This church pastor bravely shared her late term abortion story and it is heartbreaking
There are some women whose bravery takes our breath away. The Rev. Dr. Amy Butler, a senior minister at New York City’s Riverside Church (not to mention the first female to hold that role), is one. Her act of bravery was not physical, but mental. She shared the story of her late term abortion in an essay for USA Today.
That’s right. A religious figure wrote about abortion — her own.
Dr. Butler was moved to share the story of her struggles due to the current political climate:
"This year, we have watched a major candidate for our country's highest office demean and slander whole categories of American citizens. We have watched him make offensive, outrageous claims about real people and real decisions that everyday Americans face. People like me. Decisions like mine," she wrote.
Abortion has been a hot topic this election season, as it often is since the candidates stances are so different. In her essay, Dr. Butler gets very personal about the experience.
She continues, "What sent me to my computer to write is late-term abortion. As I heard Donald Trump talk about babies being 'ripped' from their mothers’ wombs, as if ending a pregnancy is a reckless, irresponsible afterthought, my outrage poured down my face in angry tears. In those moments, Trump, who has never been pregnant and presumably has navigated this far in his life without undertaking any difficult, gut-wrenching, gray-area decisions, used my own pain — deep, deep pain — to advance his political agenda."
Compelled by the presidential candidate’s words, she bravely continues her personal story.
She writes, "The late-term abortion I chose was the end of a dream. The pain was so real and so consuming that navigating my way through the grief, I never thought that I would have the happy, healthy family that I do today. It was one of the most agonizing experiences of my life and a true lesson in the reality that life is not always as clear-cut and obvious as you might think it is."
In the powerful essay, she recounts how she got the news that something was wrong with her pregnancy in her third trimester. Doctors confirmed that her baby was not healthy, and would likely not survive birth. Even worse, if she did, she would slowly suffer and die shortly after. Morever, doctors told her that continuing the pregnancy would be dangerous for her.
Butler was devastated and forced to make one of the hardest decisions imaginable.
We wish some of our current political candidates would read this essay and understand.
"I wish I never had to live through the loss of my child, but I am forever grateful for my personal decision being just that: mine. I had a choice, and I chose to make the hardest decision and carry the pain of that decision with me for my whole life to ensure that my child didn’t suffer."
Butler believes politicians like Donald Trump devalue women’s real and often horrific experiences, which she eloquently states in her essay. As the election approaches, we are thankful for women like Rev. Dr. Amy Butler who share their stories. Thank you.