Jewels Green is a post-abortive mother of three who worked in an abortion clinic before becoming pro-life. She will share her powerful story this year at the 2015 National Right to Life Convention July 9-11 in New Orleans.
Green discusses her journey and the message she would share with others who have experienced the pain of abortion and with those still working in the abortion industry.
Q: Growing up, did you hold any firm views on the abortion issue?
A: I was raised in a pro-choice household, so from when I was old enough to understand the word "abortion" I was pro-choice by default.
Q: In an interview with Live Action News, you described yourself at the time you became pregnant as a "17-year-old drug-using high school dropout."
A: This is true.
Q: Could you describe the factors that came into play that led you to the abortion center?
A: Well, as soon as I found out I was pregnant I stopped using drugs, started reading about pregnancy and had intended to have the baby. I'd even scheduled a pre-natal appointment. Intense pressure from others led me to allow myself to be talked into going to the abortion center. My first appointment I couldn't go through it. I ran out before it was time to disrobe. My resolve crumbled, and I returned to the center two days later and had an abortion.
Q: Did you feel that you were fully informed by abortion clinic staff about the options available to you and the abortion procedure itself?
A: I have no recollection of any other options being discussed, but I do remember the abortion procedure being described. Later, when I worked in an abortion facility and counseled women before their abortions, alternatives to abortion were never discussed. Only when a woman called and scheduled a separate appointment specifically for "options counseling" would parenting and adoption be discussed. Even then, counselors were not trained in describing different types of adoption (closed, open-with different options of levels of contact, kinship care, etc.) The best I could do at the time was scribble a phone number on a Post-It note and wish her luck. The same holds for parenting options (single or married parenting, medical assistance, WIC). I would hand her a phone number and send her on her way.
Q: You've also stated, "Everyone wanted me to get an abortion... except me." What, if anything, could a pro-life person have done in that situation to help you? How can the pro-life movement more effectively reach out to pregnant women facing difficult circumstances?
A: I didn't know anyone who was pro-life at the time. Or, maybe I did but didn't know it. I think that we can be more effective if we are pro-life with everyone - not just in a debate or when trying to reach out to vulnerable mothers - but be vocally pro-life in all aspects of our lives. Our family, friends, co-workers and classmates should all know that we are pro-life on abortion. Wear a pro-life T-shirt, slap a pro-life bumper sticker on your car, strike up a conversation with someone who might not already know your stance. My theory is that if we are open with our beliefs to the point of actually advertising them, then someone facing a problem pregnancy in the future knows who she can turn to for support.
Q: What happened after the abortion?
A: I immediately regretted it. After all, I'd planned on keeping my baby, and only after prolonged intense pressure did I succumb to the plan others dictated for me. I slid into a clinical depression, an emotional black hole of regret, remorse, grief and guilt. A few weeks after my abortion I attempted suicide.
Q: Later, you became a pretty ardent pro-choice activist. You've described taking part in pro-choice marches, lobbying Congress and then ultimately working in an abortion facility. What was the driving motivation behind your activism?
A: In hindsight, I think I was trying to justify and rationalize my role in my own abortion. I surrounded myself with people who thought abortion was a legitimate (even laudable) decision in the hopes that someday I might believe that, too. Deep down, I never really did.
Q: What would pro-life people be most surprised to know about what takes place inside an abortion facility?
A: I think both pro-life and pro-choice people would be surprised by what takes place inside an abortion facility. When I worked there, my friends who were pro-choice were always surprised to hear how busy and crowded the center was on the four days a week abortions were performed. There was (and in some ways still is) this notion that abortion is rare. Even staff members would be shocked to see women coming in for their second, third, fourth, fifth abortion. There was a sense that one "oops" was understandable, but after that even the workers began to pass judgment.
Pro-life people might be surprised to know just how deep the deception goes - I mean, everyone working there truly believed we were doing right by the women who came in for abortions. We thought they would surely suffer or die without us. It wasn't until years later that I learned this was a lie.
Q: Was there a particular moment that made you change your position?
A: My "Ah-HA" moment came when I learned of a surrogate mother who was offered payment of her contract in full to abort the child she was carrying when genetic testing determined the baby would be born with Down syndrome. The biological parents must have been so dedicated to the idea of ideal offspring to consider paying tens of thousands of dollars to eliminate their innocently "imperfect" child, and to my utter horror the surrogate agreed to the abortion - and the payout. It was a like the light bulb finally switched ON for me.
This was wrong. It was fundamentally wrong to treat children as commodities to be created, bought, sold and discarded at will or for "quality control." Once I accepted that this abortion was wrong, intellectual honesty and logical consistency brought me to the realization that all abortions are wrong.