“There are other people who are haunted by abortion, too. Nurses and doctors.”
No sooner had the woman in the crowd after a recent event quietly spoken these words to me, when the tears began to fall down her face. Without even saying another word, I knew that she was speaking from personal experience.
As the woman wept and I held onto her forearm, in an attempt to let her know I was listening to and supporting her, I was both grief-stricken for her and simultaneously shocked to hear her story. Sadly, I have met many nurses, in particular, who have been put in the position to complete an abortion, whether knowingly or unbeknownst to them initially, but this was the first nurse that I have met who had admittedly completed one at the very same hospital where I was aborted and survived.
“If I would have been there in 1977, you can be sure I would have been one of those nurses fighting to save you,” she shared. As I thanked this pro-life nurse, wife and mother for her commitment to lives like mine, I learned that although she has always been pro-life, she had a very good reason to have wanted to try and save me: because she had been put in the position to leave a child to die after a failed abortion just one year prior to when I survived.
If anyone reading this doubts for a second that abortion affects us all and silently haunts millions, including medical professionals and former clinic workers, I would encourage you to read the testimony of Dr. Bernard Nathanson or watch the film The Voice of John, which shares the story of a nurse much like this one that I spoke with recently. As hard as it is for me to live with the truth of what was done to me in the abortion and after it was discovered that I had survived, these former abortionists and nurses, along with so many like them around the world, have to live with the memories of what they’ve seen, heard, and done. And it stays with them and changes them. By this nurse’s own account, it certainly changed her to not only attend to the delivery of a baby after a saline infusion abortion, but in it, to come face to face with a child who survived.
Sadly, it was reaffirming for me to hear about this little boy who had survived the same type of abortion procedure, at the very same hospital, that I did. It was reaffirming simply to hear that I was not alone in my survival there. My affirmation was short-lived, however, as the nurse’s tears continued to fall and I found the nerve to ask her what had happened to the baby boy that she helped deliver.
I should have known. I should have known by her emotional state that she hadn’t just assisted in the delivery of an aborted baby; she hadn’t just come face to face with a survivor; she had witnessed first hand what often happens when a child survives.
“Where did you take him? Where were the surviving children taken?” I asked her, both anxiously awaiting her response and dreading it at the same time. Before she responded, I knew. I knew that I already knew where that little boy was taken.
“The utility closet.” In my mind’s eye, I could picture what that closet must have looked like, and I shuddered at the thought. “There was a bucket on the shelf there, filled with formaldehyde,” she continued.
Despite my knowledge of such practices, I had to force myself not to grimace. Once again, all of this was hitting far too close to home for me.
“You wrote the last name on the bucket, and you left them there to be picked up later, as, you know, waste,” the nurse finished, visibly lost in the memory of what she had experienced. “All these years later, I remember him. I remember everything that happened that day.”
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Like so many nurses in similar shoes, this nurse’s experience that fateful day in 1976 forever changed her, and she has worked for the protection of lives ever since.
After meeting this nurse and hearing of the fate of this little boy at the very same hospital where I survived, I have no doubt this nurse would have done whatever she could to save my life. And I have no doubt that God had on hand exactly who He knew would do just that on the day that I survived. To say that I am thankful for all of that would be an understatement. Today and everyday, I offer my sincerest thanks to the nurses who rallied for me so that I wasn’t just another survivor left in a bucket to die.