catholic teacher in your employ.”

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Noting the respectful tone of Hichborn's letter, Frank Walker, the assistant news editor of PewSitter.com, wrote, “It's unfortunate that we are placed in a position to have to be so gentle and respectful toward such men, is it not?”

“Who has done this to us and what have we done to enable them?”

Contact: 

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect
Congregation for Bishops
Palazzo della Congregazioni, 00193 Roma, Piazza Pio XII, 10
Telephone: 06.69.88.42.17
Fax: 06.69.88.53.03

Most Reverend Paul G. Bootkoski, DD
Diocese of Metuchen
146 Metlars Lane
Piscataway, NJ 08854
(732) 562-1990 ext. 1711
[email protected]

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Pro-life leaders arrested as they protest ‘betrayal’ on 20-week abortion ban outside Speaker Boehner’s office

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By Dustin Siggins
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Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition said the House leadership's decision to delay the vote on a 20-week abortion ban 'was an absolute betrayal of America's children, and a betrayal of the pro-life movement.' Courtesy of Jill Stanek
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Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek is put in the back of a police van after her arrest for the sit-in outside House Speaker John Boehner's office on March 25, 2015. Courtesy of Jill Stanek
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Pro-life leaders give a press conference outside House Speaker John Boehner's office before they are arrested. Courtesy of Jill Stanek

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Eight pro-life activists were arrested this morning in an effort to put political pressure on House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, to pass a 20-week ban that has stalled in the House.

Operation Rescue's Troy Newman, Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, and blogger Jill Stanek, along with five other activists, were arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) at approximately 11:45 a.m. EST in a combination press conference and prayer vigil.

Spokespeople for the police told LifeSiteNews that they arrested eight protesters, who "were charged with violating D.C. Code 22-1307." 

This part of the D.C. code makes it "unlawful for a person, alone or in concert with others...to crowd, obstruct, or incommode...the use of or passage through any public building or public conveyance." The law also makes it illegal "to continue or resume the crowding, obstructing, or incommoding after being instructed by a law enforcement officer to cease the crowding, obstructing, or incommoding."

Punishment for this violation can lead to a fine of as much as $500, up to 90 days in prison, or both. The spokesperson was not able to tell LifeSiteNews what would happen to Stanek, Newman, Mahoney, and the others, noting that they were still being processed at approximately 1:00 p.m. EST today.

The activists were protesting what Newman and Mahoney called a "betrayal" by the House GOP over its unwillingness to pass H.R. 36, the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act." The bill, which was promised passage during the 2015 March for Life, was held up by concerns by several Republicans members who said the rape exception was too narrow.

The exception would have allowed late-term abortions only if the victim reported the rape to police before trying to abort her child.

"What happened on January 21 this year by the Republican leadership ... in the House was an absolute betrayal of America's children, and a betrayal of the pro-life movement," Mahoney told news outlets that attended the informal press conference in the hallway in front of Boehner's personal office in Longworth House Office Building.

According to Mahoney, the pro-life movement "walked hundreds of miles" and "donated millions of dollars to give Speaker Boehner the historic majority he has in the House today. And for all that incredible hard work, we were promised on January 22nd that a vote would be held banning abortions after 20 weeks."

"On the eve of that vote ... that vote was shelved. Hundreds of thousands of people on the streets, and suddenly the ban is pulled. There's no other way to look at that, but betrayal."

Mahoney said that Republicans would not be able to count on pro-life efforts in 2016 "if we are going to be treated in such a fashion. Stop ignoring the children and the people who helped get you elected. We are four months into the new year, and they don't even have language for this bill."

Asked by LifeSiteNews why being arrested was a more effective form of protest than praying and protesting without being arrested, Mahoney said they were speaking for the unborn. He told LifeSiteNews that he believes abortion victims would say that "no business should move forward, everything should shut down, until this legislation is passed."

Newman told LifeSiteNews, "The pro-life movement needs to instill a sense of urgency in the fact that this bill must be passed."

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"While [Republicans] are in spineless mode, in cowardly mode, children are dying," he added. He said the activists who risked arrest were intending to "stand in solidarity with these children" and "sacrifice just a little bit of freedom" to "help Speaker Boehner grow a spine."

Stanek said that while she has been in the pro-life movement for 16 years, she has “never felt convicted to be arrested. I've always felt my voice was well heard speaking and writing. But when this bill failed to be brought forward on January 22, I was just so frustrated and disgusted with our Republican House leadership that they would just abandon these babies over political maneuvering, that I decided right then and there that I was willing to be arrested."

LifeSiteNews videos of the arrests showed Stanek, Newman, Mahoney, and the other five activists engaging in respectful dialogue with police as they were brought to paddy wagons outside of the Longworth office building. When asked by LifeSiteNews if police were treating them well, two activists gave an affirmative answer, with Stanek saying "very well," and another activist said that "D.C. cops are the best."

In a statement given to LifeSiteNews earlier today about the sit-in, Boehner spokesperson Olivia Hnat said, “Congressman Boehner is 100 percent pro-life and, indeed, the most pro-life speaker in the history of the House. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act remains an important priority for the pro-life majority that he leads in the House.”

Not all pro-life activists were behind the effort, however. LifeNews blogger Andrew Bair tweeted: "I miss the days when #prolife people protested pro-abortion politicians, not our allies who are working to pass #prolife bills."

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For a fleeting moment, I wondered if this was my punishment. I had convinced her to kill her first baby. Now she had killed her second baby. ADF video screenshot
Abby Johnson Abby Johnson Follow Abby

We were looking forward to adopting her baby. Then I got the devastating phone call: ‘I had an abortion’

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By Abby Johnson

I don’t remember the exact year. I wasn’t running the clinic yet. I was still working as an “abortion counselor.” I was contacted one day by a friend of mine who had a 16-year-old daughter. He was telling me about how wild his daughter was…she was into drugs, very sexually promiscuous and had now found herself pregnant. He needed me to talk her into having an abortion. 

That was a normal scenario for me. Parents would call or come in. They would try to convince me that having an abortion was absolutely the best thing for their daughters. It didn’t take much to convince me. I was confident that no teenager needed to be a parent. I was sure that abortion was pretty much always in their best interest. 

My friend and his daughter came into the clinic and when I saw her, I was absolutely sure she needed to have an abortion. She had tattoos all over her arms and chest. I could tell she had gotten them to cover up her cutting scars. She had dyed, jet-black hair, piercings in her face, and it appeared as though she had not taken a shower in about a week. Yes, this poor girl did NOT need to have a baby. It looked like she couldn’t even take care of herself. It wasn’t tough to convince her that an abortion was really the only option that made sense. She was 16…she had no job, she had no money, she was already failing at school, she did drugs, she hung out with the wrong people, not to mention that her dad had threatened to throw her out of the house if she didn’t have the abortion. 

I could tell that she really didn’t want to go through with it. But I just tried to ignore the tears that were welling up in her eyes. She didn’t know what she wanted and she certainly didn’t know what was best for herself…that’s what I told myself. 

They came back a couple days later for the actual procedure. Labs were done, paperwork was complete, and money was collected. I remember her asking me if I could come back and hold her hand during the abortion procedure. I could tell she was pretty nervous. “It will only take about five minutes,” I reassured her. 

For a fleeting moment, I wondered if this was my punishment. I had convinced her to kill her first baby. Now she had killed her second baby...the baby who I had already grown to love in just a few short days…a baby that I was going to raise as my own.

We got her back to the procedure room and got her hooked up to our monitors. The IV sedation was administered. Because she used recreational drugs, we had to give her a few more vials of the sedation in order for it to take effect. The ultrasound showed that she was about 10 weeks pregnant. Phew. I was glad she wasn’t too far along to have the abortion at our clinic. I wanted to make sure that we took care of this for her since I knew her dad. 

The procedure was done in just a few minutes and I wheeled her back to the recovery room. I got her all set up with a warm blanket, put her feet up and let her rest. I knew the recovery room nurse would be getting her up in about 20 minutes, so I figured I would come back to check on her around then. 

About 15 minutes later, I walked into the recovery room and she was still sleeping. The room had gotten pretty full, so the nurse asked if I could get her dressed and give her the discharge instructions. I had done that hundreds of times before, so I said that I would be glad to help. I grabbed her brown paper bag and sat down on a stool beside her and woke her up. After I gave her the instructions, I checked her vitals. Everything seemed to be pretty normal and she said she felt okay to stand up. I grabbed her arm to help her stand and I heard a literal splash on the floor. I looked down and saw blood everywhere. It was running down her leg, like water out of a faucet. I looked at her face and she was white as a ghost. She looked like she was either about to faint or vomit. I started yelling for the nurse…she had stepped out for a minute to grab a taco to snack on. I sat her back down in the chair. I knew both of our procedure rooms were full. I needed to get her back into one so the doctor could see her. I grabbed a wheelchair in the hall and kept yelling for someone to help me. 

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Finally, with a mouth full of food, I saw the nurse casually walking back to the room. I guess when she saw me she realized there was an emergency, as I was outwardly panicked. I had stepped in the blood all over the floor. My bloody shoeprints were everywhere. It looked like a crime scene. I put her in the wheelchair and she fainted. 

The doctor had just completed an abortion on the patient in exam room number 2, so I knew I needed to get her in that room immediately. But there was all that blood in the recovery room. I told the nurse to stay with her. I ran back to the recovery room, grabbed two handfuls of blue absorbent pads and started spreading them all over the floor. I couldn’t clean it up at the moment, but I could at least cover it up. 

We carried her out of the wheelchair and set her up on the exam table. Blood was still pouring out of her. The doctor’s assistant put the ultrasound probe on her belly and the image of her uterus we saw on the screen was black…it was completely filled with blood. The doctor turned on the suction and started suctioning the blood. Within seconds, we watched her uterus fill back up with blood. More suctioning…more blood. Soon, the doctor had filled a whole jar of blood. I unhooked the tubing, ran into the POC lab and dumped the blood into a biohazard bag. Blood splashed all over my arms and scrubs. I ran back into the room and hooked the jar back up to the tubing. 

She had regained consciousness, but was in and out. I knew we needed to call an ambulance. I was begging to call. “NO, no ambulance,” our doctor said. They were pushing more and more vials of sedation into her IV. I knew she was WAY over the maximum dose, but they just kept giving her more and more. Her blood pressure was dangerously low. I looked at my supervisor and said, “Please let me call the ambulance.” She was quick to tell me no. “We don’t need an ambulance pulling into our parking lot with all of those protestors outside.” I remember yelling back at her, “I don’t need my friend’s kid dying on this table.” The doctor started giving injections of a blood coagulant directly into her cervix. He was packing her uterus full of gauze. 

Finally after about an hour, the bleeding stopped. The doctor had perforated her uterus during the abortion procedure. I got a wet towel and wiped her off. I wanted to get as much blood off of her as I could. I wheeled her back into the recovery room. 

I knew we needed to clean up the exam room. I knew we had more patients to see. We were now backed up and behind on our schedule because of this mishap. I turned the corner and I’m pretty sure I let out an audible gasp. The exam room looked like a war zone. There was blood soaked gauze all over the floor. Blood had splattered everywhere. The end of the table was covered in dried blood. The ultrasound machine had blood all over it. I didn’t even know where to begin. After about 30 minutes, the room was back to normal. Our receptionist came to tell me that her dad was asking about the time. He wanted to make sure everything was okay since it was taking so long. I couldn’t tell him the truth. I was counting on her not remembering because of the amount of sedation she received. I was covered in blood, so I knew I had to change before I went to talk to him. Luckily, I kept a pair of extra scrubs in my desk for situations just like this one. 

I changed my clothes and walked out to the waiting room. I reassured my friend that everything was totally fine. I told him that we were just really busy and had gotten really behind. He accepted that answer…because of course he would never suspect that his friend would lie to him. 

Another hour went by and I saw that she wasn’t in her recovery room chair anymore. I was so pleased to find out that she was getting dressed and was about to leave. “We dodged a bullet on that one,” I thought to myself. But I was still really bothered that we didn’t call the ambulance when I had KNOWN that she needed it. Oh well. She was going to be fine. And my boss was right; those protestors would have had a field day if an ambulance pulled up at our clinic. Better not give them another reason to make us look bad. I assured myself that we did the right thing. 

After she was dressed, I sat down at the table with her while she was eating crackers and drinking juice. I asked her how she felt. I remember her saying that she felt really tired…and that she was “surprised” that the sedation had actually worked on her. Thank goodness. She didn’t remember a thing. We had really gotten away with it this time. I walked her out to door, gave her to her dad and they left. I knew I would see her dad soon, but I would just act like nothing happened. We didn’t need to talk about it anyway. It was over. 

A few months later, I got a call from this young woman. She started telling me horrific details about her life…things that were honestly hard to believe at first. To make a long story short, it turned out that she had been terribly abused by her father…my “friend.” He turned out to be a person who I really didn’t know at all. 

She came to live with me and Doug for quite some time. She would come, she would get her life in order, she would move out and then she would fall back into the same dangerous lifestyle. Then she would come back. I kept telling myself that one day, she would really work everything out for good. She would get thrown in jail, and I would bail her out. I just couldn’t give up on her. I grew to love her very much; like a little sister. I felt like I needed to protect her. She had been hurt by so many people. And I think I knew in the back of my mind, that I was also guilty of hurting her. 

This relationship went on for years. Things had appeared to get a little more stable in her life and I was really proud of her. Yes, she was still a little rough around the edges, but I had complete faith that she was going to be a success story. 

In January 2012, I got a phone call from her early in the morning. Doug and I were off to the West Coast Walk for Life in San Francisco. We had just gotten into our car and were headed to the airport. I had just entered my second trimester with my son, Alex. When I answered the phone, I could tell something was wrong. 

“I’m pregnant,” she said. I wasn’t prepared for those words at 8am…not from her. I looked at Doug and told him what she said. I wanted to be careful with my reaction, so I just asked her, “How are you feeling?” She told me that she was really scared, but that she wanted to have the baby. She said she didn’t know how she was going to raise a baby, but that she didn’t want to have an abortion. I felt a huge sense of relief. I asked her if she knew how far along she was and it turned out that she was two weeks ahead of me. We started talking about options. We ended up deciding that maybe open adoption would be the best option. But she wanted me and Doug to adopt her baby. I thought that was a great idea. I told her that we would start gathering information about private adoption. I still remember the last thing I told her on that call, “I will be back in two days. Try not to worry. We will discuss all of this as a family when we get back. I love you so much.” 

We got off the phone and I think Doug and I sat in silence for about two minutes. We would have two babies…maybe two weeks apart. The reality was sinking in for both of us. Finally, Doug said, “This will be great! It will be like having twins!” I couldn’t help but laugh at his optimism. But yes, it would be great. A baby is always great. 

When we got to San Francisco, we started talking to some adoption attorneys that we knew. It seemed like the whole process would be a piece of cake. I think Doug and I were actually getting really excited about the idea. Things seemed to be falling into place in just a few short days. I knew I still wanted her to talk to an adoption counselor. I wanted to make sure that she was comfortable with this decision, so I started lining up that meeting. 

About 48 hours later, we were on our way back to Texas. I called her to let her know. No answer. No big deal. I figured she may be at work. I left a message and told her I would call her as soon as we landed. And I did. Again, no answer. I left another message. I felt sick. I tried to shoo off my fears. 

I could hardly sleep that night. I woke up and called again. No answer. I left another messge. I knew. I knew in my heart what had happened. She had an abortion. I didn’t want to know it. I didn’t want to even consider it. But I just knew. Another call. Another message. And again. And again. 

Three days had gone by. She finally called. She was crying. “You are going to hate me,” were the first words out of her mouth. I remember fighting back tears as I said, “I will never hate you.” 

“I had an abortion.” I felt like my heart stopped for just a second. I couldn’t get any words to come out. She said she was going to come over. 

A few minutes later, I heard her come in the front door. I wanted to hug her…but I wanted to slap her. I wanted to tell her it was going to be okay…but I wanted to scream at her. How could she do this? She knows what I do. She knows that we are pro-life now. She knew that we were going to do everything we could for her and her baby. I hated her selfishness. I knew what this was about. She didn’t want the lifestyle change. She just couldn’t stand the thought of going without drinking and partying for nine months. It felt like she had taken something that was mine. 

I quickly reigned in my judgmental thoughts as soon as I felt her fall into my arms. She was sobbing. I realized at that moment that the “why” didn’t matter. I had to focus on her in this moment. I had to meet her in her brokenness. 

We sat down on the couch and she just laid her head on my lap. I just kept running my fingers through her hair. I didn’t need to say anything. It felt like we sat there in silence forever. Her baby was gone. She couldn’t go back now. 

She ended up telling me about how her boyfriend really wanted her to have the abortion. I thought back in my own life and knew that feeling all too well. I also had a boyfriend who pushed me to have an abortion many years before. I always said that I looked at her like my little sister. But instead of learning from my poor decisions like I had hoped she would, she had followed in my misguided footsteps…unstable relationships, controlling boyfriends and now two abortions. 

I couldn’t help but wonder about the “what ifs.” The biggest “what if” that plagued my mind was this: what if I had told her the truth about her first abortion? What if I hadn’t kept that a secret from her? What if she knew the harrowing details that I had failed to disclose to her? 

For a fleeting moment, I wondered if this was my punishment. I had convinced her to kill her first baby. Now she had killed her second baby...the baby who I had already grown to love in just a few short days…a baby that I was going to raise as my own. Maybe God was getting me back. But I knew God didn’t work that way. I pushed that thought to the side. 

There were two things behind her decision to abort: free will and secrecy. Her free will…my secrecy. She deserved to know what happened during her first abortion. She deserved to know how we had damaged her body. But I was too cowardly to tell her. 

I have since told her everything that I just wrote above, but sadly, it was too late. Now, she and I are sharing this story together in hopes that it will shatter any secrecy that you hold on to. Scripture is clear about secrecy. When we hold onto secrecy in our lives, Satan has power of it. 

Maybe you have an abortion in your past. Maybe you talked a friend into getting an abortion. Maybe you drove a family member to an abortion clinic. And now, maybe that secrecy is between you. Secrecy changed the path of my friend’s life. You have heard the childhood saying that “secrets hurt.” Yes, secrets can hurt, and they can also be deadly. If I hadn’t held on to my secret, maybe her child would be alive today. Maybe we would have another child in our family. Maybe my children would have another sibling. I will never know. 

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