Years after her abortion as a teen, Angel realized it left wounds that ‘words cannot describe’

Angel L. Murchison wrote a memoir about her abortion, the trauma it caused in her life, and her eventual healing.

Murchison’s mother died when she was only eight. She became pregnant at 15, and her boyfriend broke up with her soon afterward. When Murchison went to a family member for advice, she suggested abortion. The family member told her that abortion would remove a “blob of tissue” and that her child wasn’t a baby yet. Murchison believed her family member’s words.

Physical and Emotional Pain

After the abortion, she says, “I physically hurt. The cramping after the procedure is a cramping I wish no human being would ever have to experience in their lifetime.”

On the way home, the family member who drove her to the abortion facility tried to lift Murchison’s spirits by joking with her. Murchison, however, didn’t feel like laughing. She says, “Although I did not fully understand what had just taken place, I felt a great emptiness inside of me, another void, a feeling I cannot completely put into words.”

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Drinking to Cope

Murchison drank alcohol before her abortion in order to ease her grief over her mother’s death and the emotional pain she felt from being bullied in school. After her abortion, her drinking became worse. At 17, she became so drunk at a party that her friends had to drag her home to her apartment. It was the middle of winter, and they forgot to put shoes on her feet. She ended up with frostbite.

She recalls her brother taking her to the emergency room with alcohol poisoning. She also remembers drinking and driving. One night, she drove on the wrong side of the road and nearly had a head-on collision. Fortunately, a police officer stopped her before she could get into a serious accident. The officer let her off with a warning.

Murchison says, “I guess [drinking] was the only way I knew how to deal with the pain that kept consuming my life. I did not know any other way.”

Her life felt empty. She says, “My jobs did not fill the void. The partying did not fill the void. So, I consumed alcohol, and at least it made me feel happy—for a little while.”

She got back together with the father of her aborted baby and married him, but continued to abuse alcohol. Years later, her daughter would remember Murchison driving drunk while she was in the car.

Realizing the Truth

Things improved when Murchison rededicated herself to the Christian faith she’d had as a child. She had wanted to raise her children in the church and began attending services. She soon became very involved in the church and grew in her faith.

Murchison thought she’d put the abortion behind her. But one day, a couple came to her church. They spoke about their miscarriages and the painful loss of their children. At the end of the talk, they dedicated a song to all the women who had lost a child through abortion or miscarriage.

During the song, Murchison started crying and couldn’t stop. She sobbed through the rest of the service and went home in tears. She spent the rest of the night crying and says, “I wanted to die to get rid of the pain. I cried all night long. I screamed. I got down on my knees beside my bed and prayed.”

Murchison says:

I realized for the very first time that the choice I made wasn’t a good one. Although I had never really understood before, I chose to take the life of a baby, when there were others who would do anything to have a baby. I bought into the lie that the baby in my womb was just tissue.

I missed [the aborted baby] so much that night. I remember just sobbing for hours. My then-husband tried to talk to me about it, but what he had to say did not matter to me. He could not take the pain away. No matter how hard he tried to comfort me, it did not seem to help.

She realized, “I had buried the pain from the abortion.”

Telling the Secret and Finding Healing

Murchison had kept her abortion a secret from everyone at church. Only she and her husband knew about it. But now she felt the need to share her grief and confess what she had done.

She called a friend and told her about her abortion, the talk at church, and “how broken I was.” To her surprise, her friend began crying. It turned out her friend had also had an abortion and had never told anyone.

This conversation was the beginning of Murchison’s healing. Telling the secret, getting support, and giving support to her friend helped heal her emotional trauma. Later, she went through the program “Forgiven and Set Free,” a Bible study for post-abortive women.

She named her aborted baby Jeremiah Isaac Murchison. The name was inspired by Jeremiah 1:5, which reads, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; Before you were born, I sanctified you; I ordained you as a prophet to the nations.”

Murchison now says, “I now know that abortion is never the answer. It leaves a scar that words cannot describe.”

Helping to Heal Others

She now works in a pregnancy resource center, helping others to heal. She hopes God will use her and her experience to minister to those who have suffered a miscarriage or abortion, and to encourage other women to choose life.

She wrote her book to help others, and says, “I never thought I would write about abortion… But I know I am supposed to share my story and journey of inner healing, in hopes that it will impact the lives of others.”

Source: Angel L Murchison Secret Shame: Overcoming Pain and Brokenness after an Abortion (New York: Morgan James Publishing, 2023) 6–7, 9–10, 62, 72, 65, 93

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