It takes a lot of courage to share personal mistakes with a group of strangers, but that’s what one Kenyan woman is doing to help students understand the consequences of premarital sex and abortion.
The Kenyan website Evewoman reports Joan, not her real name, aborted two unborn babies when she was young. She said she feared the social stigma of a pregnancy out of wedlock and single parenthood, and she had very little encouragement or support.
But after struggling with years of depression and guilt, Joan said she finally found healing through her relationship with God.
When she got pregnant the first time, Joan said she felt afraid but she did not initially consider abortion.
“In 1998, when I was 20, I compromised on my sexuality and tried to get my identity from worldly standards. I got involved in a bad relationship and lost my purity. I got pregnant but the man refused to take responsibility,” she said.
When she turned to a family friend for help, the friend did not encourage or support her. Instead, he pushed her to get an abortion.
Here’s more from the report:
Joan* declined at first because “I knew in my heart it was not the right thing to do.” She did not even know the procedure could be carried out in Kenya at that time since there was very little information about it. She thought about it and decided on terminating the pregnancy. Her helper offered to give her the money.
A year later, when she was in college, Joan said she became involved with another man. She said he helped her feel valuable when she was struggling with self-worth and the pain of her first abortion. Joan said she also began to attend church regularly, but she continued to have sex with her boyfriend.
“Not knowing the biblical standards of purity, I slept with the man, got pregnant again and because of shame and fear, I procured another abortion,” she remembered.
She said the emotional pain that followed her second abortion was terrible. She struggled with depression and twice tried to commit suicide.
“I was filled with guilt,” Joan said. “I would cry for no reason. I had mood swings and was generally a bitter person. I was angry at women who seemed to have it all together.”
Eventually, she said God began to heal her. She said she told her pastors about aborting her unborn babies, and they helped her on her journey to healing.
“I started having a deep hunger for the word of God,” she said. “I longed to know what God says about me and about my sexuality. God started teaching me that sex is sacred and an act of worship when done in the right place, at the right time and with the right person.
“I wanted a complete healing for my heart, mind, spirit, body and soul. I knew that only God could give me that,” Joan continued.
Today, Joan shares her story with students in schools and churches. She promotes abstinence until marriage and helps students understand the value of unborn babies’ lives.
“I knew then that there were other women who had gone through or are going through what I did. I desired to reach out to them,” she said.