Video by Michelle Guerin
Having regret in decisions can be one thing but learning from a personal mistake and teaching others can impact others.
“Growing up, my mom talked about abortion like it was no big deal, after having one, like it wasn’t even a human being or a life being taken,” Jennifer Guerrero said. “It was something that freed a woman from the burden of being a mom when she’s not prepared, so my siblings and I didn’t have a negative view of abortion.”
“At the age of 13, I was treated like I was an adult by my mom and I was able to go where I wanted to and stay with who I wanted to.”
Having that freedom, Guerrero started using drugs, partying and drinking while hanging with the wrong crowd.
“I was 15 and I had a boyfriend and I got pregnant, but at the time I didn’t know I was pregnant.”
When Guerrero was feeling strange pains, she went in for a doctor’s appointment and was told she was pregnant. In the same visit, the doctor gave her an ultrasound and a picture of the baby.
“I knew it was my baby and I wanted to keep it, so I kept it a secret from my mom,” Guerrero said. “Getting morning sickness and all these symptoms, I had to tell my mom that I was pregnant and I specifically remember I told her that I was keeping the baby.”
Right away, Guerrero was denied and told she had to get an abortion.
“They told me if I didn’t get an abortion, I wouldn’t be able to live with them anymore and be homeless,” Guerrero said. “It was not a matter of choice; I was told I was getting an abortion.”
After being told to get in the car, Guerrero was brought to a clinic run by Planned Parenthood.
“They talked to me saying that I was too young to have a baby and said that with my drug past, my baby would be mentally retarded. When given an ultrasound, I wasn’t allowed to see the results.”
Guerrero said that when she asked if her baby was developed, the nurse told her specifically, “No, it is just a blob of tissue, it is not even a baby.”
Finding out later, Guerrero was 13-weeks-along but because she was young and uneducated thinking that there was not a formed fetus in her, she believed their false accusations saying that there was no actual fetus.
Dr. Paul Jarrett, a former abortion provider in Indiana, spoke in an interview about performing an abortion on a 13- to 14-week size fetus and how he decided to stop conducting abortions after that.
“Inside the remains of the rib cage I found a tiny, beating heart,” Jarrett said. “I was finally able to remove the head and looked squarely into the face of a human being— a human being that I just killed.”
“When I woke up, I woke up in this back room and there was bed after bed after bed in an open room with only curtains dividing us,” Guerrero said. “There were all these women recovering, either crying or screaming, and I immediately had a lot of pain.”
Guerrero felt like she had to use the bathroom but was denied and was sent home. When Guerrero got home, she was bleeding so uncontrollably that she was brought back to the clinic the next day. A dilation and curettage (D&C) was performed the next day because they did not clear out all the pieces.
“As if the first procedure was not traumatic enough, they made me go through it a second time and afterwards, I remember holding my baby brother in the motel and crying, knowing what I did was wrong and no way to turn back,” Guerrero said. “I trusted them.”
After the abortion, Guerrero suffered from severe anxiety, depression and felt like she wanted to die.
According to American Pregnancy Association, many women can experience hemorrhage or heavy bleeding, infection in the uterus or other pelvic organs, incomplete procedure that requires another procedure to be performed and possible laceration or weakening of the cervix from a D&C.
Emotionally, women can develop depression, anger, nightmares, eating disorders, anxiety, flashbacks of the abortion procedure and even consider suicide.
Going back to school and attending college, Guerrero started getting educated on human development and started getting curious.
“It was traumatic all over again. My heart was broken,” Guerrero said. “I was devastated. I could not believe that my baby had little hands, little feet, a heartbeat and a brain. It was a human life that was taken from me; it was not a blob of tissue.”
Soon after becoming a Christian, Guerrero cried and prayed to God.
“I thought that God would never give me another child because I did something so wrong. I felt so much shame and guilt that I carried with me.”
Soon after marrying her husband, Guerrero remembered staying up at night, praying non-stop, “God, if I have a child, it’ll be from your grace.”
A week or two after going to church where they were talking about how God forgives people, giving people good things when they do not deserve it, she was pregnant with a girl.
“When I found out I was having a daughter, I wanted to name her Grace because I knew this was the grace of God.”
Since then, Guerrero has been blessed with four children.
Meeting many people that had abortions, Guerrero met a woman who is one of the many reasons that convinced Guerrero that having an abortion was not right.
Guerrero said, “I knew one girl that used Planned Parenthood as her birth control from her teenage years up to adulthood. You’d think that if Planned Parenthood was all about women’s health, they’d stop her from having at least the four or five abortions so far and might have told her that it was bad for her health, but they promote there’s no risk to it.”
Teaching her kids about anti-abortion is super important in Guerrero’s life.
“I have had my kids come to each of my ultrasounds, listen to their younger brother’s heartbeat, read through books about the process and I even had an app on my phone to show them the development process,” Guerrero said.
All three of her kids know what an abortion means and trust that it is a life being taken.
Guerrero stresses for young girls to seek out help, knowing there are many organizations that can help pregnant women seek housing and more. There is always the option of placing the child for adoption, knowing that other loving parents would take care of him or her.
Guerrero believes it is very important to speak for the unborn and gets encouraged when she sees young people at the anti-abortion marches, mostly occurring in Washington, D.C..
In 2014, Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions, or approximately 31 percent of all abortions, making them the largest abortion chain in the United States, according to Pro Life Action League.
According to the March for Life 2018, the 2018 theme is: Love Saves Lives.
The theme reads, “Choosing life is not always easy, but it is the loving, empowering and self-sacrificial option. Love is universally attractive because it is directed towards others. Love is what we all strive for because deep-down, we are all drawn to give of ourselves in this way. Love saves lives in countless ways.”
Fostering a couple children whose mothers were drug addicts and having the children addicted as well now, Guerrero never shamed them but felt love for them.
“As their foster mother, I loved each one of the babies that I had and I never thought ill of their mother,” Guerrero said. “I always thought how brave they must have been to choose life, even with uncertainties and not knowing what would happen to their children.”