Respect Life Month Testimony: Post-Abortion

By St. Joseph County Right to Life | October 3, 2018, 4:53pm

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. —  The following is part of St. Joseph County Right to Life's Respect Life Month campaign for 2018. Barb Norris is the featured Wednesday Warrior for Life for the series' first week, which is focused on post-abortion. This testimony may not be used without the express permission of Barb Norris.

"In 1982 I had not one, but two abortions. I was a part-time student working at the YMCA in South Bend.


"The first time I was pregnant, I thought it would get me married. This didn’t happen. Steve, the baby’s father, had a brother whose girlfriend was pregnant when they got married. Steve didn’t want to do the same thing to his parents as his brother had.


"I was 21 years old. I don’t remember much about the first abortion procedure except that I drove to Kalamazoo, MI.


"That relationship fizzled six months later. The second time I got pregnant was truly by accident. I did not keep track of my cycle nor was I using artificial birth control.


"The second abortion happened in South Bend, at the now closed Women’s Pavilion.


"I certainly didn’t think these abortion procedures were included in the fifth commandment, 'thou shalt not kill.'


"At the Women’s Pavilion, I remember feeling like I was on a “disassembly line.” I was registered, prepped, the abortion was done, and in the last room, I was told to drink my juice and eat the cookies. I was then handed some instructions and led to the door. No personal touch, no introductions, just plain in and out. I went home to my apartment, and lay down on the sofa. My feelings were numb.


"I went on with my life as if nothing had happened. I was in a relationship with Ray, father of the second baby and the love of my life, and I advanced in schooling and other life milestones.


"In 1985, I became a registered nurse.


"In 1989, Ray and I were married in the Catholic church.

"In 1995, we had our son RJ.


"In 1998, I finished my Master’s degree, becoming a Nurse Practitioner.


"Then, things in my life changed.


"In 2005, I left my husband and son believing they were taking me for granted.


"In 2008, I was arrested after selling a prescription of narcotics for $1,000.


"In 2009, I spent 364 days in prison after being convicted of a felony.


You see, I am an addict, an alcoholic, and a people-pleaser. As a people-pleaser, I allow myself to be abused and manipulated. The Lord knew I needed a year’s worth of rehab, not just 30 days.


"After prison is when I picked up where I had left off in my faith. The shame, guilt, and disgust from my abortions hit me after over 40 years later. January 2014, an anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, was my wake up call.


"I sought reconciliation from my pastor and participated in a healing Bible study, Haven for Healing, which was specific to my needs. This program helped me to forgive myself and to be opened to the Lord’s mercy. That was a very high hurdle for me. If the Lord can forgive me, who am I not to forgive myself?


"Healing was an important step in my life, and I now have a strong relationship with my husband Ray and our son RJ, now 23 years old.


"If I can save another person from the struggles I faced, it is worth it to me to share my story and the repercussions of my abortions.

"I still suffer today because of my own abortions, and also because of the thought that I as a nurse may have unknowingly participated in abortions when performing D&Cs. I hate the word abortion.


"Today I can not only sympathize, but I can also empathize with other women going through this battle, because I have walked in their shoes. Today, because I have forgiven myself as the Lord has, my successes and failures can help others to learn and grow. "