Janice and Bill* had been married more than two decades. Yet, their relationship was plagued with conflict and unhappiness. The couple kept a secret from many around them, one shared between them they rarely discussed: an abortion before their wedding.
The couple learned about an abortion recovery program in a community more than 130 miles from their place of residence and worship. They committed to the drive weekly, no matter the weather. By the end of the 12 weeks, breakthrough came for both of them, and they found healing, forgiveness, peace, and a renewed love for one another.
Their story and their dedication is an inspiration to SaveOne (Casper, WY chapter) facilitator Judy Ellis.
“It took several weeks before (Janice) realized how much the class was helping both of them find freedom from the burden they had carried around for years, forgive each other, and start mending a very troubled marriage,” Ellis said. “This made a huge impact on me as a leader because it made me more aware of the fact that abortion affects the men too.”
SaveOne is an international abortion recovery program with a mission to reach women and men who are suffering in silence from the ramifications of abortion. Bill was able to meet one-on-one with a male facilitator while his wife joined the program geared for women.
“This (interaction) paved the way for our next class in the fall of 2014 which was our first official couple’s class,” Ellis said.
SaveOne helps those affected by abortion through group study or one-on-one study and assistance. Sponsorship through a church, pregnancy center, or other organization is required to establish a chapter. The Casper, WY SaveOne program partners with True Care Women’s Resource Center, a pregnancy center serving the Casper community for more than 25 years.
“We were looking for a chapter sponsor at the time we had our first class,” Ellis explained. “We approached Terry Winship with True Care about the possibility of being a chapter sponsor.”
Some of the young women coming into True Care for pregnancy tests and options consultation have abortions in their past. They are provided information about the abortion recovery program and encouraged to contact Ellis. Potential pregnancy center staff and volunteers who have abortion as part of their past are required to complete a Biblically-based abortion recovery program so they can be more emotionally equipped to assist True Care patients; therefore, they too are given Ellis’ contact information.
Experts estimate 40 percent of American women have abortions. That decision affects more than just the pregnant woman.
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“Abortion is a hidden pain that no one wants to talk about openly. This is why it is so harmful and destructive,” Ellis stated. “Men and women (who participate in the program) are able to experience the freedom from bondage and the emotional baggage they carry around as a result of their choices.”
During the past three years, eighteen women and two men have participated in the program she facilitates.
“It is a joy to observe the healing courage, love, peace, hope, and freedom that these individuals experience,” she said. “It is an honor for me to share in the spiritual relationship that we experience with our children knowing that they have forgiven us and that they are patiently waiting to meet us in heaven one day.”
SaveOne, Ellis believes, is powerful because through SaveOne it is “easier to reach the new believers and the ones who are not sure about their faith,” she said. “SaveOne’s passion is to help men and women reclaim and restore their peace of mind and self –worth.”
For more information, visit http://www.saveone.org/.
*Names are changed to protect confidentiality.