Her abusive fiancé ordered her to have an abortion she never wanted

abortion pill, abortion, forced abortion,New Jersey

In her memoirAda Love wrote about the painful aftermath of an abortion she had in 1981 at age 20.

Pregnant by an Abusive Man and Coerced into an Abortion

Love was raised in a religious home. “If the doors of the church were open, we were there,” she said. She accepted Jesus as a child and was very active in her church.

After becoming engaged to an abusive man she thought she was in love with, she learned she was pregnant four months before the wedding. She explained, “I believed I was in love. I was dependent on this love.” When she told her fiancé that she was pregnant, he said,You’ll get rid of it—you’ll have an abortion.” He ordered her to “take care of the problem.”

Love said, “I just nodded, not saying a word. The conversation was closed. The decision had already been made. Sadness and a feeling of darkness became a constant companion in the days to come.”

Pressure and Fear

At the abortion facility, staff pressured her to make an appointment right away. She was nearing her second trimester, and they told her time was running out to have a suction abortion, even though abortion was legal late in pregnancy in her state.

Love feared how her Christian friends and family would react to her pregnancy before marriage. She said she “believed the lies that the rejection and humiliation I would feel … would be more unbearable than having an abortion.”

Still, she begged her fiancé to change his mind:

I pleaded, “We can’t do this. This is our child, our flesh and blood. We can’t kill our child.”…

I wanted him to say, “You’re right, we can’t do this. I want this child; it is ours.”

Oh, I wanted him to say this, but he didn’t. He said, “You have to—there is no choice.”

I cried like I had never cried before.

Having the Abortion

The first time Love went to the abortion facility, she walked out. But she ultimately returned and went through with the abortion. 

One woman in the waiting room was holding a baby. After her abortion, Love heard the same woman crying hysterically. She asked an abortion worker about it, and the worker told her the woman was crying because she regretted her abortion.

“Her cries were filled with pain… Her cries were expressing what my heart was really feeling…” said Love.


After the abortion, Love said:

I was unable to experience joy or happiness. My world had become one of apathy and numbness. The day I allowed my own baby to die, I also died; though it was certainly not a physical death, at the time it might as well have been one. I was dead to all emotion… except the growing anger inside of me…

Trapped in an Abusive Marriage

After she married her fiancé, the abuse escalated. He regularly beat her, choked her, raped her, and threatened to kill her. She stayed with him and hid the abuse from friends and family, just like she’d hidden the pregnancy and abortion. Around friends, she pretended her marriage was happy. But often when she visited them, she was in pain from the most recent beating.

Love went on to give birth to two children, but motherhood only added to her pain (emphasis original):

When I held my firstborn son after he was born, I so tragically knew that I had made the biggest mistake of my life just a few years earlier… Now as a mother of two precious boys, I continually live with the feeling that one of my children is missing, and in fact, one of them is…

They said it wouldn’t hurt, but what they should have said was that it would never stop hurting.

Finding Support at Church

Love went back to church. During a sermon on repentance and secret sin, she felt the full impact of her abortion and began crying. “The pain, loss, and sorrow grew within me. At times it became almost unbearable,” she said. “I knew Jesus had forgiven me, but I couldn’t forgive myself.”

She told her pastor about her abortion, and he responded withgentleness and compassion.”

Things improved for Love when her husband left and the abuse ended. Love had close friends at church who supported her, but, she said, “It was a constant struggle to believe that God loved me or that anyone else could. I certainly couldn’t find any love or compassion for myself most of the time.”

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Emotional Healing through Faith and Therapy

One day, while praying with her pastor, she looked at him and saw that he was crying with her. Looking into her eyes, he said, “I forgive you. I believe in you.” At that moment, Love finally felt forgiven.

She went through counseling to help her cope with her abortion and said:

I realized that maybe I believed I deserved to have been abused because of the abortion…

Maybe I believed that because of the abortion, I didn’t have a right to complain or speak to someone else about the nightmare of living with my husband and all the abuse that took place, because I deserved everything he did to me.

She finally accepted that “[e]ven though I feel horrible about the abortion, this doesn’t justify what he did to me.”

Reaching Out to Other Women 

Love wrote a poem about her grief, which was published anonymously in the newsletter of a local pregnancy resource center. She went back to school, and, needing to volunteer for credit, worked at the center as a counselor.

Love met with a woman considering abortion and shared her poem with her. She says, “As the woman read the poem, tears began to spill down her cheeks. I shared, very gently and briefly, of how I had grieved after making the decision to abort my baby.”

Love never saw the woman again. But months later, the center director told her the woman had her baby, and said that the poem had convinced her to choose life.

Love wishes the center had been there when she had her abortion. She wrote her book to help other women and now speaks publicly about abortion’s aftermath.

Source: Ada Love Abortion v. God’s Amazing Grace (Bloomington, Indiana: WestBow Press, 2013) 24, 4, 31, 32, 42, 45, 87-88, 91, 96, 119, 159, 174

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