Chass Barker lost more than 40 pounds during her first month of pregnancy. She and her husband, Kirk, sought answers from her doctor, only to be told if they didn’t abort, she would die.
“We trusted him. We took the doctor for his word,” Kirk Barker said. “We made an (abortion) appointment that day.”
Outside the Tennessee abortion clinic, people stood praying.
“They pleaded with us to not go through the procedure,” Barker said. “We explained to them what was happening; they just apologized and said ‘We’ll pray for you.’ And they did, but we continued on in.”
After the couple entered the clinic, Chass couldn’t finish filling out the paperwork. She made a decision.
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“Right before we signed what we call ‘the death certificate to our son,’ God intervened,” Barker said. “My wife looked at me, and said, ‘I don’t care if I die, I’m not going to kill our son,’” Kirk said. “We got up and walked out. I was very happy to leave that place and not go through with the procedure.”
That decision posed risk.
“I didn’t want to lose my wife, but I didn’t want to lose my son either,” Barker said.
God seemed to honor the Barkers’ decision. The couple found a new doctor, and within a few weeks, Chass’ weight stopped decreasing. About eight months later, the couple’s son, Cameron, was born—healthy.
“There were no complications,” Barker said.
Cameron turned 14 in September.
“He’s a great kid,” Barker said. “He works very hard and he’s very intelligent. He wants to go into the computer science field, and he may graduate when he’s 16 or 17. He’s a compassionate, loving guy. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Although no official diagnosis was given for Chass’ condition nearly 15 years ago, the Barkers likened it to Hyperemesis Gravidarum, an extreme form of morning sickness that affects about one in 100 expectant mothers, including Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, in both of her pregnancies.
A few weeks after their near-abortion, Chass’ health turned around.
That encounter with pro-life prayer warriors outside the abortion clinic changed the family’s life. Not only did the encounter save them from abortion, but it took them on a pathway of faith.
“I was a non-believer most of life,” Barker said. “God showed me I was wrong—He turned me into a believer. I didn’t know I was lost until I was saved. But, I had to do much more than believe: I had to be obedient to our Lord.
“God wants us to thank Him in the good times and the bad times. God uses our story.”
The Barkers, who now have three children, share their story wherever and whenever they can. Currently living in Texas, the family has spoken at several churches and college campuses, and was recently profiled by Texas Right to Life.
Kirk was also featured on a Cradle My Heart podcast, and he will be speaking with a pro-life group on November 2 at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The Barkers’ near-tragedy is now creating a legacy, although more than a decade has passed.
“That decision to terminate, even though we didn’t go through with it, weighed heavily on our hearts for 13 years,” Barker said. “It tore at our hearts; it made our life very difficult. We were upset with ourselves, we were upset with the doctor. Trusting Jesus and laying our problems at the feet of Jesus really took that anger and turned it into love.
“We can’t go back and thank that person on that sidewalk, so God put on us to use our story to be a light to others. God healed our hearts. He’s using our story to advance the Gospel.”