My Redemption Story by Amie Smith
1985, I thought I was pregnant - I was 17
The thought of abortion never crossed my mind. I was raised Lutheran my whole life and I was scared of how my parents would react. I’m not even sure at that moment in time if I knew what abortion was. I knew that if I was and if my parents kicked me out or wanted me to put the baby up for adoption, my plan was to run away and somehow raise my baby - a friend told me about a place that would run a test without telling your parents (exactly what I needed) - as it turns out I wasn’t pregnant.
After finding out my results, the counselor told me about birth control and how I could get it there and my parents didn’t have to know. And that their mission was to help women “plan” when they wanted to start their families, which at the time I thought was a great concept. So, I scheduled an appointment, beginning my journey with Planned Parenthood in Benton Harbor.
In 1991, my life was running off the rails , I had stopped attending church, gotten an OWI and promptly lost my job. Well, not being the type of person to sit still - I found out about a volunteer position at Planned Parenthood to do pregnancy testing and counseling. I thought it would be an awesome experience - a real way to give back. During the training I was told how to counsel- to give the client all three options, let the client decide what they wanted and just give them the information they wanted and if they weren’t pregnant encourage them to use a method of birth control going forward.
I started working there full time in 1992 running the front desk at the clinic. In 1999, I was promoted to the Administrative Building to process the Medicaid claims. During the time I was there we only did referrals for abortion, adoption and prenatal care, but they did provide the morning after pill.
However, as part of working there we had employee meetings to discuss/pulse what level of comfort we felt toward abortion. Were we ok with the morning after pill? Two weeks pregnant? 3 months pregnant? 6 months? 8 months? We had to watch a documentary on the adverse effects of a mother carrying a child full term when her life was clearly in danger - which looking back was propaganda. I also had to tour the abortion clinic in Kalamazoo - it was after hours but the feeling of death was overwhelmingly present. By the time I left there was talk of using “RU-486” for abortion. I ultimately left because my job was downsized when the Ann Arbor Planned Parenthood took over.
Fast forwarding many years that include my daughter’s unplanned pregnancy and our adoption of her baby, I found myself in the office of the pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church’s preschool. After confessing my shame of working for Planned Parenthood, I was relieved and filled with joy, knowing that I had been forgiven and redeemed by God.
As a result of being redeemed, I now lead Immanuel Lutheran Church’s Life Walk Stand For Life every January, where we come together with LifePlan and our community to walk to our local City Hall and pray for life and our nation. We have partnered with LifePlan to help spread awareness and save lives.