Arms of Grace
Abortion Recovery Ministry
Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.
Personal Testimony: Anna R Penna
I am just one of millions of American women who regret their abortions. It is my prayer that as you are considering whether or not your government should fund the legal right to abortion that you will consider my testimony; then try to imagine how that suffering and damage affects a nation when it is multiplied by over 60million women and their families.
I love my country, and I have always been proud to call myself an American Citizen. I speak out against abortion precisely because of this reason. I believe that legalized abortion is damaging the very foundations of our society and threatening the freedom that we have enjoyed since our nations birth. That fact alone causes me much grief. I also know that because of the honorable men and women who have fought and died for those freedoms, I am able to criticize and disagree with my government on this, or any other issue, as long as I do so within the legal guide lines of our constitution.
The more I learn of the evil that threatens our nation the deeper appreciation I have for the freedoms that we enjoy in this nation under God. I thank God daily for the honorable military men and women in uniform and the law enforcement officials that are dedicated to upholding our constitutional laws. The sacrifices that they make, and the challenges and dangers that they face in their efforts to protect our freedoms are too often taken for granted by the average American Citizen. Without their sacrifices, I know, I would not be free to share my story with you today. I have learned that where there is great privilege there will always be great evil attempting to destroy the good. I want to do my part to make sure that the sacrifices of these men and women or the sacrifice of the lives of my unborn children have not been in vain!
With that goal in mind, in the spirit of truth, I submit to you the testimony of my abortion.
I grew up in Eastern Kentucky during the Sixties in Martin County, Kentucky in what was then classified as the poorest all-white county in the nation. I was part of that population that the Roe vs Wade decision was meant for. I was a part the population that the eugenicists did not want too many of. In the 1970s, I fell within the targeted group of the young, poor, white, and under-educated females that Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood thought should have their reproductive rights controlled. I was one of the white skin, dark haired hill folk that they needed to prevent from over breeding. In my case they were successful.
My father was killed in a coal mine explosion in Kermit, West Virginia when I was four years old. He left my 29-year-old mother widowed, with six children under the age of ten, the youngest one being only six weeks old.
Growing up in Eastern Kentucky I never knew anything except economic hardship. In fact, I never realized I was poor, until I heard President Lyndon Johnson on the national news declaring "war on poverty" from the front porch of a family in my county. Over 50 years later that war on poverty still rages in Martin County, Kentucky! "White Privilege" is a term that I could never identify with.
Women suffering from economic hardship learn early in life that there are many things that they can do nothing about. As a result they are easily lured into accepting lies as the truth, and they often remain silent out of a feeling of helplessness, when they should speak out.
In the spring of 1971, I was happily married to my High School sweetheart, and the mother of two beautiful daughters that I would have laid down my life for, without hesitation. Just prior to my 25th birthday that year a government military doctor made the supreme decision that would change my life forever.
Without my consent, and without informing me of what was happening until after the fact, a government doctor removed a dislodged inter uterine device known as an IUD.
This doctor was well aware that I was pregnant. He was also aware that I had chosen not to remove the IUD, after being informed by a previous doctor that it would definitely cause an abortion. He knew that by removing the IUD the death of my unborn children was guaranteed. My babies might have survived a dislodged IUD, but they could not survive being ripped from their mother's womb. The abortion was extremely painful, but I was given nothing to ease the pain before hand. This doctor literally ripped my unborn children from my womb when he ripped out the IUD, with no more regard than a gardener pulls weeds from his garden and tosses them aside. A scientist shows more concern for his laboratory rats than this man did for my health care or the life of my unborn children. I had no way of knowing that I would suffer for the rest of my life from damages done to my own health by this doctor's actions.
My constitutional rights, my health care, nor the life of my unborn children were of any concern to this abortionist.
The only explanation he offered for his actions, as he turned to walk out of the examination room was, "It had to be done"! Not only did he end the life of my twin babies, he ended a part of my life as well. He carelessly left fetal tissue inside my body that could have resulted in serious infection or death had another doctor not intervened. For approximately 38 years I remained silent about this atrocity and the destruction in my life caused by this violent attack against me and my unborn children.
I was not given a choice! I was forced to accept this government doctor's choice! I believed there was nothing I could do because the doctor said, "It had to be done"!
When I went into that clinic seeking health care I rightfully expected that the doctor would do me no harm. I was wrong! His violent attack took the life of my twin babies and left me with a wound that only God could heal.
The day my children were violently snatched from my womb I lost control of my life. My life and my health began a downhill spiral that hurled me into the valley of the shadow of death. It was the beginning of a journey on a long and winding road of self-destructive behaviors; abusive relationships with men, mental, emotional, and physical illness. My life became the epitome of what the mental health community would politely call "dysfunctional living" but the more accurate term was "insanity"!
My life has been at risk many times from medical problems that were a direct result of that abortion.
For approximately two years following the abortion, I was plagued with chronic infections. I was told they were bladder infections possibly caused by a deformed bladder or kidneys. I didn't understand. I had never had a bladder infection in my life ,and no doctor had ever suggested that my bladder or kidneys were deformed. For approximately two years, I had to have monthly treatments for those infections that were extremely painful, but again ,I was given nothing for the pain. It usually took two or three days to recover from these "medical treatments". After I had a tubal-ligation in 1973 the infections miraculously stopped, but other problems began to occur.
During one medical test that required a concentrated solution of iodine to be injected into my veins, I ended up in the emergency room and came very close to dying. The emergency room doctors saved my life! I was told that I had an allergic reaction to the iodine.
Within six years of my abortion everything I had ever felt for my husband was as dead as our babies. The only man I had ever loved became an object of contempt in my sight. I went from only wanting to be a good wife and a good mother to not knowing what I wanted. I became unhappy with everything and everyone in my life, especially myself.
Gradually, over the years, as a result of this doctor's betrayal and violent attack , I lost confidence in everything I had ever believed in. The medical community, my government, my family, and those that I loved the most. I came to doubt the Church, and even God himself; but most of all I lost confidence in my self!
Within a few short years of my abortion, I began to have unexpected and uncontrollable bouts of crying that sometimes lasted for days. I felt a horrible sense of loss, yet I could not identify or verbalize what was causing my pain. Eventually I divorced my husband. Blaming him for my misery helped me to remain in denial. That divorce was the beginning of a dangerous roller coaster ride, in and out of destructive and abusive relationships with men that "But for the Grace of God" could have ended in my death, or the death of one of my abusers. My life is scattered with the shattered remains of every intimate relationship that I have attempted to be involved in since 1971.
In 1982, I came to the end of my coping abilities and I was hospitalized for the first time. I was diagnosed as suffering from complete emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion, but the greatest deficit in my life was spiritual.
I have spent decades in individual counseling and a variety of recovery programs trying to learn the reasons for, and ways to overcome my all consuming, raging anger without ever addressing the issue of my abortion.
It was not a deliberate omission on my part. I had simply pushed the reality so deep into my subconscious that I honestly did not consciously think or speak of it, unless I was asked a direct question concerning the number of my pregnancies. I could be brought to tears by a doctor simply asking the number of my living children and pregnancies. I have suffered from nearly every symptom of Post Abortion Trauma, but I never heard that term until I connected with the Pro-Life Community in 2007. In all those years of suffering no doctor ever explored the possibility with me that my abortion was the root of my problems.
Since 1971 I have been diagnosed, treated, and misdiagnosed with everything from garden variety depression to bipolar disorder, to PTSD, to a brain tumor. I have had to undergo several surgeries to repair damages resulting from the abortion, and in 1990 I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer.
In the late 1990's or early 2000, the nightmares of my babies and the abortion returned, after years of remission. For the first time I began to acknowledge and try to deal honestly with the reality of the devastating effect that this callous, cold-blooded murder of my unborn children had caused in my life.
At that time I had no connections with the pro-life community. I thought I was alone in this nightmare, and I thought no one would understand what I was experiencing ,because I did not understand it myself. Even if I could have found the words to describe my horror, I doubted that anyone would believe me. I was wrong again!
I began to ask God to reveal His truth to me. I needed the truth that would set me free from this death grip on my life. I began to ask Him to change my heart ,and help me to forgive others as I wanted to be forgiven.
In 2001, as the foundations of my life began to crumble once again, I knew that if I was going to survive it would only be with God’s intervention. I needed a miracle. Every good thing in my life was being aborted and I felt absolutely helpless to do anything about it. I was very tired! I was tired of living the culture of death. I was tired of feeling angry and helpless and betrayed. I was tired of being defeated by the enemy of my soul. I felt like a drowning person going under for the last time. With what felt like my last gasp of air, I made a renewed commitment to God. I determined that I would renew my mind daily through His word, and trust Him to heal and lead me. In the absence of a perfect faith, I devised a "Plan B". At that point my faith was very weak. I was fearful that I may have used up all my chances with God.
Believe me when I tell you, that commitment has been tested, in ways that I would never have imagined could be possible in the United States of America. Things got much worse for me before they began to get better.
Since the year 2000 my life has been a series of one tragedy and attack after another.
By 2005, life for me had again had become unbearable. I was very near the point of complete exhaustion again. I am confident that only the hand of God on my life protected me from serious injury from these attacks and also prevented me from committing suicide out of desperation. I was tired of fighting to survive; but God was not about to let go after He had brought me so far. I put Him to the test, and He has proven His faithfulness to me! He has led me out of the valley of the shadow of death, out of the darkness of denial that I lived in for too long. He has led me into the light of His truth, love and forgiveness. He has given me a faith that cannot be shaken by circumstances.
God has shown me clearly, beyond any doubt, that my life was spared for such a time as this, for a specific purpose. That purpose is to help bring truth to the nations concerning the destruction and tragedy of abortion.
Abortion is the bad news of our day. It is the single issue that politicians want to ignore. Yet it is the single issue that affects everything in our society; but the good news is that God can and does forgive and heal. His truth can set us free from the pain and destruction of abortion, or any other sin that holds us in bondage.
In 2007, I became involved on-line with a pro-life ministry founded on the principle of prayer and fasting called 40daysforlife. God began to show me things concerning my abortion that I had never considered. As I prayed for Him to change my heart and help me to forgive others my physical health began to improve along with my mental, emotional and spiritual health. Through my connection with 40daysforlife I was led to other abortion healing ministries such as Rachel’s Vineyard, the National Memorial for the Unborn, Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and Operation Outcry. God performed His miracle in my life through these powerful life saving ministries.
Today, even though I was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2013 , I take only occasional over the counter and prescription pain medications for joint and muscle pain. I am not depressed, not suicidal, and most days I am not easily angered. The exception is when I read news of how our nation continues to ignore the damage done to our women and their families as a result of legalized abortion.
Abortion is not health care! Abortion is murder! No legalized or politically correct terminology with ever change that fact!
Murder is not a constitutional right! Neither our President, members of congress, or Federal judges should be able to force us to participate in the legalization of murder by funding it with our tax dollars.
Women from economic hardship deserve better choices for themselves and their unborn children than abortion!
As long as "WE the PEOPLE" remain silent, the daily destruction of thousands of American lives continues. As with rape, domestic violence, child abuse, or any other crime when the criminals go unpunished the abuse continues. The abuser lives to abuse another victim on another day.
If we hope to survive as a nation, Americans must stop funding the destruction of future generations that have not yet been born.
Make no mistake, this form of child sacrifice is a form of worship that we are being forced by our government to participate in through the current healthcare plan and the use of our tax dollars to fund abortion. I hope that in some small way I have exposed the deceptive illusion of abortion to the light of day and relayed to you the truth, that it does not make life better for women, their families, or their nation. It is my prayer that you will take an active part in bringing an end to legal abortion and the shedding of innocent blood in the United States of America and around the world.
May God's peace rest upon your life and upon our nation as we turn from this evil practice of abortion that denies the right to life for all Americans!
Thank you, for taking the time to read or listen to my testimony.
Copyright 2009 ARM