Laurie Burk’s life changed at 19 when she had an abortion. But that abortion was also a turning point for the life of her daughter. And today she is a grandmother of a child that almost wasn’t born.
Burk was 19 when she found out she was pregnant. As she cried, realizing how alone she was as a college student without family nearby, her doctor placed a piece of paper in her hand; it held the number of an Iowa City, IA abortion clinic. And soon after, she was a patient in that clinic, having an abortion.
“I went by myself and denied any pain medication during the process as I felt I needed to feel what I was about to do. I asked them to stop at least 3-4 times (not because of the pain but because I knew I was making a mistake and wanted my baby) and finally was told there was no stopping from that moment on.”
But the pain would last beyond that day. It was the day, Laurie says, when she “lost a piece of [her] soul.”
“I went home and stayed in the fetal position in my bed for three days, not being able to move, weak and bleeding. I recovered from ‘the procedure’ physically, but a part of me also died that day that I will never get back.”
Eventually, in her late twenties, Laurie had three children. But her abortion never left her. “I hid this terrible secret of mine for years and never even told my husband until we were married for years,” she said. And then she told her children. Knowing they might become sexually active, she felt they needed to know her story so they would not end up in the place she had been. She said, “They have always been grateful to me for sharing with them such a deep and devastating part of my past.”
And then it went from gratitude to saving a life. In 2012, Burk’s daughter, who was 18, came to her; she was pregnant. She told Burk she was going to abort her baby—and then she left the house without further discussion. But Burk wasn’t done.
“I rallied my family, we all talked to her and told her how we felt about her pregnancy and how we would feel if she had an abortion. We mostly prayed.”
Still Burk’s daughter insisted she was going to abort and left again.
“I didn’t hear from her again for a week and I didn’t know what she had done if anything at all. One night out of the blue, she called in the middle of the night and asked if I had been praying for her and her baby. I answered yes. . . we all were. She said she had woke up sweating profusely and heard a voice within her heart that she couldn’t explain saying ‘you are not to kill my child.’ She said, ‘mom, I can’t kill my baby, I’m going to have it.’”
“God had directly intervened to bring this beautiful baby boy into our lives and I am positive He has a plan for him. “
Carson Pierre Anthony Millett turned two on Thursday, and is bringing joy to the whole family.
But Burk also knows that even this life can’t replace the one she lost:
“I still regret what I did when I killed my child and there is a part of my heart and soul that died with that baby. I know God has forgiven me, but I have a much harder time forgiving myself. I hold on to the fact that God will hopefully someday place that baby in my arms and allow me to meet him or her. ”
Besides helping her daughter, she has tried to help other young women avoid the grave mistake she made. She has tried to be sure other young women who have had abortions know there is life afterwards. But she also says she never downplays the emotional toll abortion will have on them “most likely have on them the rest of their lives.”
Little Carson is a light, a reminder of hope and redemption. And Burk is grateful for God’s forgiveness and the work of pro-lifers who try to educate and help abortion-minded women. She doesn’t want anyone to lose a baby—or a piece of her soul—because of abortion.