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Colleen Roy

Baby will ‘ruin my life,’ she thought; she was wrong

Voices June 4, 2018

A slide at the Focus on Life dinner showing faces of heroes in the pro-life movement. (Scott Roy photo)

Guests at the Focus on Life Gala were gifted with the incredible witnesses of three women, whose lives were changed by the hope of people dedicated to their pro-life call. We have given them pseudonyms for privacy reasons.

“This will ruin my life,” thought ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Olivia, when she discovered she was unexpectedly pregnant. Her friends encouraged abortion, and her doctor handed her a list of abortion clinics, saying “pregnancies really should be planned.”

Her mother found her in the throes of morning sickness, and asked, “Is this the flu, or are you pregnant?” She assured Olivia, “You are strong, you will do this. Every baby is a blessing.”

Soon after, ­­­­Olivia received a text from her father, “I want you to know that everything is going to be okay. I believe in you. Every baby is a miracle, a gift from God …. I hope your baby looks like you, because you were the most beautiful baby ever. We will be there to help you every step of the way.”

“All of a sudden, I could picture holding my baby for the first time, teaching her, and caring for her.”

Olivia recalled that her father, a P.E. teacher, invited Signal Hill’s Tia MacDougall to give presentations year after year. She thanked MacDougall for her part in preparing her family to support her in this time of need.

 

In 1974 Sarah moved to Vancouver where she discovered she was pregnant, and alone. The doctor “immediately suggested that I have an abortion, something that I knew nothing about. And through my lack of knowledge and resistance, I agreed to the solution.”

Thinking her fears would be soothed, she instead found herself in deep sorrow in the recovery room.

“I found myself spending the following decades in secrecy.” Sarah suffered with shame, guilt, remorse, regret, and the hauntings of post-abortion. When she saw an ad for a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat in her parish bulletin she knew that she was “in need of God’s divine repair.”

 “I was able to declare that the life of my child is real, and that my child’s life has value … I was able to give birth and life to my child in my heart.

“Finally, I could look at children wholeheartedly, and enjoy them from that day on. I couldn’t do that before.

“What a proclamation to be able to say that I was forgiven and set free. Voila, folks! Forgiven and set free!

“[Rachel’s Vineyard staff] facilitated my journey that resulted in my reconciling with God, who had never left me.” 

 

 “About eight years ago I was totally lost, broken, in a terrible relationship,” began Kelsey. “I was not brave. My baby, Winston, made me brave.

 “About eight years ago I was totally lost, broken, in a terrible relationship,” began Kelsey. “I was not brave. My baby, Winston, made me brave.

“I remember my first visit to the crisis pregnancy centre. Merle, she really listened to me, and prayed for me. I left with so much helpful advice, and lots of baby donations.”

 “It was the hardest time in my life.” In desperation, she moved back in with the baby’s father. As the abuse continued Merle placed Kelsey into the charity’s safe house where she was given counselling, food and baby supplies.

“That was not only a shelter. It was more of a real home ... We felt really warm and secure. My baby had his first Christmas at the Burnaby Safe House.”

Eventually, Kelsey found work in Victoria, and went back to university.

“Every challenge I faced in life, I received extra strength from (the help of the crisis centre, and safe house). Because of your care and love, I realized that my baby and I deserved much better.”