Abby’s Conversion Started 13 Years Earlier For Me.
Talking about the Silent Scream.

Abby’s Conversion Started 13 Years Earlier For Me.

The high school I graduated from was a small private Christian School. My class had a whopping 16 kids in it. We were a “non-denominational” school, but that’s just code for 95% Baptist.

Every year we attended a Bible class….

When I was a senior in high school, we took on a workbook that dealt with several hot button issues. To be honest, I am not sure the name or title of the curriculum. Our class was taught by Baptist preacher, Pastor Way. He was great, and I enjoyed his willingness to play devil’s advocate for us. In fact, I have always remembered him as one of the more influential teachers I had. He was big on debate and enjoyed teaching us better ways to argue. There was a pretty wide range of topics including secular music, homosexuality, evolution, Christians in the movies, and so on. The main thing I remember, though, was when we tackled the issue of abortion. Pastor Way was pretty passionate about the subject, and there was a sense of urgency when we went over the material.

For the most part, we just went over the nuts and bolts about abortion. What is abortion? What does the Bible say about abortion? The history of Roe v Wade. But then there was the day we all dreaded. We all knew it was coming. We were going to have to watch a video called “Silent Scream.”

I am sure most of you are familiar with the video. A former abortionist made it in 1984. It graphically depicts a live abortion of a 12-week-old fetus. (You can Google Silent Scream if you want more info). We all knew from the classes before us that this was going to be a rough day. Every year on this day, we would see everyone walking out with tears in their eyes. We had no idea what to expect. To be honest, you can’t prepare a person to see a child lose their life in the womb. You can show graphic signs of aborted babies, you can give scientific definitions, you can go over every little scientific fact there is about abortion, but you cannot prepare a person to watch a life end on screen.

I don’t remember how long the video was. I don’t remember much about the information given before and after we saw the live abortion. The main thing I remember was seeing a child do everything it could to save his own life. It may have lasted less than a minute, but the memory has lasted me a lifetime. The images are with me forever. The babies mouth opening and closing, limbs scrambling, and then nothing. When the video was over, we all sat in silence. It took us all a while to process what we had seen. At the end of it all, for me, I knew I was a pro-life person.

Fast-forward about 13 years. I am married to a woman who is running an abortion clinic. I had reluctantly supported her for about 8 years as she went from volunteer to clinic manager. I was never comfortable with her working there, but over the years I had started to believe some of the same talking points that had sucked her in.

Then, the day came when Abby would see something similar to what I saw in the Silent Scream video. She was asked to come in and assist with an ultrasound guided abortion. Her job was to hold the ultrasound probe on the girl’s belly so the doctor could better see what he was doing. Abby had full view of what was on the screen. When the doctor said “beam me up, Scottie”, the suction was turned on, and the doctor began the procedure. What Abby saw next was the live killing of a 13-week-old baby in real time. Just like the room full of high school seniors I was in, she had no idea how to process the information. She went about the rest of her day as usual, but she couldn’t shake what she had seen.

When she came home, I was in the living room playing with our daughter. We went through our usual pleasantries, how was work, how’s Gracie, blah blah blah. When Abby sat down, there was a different look on her face. She looked at me and said, “Doug, I saw something today, and I am not sure what to think about it.” She then started to explain what she saw in graphic detail. I was instantly taken back to that day we watched the video. As she went through the process, everything started to sound very similar. The crazy thing about it was I knew exactly how she felt.

That was the moment that Abby’s eight plus years at Planned Parenthood started to look blurry and unravel. For me, it was the first moment we could actually connect and discuss something that happened to her at work. It was almost as if God had put me in that room to watch that movie 13 years earlier, just for this moment. I am not saying that if I hadn’t seen Silent Scream that none of this would have happened. What I am saying is that it is amazing to see God’s work over time. Abby and I had a new connection now. I can’t imagine what it was like for her considering that she didn’t just see a movie. She helped schedule the appointment, counsel the girl, and ultimately provide a visual for the doctor. I believe God knew she needed to have an extreme experience in order to start her conversion. I also think He new that me seeing that movie would be a strong connection that would help us get through what was coming.

Abby’s experience reminded me why I was prolife for so long. It reminded me why I constantly defended the protesters and people praying at her clinic. All the arguments and silent car rides had become worth it. All the sudden, we had similar experiences. I had all but silenced that little voice in the back of my head that was the truth about abortion. I did it because I loved my wife. But now, that little voice was about to get steadily louder.

 

“Praying is something we do in our time, the answers come in God’s time”

Robert Prosky as Father Cavanaugh in  Rudy

24 comments

  1. Keep sharing…I love your stories! It’s good to hear a man, husband, fathers perspective of supporting his wife’s mission to heal and then promote the pro-life cause. For fifteen years, I was a client, I volunteered and later on staff I did post abortion bible studies at my local Pregnancy Center. After years of dragging my husband to our annual fundraising banquet, I finally saw my husband change after Abby was our guest speaker a couple of years ago. She totally needs you there to listen, support, protect and BELIEVE in her mission!
    KEEP ON SHARING!!
    Madaline Cox
    Bakersfield CA

  2. Abby will be the speaker at the fundraiser for Georgia Right to Life in 10 days. I am looking forward to meeting her.

  3. I just want to say that I like your blog. And this post too, of course, but that overall, I’m glad you started your own blog as it’s nice to see the behind-the-scenes view. I’m kind of new to the whole Catholic mom blog circle and only recently discovered Abby’s story and blog. I too went to Christian high school (which yes was “non-denominational” aka Baptist :)), though we never watched Silent Scream.

    You’re in my blog feed now and I’m looking forward to continue reading!

  4. Listening to your side now after listening to, reading about and meeting Abby is incredible. God does His work in miraculous ways. You and Abby are living proff. My God continue to bless you both on your journey….and all your little ones!!

  5. Dr. Bernard Nathanson was an avowed atheist for many years before he became prolife. In the late 1960s he helped set the stage to legalize abortion in New York state, using made up statistics claiming vast numbers of women were dying from back alley or self-induced abortions. Once it was legal Nathanson ran the largest abortion facility in NYC. Finally, after seeing the light, he wrote “Aborting America” (a must read). Now out of print, you can get it at amazon.com.

    For a quick overview of this book go to:
    http://www.abort73.com/blog/aborting_america_bernard_nathanson/

    Nathanson also wrote “The Hand of God”, a stunning autobiography. Also, an excellent read.

  6. Doug:
    Thanks for sharing that story and for all you and Abby are doing. The Lord certainly has great plans for you both and is using you in many ways. My wife and I have both read her book and are really touched by the heart she demonstrates for those who are still on the other side of the line. I’m looking forward to meeting her when she comes to be our banquet speaker on November 7.
    Jim Hall
    Board President, Amnion Crisis Pregnancy Center

  7. Thanks for the post. I began reading a book about abortion and testing incubators for premature babies, but then would disconnect it and not attempt to continue to try to save the babies life. I couldn’t finish the book, “Beyond Abortion”, because I couldn’t stomach it. I won’t watch Silent Scream, but sometimes as you said, it does take an extreme experience to really hit the heart and mind.

  8. I watched that video as research for my book, AT WHAT COST. I just sent it to Abby to read. I had to make myself watch the whole thing, horrified at what I was seeing. Makes me cry just thinking about it. Thank you for sharing.

    • It was tough. I have seen your book on the table, so I know it’s on the list. Looking forward to it now. I don’t get a lot of time to sit and read though. Thanks for responding.

  9. Doug, Abby’s post about this entry on Facebook was spot on. I love your wife and her courage. Your courage is clear as well. God made you both for each other. You are lucky. Abby is lucky. Your children are lucky. May God continue to bless you all.

  10. Thanks for sharing this, Doug. It is amazing how God has woven together the fabric of our lives.

  11. Not trying to be mean/rude, but how were you able to date and marry Abby knowing what you knew? I have been in a serious relationship before with someone who was pro choice- that was hard enough- but I can’t imagine dating or marrying someone who works in an abortion clinic. How did you do it?

    • You are not the first person to comment on or ask about that. I don’t see it as mean or rude. It’s a legit question. In short, I loved her and admired her conviction. I don’t want to share it all right here, so there will be more to come on that. Don’t worry, I am not ignoring the question.

    • Yes, I have always wondered that too.

  12. Thank you for sharing. It’s interesting to me that people tolerate evil like this and so many other evils, often out of love for someone they care about who is involved. Love–real love, the friend of truth–will eventually win. Love is a powerful bridge. We must pray that those we love will have their eyes opened, [give their (e)Yes to God], to see the truth about abortion as God sees. As the scriptures say: “Love never fails.”

  13. Wow, thank you for sharing this!

  14. For some reason, this URL will not show up as a hyperlink on Twitter.

  15. “The Silent Scream” was a life-changer for me, too. It illuminated in sharp detail all of the lies about abortion that the women’s movement and abortionists were pushing. God has used Dr. Bernard Nathanson’s film in an incredible way, to open many eyes.

  16. Marian J. Lovelessm

    Awesome example of God’s providence-in His own time and in His own way.!
    I sure hope Pastor Way sees your blog too.

    • He does. We are friends on FaceBook and keep up with each other. I messaged him to make sure he read it. He wrote me a very nice thank you.

  17. WOW, Doug! This was so powerful! I’ve not had the privilege of meeting Abby. One day I hope to meet you both! Thank you so much for sharing this. I remember the day I watched Silent Scream in 1984. I had already made a commitment to be Pro-Life two years earlier. I had always said I was Pro-Choice out of ignorance. My pastor was the director of a local Crisis Pregnancy Center in El Paso. Every Thursday when we had service he had to show a video on abortion. I was saved in 1982, and became Pro-Life the same year. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and now the two of you can take a stand together as husband and wife. I know God has a plan for you both for such a time as this! What a great God we serve!

  18. Thank God for Dr. Bernard Nathanson making that movie. He had no idea the impact it would have, even decades latter. God rest his soul. He died a Catholic, you know. (Wouldn’t Pastor Way be shocked!)

    • I bet he would be shocked. I used to visit his church in high school, long before I became Catholic. I am not sure how he feels about Catholics to be honest.

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