Theresa Bonopartis, 60, was 17 or 18 when her parents forced her to have an abortion.
“Some people say that it’s a free choice, but most of the time you are really getting some kind of pressure from some place,” she told Our Sunday Visitor.
Her “thick headed” father gave her no choice, and after a son was delivered by saline abortion at four months gestation, Bonopartis’s father kicked her out of the house. They didn’t speak for years, and when they finally did, they avoided talking about it.
“It becomes that monster in the room that everybody pretends is not there,” she said.
It took her 15 years to talk about the abortion, and she found healing through spiritual direction from a priest and a therapist trained in post-abortion counseling. Eventually, Bonopartis learned that her mother had not supported it.
“But she was intimidated by my dad and did what he wanted to do,” Bonopartis said. “She said to me that it was her sin. Everybody in my family was touched by it.”
When it was out in the open, her father said little to her about it, even after she was hired as director of Lumina Hope and Healing After Abortion in New York City. He even said that he didn’t need to confess what he had done.
“But in the end, he did see a priest for confession,” Bonopartis said. “The night before he died seven years ago, we talked about the abortion and I told him to give my son a hug when he got to heaven.”
That was a huge step for the father and daughter, an act that she called a beautiful blessing from God.
As part of her healing journey, she named her son Joshua. She has two other sons.
Woman turns life around after five abortions
Yvonne Florczak-Seeman had five abortions between the ages of 16 and 20 and she did it, she said, because that’s what you did when you didn’t want to be pregnant, and it was her right.
It wasn’t until the last abortion that she “realized what choice really meant.”
That time, she screamed from unbearable pain. The doctor angrily threw down his instruments and told his assistant, “This is a 13- or 14-week gestation. We need more money.”
Her boyfriend in the waiting room paid $150 more so that the abortion could continue.
When she hemorrhaged three days, an emergency room nurse said that “half the baby” remained.
“I said, baby, what are you talking about? It was a blob of tissue!” Florczak-Seeman said. “I realized that I had been given the legal right to end the lives of five of my children. That was the first time I got it.”
She planned to commit suicide by drinking at a bar, then swallowing pills.
“I was convinced that I had not contributed anything to society but five dead babies,” she said.
Then a very old man walked in and came right to her. “What’s a pretty young lady like you doing in a place like this?” he asked.
She rudely told him to state his business and leave her alone.
He said, “God wants you to know that he is prepared to tell you what his plan is for your life. He has been waiting for you to ask. Seek him and he will show you the way.”
She started crying. He left, and when she went after him, the street was empty. She went home and fell to her knees.
“I asked God if there was anything left inside me that he could use for his glory,” she said. “I promised him that I would expose abortion for what it is. God met me face to face and he led me through the absolute wreckage of my life.”
Florczak-Seeman, 47, of Westmont, Ill., healed through Project Rachel and became Catholic. She runs a business, Love From Above, that supports her ministry for post-abortive women, A Time To Heal. She has a supportive husband and four children.
Maryann Gogniat Eidemiller writes from Pennsylvania.