While still a 17-year-old high school student, Rebekah became pregnant with her first child. Determined not to become a stereotypical teenage mother, she managed to graduate early, get accepted into Sacramento State University and marry the father of her child.
Soon after her marriage, however, Rebekah realized she was in an unhealthy and potentially dangerous relationship.
“I was about halfway through my freshman year of college and my marriage was very physically and verbally abusive. I knew I needed to leave,” Rebekah said. “Right as I began the divorce process I found out I was pregnant again.”
This news was the culmination of Rebekah’s fears. “I was living with my parents,” Rebekah said. “My dad had said, we`ve done a lot for you with your first pregnancy, but if you get pregnant again, we will have to force you and your son to leave.”
For the sake of her son, Elias, Rebekah began to consider her options.
“I really thought that having another baby would hurt my son’s life. I’d be losing my family’s support,” Rebekah said. “There goes my house, staying in college, and my son’s medical insurance. I was about five weeks along. I thought I had to have an abortion. I grew up in a Christian home but I justified my decision by thinking God would forgive me.”
After finding a clinic, Rebekah went in for a consultation.
“I was just under six weeks pregnant and was dead set on starting the chemical abortion that day,” Rebekah said. “I’m on the table and the tech comes in. I’d had a kid before and my ob-gyn showed me the ultrasound. I’m waiting for her to flip the screen. It was so strange to me that she wouldn’t let me see the monitor!”
Rebekah caught a glimpse of the ultrasound print out and asked if she could keep it, but was informed she would have to write a letter to the clinic’s director and pay a $35 fee. After becoming increasingly frustrated, Rebekah decided to switch to a Planned Parenthood facility in Sacramento.
At this consultation, Planned Parenthood staff told Rebekah that although she was now seven weeks pregnant, they weren’t seeing a heartbeat and didn’t know whether it was a viable pregnancy. Because they were unable to draw blood, Rebekah was forced to return a week later.
By this time, she was already eight weeks pregnant.
“I’m holding the abortion pill in a cup and we’re talking about it. I kept thinking, chemical abortions are supposed to be less invasive and less painful. My concern was that it would be easy to hide since I was living with my parents.”
Deciding she had no other option, Rebekah took the pill and was sent on her way.
It was a decision she instantly regretted.
“I got into my car and thought, ‘Oh Lord, what did I just do?’ I started thinking about my son at home that I adored. I started thinking about the baby I was carrying and what that pill was doing to the baby at the moment. I started crying and praying,” Rebekah said.
While still sitting in the parking lot of Planned Parenthood, Rebekah googled options for reversing the abortion pill. After a seemingly fruitless search, she stumbled across AbortionPillReversal.com.
On the site was a number, 1-877-558-0333, for women having second thoughts about taking the abortion pill. Although she felt ashamed to speak to anyone pro-life, Rebekah summoned the courage to dial the number.
“A nurse explained to me that a medical journal about a reversal-protocol had been recently released, which called for progesterone injections being put back into your body. She then told me I still had a chance of saving the baby.”
Rebekah was referred to a doctor a few hours away who was willing to give the injections a try.
“The doctor was hopeful, but it wasn’t 100 percent,” Rebekah said. “He immediately started injections as well as suppositories until I hit about 13 or 14 weeks.”
Only after the process to save her baby had begun did Rebekah realize that her second child would have been aborted on her oldest son’s birthday.
“It would have been horrific if I’d done it,” Rebekah said. “Every year would have been a birthday and memorial.”
Meanwhile, Rebekah’s family rallied to her in a way she never dared to hope. Her parents stood with her in the decision to keep her child.
“I found out that my mom is post-abortive,” Rebekah said. “She aborted three babies herself. When she found out what was happening, she was really sad and scared for the health of my baby.”
Because she was unable to drive hours away to get the injections twice a week, her sister, a medical assistant, would arrive in the early hours of the morning before work to give Rebekah her injections.
Meanwhile, Rebekah was receiving frantic phone calls from Planned Parenthood wondering why she had not returned to her follow-up appointment to ensure the abortion had been completed.
Eventually, she returned Planned Parenthood’s call to inform them of her decision to keep her child. She was told not only was her attempt to save her child pointless, but that if the baby lived, he would be severely deformed and she would put her own life at risk in the process.
“It wasn’t like I owed them any money and yet they were so angry,” Rebekah said. “I don’t know if they were so misinformed or if they were just lying.”
Seven months later, Rebekah gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy. Now, over two years later, Rebekah is a senior at a private Christian college, studying professional writing and theology. After her near abortion, she has become a pro-life speaker and advocate.
“Having a baby doesn’t ruin your life, it just changes it,” Rebekah said. “I’ve met so many women who regretted having abortions but never met a woman who regretted having her child. Abortion is so permanent. It’s forever. It’s going to change your life.”
“For now I want to continue speaking and informing people. There are so many people who are under-informed or misinformed,” Rebekah said. “Down the line, I’d like to get into life-affirming politics and lobbying on behalf of the [pregnancy] centers. Planned Parenthood and NARAL have lobbyists and the centers don’t. We need more people to step up and say, ‘It’s not easy, but having a kid and being successful is possible.’”