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I Regret Abortion, But God Took Away My Guilt: My Story

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Regret Abortion.

This may be the most raw, vulnerable post I’ve ever written. It will surely open up old wounds and hurt that I’ve tried for decades to heal.

I’m not writing this for shock value. I’m writing it to show you what God has shown me through the worst time in my life. I’m writing it to show you that God has a plan for your life – no matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past. I’m writing to show you that God loves and forgives you. I’m writing it because you may need to hear my story. My abortion story.

I’m Sue. I am a Christian writer, speaker, and ministry leader, and I’ve had an abortion.

I know, I know. Christian women and abortion normally don’t go in the same sentence. But my abortion testimony is a bit different, and God has laid it on my heart to share it after all of these years. 

photo of baby feet with the text I regret abortion but God took away my guilt My story

The overwhelming majority of women who have an abortion do so because of an unplanned pregnancy.  That was not my situation at all.

There is hope after abortion. Really, after anything in your life that has caused you guilt or shame.

If you’ve read any of my story or even my testimony, you know that I was married to my high school sweetheart for over twenty years. We married when I was 22, and I still lived a life of freedom and even partying.

We were both raised Catholic, but despite making the sacraments of the Catholic religion (infant baptism, communion, confirmation, and marriage) to that point, we were not believers. Sure, we believed in God, but church was more of a tradition for us than true faith.

I had my first child, a son, at age 26. I loved being pregnant and felt such joy the first time I felt him kick and move. Growing life inside of me was the most amazing experience.

What having an abortion taught me about God

As my son grew up, I relished being a mother. I loved that boy (and still do) with all of my heart.

Like most young couples, my husband and I struggled with money and had our share of marital strife.

We didn’t attend church but had our son christened in the Catholic church.

I was straddling things of God and things of this world.

In fact, after we were married, but before I had my son, I traveled to Washington, DC, with a small group of women and attended a pro-choice rally for abortion rights at the capitol. At the time, I honestly believed that the choice for reproductive rights belonged to the government and didn’t think twice about legal abortions – about killing an unborn child.

I didn’t see (or chose not to see) that abortion was a sin. Even if I knew it was a sin, I don’t know that it would have mattered much. I was blatantly sinning in other ways, as well.

I had never planned on having an abortion myself but, at the time, felt that out-of-touch men in government had no right to tell me (or others) what to do with my body.

My Second Pregnancy and The Act that Altered My Life Forever

Two years after my son was born, I got pregnant again. I was terrified to tell my husband. I knew he would not be happy about the news as money was already tight, and childcare was costing over 1K per month (and this was back in the mid-90s). He was also from a large family and knew the struggles of having many children, especially so close together. We had already decided to have two kids, but they would be at least four years apart.

As I expected, he was not only “not happy,” but enraged. He told me that I needed to have an abortion and that there would be no discussion.

I’d like to say that I prayed for God to soften my husband’s heart or for Him to intervene. But I didn’t.

After a tearful few weeks, when I was far enough along for the procedure to be performed, I made an appointment at a clinic.

No one but my husband and my best friend knew that I had made plans for an abortion.

While I waited for the date to arrive, I focused on my son. I cleaned the house. I drank alcohol. I did everything but acknowledge the life inside of me. The more I thought about this little human growing in me, the more I cried. So I numbed myself.

The day of the abortion itself is a blur. I know my husband drove me, and I remember we didn’t talk much in the car. I knew it was not the right decision. All of the negative emotions that I felt confirmed that. The extreme feelings of loss will haunt me forever. To experience regret of that magnitude.  To cry for days.  Post-abortion emotions affect everyone differently, but I knew this was not the right choice nor the right time.

Ezekiel 36:26

When it was over, I remember crying and holding my stomach, feeling cramping and incredible loss.

My husband told me there was no sense in talking about it and that we had done the right thing for us then. We could do nothing about it, so why obsess over it?

I felt absolutely no hope after the abortion. None. Even though I had to go home and mother a sweet little boy.

Looking back, I often wonder if I shouldn’t have fought harder or if I could have done things differently. My husband was an imposing man. While he never struck me, he had been physical with me. I was afraid of him in many ways. But this abortion decision was not my own.

Pregnancy Number Three and a Broken Heart

The following year, I became pregnant again. I was overjoyed and decided that I was having and keeping this baby no matter what my husband said.

Again, I was trembling as I told him, but surprisingly, he agreed, without a fight, to have this baby. (Perhaps the abortion had affected him, too?).

I was so excited and started re-reading pregnancy books and buying maternity clothes.

When I was fourteen weeks pregnant, I started to bleed. I called my doctor, who told me to go right to his office. He did an ultrasound and informed me that I had lost the baby. There was no heartbeat.

Because I was already in my second trimester, the fetus would probably need to be removed through a D&C. 

I was devastated. The emotional intensity that I felt was overwhelming.  The negative feelings and overwhelming guilt nearly crippled me.

I just knew that God was punishing me for killing my second child.

To add salt to the wound, my sister-in-law was also expecting a baby within a few weeks of my due date. A club my husband and his brother were in announced via newsletter that both she and I were expecting. They published it after I had already miscarried. For a few weeks, I stopped answering the phone. Members of the club kept calling to congratulate us. I just couldn’t bear to tell anyone else that we had lost our baby.

I grieved for a long time while my husband didn’t seem to be affected. Men handle things differently than women do. God wired us differently (as discussed in my book, The God-Centered Marriage). 

I don’t believe that the loss didn’t affect him at all, but it certainly didn’t the way it affected me. I had life growing inside of me. I was connected to that child (and the one I aborted) in a way that he never could be. I don’t blame him, but my heart was shattered.

I had to continue to put on a brave face and mother my sweet little now three-year-old boy.

Pregnancy Number Four: Joy and Sorrow

Three years after my son was born, two years after the abortion, I found out that I was pregnant for the fourth time.

The feelings I felt were a mixture of elation and terror. I was so afraid that I would lose this baby, too.

I feared that God would never let me have another child because of the heinous thing I had done. Instead of joy, I had tremendous feelings of sadness and fear.

Unlike the other pregnancies, I did not have morning sickness, which was a sign that something was wrong.

I went to all of my doctor appointments, and each time, everything was fine, but I still feared losing the baby.

The same week that I learned of this pregnancy, my mother was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. To say that I was emotionally wrought would be an understatement.

At about the end of the first trimester, I started to spot. See? I thought I was going to lose this baby, too.

I went to the doctor, who assured me everything was fine.

After a physically healthy but emotionally exhausting pregnancy (I obsessed about something being wrong with my son and over God punishing me for my sins, plus my mother’s terminal illness), I gave birth to a very healthy 9-pound 5-ounce boy via cesarean section.

What an abortion taught me about God

It Was Predestined

There I was, mother of two sons and living daily with the guilt of an abortion. I resented my husband for forcing me to do such a terrible thing.

I was going along living life as a busy mom of two and coping with the loss of my mother. I was angry at the Catholic church for how they treated her during her illness.

I was struggling with not just the Catholic church but with God. How could He let these terrible things happen to me? Why did He take my mother?

All along, God knew that He had a plan for my mother and me.

Within a year after my mother’s passing, I was saved by the blood of Jesus. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

(You can read a bit about my issue with how the church treated my mother, as well as my testimony in this post).

An Ending and a New Beginning

Over the next several years, my fervor for Jesus grew. I devoured the Bible and began homeschooling my children with a Christian curriculum.

However, the closer I grew to God, the further I grew from my husband.

His drinking escalated. His cheating increased. Our fighting grew worse.

My faith was, what finally caused him to ask for a divorce, I became a Jesus freak, he said. (I later learned that it was the woman he was seeing for the past year of our marriage that was the true reason he asked to end our marriage).

I went through a number of difficult years but continued to grow in my faith. Eventually, I met my husband, Mike, who I believe was truly sent from God.

He supports me and my ministry and has a beautiful passion for Christ. Mike has encouraged me to write my books and share my story.

I’ve grown to have a deep passion for helping women grow in their faith as I know the healing power of Jesus firsthand.

What an abortion taught me about God- Jeremiah 29:11

What I Learned From Having an Abortion

So, what’s the purpose of my sharing my abortion testimony with you?

God was with me despite committing the worst sin I could ever imagine. I also wanted to demonstrate the impact of abortions emotionally and physically. And to share my true feelings, my intense feelings of guilt. Post-abortion grief is real – whether you, at the time, had a difficult decision to make or if the decision was made for you.

Have you ever wondered what the Bible says about abortion? The answer is the same thing it says about any other sin. God loves us and forgives us. The emotional harm that having an abortion does never completely leaves you but I had additional post-abortion trauma when I was saved by the blood of Jesus. The underlying issues of why I had one (forced by my husband) didn’t matter.

As I look back over my life to that dark time, I now know that God was working in me. He taught me a few things that I want to share with you.

  • God forgives us

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:9 (ESV)

Yes, I sinned and it is something I think about daily, but God has already forgiven me. Last year, I wrote a post about forgiveness. Stop peeking into your old box of sins. God has already forgiven you.

It took a long time for me to realize that despite the grave mistake I made, He forgave me. I am washed clean by His blood.

No matter what you have done, you are never too far gone to be saved by God. He loves you and He forgives you. 

  • You are not who you were before the Holy Spirit 

When you accept Christ into your heart, you “put off your old self.” You are not who you used to be; you are created new in Christ.

I am no longer that selfish, afraid young wife who committed a grave sin. I am reborn in the Holy Spirit, and so are you.

God has changed you from the inside out.

“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

Ezekiel 36:26 (ESV)
  • God has a plan for you

If you had told me 25 years ago that I would be a Christian author and speaker, I would have outright laughed in your face. But God…oh, God. He had a plan for my life that was far greater than anything I could have asked or imagined. 

You could be a prostitute like Rahab or a poor widow like Ruth. Where you are now is not where you are going. God has a plan for your life.

Don’t let today’s circumstances keep you from knowing you are meant for great things in His kingdom.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

God Can use anyone for His glory

I’m nobody special. I never went to seminary or served in the mission field overseas, but God tells me that I am beautiful and He created me just the way I am to serve Him and His Kingdom.

He orchestrated my life events, I think so that I could share my story with others and help them see and feel God’s love. He brought me to my knees, thirsty, to drink in His Word so that I could help others wrap themselves in scripture.

A teenage girl, pregnant and unmarried, became the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. If that doesn’t show you that God can use anyone for His glory, right?

God can use you, too, my friend. You may be going through something tough right now or have a past hurt that is holding you back, but God can use you, perhaps right where you are.

(If you are struggling to find your purpose in God, see this post)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”

John 14:12 (ESV)
  • God uses all things to work together for good

Everything in our lives – the sad or disturbing, the happy and pleasant and everything in between, God uses to work together for good.

My abortion? Although it is still my most leaden sin, He has used it to bring me to a place of complete dependence on Him.

It has taught me so much about myself, the world, and mostly, His love, which is so far and wide and unfailing.

God has taken that act and everything before and since to mold me into the woman I am today. The woman who finds joy in His Word. The woman who is happily married to a man who loves Him as much as I do.

He has taken everything in my life and worked it together for good.

He is doing that for you, too, sweet sister. He loves you that much.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 (ESV)
  • Our God is a God of healing

Jehovah Rapha, the Lord Who heals, can heal bodies, souls, and spirits.

It took a while and it took my giving myself completely to Him, but God healed my broken heart. No matter your source of hurt or illness– physical, emotional, or behavioral- God can heal you. Maybe not in the way you might think, but His ways are greater than our ways. He will carry your burden. He will heal your wounds. (even self-inflicted ones, like mine)

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed;
    save me, and I shall be saved,
    for you are my praise!

Jeremiah 17:14 (ESV)

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29 (ESV)

Cry out to Him openly and honestly. God hears you, forgives you, and loves you.

My heart still breaks for what I did that awful day many years ago. My soul longs to meet that precious child in heaven one day. I wonder what God would have done in his or her life had I not taken it. But, I am healed by His love and know, sweet friend, that He loves you and can heal you, too.

There is hope after abortion. I’m living proof.

I pray that my abortion testimony encourages you. I pray for all of the lives lost. I pray that one day, abortion will be illegal everywhere.

See this post for more on my story and how I overcame adversities through Christ.

Because He lives,


ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

NIV – Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

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Clara Wamsley

Monday 30th of November 2020

What happens say you were raped and you got an abortion or something was wrong with the baby and they were gonna die in birth or the mother was gonna die? Is abortion seen as a huge sin even with valid reasons behind it?

Susan Nelson

Tuesday 1st of December 2020

Hi, Clara - according to the Bible any abortion is wrong. Despite the circumstances, God will work all things out for good. <3


Saturday 9th of May 2020

I’m 29 years old, 4 pregnancies 2 births. My very first pregnancy was an abortion at 19 years old. My husband has been with me for all four of my pregnancies. 10 years later I still find myself asking for forgiveness after the abortion and even threw my second and third pregnancy. I thank god everyday for my beautiful blessings my son and daughter. My fourth pregnancy I really really planned for down to ovulation and everything, I asked for forgiveness so much during this pregnancy and Just had a horrible miscarriage experience the night before my D&C procedure was scheduled. I’m struggling right now I have so much quilt I always knew a day like this would come for what I have done as a young woman at 19. I feared to have another D&C I didn’t want to experience the same with my abortion, but I experience it all the miscarriage loss and the procedure. I’m suffering from all of this and keep telling myself God will forgive me and I will heal! I feel so alone but hearing your testimony has gave me so much hope! Thank you, praying to be saved.

Susan Nelson

Sunday 10th of May 2020

Oh, Estrella - My heart hurts for you. I know what you are feeling. God has forgiven you, dear sister. Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Have a beautiful and blessed day!

Melissa @myhillsandvalleys

Sunday 26th of April 2020

Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable story. I actually searched abortion today because I'm about to publish a piece where I briefly speak on my abortion. But I was afraid because it's so shameful. But, I too have been redeemed in Christ and forgiven! Your story has given me the guts to publish mine. Thank you. God bless.

Susan Nelson

Wednesday 29th of April 2020

You are welcome. I struggled with posting it but felt that God was telling me that if I could help just one person, it would be worth it. Thanks for writing and stopping by.


Saturday 30th of November 2019

Susan, thank you for sharing! Wow what an amazing story of Gods redemption! Literally I cried reading this because I too know if that shame and grief. But God, I praise Him that he came to save the sinner. I was an atheist feminist when I had my abortion. He delivered me once I was saved as well. It’s strange when you live with that grief for so many years and then it’s gone, but I praise Jesus He set us free. I encourage anyone reading dealing with abortion regret to seek the Lord with your whole heart. He is faithful to set free and bring healing to the hurt.

Susan Nelson

Sunday 1st of December 2019

Thank you so much, Mina. Praise God that we have a God that loves us no matter how grave our sins and that we can be washed clean and live in freedom. Thanks so much for writing. God bless you, sister.


Saturday 21st of September 2019

Wow, God has greatly used you. Thank you for this, you don't know how much this has touched so many. God is so good.

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