In our latest blog, we sit down with one of our phone coaches, Loni. We discuss her life and her gained wisdom: a story of pain, loss, healing love, and redemption. We share Loni’s abortion story just as she shares her life from one woman to another. So let’s look at Loni’s life leading up to her abortion story and her life after abortion.
Who is Loni?
Loni has a heart for helping women and men find help and healing after an abortion. She is a trained facilitator for “Forgiven and Set Free” and “Pathway to Sexual Healing,” both by Linda Cochrane. Loni now dedicates her time to her family and H3Helpine as a phone coach, listening and helping those who have been struggling with post-abortion stress syndrome (PASS).
How Did Your Abortion Story Begin?
“I was pregnant at 14 and I was not sure what that was. I was being raised by my immigrant Father who I could not tell. My boyfriend’s parents wanted us to take care of this as soon as possible, so they gave us some money and sent us to a woman across town.”
“Abortion was not legal at the time. I ended up in the hospital the next day hemorrhaging and it was obvious to the doctors and medical staff that I had experienced a botched-up abortion. They allowed my Father’s girlfriend to pick me up and recommended that I follow up with my family doctor. At 15 this scenario would be repeated, except that this time my Father became aware of the abortion.”
How Did Your Father Respond?
“He quickly put me on a plane to live with a family member in California. Within a few days I began to hemorrhage in school and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. My family member was called and told that my condition was due to an illegal abortion. She did not want a sexually active teen in her house, so as soon as I healed, she returned me to NYC.“
What Happened Next? Was There Any Post-Abortion Treatment?
“This was in the mid-’60s and I remember hearing my stepmother talk about her daughter traveling to another country for an abortion. I remember hearing conversations about unwed mothers going someplace to have their babies and place them for adoption. Understanding and recognition of PASS did not exist yet. What did exist were people who had a concern for the mother and baby and I have met several that were sent there by their families and whose baby was adopted. Didn’t one of those doctors, nurses, or aids think adoption would be a good resource for me when they saw my condition? When I am asked how best to prevent getting pregnant, I tell them to abstain. I have heard repeatedly how they were on the pill or had used a condom. I became pregnant twice with an IUD. No one speaks of abstinence to our young generation. They also do not speak of PASS, which we know more about now than ever before.”
“In fact, the medical field refused to accept PASS as a legitimate medical condition for the longest time after abortion became legal. I was in therapy for 10 years in the ’80s and the therapist never attributed my depression and inability to have intimate relationships to my abortions.”
How Do You Feel Abortion and PASS Are Viewed Now Compared To The Views Held In The ’80s?
“I feel the issue of abortion has become less about the unborn and more about political agendas and money. PASS is not a condition covered under my health insurance. On the dropdown of my FSA qualifying products the first one listed is abortion and dental is not too far behind. I cannot believe that we have dehumanized abortion to where we place it on the same level as a tooth extraction.”
Society Often Ignores Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome. How Did This Affect You?
“Anything kept in the dark will do you harm. I could not understand how I was married 4 times! To look at me, I was fine. I was gainfully employed and did not have any obvious addictions. I was gregarious and everyone seemed to like me but there was evidence that something was just not right. I convinced myself that if I ignored it, ‘ït’ would go away.”
How Did You Find Healing?
“I began my abortion recovery at 55. I became serious about learning who God was and when I read about the character of God, something happened. I did not know this merciful, forgiving God who wanted me to stop hurting. I felt that I was too set in my ways. I felt that my best years were behind me but I still pushed through the waves of doubt until I reached the foot of the cross. There are so many women sitting in church pews feeling the way I did. Some are my dear friends. My transformation has given them hope. They all saw me go through 9+ years of purity.”
What Sparked Your Healing?
“I moved from NYC to South Florida as a result of 9/11. I was supposed to be in the North Tower that morning but because I was having a bad hair day, I called at 7:30a and rescheduled. God had been knocking on my heart but that morning He got my attention. Thirty-five hundred lives were lost that day and mine had just begun.”
“I went through abortion recovery in August 2005 and facilitated post-abortion Bible studies until 2016. In 2009 I was invited to travel to NYC to speak at the United Nations. It would be the first time that I shared my abortion story in public. This was another life-changing event: I saw the power of a testimony. Before the year would end, I would be invited to speak at various functions. I was also invited to train as an abortion Hotline Consultant. I volunteered at this ministry for 5 years and this is where I met the Executive Director of H3Helpline, Terri Baxter. When Terri was forming her group of Phone Coaches, she invited me to be a part of it. I quickly accepted her invitation.”
How Is Life After Abortion Now?
“I am experiencing the best season in my life! I got married in June (COVID-style) to a man of God and we are preparing to serve God as a team which includes abortion recovery. I have one son who has blessed me with a daughter-in-love and 3 grandchildren. Anthony is 21 at Covenant College in GA, Natalie is a Freshman at Nova, and Tiffany has 2 more years at Calvary Christian Academy. I am praying that God will grant the desire of my heart to rock my great-grandbabies!”
“I was not looking for marriage #5 except that this time, I allowed God to choose for me. Rich and I had been friends and served in ministry together but never considered ourselves a match. Our obedience brought us to where we are. We serve a God of second chances (and third and fourth …). He just wants us to read His Word and be obedient to it. He does the rest.”
Besides Being a Phone Coach for H3Helpline, What Else Are You Doing?
“My first retirement was March 2013, but that company sold months later and my boss decided to open up his own company. He called me and since he had been the best boss ever, I told him that I would work as an independent contractor for one year. That was September 2014. In September 2015 I went permanent and I am still there.”
“My husband Rich and I are part of a project that was borne from the closure of churches due to the pandemic. It has no name, but I refer to it as “Church at the Park” or “Church on the Green”. We found a large park by the Air Reserve in Homestead at the southernmost point of South Florida. We meet Saturday or Sunday morning and listen to a short devotional provided by any one of us and then we break off into groups to discuss it. We walk while we talk. It began when Pastor Glenn invited Rich to an Emmaus walk one bright Saturday morning at a park close to where they lived. We are planning an event in late November where we want to gather “1000 Voices” to add music to this form of worship.”
What Would You Say To Another Woman Dealing With The Idea of Abortion or Struggling with PASS?
“I lived without God for 50 years but now that I know Him, I can tell a young woman that He can make a way when there is no way. I let them know that God has a plan for the child that she is carrying just like He has a plan for her life and just like the plan He had for a young Mary when she learned of her unplanned pregnancy. They tell me all the reasons why they should or must have an abortion and then I ask to hear from the Baby. It is then that I become the voice for the voiceless.”
Needing Support With Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome?
H3Helpline is here to help anyone struggling with the effects of abortion. No matter how long it’s been or how you feel about yourself, it’s never too late to find healing. When we think of abortion, we tend to think of the physical effects it will have on us, which will pass with some time of rest. Very rarely are women informed of the non-physical effects of abortion, such as depression, guilt, and anxiety.
It’s important to seek healing and to forgive yourself, and we are here to be a part of this journey of healing. Whether you just need someone to listen to your story or to help you get connected with post-abortion care resources in your local area, start this process today by calling us at 866-721-7881.