Living with the Burden of a Secret

Ann Scheidler holds 3rd trimester abortion sign

Ann Scheidler holds a 3rd trimester abortion sign on the corner of Adams and Wacker downtown Chicago [Photo by Sam Scheidler]

During our Face the Truth Tour last week, as I stood along Adams Street near Union Station in downtown Chicago holding a “Choice” sign, a woman stopped to talk with me. She thanked me for being there and said that people need to see what abortion is. She told me that if abortion had not been available, she would have a 37-year old son today.

The woman told me her whole story. She was a teenager and doing drugs, and had already broken up with her boyfriend when she discovered she was pregnant. This was 1973—the first year abortion was legal throughout the United States.

I was pregnant in 1973 too. Fortunately my situation was pretty ideal. I was married and happy to be expecting my fourth child. I’d like to think that I would never have considered abortion, but we just don’t know what we might do if circumstances were different.

When Roe v. Wade came down from the Supreme Court on January 22, 1973, I was four and a half months pregnant and absolutely appalled that my unborn baby had no value in the eyes of my government. She was dependent on my choice to carry her to birth.

The woman on Adams Street did not have ideal conditions. She was young, scared and felt alone. And Roe v. Wade made it possible for her to end her pregnancy without talking with her parents or anyone else.

She told me that it was the worst thing she ever did, and the worst thing anyone could ever do. She said she is a Christian, and that she knows God forgives. But she lives with this secret—a secret she could only tell to a stranger. She said she could never tell her only other child what she had done for fear of what he would think of her.

This woman who confided in me is hoping that abortion will once again be a crime in America. She believes it is not a choice that should be available to women because it is too easy to make such a terrible mistake. And it is a mistake a woman will live with for the rest of her life.

I asked her if she knew about the various ministries to post-abortive women. She already knew about them. She said nothing changes the reality that she killed her own child. She doesn’t want other women to live with that kind of burden. Again she thanked us for having the courage to stand on the sidewalk and expose the truth about abortion.

Please pray for the woman on Adams Street and for her unborn baby and for all the millions of women who are living with a past abortion.

We must end abortion for the sake of women and their unborn children.

Share Tweet Email