Like many young girls who get pregnant in high school, Stephanie Chatfield was swayed by the idea that an abortion would be a quick solution to her unplanned pregnancy.
The abortion industry convinced her that it would be an easy way out of a difficult situation. They didn’t tell her that years of what she described as “unbearable guilt” would follow.
Chatfield’s abortion story recently drew public attention all across in Michigan. Now a young wife and mother, she is the wife of Michigan state Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, who is running for re-election. During the campaign, an unnamed individual threatened to make Stephanie’s abortion story public; rather than give the threat power, Chatfield decided it was time for her to share her abortion story herself, The Detroit News reports.
Chatfield said she hopes her story will encourage other women and girls to reject abortion and seek support for themselves and their babies.
In a Facebook message posted on her husband’s page Friday, Chatfield wrote:
To tell you the truth, I desperately wish that I had the courage as a teenage girl to accept and welcome my child into this world. I wish that I had the same amount of courage that it’s taking me to share my story now. But I didn’t, and I made a decision that I’ve thought about and regretted nearly every day since. It’s haunted me. It’s made me weep. It’s made it difficult to look in the mirror at times. I knew that what I did was wrong at the time, but I never imagined the weight and guilt that I would carry as a consequence. But now, it’s time for me to tell my story, and if this testimony helps other young girls, then to God be the glory.
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First, I would sincerely like to thank the person who recently contacted my husband. You informed my husband that you had heard a rumor, and that you would keep digging. You promised that you would ensure that this story went public. In fact, your desire to see this story go public emboldened me to do something that I should have done years ago. After speaking it over with my husband, I felt that telling my story was best. And no matter the intentions of anybody wishing to see this story go public, this I am certain of: God meant it for good and will glorify Himself through this.
She described her abortion as “one of the worst” decisions of her life. In high school at the time, she said she discovered she was pregnant three weeks after attending a party.
“I have no memory of the majority of that night, but judging by my appearance and physical condition the next morning, I knew I had been taken advantage of,” she wrote.
At the time, she said an abortion seemed like “the easy way out,” but, like many women, pain and guilt quickly followed her decision to abort her unborn child.
“To girls everywhere, if you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, whatever the circumstances, know that those around you love you and want to help you,” Chatfield continued. “You will not be judged, but rather you will be loved and forgiven. Be courageous. Reach out and look for support!”
She also reached out to women like herself who are struggling with the pain and guilt of a past abortion.
“…there’s forgiveness in Christ. There’s a life to be lived! God has so graciously blessed me with four beautiful children and a wonderful, loving husband who takes care of us and adores me for who I am, mistakes and all. God has forgiven me, and He’ll forgive you too.”
Her husband, Lee, said he was “extremely proud” of his wife for her courageous decision to share her story.