By Chris Alexis
Many women find themselves unexpectedly pregnant and unsure what to do next. It’s easy for voices to surround these individuals and exclaim abortion is the only way out and that success cannot be had otherwise. But that isn’t the truth. Abortion often leads to heartache and tremendous pain.
But there’s also healing.
Milka Nier is one of those women who has been where so many others have been and will be. Let’s wind back the clock 28 years. A 19-year-old Milka was in college and suspected she was pregnant by a man she had only started dating.
“I got a pregnancy test, went to my friend’s dorm and took it,” she recalled. “When the positive result appeared on the test, I immediately felt fearful and was filled with worry and angst.”
Milka instantly felt stabs of fear. Not knowing what to do, she shared the news with this man.
His initial response was “Let’s have it!” But Milka was panicked, reluctant, and became emotionally unglued.
She feared this pregnancy would bring great shame onto her family and church community. Then – like the flip of a light switch – her partner quickly offered to pay for an abortion.
After searching out what she believed to be a pregnancy help resource center, she landed in the arms of the abortion industry. An immediate important lesson right here: make sure you know what door you’re walking through.
Hopelessness – instead of information and help
“I was young, scared and vulnerable; I was naïve; I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and I didn’t know who to turn to,” Milka said. “I was searching for some sort of counseling and guidance that would be in my best interest and provide me with the full truth — a disclosure of all my choices and how each might impact me.”
Hoping to find compassion and options, Milka was instead greeted with a “cold and callous” environment that boiled down to a simple choice: get an abortion or don’t. It was explained to her as a quick and easy procedure. She was sent home with a brochure that informed her of the cost of a surgical abortion and a directive to think about it for 24 hours.
“So, I left the so-called pregnancy resource center even more hopeless and distraught,” she said, “feeling completely alone and as if this was truly my only option
“I wasn’t given any information on carrying this life to term or provided with any assistance or resources that would be available if I would plan to parent,” added Milka.
The topic of adoption never came up. There was no ultrasound nor an explanation of what her body would undergo with the surgical abortion procedure.
“And I certainly wasn’t warned about the possible risks, side-effects, and potential lifelong consequences this could cause to my mind & mental health, body, soul and spirit” she said. “I wasn’t informed or warned about any of this. So, I made a vulnerable, uninformed and fear-based choice to have an abortion.”
“NOTHING about it was easy”
Milka quietly returned to the clinic alone for the procedure. She was still in the first trimester of pregnancy.
“I just remember sitting in that waiting room; it was a room full of girls and nobody would look at anybody,” she said. “We all had our heads down and wouldn’t make eye contact.”
One by one, the girls were called back. Eventually, Milka was called.
“The procedure was quick, but NOTHING about it was easy,” she said. “It was done in a dark, cold room.”
“I remember being escorted into the procedure room. I don’t remember ever meeting the doctor who would be performing surgery on my body,” she recalled. “It was like a nameless and faceless so-called “doctor” that came in, sat down, didn’t say a word, turned on the loud suction, performed the procedure, and got up and left. All done! It was a chilling experience.”
“Physically, it was extremely painful,” Milka stated, “but the emotional and mental part of it was the most traumatizing.”
With the new life inside of her freshly extinguished, she was led to a recovery room, where she recalls every girl was weeping in heartache and wincing in pain. She was given some juice and cookies — and sent on her way. And that was that. No follow up, no phone calls, nothing.
“It’s interesting that I get better follow-up care from my dentist when I get a filling done than I did after a surgical abortion,” Milka observed.
Swallowed up in shame
She went home and wept.
“I allowed myself to cry and mourn for one day,” she said. “I knew deep down how very wrong it was in every way, but I felt trapped — like I had no choice other than that choice, so I went through with it because it seemed to be the only way to hide and escape the mistake that was swallowing me up in shame. Plus, it seemed to be the norm in the culture and since it was legal, I bought the lie that it must be ‘OK.’”
Once it was done, she was immediately overcome with regret and despair and undoubtedly knew it was NOT “OK.”
“My biggest regret is that I allowed the voice of fear, lies and deception…the voices of those whom I believed were for my best interest and the culture and atmosphere around me to dictate my choice,” she said.
“Instead of trusting the moral compass and my conscience that was going off the charts on the inside of me–warning me that this was wrong and not the right thing to do nor a way of escape to freedom from this so called mistake,” she continued. “How I wished someone was there with me to advocate for me and recognize that, deep down, I wanted to jump off that table and run away as fast as I could. But I was alone and so scared, hopeless and could see no other way around this.”
But she couldn’t turn back time.
The relationship with her boyfriend eventually crumbled under the weight of his infidelity. But her truest heartache came from the lasting effects of losing the life inside her womb. She decided to try and numb that pain.
“I turned to alcohol. I turned to drugs,” she said. “I became even more promiscuous; I became even more of that party girl.”
It didn’t work.
The path to healing
Eventually, she met another man and married. But that quickly fizzled. However, things began to take a turn when she met her current husband. And he helped bring her to church and a true relationship with Christ.
“The very first thing God led me to do was seek healing for my abortion,” she said.
And that’s exactly what happened. A program called H.E.A.R.T. allowed her to begin her first layer of healing. And it was at that point she knew she was forgiven and loved.
But there were more layers to peel back. She just didn’t know it yet. And the next one occurred when their first son was born.
“They were wheeling me back from the delivery room to the recovery room and I could see and feel this dark, heavy presence come over me,” Milka recalled. “It was a crippling fear. A voice asked, ‘What kind of mother are you? Who would kill her own? You’re not capable.’ I felt completely inadequate to take care of my newborn baby boy.”
It turned out Milka was suffering from PAS (post-abortion stress). This included anxiety, depression, uncontrollable crying, and visions of harming herself and her son.
The symptoms of this gripped every area of her life from mental, emotional, physical, relational and spiritual. She suffered from chronic depression, paralyzing fear and anxiety, suicidal thoughts & tendencies, anger, rage and more.
She cried out to the Lord. And she was further tortured by something else she heard.
“I would hear a baby crying like they were in pain,” Milka recalled, her voice breaking with emotion. “I would run to check on my son like something was wrong and he’d be sound asleep.”
She cried out to the Lord once again.
“I told God I really didn’t understand what was happening; I know you’ve forgiven me, why am I still so fearful? Why do I feel this way as a mother? Why, why, why?” she recalled asking.
And the Lord replied to her when another layer of healing came as Milka arrived at a new church and began to understand her true identity in Christ and that it was the lies of the enemy tormenting her.
“Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers of darkness,” she said. “The enemy wanted me to believe it was the ‘unforgivable sin’ and that God was condemning me. It wasn’t God. I know that, but when you’re in it, you feel this is the punishment I deserve for having made that choice.”
As Milka continues to heal, she has decided to reach out to help other women suffering from similar experiences. She also volunteers at an abortion recovery at Pregnancy Decision Health Centers. She also shares her testimony with others and in public settings as the Lord directs.
You are not alone in post-abortion pain
She wants everyone to know there’s a way out of post-abortive pain and regret, shame and suffering.
“There are people who come up to her immediately after she’s given her testimony,” her husband said. “Some secretly reach out later to her in one way, shape or form. There’s a lot of women and men who are still not talking about it.”
Too many believe that they’re alone in how they feel because they don’t feel empowered or even know that healing resources are available. They’re in pain. They feel like they do not deserve forgiveness nor have permission to grieve and heal from their past choice. So, they remain silent in pain and regret.
Reach out for support
But now is not the time to remain silent. It’s time for them to find support and healing.
Remember, you’re not alone. Take it from Milka.
And she wants you to know you can begin your own layers of healing and move from a breathless existence to a life of brilliance. Anyone who finds themselves in an unplanned-unwanted-untimely pregnancy owe it to themselves to find out ALL of their choices, and the truth of the potential risks, consequences, and life-long residual side effects each choice could lead to.
She strongly exhorts to seek counsel from those who are looking out for your best interest — and not their own agendas.
“Our battle is really a spiritual one and we have victory in Jesus,” she said.
Staying connected to others is crucial – you are not alone.
Editor’s note: This appeared at Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.