You could say D.C. McAllister had hit rock bottom when she found herself sitting in her car outside a Planned Parenthood in the heat. She had walked away from her life as a wife and mother to two children. A decision she calls selfish.
She began a new life with a new man, but it didn’t take long for her to realize how much she missed her children and that she wanted to give them the stable home that they deserved. But now she was pregnant, and a future with her husband and children just didn’t seem possible.
As she writes in her piece for Ricochet called Choosing Life, not only was she in a bad place with her husband because of her affair, but her church had shunned her for her actions. She writes:
When I saw them [church members], they turned the other way. They saw me as an untouchable, no longer a Christian, no longer a mother. Unforgiven. Cast out.
I deserved it. I believed that.
Her husband and church elders sent McAllister letters telling her that she was no longer a mother and that she was to have no contact with her children unless she repented, and then she would be able to be with her family again.
McAllister decided to return to her church and ask for forgiveness. After meeting with the leaders of the church, she was told that the church would help her fix her marriage as long as she “complied with their admonitions and requirements.” She agreed.
She returned to her apartment to pack her belongings, but on that night, she discovered she was pregnant. McAllister was devastated. No longer ready to pack up her things and head back to her husband, children, and church, she stayed in her apartment for two months. She struggled with what to do.
After finally telling the father of the child about the baby, she told him she was considering placing the child for adoption. But he refused that option, telling her he wanted to raise the child himself. And while this was the right and honorable choice on the father’s part, McAllister’s church and her husband told her this would not be possible if she wanted her old life back. She writes:
[…] the church and my husband refused to accept that. I would not be allowed back to raise my two children, to restore my family, as long as I knew where my illegitimate baby was. The only choice was to deliver the baby, and someone (a person from the church or my husband – I didn’t know the details of the plan) would take her from me without me ever seeing her. I would sign over legal rights and they would give her up for adoption. […] But I couldn’t do that. I knew the father would fight it […] How could I live with her alive in this world, alone?
It was during this moment filled with fear and regret that McAllister thought of abortion. She knew that by having an abortion she would be ending her child’s life, but, like many women, she convinced herself that an abortion would fix everything. After all, she wondered, if thousands of women have abortions every single day, it couldn’t be so bad. Afterwards, she would be able to move on with her husband and children and not look back. She would have everything she longed for.
“How ironic,” she writes, “that I couldn’t bear the thought of adoption but I could contemplate death.”
McAllister made the decision and headed to Planned Parenthood. It took a lot of convincing to get herself to get out of the car and to walk through those doors, but she felt she didn’t have another choice. If she wanted her life back, she had to sacrifice her baby. In a haze, she walked into Planned Parenthood and up to the front desk. She was ready. But when she looked around the room, and into the eyes of a tearful young girl, McAllister froze. She couldn’t go through with it.
“Suffering is the consequence of sin,” she writes, “If we’re willing to sin, we need to be willing to accept the suffering that comes with it. To run from it, to do even worse things to avoid it – piling one wrong upon another – is no answer. It only causes more pain, more suffering – maybe not for you, but certainly for the child you’ve killed.”
McAllister doesn’t tell us how this part of her story ends. But hopefully, she is living a life of hope, free from the sins of her past, and together with all three of her precious children.