In her 2022 book, Wendy Burpee wrote about how she suffered abortion trauma and abuse. Burpee was raised in a Christian home and went to Christian school. She was taught that abortion was wrong, but was not taught why. She also knew nothing about fetal development, the science of when life begins, or how abortion harms women.
When she became pregnant, her boyfriend encouraged abortion. Reluctantly, she agreed to go to Planned Parenthood and discuss her options.
A Planned Parenthood worker told her, “This will be a quick in and out procedure. You’ll be back to normal in just a few days.” According to Burpee, “She acted like it was a done deal and there was no reason to consider any other option.” The worker called Burpee’s child a “clump of cells” and never used the term “baby.”
An Abortion without Her Consent
Burpee asked to speak to the doctor. The abortion worker gave Burpee some medicine to “help relax” her as Burpee waited. Burpee lost consciousness and woke up in the recovery room. She realized that Planned Parenthood had aborted her baby — without her consent. She says:
My questions would remain unanswered forever. I would never know if my child had a heartbeat yet or exactly how far along I had been…
I went there to talk about the pregnancy, but there had been no talking… I was shocked that I had just endured this procedure without seeing a doctor.
She went home and cried. She says, “[T]here was a lingering remorse that became part of my soul and soon would affect so many choices that I would make in the future.”
She and her boyfriend married, but a year later, he left her for another woman.
Trapped in an Abusive Relationship
She started dating a man named Sean. One night, Sean came to her apartment drunk, brutally beat her, choked her, held a pillow over her face, and raped her. Burpee drove to the police station, and the police documented her injuries and arrested Sean.
Sean wrote her a letter while awaiting trial. He apologized, begged forgiveness, told her he loved her and promised never to hurt her again. On the stand, Burpee denied that Sean raped her. Therefore, he only received probation. After the trial, Burpee moved in with him.
Forced into Abortion by Her Abuser
Sean continued to abuse her. When she got pregnant, he at first seemed to want the baby. Then he demanded she abort. When Burpee said she didn’t know if that was what she wanted, he punched her in the stomach. Burpee says:
I knew this was just the beginning. He would certainly keep coming after me until I did what he said. I told myself that he would injure the baby at some point and so before the situation got worse, I would concede to his demands and end the life of the baby…
I had long ago stopped thinking for myself and had learned to do what he wanted to keep the peace. He said we couldn’t have a baby so that was that.
At the abortion facility, the ultrasound screen was turned away from Burpee so she couldn’t see her baby. She desperately hoped one of the abortion workers would ask her if abortion was really what she wanted, but they didn’t. Burpee was put under anesthesia, and again, never saw the abortionist.
The next day, she suffered heavy bleeding and intense pain. With difficulty, she convinced Sean to take her to the hospital. Planned Parenthood had botched the abortion. She needed a D&C, a blood transfusion, and surgery to repair her uterus.
A Third, Secret Abortion
Unfortunately, even though she was using birth control, Burpee got pregnant again. This time, she didn’t tell Sean. She knew doing so would lead to a beating. Burpee went back to the abortion facility.
After her third abortion, Burpee started thinking about suicide. She felt trapped in the abusive relationship, believing she deserved the abuse, partly due to guilt from her abortions. Sean manipulated her, convincing her that she was worthless and that no one else would ever love her.
Finally, with the support of friends, she left Sean for good.
Marriage and Motherhood
Burpee married and had a son. Her past abortions made his birth emotionally painful:
Looking into his little face triggered a mountain of pain. I could not push back the memories of three pregnancies that had ended because of my choices… On a night when I should have felt nothing but joy, I felt pain and shame that I had allowed one baby to live and another to die.
She went on to have another son and a daughter.
Helping Others Choose Life
She was eventually hired as the director of Genesis Pregnancy Center. Working with local churches and donors, she equipped the center with an ultrasound machine and turned it into a medical clinic.
The first time a pregnant woman came in considering abortion, Burpee shared her own abortion story. She says, “She and I had both faced an unplanned pregnancy but there was no way I was going to let her make the same tragic mistake I had made.”
Burpee told the woman about her baby’s development and explained the ways that Genesis could help her. The woman chose life.
Burpee counsels women considering abortion on a regular basis. She says:
The past reminds me to do everything I can to stop women from choosing abortion… The events of my young life have created a fire that burns intensely in my soul and drives me to do everything I can to stop the senseless killing of tiny humans and protect women from the trauma of abortion.
Burpee also works with post-abortive women, some of whom, she says, “cannot even say the word ‘abortion’ without falling apart.” Before she found healing, Burpee was the same, but now she helps heal others.
Burpee also speaks at churches and high schools, educating students about abortion. After overcoming so much abortion-related trauma, she is a powerful advocate for preborn babies.
Source: Wendy Burpee Running toward Abortion: A Journey of Healing and Redemption (Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, 2022) 22-23, 24, 42-43, 52-53, 67, 76-77, 83, 94, 99-100, 102, 103