One choice equals lifetime of repercussions

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One choice equals lifetime of repercussions

Local teens speak out against the stigma associated with teen pregnancy.

Local teens speak out against the stigma associated with teen pregnancy.

Local teens speak out against the stigma associated with teen pregnancy.

Local teens speak out against the stigma associated with teen pregnancy.

Macey Verner & Kailei Pritchard, Staff Writer

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   As she walked into the clinic, it was as if a broken record was playing in her mind the words, you will never have to think about it again and everything can go back to normal. Unfortunately her feelings were just the beginning, little did she know they would last well into her twenties and would come with other symptoms not mentioned prior to her abortion. 

    “No one told me I may experience extreme guilt, remorse, shame, and regret to the point of wanting to die,” Derrick said.

    After completing a Bible study, taught by the Choices Clinic of Stephenville, Derrick was on her way to becoming a Board Member and Abortion Grief Recovery Leader of the clinic. Derrick, who still serves as a Board Member, saw dozens of women receive healing during her 11 years as the Abortion Grief Recovery Leader. She has made it her duty to use her experience to help others in similar circumstances and respect the life of her unborn child. 

    “My purpose is to speak truth with love and share my experience to help others while honoring the life of my baby,” Derrick said.

    In C. Derrick’s case, like 50 percent of other victims, her abortion was the result of statutory rape and the choice a family member made to get rid of the “problem.” As a teenager, she had her whole life in front of her and abortion was assumed to be what she wanted and what was necessary.

“The appointment was made by a family member and I felt as though I did not have a choice,” Derrick said.

    Like many women in similar circumstances, Derrick was not made aware of the effect that this one choice would have on the rest of her life. More times than not, women are uneducated or wrongly informed in their choices regarding their baby. Instead of letting it be her decision, people weigh in making the mother feel inadequate and pressured.

    “I was not counseled or given thorough information about the procedure and there was no evidence whatsoever of fetal development, heartbeat, or a waiting period to make an informed decision before ending a life,” Derrick said. 

    Like many others Derrick tried to forget this tragic event. She didn’t speak of her abortion for six years until she was introduced to the Abortion Grief Recovery group here in our own small town community.

    “I completed an eight week healing Bible study that changed my life allowing me to receive forgiveness and freedom from a life sentence of regret and living in the past,” Derrick said.

    After receiving healing from a decision made long ago, she then started on the journey to become a co-leader and eventually leader of the abortion grief recovery group of the “Choices Clinic.” The clinic is a local ministry dedicated to preserving life and preventing abortion by offering other resources.

    “In the 11 years serving the abortion grief recovery group, I witnessed over 30 women from our small rural community seek relief from the devastation abortion caused in their lives,” Derrick said.

    When getting an abortion, many women don’t consider the aftermath of their decision. For Derrick, these 30 women and many others, the list of effects can become overwhelming. 

    “The outcomes following their abortions which I also experienced included eating disorders, relationship problems, trust issues, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, addiction(drugs/alcohol), divorce, perfectionism, promiscuity, anger, nightmares, flashbacks, loss of motivation and infertility,” Derrick said.

    While women may not suffer from all of these, experiencing one or more of them is very common.

   “Even though each of our circumstances are different, we all suffered one or more of these life altering consequences,” Derrick said.

    Once she had been healed from her abortion, she and her husband began praying and seeking for a daughter, but due to her abortion she was unable to conceive, and they would eventually adopt a baby girl.

    “We were blessed with the most amazing daughter that filled our hearts with overwhelming joy,” Derrick said.

    Not many people can say they have experienced the  two different decisions of pregnancy, but Derrick can. She went through the pain of an abortion and the joy of an adoption.

    “After going through the process of adoption and witnessing the sacrifice of the birth parents, I can testify to the difference in choice,” Derrick said. “I cannot imagine my life without my daughter and I’m eternally grateful that her birth mother chose life and that she was truly empowered to make a decision she is proud of.”

    The most important thing for any expecting mother is to do what’s best for the child, whether they keep the baby or put it up for an adoption. She is making the first choice as a parent that will change the course of her life.

    “Because of her choice, she knows that the child she conceived is safe, loved, and protected,” Derrick said.

    Sadly, many young girls end up feeling like getting rid of the baby is their only choice at a successful life. On Jan. 5, 2020 actress Michelle Williams accepted a Golden Globe award giving thanks to abortion for giving her the chance to choose.

“I’m also grateful to have lived in a moment in our society where choice exists, because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice,” Actress and Golden Globe recipient Michelle Williams said.

    Celebrities know they have a platform to make a difference, some use it for good other use it for bad.

    “When a famous person uses their status as a platform to influence through media it may glorify the situation,” Derrick said. “What the actress failed to mention in her speech is how abortion truly affected her life and how devasting it is.”

    Williams references the fact that many women become pregnant by violation and force. Not only did she fail to mention how the abortion effected her, but how it effects others.

    “The abortion resulted in post-traumatic stress and grief above and beyond the circumstances of the rape and pregnancy,” Derrick said.

    Williams, like many others, has enforced the idea that children hold a women back and can keep her from reaching her full potential. While having children young may keep teenagers from what is said to be the more “glamorous” parts of adolescents it doesn’t prevent them from being successful and we as society need get rid of the idea it does. 

    “We need to first get rid of the stigma that children hinder a woman from being successful and prepare young women to make choices they can be proud of,” Derrick said.

    No matter the circumstance, there are people and resources to help young women on their journey to motherhood. 

    “Based on my personal experience with abortion and adoption, my stance is to do whatever it takes to give life to the baby,” Derrick said. 

  

(Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)