Two Tales of Abortion

Two women who had abortions. Two recent public discussions of these abortions. Two quite different takes on them. The same life-ending procedure, but two very different responses to what has been done. It is incredible really, the diversity of reactions presented here.

The first case involves a long-standing feminist who just recently described her abortion of long ago. Most noteworthy – and shocking – about her story is how she cavalierly refers to the killed unborn baby as a “tumor” which went away. This is how her story is reported by one news outlet:

“The well-known pro-abortion feminist and psychologist Florence Thomas has published an account of her illegal abortion at the age of 22, obtained in the mid-1960s in France, in which she refers to her unborn child as a ‘tumor.’ In the account, Thomas says that she knew that there were ‘risks’ associated with her out-of-wedlock relationship with her boyfriend.”

Says Thomas, “I remember the nights of warmth and love. Love every night, love at midday, and the euphoria of having the world in our hands. And yes, we took risks. The love merited it. Love always merits it.” A strange sort of love indeed, that says killing one’s own child is somehow worth it.

The article continues, “However, when the ‘risk’ turned into the reality of an unborn child in Thomas’ womb, she and her boyfriend quickly agreed to end its life at the hands of a renegade doctor, ‘expelled and condemned by the Association of Gynecologists,’ who performed abortions secretly at his house on the outskirts of Paris. After the doctor had dismembered her unborn child, Thomas says she felt ‘a relief. An immense relief. This tumor went away, disappeared. I could go back to living.’

“Thomas, who moved to Colombia to follow her then-boyfriend, is now a psychologist at the National University of Colombia and the founder of the Woman and Society Group (Grupo Mujer y Sociedad).  She is famous for her claim that women should be permitted to terminate the lives of their unborn children whenever the child isn’t ‘desired’ by the mother, because the love of the mother is what ‘humanizes’ the fetus.”

It is interesting to note however the end of this story: “Although Thomas claims she has never felt any guilt following the deadly procedure, she admits that afterward she ‘knew that I would not ever again have an abortion in my life. I went through that once in my life, and I would not do it twice.  Today I continue to wonder how a woman can have an abortion two or three times and even more’.”

Curious that. If this is a mere tumor, then why the reluctance to again expel another tumor? It seems like it is not a whole lot more than having one’s fingernails clipped. A bit more invasive, admittedly, but one is simply removing an unwanted – and in this case, supposedly malignant – body part.

Contrast this story with that of another woman who has also just gone public about her past abortions. This woman had two abortions, and now writes, “I had an abortion and I hate myself”. This is how her story is reported:

“Kelly Clinger, a performer and former backup singer for the pop star Britney Spears, had two abortions when she was in her early twenties. She tells her abortion stories in [an] article written this week. [It] tells of her continuing struggles to come to terms with the aftermath of those abortions.”

This is how Clinger tells her tale: “This week has been a complete hell. Someone asked if I had heard about the doctor in Orlando who has been in a lot of trouble, and when I searched for news about it, I realized it was James Pendergraft, the doctor who did my abortions. He has now had his medical license suspended for the fourth time, this time for performing late term abortions past the time when they are legal.

“When I saw a picture of the clinic, I crumbled. When I saw a picture of the doctor, I began weeping and I couldn’t stop. Every sight, every sound, every feeling came back. I can still remember the poster on the ceiling. It was the last thing I saw before I fell asleep from the anesthesia, and the first thing I saw when I woke up. The article was full of stories about women like me … ones who have suffered for months, even years, because of incomplete abortions.”

She finishes with these words: “It’s an uncomfortable subject … because if I call it a baby, if I admit that it was a boy or a girl who had 10 fingers and 10 toes and a life that was already mapped out by God, then I am calling myself a killer. If I talk about it, blog about it, pray about it, then that makes it real.

“But just when I think I’ve pushed the memories far enough behind that they won’t catch up with me, there they are again. The self-hatred is paralyzing. It lurks closely and tells me that I don’t deserve happiness. The guilt is suffocating. It has affected every relationship I have. I can’t trust or attempt intimacy. I would take a bullet for my out-of-the-womb children. Why didn’t I protect the ones inside?

“I have given up hope that the past could have been different. I cannot change what I did. Every bible study, counseling session, and prayer seems to just be a band-aid over a wound that will never heal. So, I will be a voice for my children who only know heaven. I will be a voice for the millions of women who live in regret, guilt, self-hatred and fear of being ‘found out’. I will be painfully honest about every feeling I have, and I will stand up for life even when it’s unpopular and politically incorrect. So, please spare me your pro-life/pro-choice arguments. I know what I saw. I know how I feel. I will never be the same. I will never get over it. And if I don’t take this pain and make it my purpose, I think it might kill me.”

That very powerful and moving testimony is radically different from that of the first woman. Indeed, the first woman, in her more honest moments, probably feels exactly the same. The reality of post-abortion grief cannot be denied or explained away.

It sounds like this second woman may now be a Christian. Yet she still struggles greatly with what she has done. The good news is however that there is indeed forgiveness and healing, for each and every sin, if we allow God to deal with our guilt and pain.

Sure, the wounds may never entirely disappear, but the wonder of the gospel is that God can reach down and transform any one of us – no matter how sinful and hardened – into whole people with healed bodies, minds and emotions.

Indeed, I know many women who also have had abortions, but by God’s grace have received his forgiveness and have learned to forgive themselves. So we need to pray for both these women – and the many millions of other women just like them.

We need to pray that they will realise that every abortion stops a beating heart, and that every abortion – like every other sin – can be forgiven if we come to the cross, and leave our burdens there.

[1240 words]

15 Replies to “Two Tales of Abortion”

  1. Hi Bill,

    Yes, I hope this woman can come to know the complete forgiveness before God which is only available through the blood of Jesus for even the most heinous crimes.

    One reason for the continuing feeling of unresolved guilt amongst these poor women, however, is because our government fails to recognise a crime has been committed. Whether the woman’s crime is murder or manslaughter will depend on the extent to which she was coerced or misinformed to carry out the killing. But everyone knows that justice has not been done when a child is killed but no-one is punished, and everyone is worse for it, including the killer.

    Mansel Rogerson

  2. Bill,

    Great juxtaposition of those 2 women.

    Concern for the 2nd woman though when she describes “every bible study, counseling session, and prayer seems to just be a band-aid”. She seems to have a Christian experience that denies the totality of God’s forgiveness, so I just hope and pray that the “band-aid” will become a true healing in her life.

    At our pro-life meetings, I try to explain the embryological science behind pro-life attitudes and I think that is necessary. Nevertheless the raw emotion of a post-abortive woman who has found God’s healing are always much better received that my structured science and that is GREAT!

    Graeme Cumming

  3. I am pro-women. I think we should be reaching out to woman who have had abortions with the message of hope and healing through Jesus. I also believe we should never apologise for standing against abortion because we might be hurting women who have had abortions. I feel this way for two reasons. First, I think the best way to prevent the harm that comes to women from abortion is to prevent the abortion in the first place. Second, I believe that in order to receive forgiveness and healing a woman first has to admit to her guilt. One cannot repent unless they can see that they were wrong. If it takes a photo of a 12 week fetus to do that so be it.

    Kylie Anderson

  4. An indication that Florence Thomas knows she’s done wrong – even though reluctant to admit it – is the attempt at self justification. Look for it in the line: “Today I continue to wonder how a woman can have an abortion two or three times and even more”.
    Dunstan Hartley

  5. Dunstan,

    You actually don’t have to look very far to see that practically all those who claim that abortion is morally neutral actually don’t believe that idea themselves. The label ‘pro-choice’ is the clue. If you call them ‘pro-abortion’ (which is a far more specific and accurate term) they get all annoyed and insist upon ‘pro-choice’. But the obvious question left hanging with their response is this – “So you would have a problem with being ‘pro-abortion’ then? Why?”

    It takes an acute level of self-deception to make peace with abortion if you have this as part of your history and you don’t want to face up to the reality of what it is – the deliberate killing of an unborn child. It’s not those who fall apart who bother me – that just seems to me to show that they still have a good degree of humanity left and they’re actually quite normal. They can potentially experience healing because truth is part of the picture for them. But it’s the ones who talk about their abortion experience – often more than one episode too – with a level of indifference or even coldness that are the worry. I’m no psychologist, but that just seems to betray that something is very very wrong inside. The normal human response is to protect your own and mourn their loss, especially when they are innocent.

    There’s certainly nothing normal about seeking to get future mothers & fathers to kill their young as well in a hopeless attempt to validate your own history.

    Mark Rabich

  6. Thank you, Bill, for sharing my story with your readers.

    You are right, I became a Christian about 3 years after my abortions. I thoroughly understand healing and forgiveness through Jesus…but I’m just not sure this pain will ever go away.

    I have been invited to tell my story on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on the anniversary of Roe vs Wade. I am praying that my honesty will persuade women to choose life.

    Blessings to you,
    Kelly Clinger, US

  7. Thank you for sharing those two stories with us Bill.
    I remember the absolute ecstasy of giving birth to five precious children – now adults. They were without question given life. So their opportunity to follow the path that God had in mind for them (including recently blessing us with grandchildren) has been all a part of the wonder of watching them grow and go their own way.

    From the time I first heard that women actually engaged in abortion, I have never ceased to be shocked that such a crime could actually exist and then be perpetrated so easily. Yet I feel so terribly sad for both these women and realise they are only two of countless millions the world over who abdicate their motherly responsibilities, then pay the terrible price of regret.

    Many never recover emotionally – though forgiveness and healing is theirs from the Lord. That He in His great mercy has these babies safe in His Heavenly care is wonderful and by the tone of Kelly’s reflections, at least her baby will be part of her ‘Welcoming Committee’ when its her time to be ‘with the Lord’. She will finally be able hold that child in her arms for the first time!! What an incentive for women who have had abortions to repent of the past and find the Lord as their Forgiver, Saviour and Healer!

    However it is inestimably better that babies be cuddled closely to the heart of their parents throughout their pre-natal development, birth and life, so the love of God is manifested in families and the joys of birth are multiplied into the next generation.

    Jo Petrovic

  8. Many thanks indeed Kelly

    Bless you heaps, and we will keep praying for you as you continue both your healing process and your pro-life ministry. Thanks for being a brave trooper for Christ and for life.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  9. Mark makes an excellent point in relation to the reluctance of the pro-death brigade to use the term pro-abortion. Just imagine the scenario of a female entering an abortion site and speaking with the “doctor”.
    Young Lady: “Oh hello Dr Killem, I have come here for an abortion, my pro-choice friends have recommended you”
    Dr Killem “Oh you mean a termination”
    Young Lady “Whatever”.
    Dr Killem “We are pro-choice here, so I feel obliged to show you the alternative options. There is a group prepared to help you with having the baby and organising an adoption if you so choose. Also there’s an article written here by a man named Bill somebody or other. I don’t know him personally but he does present a point of view. Have a read of his material and make a choice. We are fair and balanced here. Also I could supply you with some scans of the fetus/baby.
    Half an hour later
    Young lady: “Dr Killem, I’ve decided to have the baby and make my choice later about keeping the baby or adoting out”
    Dr Killem “That’s fine -after all we are all about choice here”
    Receptionist: “That will be $58.00 will you be paying with credit card?”
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  10. Dear Bill, Kelly Clinger is only one poor, tortured soul who is herself a victim of a society which told her it was alright for women to kill their unborn children. That was the Great Lie she fell for like a lot of other women. She shows great courage in sharing her story with the world and her testimony will help to save the lives of other unborn babies in danger of being aborted and in that way she will make reparation for the wrong she did. Our God is a God of Love and Great Mercy. There is nothing He can’t forgive or He wouldn’t be God. He knows she is sorry and will have forgiven her so in time she will learn to forgive herself as her love and trust in God deepens.

    As for Florence Thomas, sadly she is still in the first stage of her grief – denial. She shows that by still speaking of her child as a tumour years later. She could be stuck in that first stage for a long time, perhaps forever but I hope and pray that she won’t be. As a psychologist how is she able to counsel others about grief when she cannot come to terms with her own?

    Patricia Halligan

  11. @Kelly Clinger,
    Thank you for being willing to share this and thanks to to Bill for doing so. Kelly, Please know that I have added you to my daily prayers. That you have come to Christ is THE most important step you have taken. Understanding this through Jesus, leaving these abortions at the foot of the cross will not come easy and the pain is something that will help you overcome this, with HIS help and LOVE.

    As people, humans, it is near impossible for us to ever stop completely feeling pain from events such as these. Yes, I am a guy but both my ex-wives had abortions behind my back and I was never included in any of it. One of them brought back the remains of the aborted boy in a jar like some trophy. I took that jar one night and gave it a proper burial at an elevation of 13,000 ft. on Mt. Humphrey’s of the San Francisco Peaks mountains just outside of Flagstaff, Az. I wanted that boy to be as close to Jesus and heaven as I could get it. Suffice it to say both of those gals I divorced and have been very happily married for 24 years with two awesome kids, to a very special lady. So I know a bit about the pain. Jesus enabled me to become bold and outspoken like you will be doing on the steps of the SCOTUS. Jesus has touched you in a way that is very special. Thank you for sharing.

    Comfort and blessings are yours, through HIM.

    Rick Lakehomer, USA

  12. “The good news is however that there is indeed forgiveness” – yes indeed, but (as you hint) probably not for the first woman you tell of. I can’t help thinking of the repentant and unrepentant thieves crucified with Christ.
    Never forget that there is nothing as deceptionist, duplicitous, or downright hypocritical as the “choice” business. The real victims of abortion have no choice whatever; the people who use this kind of talk, justifying themselves if they can, know this full well.
    John Thomas, UK

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