Post-Abortive Woman Thankful to Share Testimony:   I’ve had a lot of “never in a million years did I think...” moments over the past couple years. Ever since leaving the fitness industry and taking the leap of faith to work in the pro-life movement just a couple years ago, the journey has been nothing but rewarding. One that I am beyond thankful to be a part of. Never in a million years did I think I would be doing my own speaking tours – especially sharing my own testimony.   What started out as one school requesting for me to come and tell my post-abortive testimony turned into a 5-school speaking a one-week time span. I’ve written about my story and have verbally shared my testimony several times with different audiences. This time, I battled with myself on how to make this tour a little different. I was so used to sharing my testimony the same old way; I wanted to tackle this tour differently. I decided to speak about the very raw emotional scars I had after my abortion. There were some parts of my testimony that I hadn’t shared publicly, a little bit out of fear, so what better way to get over fear than make a speaking tour out of it, right?   I decided to go a little deeper with the psychological consequences that I experienced and tie in how I was heavily manipulated and coerced into my abortion. Again - something I haven’t explored deeply in a public setting. I also used solid research from pro-abortion supporters to dive deep into the health and psychological risk factors that science has proven women experience following abortions.  

The Journey Begins...

In late October, I embarked on this road trip in my home state of Texas with SFLA’s Texas Regional Coordinator, Sarah, for this 5 stop tour. And if you know Texas, you know there were a lot of hours on the road... fueled by coffee and, of course, Buc-ees.   The first stop was the University of Texas Medical Board in Galveston. The room was packed and we had to pull in extra chairs. We even had some students standing. After I spoke, I had several nursing students tell me that the research I cited was heart-wrenching and they wished it was something they heard more about in their classes. I was also able to have a heartfelt conversation with a mom who adopted her daughter from an abortion-determined woman many years prior. The conversations I was able to have with the medical students at UTMB gave me just the encouragement I needed to set the bar for the rest of the tour. I am so thankful for the students I was able to meet and speak with at UTMB.   After that (on the same day), we headed to University of St. Thomas in Houston. I was so excited to be with this group again, as I had met them during my first month working for SFLA. Seeing the familiar faces again was a joy. Even with some minor technical difficulties during my presentation, this group was so attentive and asked great questions during the Q&A.   The next day, we set out for my favorite city: Austin. I was raised to bleed burnt orange, so I was excited to be in Austin and to speak at UT. Again, a lot of great conversations and questions were raised by these students. I spoke with one member of the group afterwards about what I think should be done within the healthcare spectrum for women who suffer from Abortion PTSD. I don’t think he realized how passionate I was going to be with my answers on this. I also shed a few tears with another girl when she asked me some questions; it’s these encounters that I cherish the most. Getting real and raw with the students to help them navigate through difficulties in their own lives makes it all worth it.  

The Texas Leadership Workshop

Our Texas Regional Coordinator Sarah did an amazing job putting together the Dallas Leadership Workshop for SFLA’s student leaders and I was thankful to be a part of the day and meet the new leaders in Texas. This group was so enthusiastic during my talk and brought up great questions about the psychological effects that they weren’t aware of. I was able to sit and have lunch with several students and go into more detail about what they can do on their campuses to reach hurting post-abortive women. I have actually been contacted by several students since about training them on the things they can and should say to hurting women on campus.   The next and final stop was University of Texas at San Antonio. This was another group that I was very excited to see again and the event ended with more great conversations.   
It became clear to me after each stop that all the groups shared similar interest in learning about one topic. It also became very clear that something was missing. Each group had questions and concerns about how to talk to post-abortive women. The groups shared with me how fearful they were about saying the wrong things or not having the best resources to help her. I’m so grateful that this tour was able to highlight this need, and I’ve started brainstorming how to help groups with their post-abortive outreach.  
Never in a million years did I think this is where my story would lead. But I am beyond thankful for this journey. I am thankful for each student I was able to meet, and for the time I was able to spend with student groups. I am thankful for the opportunity each group gave me to be raw and vulnerable. To everyone I met on the tour: Thank you for hosting me, thank you for asking the hard questions, and thank you for wanting to broaden your knowledge on the topics I discussed. Because of you, lives will be saved. I have started thinking about the next adventure and can’t wait to do this again! 
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March 16, 2017