Lessons From a Teenage Abortion Accomplice

By Rhonda Stoppe
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Even now, nearly 40 years later, I still get sick when I remember what it felt like sitting in the waiting room while my friend had an abortion.

“Abortion made legal right up until birth.”

For weeks now, I’ve been reading troubling headlines like this. And scrolling through post after post by concerned Christians has only added to my burdened heart.

The feeling reminds me of a day so many years ago.

Even now, nearly 40 years later, I get sick when I remember what it felt like sitting in the waiting room while my friend had an abortion. I’m ashamed to admit my role in making it easier for her to end her pregnancy.

Back then, shortly after abortion first became legal, it was rarely discussed in the church. I grew up going to church, yet I never remember anyone even mentioning the issue.

In fact, the first time I learned about abortion was when a Christian friend asked me to go with her to an abortion clinic. She and her boyfriend (also a Christian) had become sexually active and now she was pregnant.

“It just sort of happened one night in the back seat of his car,” she explained.

A Sense of Dread

Since both of them came from respected Christian homes, they were convinced that news of their pregnancy would ruin their parents’ reputations and bring shame upon themselves and their families.

Convinced that their only option was to protect their parents from this horrible experience and salvage their own reputations, the two looked to an agency that assured them an abortion only eliminates unwanted tissue – not a live baby.

As my friends explained their plight and showed me the convincing information they’d received from the clinic, I agreed to support them by going with them for the abortion.

As I sat with many others in the waiting room, I couldn’t help but sense a feeling of dread. I knew it was wrong to help them hide this from their parents. Yet there I was, sharing a waiting room with other accomplices to what was happening beyond those doors.

Afterward, my friend spent the night at my house because she was shaken, bleeding, weak and emotional. She was afraid that if she went home that night her mother would sense something was wrong. The next morning we agreed to never again speak of what happened.

The following Sunday in our church parking lot, I saw a young married couple whom I’d encountered at the abortion clinic. They’d terminated their pregnancy, they said, because they “weren’t ready to have kids.”

When the woman saw me her eyes fell to the ground. Her husband quickly escorted her away from me – the 16-year-old girl who knew their shameful secret. Again, I got that sick feeling in my stomach. I thought, What have we done?

That year, five of my Christian friends aborted their babies. Each believed they had no other “choice” because their unplanned pregnancy would devastate their parents – and upset their plans for the future.

My Realization

I eventually came to realize that I’d been an accomplice in the termination of my friend’s baby. I’d spent years suppressing the memory until I was married and pregnant myself. As my own baby hiccupped, kicked and rolled in my womb, the reality of my child’s personhood overwhelmed me, as did the sorrow over the baby I’d helped my friend terminate.

The Bible tells us that God can use for good what others mean for evil, and my experience from the past is what fueled my passion to later teach young people about Christ-honoring romance, sexual purity and the many lies about abortion. Over the next 18 years, my youth pastor husband, Steve, and I spoke at youth events and traveled the country speaking to teens.

We shared the Gospel, challenged them to live in wholehearted devotion to Christ and explained how and why to walk in sexual purity – trusting God to write their love story.

When I later had coffee with one of those teens – a young woman who came home pregnant from Bible college – I told her, “I am so proud of you.”

She responded, “Proud? Why? Look at me.”

I said, “Because you easily could have snuck away and had an abortion and not mentioned it to your parents.”

She replied, “Oh, believe me that I wanted to. I even had an appointment for an abortion. But your voice kept rolling around in my head. The stuff you taught us as teens resonated, and I just couldn’t kill my baby. …”

Wow, right?

One Person at a Time

When a woman has an abortion, she often believes that God could never love her. Teens who hide an abortion might believe they’d lose their parents’ love if they ever knew. We must teach them of God’s unconditional love for everyone, included those ashamed of an abortion.

If we’re not careful, hating abortion can easily be interpreted as hating the one who had the abortion. Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin be the first to throw a stone” (John 8:7). Ask the Lord to help you show His compassion for those who’ve aborted their babies, and to share with them the hope of the Gospel.

Preventing abortion isn’t likely going to happen through politics alone. Rather, it’ll happen by teaching one person at a time. You never know what God will do with the words you speak to the next generation!

Take Action Now: Sign the Declaration for Life

Be a voice for the pre-born and the sanctity of all human life.

Add your name today!

Copyright © 2019 by Rhonda Stoppe. Used by permission.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe has more than 30 years of experience as a marriage mentor, pastor’s wife, author and speaker. She is the author of If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy (& other myths wives believe).

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.

If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.