On March 11, Live Action released a new video featuring an interview between Lila Rose and former abortionist, Dr. Patti Giebink. In the video, Dr. Giebink, a Sanford Medical School graduate, describes her journey from being a young, pro-choice doctor committing abortions in her residency — and later for Planned Parenthood — to her current status of Ob/Gyn and board member for Alpha Pregnancy Center. Dr. Giebink describes her pro-life conversion as a “long, painful journey,” one that she ultimately attributes to God’s redemption and the compassion shown to her by pro-life and Christian groups.
During her Ob/Gyn residency at a well women’s clinic in 1991, Dr. Giebink encountered abortion and began to incorporate it as part of her medical practice. She explained, “To me it was embryology, it was science, it was surgery. I didn’t really— I can’t say that I stopped and was thinking, ‘well, where does life begin?'” (5:50) Through associating with pro-choice groups in college, Giebink strongly supported keeping abortion as an option for women’s healthcare.
A premature baby and a change of heart
It wasn’t until she filled in for a fellow Ob/Gyn and dealt with an early 25-week delivery that Giebink began to think differently about the humanity of children in the womb. Giebink remembers painting a grim picture to the mother of all the possible things that may be wrong with her baby at such an early delivery date: death, blindness, breathing problems, etc. “And I did her C-section, and this little baby came out and I swear, if it could have had English, it would’ve said, “Oh! I am so glad you finally got me out of there.’ And this little baby, 25 weeks, little bit under-grown, never was on a vent, never required any oxygen.” (6:26) Fifteen years later, Giebink met that mother at a pro-life rally and discovered that her baby boy had grown into a perfectly healthy teenager, without any special needs.
Giebink’s transformation began when she realized a need for something more in her life. She delved into New Age practices and tried to focus on her life accomplishments and status. The emptiness returned, however, and Giebink turned to shopping and other ventures in desperate attempts to find meaning. When her marriage ended in divorce, everything fell apart. At the end of her rope, Giebink accepted a friend’s invitation to church and discovered Jesus Christ. After fervently studying the Bible, Giebink remarks that she learned that “God’s heart is life.” (20:25) Later, she fully confronted the reality of her past, publicly declaring, “I am proof that God can redeem anyone. I used to do abortions for Planned Parenthood.” (22:00)
Welcomed by compassionate pro-lifers
In 2006, while working closely with a Catholic Ob/Gyn friend, Giebink was asked to participate in a pro-life ad in South Dakota. On film, Giebink encouraged voters to vote for life. Shortly thereafter, she was invited to attend the Alpha Center’s Christmas program (a pro-life pregnancy center). Shocked and anxious about how people would receive her, Giebink went to the program, expecting to be excluded. To her surprise, the founder as well as other larger names within the center welcomed her to their table and later became a driving influence in her future pro-life work. What struck Giebink about these people was their love, acceptance, and compassion that reached out to her with open arms. There was no judgment, no harsh words, no sneaking glances; they helped her heal from her dark past and embrace the hope now flooding her life.
In another instance, upon being pushed into a room full of post-abortive women awaiting counseling, Giebink realized they were hurting from the same things she was processing: shame, guilt, and disbelief. Reflecting on that moment, Giebink concluded, “Everybody needs to be healed. It doesn’t help when you have people that are so radically pro-life that they have lost compassion.” (29:35)
Faced with this unfortunate reality, Giebink set out to help women truly heal from their abortions. Hate and punishment do nothing for women already wounded by abortion. Numerous accounts of post-abortive women prove this to be true. The abortion itself, followed by the potentially long-term effects like depression and regret, show the true nature of abortion. In part because of this, Giebink has now chosen to devote herself to pro-life work. She challenges the pro-life community with these words (31:00):
We have to come to the right answer a different way. Why are there women in crisis pregnancies? Why are women thinking that abortion is their only alternative? How can we really help these women? Do they really know what they’re doing? It’s kind of like, well, one of the phrases is ‘women are smart,’ you know, ‘they can make up their own mind,’ you know ‘blah blah blah.’
But we see enough women who have regretted their choice. They’ve regretted it and have said, ‘If I only knew, I wouldn’t have done it.’
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