Iowa Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders
The women on our billboards are real women, with real pain and heartache from their abortion. Read their stories here.
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At 15 years old, Serena learned that she was pregnant. When her parents found out about the pregnancy, things became very abusive and dysfunctional at home. Serena wanted to have her baby, but culturally this was very shameful for her family to have an out of wedlock baby..
Over two weeks, Serena was broken down emotionally and verbally. She became very weak emotionally and physically to the point that she gave in and accepted what her parents were forcing her to do. Serena didn’t see any other way out, being a young and vulnerable teenage girl and still dependent on her parents for support.
The first trip to Planned Parenthood made Serena so upset that she couldn’t follow through with it. She was yelled and cussed at the whole car ride home. The next week she was taken to Emma Goldman clinic, where she had the chance to talk to a counselor beforehand but was so numb that she went through the motions and answered all the questions the right way to have the abortion procedure done.
Serena went back to normal life after that experience but the underlying trauma remained. It took Serena years to finally get the help that she needed to heal from the traumatic experience that she had. She became pregnant again at age eighteen and due to the abortion, had a very rocky pregnancy, almost losing her baby several times. Thankfully her baby was born early, but healthy.
Today, Serena is married and a mom of five beautiful children. Serena had always dreamed of becoming a mom, and despite her traumatic start to motherhood, that dream has been fulfilled. She is passionate about protecting the unborn, helping women heal from abortion, and influencing the next generation to be pro life.
There was a time in my life when I was alone and depressed. Alcohol and drugs ruled my world. I was in a relationship full of domestic abuse, both mentally and physically. I finally ran away from him, staying where ever I could. Homeless, depressed, alone, and fully addicted to drugs, I found out I was pregnant.
Everyone I turned to for help said abortion was the only answer so I had the abortion. Everything they told me was a lie. First, a nurse told me that I was healthy because my hemoglobin count was high. That was a lie. I weighed less than 100 pounds, I was drunk and under the influence of other drugs.
Secondly, they told me I’d only feel a slight discomfort. That was a lie. Instead, it felt as if my insides were being ripped apart. I was screaming, crying, and thrashing. Nurses had to hold me down. I remember blood splattering and having to be wiped up.
Everyone said that abortion was the answer to my problems. That was a lie. That abortion totally killed what spirit I did have left. I never felt more worthless after leaving that abortion clinic.
From there, I self medicated with more drugs, more alcohol, more men. Anything to fill the void of what I had done. Once again, I wound up pregnant. The man I was with demanded an abortion. I had a second abortion. After that, I really can not describe how I felt. Hollow. Lost. Alone. Empty. I tried to find my way through many things. Nothing helped. People say abortion providers care about women. That is a lie. I called the abortion office for aftercare, and they treated me like I wasn’t a person. Telling me they couldn’t help me any longer. I wondered where I could go? I was too ashamed to tell anyone about the abortion.
My healing finally began when I was introduced to the saving grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Praise God! I am forgiven! I am forgiven!
At fifteen, Luana became pregnant. Ironically, her pregnancy gave her a way out of a home filled with alcohol abuse and disfunction. She married, but suffered a miscarriage, and the marriage ended.
Seeking love and acceptance, Luana's promiscuous lifestyle resulted in another unplanned pregnancy. Desperate and scared, she was convinced abortion was her only option.
Her life spiraled down into depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and failed suicide attempts. After two more pregnancies and abortions, she lost all hope. But God had a plan. Luana received Christ, and her life was transformed.
She later married a loving, Christian man. However, their attempts to have children were unsuccessful. Infertile as a result of abortions, she realized the only children she would ever bear she had killed. Through heartache, they decided to adopt a child from India. God began opening doors, and Luana was catapulted into a world of politics and pro-life advocacy.
Luana now speaks all over the country sharing how abortion hurts women and our nation.
At sixteen, Caitlyn became pregnant. She was a junior in high school and was afraid of what the future held. Eventually, she found herself in an abortion clinic in Omaha. After seeing the pre-abortion ultrasound, she knew she what she was about to do was wrong. She left the clinic with her baby that day, and never looked back. A few weeks before her senior year was due to start, her son was born.
While juggling school, work, and caring for her little boy, she completed high school a semester early and started college the next fall. In 2018, she graduated a full year early from Central College with her BA in Sociology and Spanish.
Caitlyn took her experiences as a young mom, and now works as the executive director of Iowa Right to Life. She gets to spend every day helping girls like herself and protecting babies like her son. Now a happy, healthy four-year-old, Caitlyn’s son is the love of her life.
“Choosing life for my son wasn’t the end of mine, it was the beginning.”
Laura Hope Smith was born May 25, 1985 and died from a legal abortion on Sept. 7th, 2007 at 22yrs old, in Hyannis, MA. The abortionist, a doctor and a Harvard Fellow, did not practice by acceptable medical standards nor did he even recognize that Laura died during the abortion.
Laura was left unconscious with a high school graduate attendant, called the “hand holder”, to be resuscitated from the anesthesia. It was too late.
Laura died the same way Michael Jackson died. The drug Propofol took away her lungs ability to breathe. All Laura needed was air to survive. But there was no oxygen for emergencies in the room and no medical person attending Laura as required by the drug manufacturer.
The clinic was not in a hospital setting, which would have been able to deal with a patient in the kind of respiratory distress she was in.
The physician's actions were criminal and he was found guilty and went to jail on the 3rd anniversary of her death.
In 2003, I was 25 years old and I found myself in a very, very difficult and unhealthy relationship. I became pregnant and I decided to seek out the option of an abortion. I called around and found Planned Parenthood and made an appointment. When I walked in the atmosphere was cold and dark. So I left and called a health clinic. I gave no thought to what was going to be done. The information I received was very limited, and at that time that didn’t matter to me. I felt that the least I knew about it the better off I would be.
After signing a document and paying a fee I was taken into a room that had a bed and an ultrasound machine so they could confirm pregnancy and determine gestational stage. The ultrasound was very quick, and no details were given. A pill was given to me and I took it there. The only thing they told me was that the medication I had just taken was going to end the pregnancy and that I was going to start bleeding in just a few hours. I didn’t sink in I (nor was mentioned to me) that I was killing a baby, a baby that was developing and growing inside of me. A baby that was vulnerable and defenseless with no choice.
After the whole process ended and after days of bleeding I felt that the sensitivity towards death had departed from me. I felt like the walking dead. I had always felt unworthy of anything good, and now I felt like a murderer and feared the possibility of anyone finding out.
Despite that experience, about 14 months later, I became pregnant again and I decided to have another abortion. It all repeated exactly like the first time. No sense of value for life, for the life of the baby or the mother. The fewer questions you ask the better for everybody.
What I realize now is that I not only killed my own precious babies but I killed something inside of me. Not only my babies were being ripped out of my womb but parts of my soul were ripped out of my being. This is how I lived for years after my abortions. Thanks be to God I found hope and healing with the support of Restored by Grace Ministries.