And I thought it was wrong In fact the week before I got raped I was on a video where I said, "Even if I got raped, I would never have an abortion." And that's how I truly felt. That being in that position and not having anyone I felt I could go to or talk to, it made it a lot harder. The couple friends I had confided in Pretty much told me that was my only option You know, I was raped, so abortion was okay I thought about telling the guy's mother Because I did know her But at the same time how Do you go to a woman And say, "Hey, your your son raped me at a party" "And now I'm pregnant." So it was a lot of stuff on me, I was very Depressed, very scared, very fearful I just wanted it to be over, I just Wanted my whole life to end Contemplated suicide, attempted suicide Um, and then finally I just told the guy If he paid for it, I would not tell Anyone what happened And I would leave the state And it would be done. And...that's pretty much how I came To the decision to have the abortion. When I went to the abortion clinic I was really hoping that there would be sidewalk counselors or what I thought were protestors at the time Um, out there screaming and yelling Cause I knew that I would chicken out. That if I was faced with any opposition I would change my mind. But no one was there. After I had my abortion, I had started college Moved away, uh, I lived in Texas When I had the abortion And moved to Mississippi afterwards, Thinking I could just run away Everyone tells you, if you have an abortion You can start over You know, your life can go on And that's what I thought. I can go on with my life as if nothing ever happened. Forget the rape, forget the abortion, and just move on. After I was raped, I felt a lot of fear. There was shame that I felt Because of what had happened to me. But after having the abortion, The fear and the shame grew even more. It turned to guilt, because it wasn't I didn't choose to have sex Someone else chose to rape me But I did make the choice to have an abortion. I made the choice to kill my child. And so, the feelings of worthlessness Grew...insurmountable. It's a weight like no other. The shame that I carried of knowing What I had chosen to do. It didn't matter why I made the choice to abort The fact was, I killed my child. And I had to live with that every day. I had to go to bed every night, knowing That I killed my child. I had to wake up every day I had to fight through everything. It was constantly always there. I could not escape it. And when I tried to escape it through drinking, It still came back up. It was still there the next day. My life was no longer more about the rape. The rape to me didn't even matter any more. Because I had to live with, every day, knowing That I killed my child. It wasn't a rapist's child, it was my child. And it's always the same assumption. "Well, how can you expect a woman Who's been raped to have a rapist's baby" "You know, that's abortion's the only choice." "You can't raise your rapist's child. You know, we can't expect you to do that." And so it was always, well, you know, even Christian people today who are against abortion When I tell them my story, they're always, "Well, you were raped, you know." "It's different if you were raped. It's different." "You know, there's really not another choice." But there's always another choice. They just don't-There's no support For rape victims to know that There's another option besides abortion. They had me read from Isaiah Where, uh, the Scripture that says, you know For I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you walk through rough waters, You will not drown. When you go through the fires of oppression You will not be consumed. "For I am your God." And as I read that out loud, I absolutely felt every bit of guilt, fear, shame And worthlessness completely lifted from my body. I had to keep touching myself because I felt That it was all gone. I was totally and completely healed. And it hit me at that moment, It was my unborn child who led me to Christ. Because of everything I had gone through I had nowhere else to turn except to Jesus. And that's when it really struck me How important every life really is. Even the life of a unborn child conceived in rape. The Lord paid a high price for our life. And sacrificing nine months to bring a child Into the world, no matter how it was conceived Is a very do-able thing. And the outcome of that is far greater Than the outcome if you have an abortion. And then you have to deal with Knowing that you killed your child. I understand that people want To be gentle with rape victims. I know it's hard for people to really Understand how you deal with a woman Who has just been horribly violated In one of the worst ways. And that you think, "Well, she has to carry a rapist's baby, that's just going to make her have to relive the rape over and over again "So abortion's really the only answer So she can move on." But what they don't realize is, you're just adding a thousand-pound weight on top of the rape. You're not making it better, you're making it worse. I came in contact with a woman this year in DC who had been raped and had an abortion And she saw me carrying my son at the March for Life And she's like, "How dare you tell me That I was wrong to abort my baby Could you even imagine what it was like" And I said, "Yes, that's what my sign means." "I'm post-abortive. I've had an abortion Because I was raped." "And it wasn't the answer." And you could see the rage and the hate all through her. But all of her rage and hate I know is consumed by the guilt she feels And the shame she feels for choosing abortion. A woman cannot grow a child inside her body And never have it impact her in that way. Whether you choose to have the baby, Whether you miscarry that baby Or whether you have an abortion, that child Has been inside you and you know it. And you cannot not face that. And so when you meet these women Who have been in my situation And they're still fighting for abortion I know it's because they're scared They're scared to face the truth They're scared to have to admit, I didn't kill a rapist's baby. I killed my baby. You know, I don't have to carry all this Guilt and shame. I don't have to be afraid To talk about my son. That I can be open about it and share my story So other people will understand my side. That rape is not an excuse for an abortion That it doesn't make the rape go away, It just adds one more problem To what you're already dealing with. My hope's now that I'm able to talk about My past, my rape, my abortion And how the Lord has healed me from that It's to let other people know That we need to support rape victims. We don't need to make them feel That abortion's their only choice. Because that's what society will tell them. And that's what they think, That's their only option To make it better, to make the rape go away Is just to have an abortion and move on. But they need to know that that's not the truth That it doesn't just go away. And we need to support them And let them know that there are other options. That adoption is a real option That raising that child is a real option And that we're gonna support them And we need to let, um, these women know that The rape isn't the end of the world. That they are strong enough to get beyond that And that they deserve better than abortion.