Healing and Forgiveness Are a Process After Abortion
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 7, 2019
“Katie” has an inner joy that sparkles out, particularly when she talks about God.
Her deep happiness, rooted in God’s mercy, is hard won. Now in her mid-50s, Katie continues to recover from her two abortions, the first done when she was a high school sophomore and the second when she was a high school senior.
“It’s no big deal,” she was told by the person who, she says, “gently coerced” her to have the first abortion. 
“The smell of the room will haunt me until the day I die,” she adds.
Afterwards, Katie recalls that she drank more, got into heavier drugs and soon became very promiscuous. 
“I know now that I was trying to numb the pain I was experiencing, but at the time I was just looking for an escape,” she says.
“Still consumed” with her boyfriend, she got pregnant a second time, and says, “I remember thinking that maybe if I was pregnant again, maybe he would love me enough to marry me.” 
Her second abortion, she says, “was basically a form of birth control.”
“Fear and extreme pressure, both internal and external, is what grips you,” Katie says. “After an abortion, you’re consumed with the denial of the reality ... Life becomes hopeless and helpless ... You exist, but you don’t live.” 
She graduated from high school and, although she had other sexual partners, “the father of those two (aborted) children was still in the picture.” 
In 1984, she became pregnant again.
“By the grace of God, I said, ‘This stops here,’” Katie recalls. Her “beautiful daughter” now is 33 and the mother of Katie’s three grandchildren.
But Katie did not change her lifestyle with the birth of her daughter. She would leave her child with babysitters while she went to work and out to party. 
Drawn to the Lord 
Finally, she says, “The Lord managed to break through all my craziness and led me to the man I am now married to.” 
At the beginning, both she and “Henry” were heavy drinkers. 
After they married in 1990, Katie was drawn back to the Catholic faith of her youth through her love of singing. 
She and her father began to sing in the parish choir, “and miraculously, Henry decided he wanted to become Catholic.”
“It was while my husband was on his journey into the Church that I first went to confession and brought my sins of my abortions to the Lord,” Katie says. “Even though I didn’t feel God’s forgiveness (then), it was an incredibly important step in my journey.” 
A daughter, now 27, was born to the couple. 
Katie’s addictions focused more and more on cocaine. One day when she was in what she calls “the bottomless pit,” Katie heard a voice in her heart tell her: “Just say, ‘I need help.’” 
“I spoke those words out loud to my husband, and the next day I was in treatment for substance abuse,” she says. 
When she relapsed seven months later, Henry told her to get out. 
His devastating words sank deep into her. In that moment, “I surrendered my life and my will to God,” Katie says. 
Put to the test
She quickly was put to the test. Just seven days later, Katie’s oldest daughter lost her son, Katie’s first grandchild. 
Driving to the cemetery, Katie noticed a little boy smiling and waving. 
“God spoke to me through that boy, saying, ‘I have him.’ And I felt peace that surpasses all understanding,” she says. “I had a strength that I had never felt before. And I knew all would be well.
 And I stayed sober ... I haven’t had a drink since June 1, 2006.”
The guidance of a 12-Step fellowship and her Catholic sponsor, Katie says, led her to “the beginning of a relationship with God (and) my healing journey.” 
Over time, adoration, confession, confirmation and a pilgrimage helped her “finally realize God’s mercy is greater than any sin, even abortion.” 
Retreats help
She progressed even more upon attending Rachel’s Vineyard and Project Rachel weekends, calling them “life changing. You learn to  reconcile with God, yourself and your children.” 
Katie and Henry now have been married more than 28 years. Through it all, she says, Henry stood by her side and their love for each other and the Lord has increased and deepened.
“As my journey continues, the challenges of life have also continued, because that’s life,” she says. “But today, I don’t have to run from it. I put my trust in the Lord, and He helps to carry all the cares and burdens.”
Katie continues to work on herself. “The healing journey never stops,” she says. “God will reveal what (still) needs healing when you are ready for it. You have to stay close to the sacraments ... it is a trust thing. You have to trust He’s going to heal you. And that (process) will hurt ... you need to weep as Jesus did. But through the pain, there is joy.”  She refers to them as “sweet sorrows.”
“God wants us to heal from our wounds, not live in them,” she says, adding a final word of encouragement to all who suffer the aftermath of abortion: “Break through the silence and allow your heart to come back to God who is love and mercy!”