The Story of Two (Three) Doors

Guest Editorial by Julie Woodley.

Julie Woodlee

Julie Woodlee

In July, 1985, my husband and I paraded through the front door of Methodist Hospital (MH) of St. Louis Park, MN. We came to give birth to a beautiful baby girl, Bonnie Joy. Six years prior to that, I had quietly slipped into the back door of the MH which is also known as Meadowbrook Women’s clinic (MWC). I was single, lonely; frightened at that time in 1979 when I went to the (abortion) clinic…This is the STORY OF TWO DOORS.

When I entered through the front door of the MH, they insisted I ride in a wheel chair. The nurse called me Mrs. Woodley and wheeled me past a nursery room brimming with living, breathing, crying babies. Babies carefully tended and wrapped in pink and blue blankets.

In stark contrast, I entered the back door of MWC. There was no wheelchair. I was given a number for ID and directed to a waiting room after I paid the bill. Anything baby-like was strictly forbidden.

Shortly after I entered the front door my nurse strapped a monitor to my belly. Her relaxed eyes and gently touch were her offerings as she reassured me with “don’t worry; we don’t take any chances with babies.”

For 20 hours three nurses took turns recording and analyzing a rapid little heartbeat. During prenatal classes I learned that at 3 weeks after conception my baby’s heart began to beat and pump blood. Brain waves were present at 8 weeks and at 10 weeks Bonnie Joy was closing her delicate eyelids, puckering her lips and responding to touch.

When I entered that back door in 1979, the baby became an intruder-a formless, featureless blob and a dangerous one. The attitude was simple and single minded: let’s remove it.

Behind the front door, Jody, my nurse, summoned the doctor to my room to review my charts. Papers and printouts. Her eyes didn’t quite meet mine when she said that things weren’t going according to plan. After 20 hours of labor, the baby was in distress and in a difficult position for delivery. “We need your permission to do an immediate C-Section.” The doctor sensed our fear and quickly added, “We will do everything possible to protect mom and baby. We have the resources to keep both of them safe.”

The entire staff worked with only one thing on their minds: “a mother and baby are in distress; we need to save lives.” When I went through the back door, a mother and baby were also in distress, but NO ONE came to save us.

After the procedure was over I rested in the bed at the clinic. A poster in bold stark letters taped to the ceiling read. “If it weren’t for Planned Parenthood where would you be today?” That poster nauseated me more than the abortion. Filled with anger and frustration I began to weep. “You didn’t help me, “I thought. “You had the resources but you didn’t protect me or my baby.”

Today Bonnie Joy is 28 years old. Despite complications in my delivery, my family, society, and MH found resources to save our baby. They spared no expense and employed cutting edge technology to preserve the tine life. That’s what they do inside the front door.

Less than 100 feet away. A few doors down, and one wing over, tiny lives are quietly and matter-of-factly destroyed. That’s what they do behind the back door. I left the front door with a beautiful baby girl who now is a beautiful woman.

It took a third door to heal my back door wounds. Jesus said, “I am the Door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved. And will go in and out and find pasture.”

Now I spend my life pointing confused young women to the Door of life and freedom: Jesus Christ. By entering through this third door, we join a radically different community: a fellowship committed to protecting the lives of both mother and baby.

Julie is a licensed therapist, filmmaker and speaker. She founded a ministry that helps people heal from various types of trauma, including post-abortion called Restoring the Heart Ministries. Julie has developed a film project to help others recover from post-abortion. It is a 10-part video series with accompanying curriculum targeted at counseling professionals and lay people to lead them through the forgiveness journey after an abortion. It is called Into My Arms.

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