Of Her 4 Abortions, Nothing Scarred Kelly Like the Chemical One
She wasn’t even old enough to drive when she had her first abortion. At the tender age of 15, Kelly — like so many girls — was haunted by the surgery. So by 19, when she found herself in the same situation, pregnant with a child she didn’t want, she decided to try something else: chemical abortion. She thought it would be “easier, less traumatic,” but it wasn’t. Instead, she says, “it was one of the most horrific experiences of my life.”
Kelly would go on to have two more abortions after this one, but nothing compared to this nightmare. “I was told by the abortion clinic that it wasn’t a big deal, that it was easy and private,” she remembers in an honest and raw account of that horrible time for Fox. “The baby’s father was against the idea and didn’t put money towards it — so overall, it seemed like the better option.”
She was wrong.
Years later, Kelly doesn’t remember how far along she was — “probably near the end of those first 12 weeks” — the details that come rushing back are the painful ones. She was directed to take the first pill, mifepristone, at the abortion center and then go home and insert the second one, misoprostol, vaginally.
“The bleeding and pain started almost immediately, and it was intense,” Kelly emphasized. “The pain lasted for two days, and I felt like I was in full-blown labor. I was alone, in one of my bathrooms in my apartment. I was doing drugs just to try to numb the pain,” she writes. “And in the end, I ultimately broke my lease and moved out, because I couldn’t stand to be in the apartment any longer and experience the trauma again every time I used the bathroom.”
Incredibly, despite everything she’d experienced, Kelly went to work for the group that made her chemical abortion possible. “I had to tell women the same things I was told when they asked me for the abortion pill,” she admits, things like “it was [the same as] a heavy period and not a huge deal.” The guilt set in when she started fielding calls from women who were suffering the same pain that she had. “[They] felt duped by the clinic,” Kelly explained. “Why didn’t anyone tell them it would be this bad? Why did they feel like they were dying? Were they dying?”
Repeating the lies she was told started to become harder and harder. She looked back over her troubled life — a story that started with molestation, rape, then drugs, alcohol, and hook-ups, “and all I felt is shame.” At one of the lowest points of her life, after her boyfriend’s violence almost killed her, she ended up driving home and sitting in her father’s church, 1,200 miles away. “It’s the end of the service,” Kelly remembers, “and he gives an altar call, because my dad was a pastor. And I hear the Lord say, ‘Have you had enough?’ And I was like, ‘God, you know, I have nothing. I’m almost 30 years old. I have no degree. I have no friends. I have a mound of debt. I have nothing. And I’ve been through all of these things. And then I heard him say, ‘If you follow me, I will make beauty from ashes.’”
That beauty has taken the form of a ministry of hope and healing for women who’ve had abortions, are considering abortions, or work in the industry. “I could say that the only reason that I’m not dead is because the Lord had a greater purpose for me. Because the Lord wanted this story. The Lord had this story in his plan and wanted there to be freedom for other people,” Kelly says. When she meets with hurting moms or talks to groups, she reminds them, “God loves you.”
“I have six living children. I’ve had four abortions, two first trimester abortions, one second trimester abortion, and one abortion by pill.” One of the biggest misconceptions about abortion, Kelly insists, is that “we like to pretend that the church is exempt from this epidemic — but we’re not. Three out of four women who have had an abortion say they believe in God.” She reminds people that she was raised in a church by loving, married parents. “We have women every day who come into our building, who have either stumbled into a pit, have been pushed into a pit, or have dug their own pit and jumped in it. But you see, they need people to call them out of the pit.”
What they don’t need, she argues, is an easier avenue to abortion through a drug they mistakenly believe is the easy, private way out of their situation. The last thing we should be doing is turning people’s homes into abortion facilities. “There are some huge missing pieces in the public fight over access to abortion pills,” she insisted on Fox, “pills which apparently non-pregnant women in the United States have been stockpiling for the last 18 months. … Women aren’t getting the full story.”
And she should know. She wasn’t told stories like Salome’s.
“After taking the abortion pill, I felt like my inside was being torn and sliced to pieces. I had blood all over my legs and went into the tub to wash them. Right before the [baby] came out, I started vomiting everything that I had in my system that morning. And then I bled more and I hurt more. And I started praying, curled up in the blood in the tub for the first time in years. I don’t even remember the last time I prayed before this happened.”
Moms like Tammi Morris have absolutely gut-wrenching memories about the pain and grief they experienced from these drugs. “It was nothing like they had told me,” she testified. After several hours, “the pain and urge to push were so intense” that she sat on the toilet. “I pushed un[til] I felt something come out, and I heard a sound. I looked down and screamed. It was not just a blob of tissue. I had given birth to what looked like a fully-formed, intact 14-week-old fetus covered in blood.” Then, “I scooped my baby out of the toilet. I sat on the floor and held him and cried.”
For eight years, Tammi struggled with alcoholism, depression, and suicidal thoughts. It’s a dark road that too many women have walked. And the reality is, Kelly says, “women are indeed capable of making an informed decision if they have all the information in a way they can understand. … But abortion clinics and the makers of the abortion pill don’t want to take that chance because women could make a decision that fails to benefit the clinics … financially.”
More than half of the abortions in America are carried out through the abortion pill now, a terrifying statistic for anyone familiar with the complications. “Every abortion is horrific, because it takes the life of an unborn child,” Family Research Council’s Mary Szoch told The Washington Stand. “The abortion drug is especially evil, because in addition to killing a child, it has the capacity to place the mother’s life in danger,” she warns. “This drug is four times as dangerous as the already dangerous surgical abortion. It also tears apart the sacred relationship between a mother and her child. The mother’s uterus — where the child should be safest — becomes the place where that child is brutally starved to death and then expelled. And to make it more terrifying, many mothers are alone when this takes place.”
Like Kelly, she sees these reports about non-pregnant women hoarding these drugs, and wonders: “Is it really women who are saving these drugs just in case they get pregnant? Or is it people who are hoping to profit off the fears of pregnant women in states where unborn children are protected? Is it the abortion industry, once again, hoping to make money telling women their only option is to take a dangerous drug that will end their child’s life?”
The reality is, there are so many other choices for young girls and women who find themselves pregnant with nowhere to turn. “There are thousands of pregnancy centers across the country,” Kelly urges, “there are helplines like Loveline that can quickly get women the help they need. There are adoption agencies, free pregnancy resources, you name it.”
These moms need to know the truth, she urges, “that the thing God is going to use for beauty in your life is the [very] thing the enemy came against you with. We see women and men … who are hopeless. Many are confused; many are lost.” The way to get through to them, Kelly believes, is how people got through to her.
“[They] opened Scripture with me and said, ‘This is what the Bible says about you. This is who you really are. You’re not unlovable or unwanted, or you’re not full of shame or broken. You’re not dead. You’re not those things. You are beloved. And He sent his Son for you.’”
In the meantime, Kelly urges, we need to fight with everything we have against this agenda that brings death and darkness to more women’s lives. Because “I wouldn’t wish any of my abortion procedures on anyone, especially the abortion pill experience. I felt like I was walking through hell. Women don’t deserve that.” What they deserve, she’d be the first to tell you, is the truth.
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.