By KATIE EUBANKS
Editor’s note: This article contains a partial description of a late-term abortion.
In 2012, Amanda Scott was at a follow-up appointment with her chiropractor/nutritionist, Dr. Debra Barnes, 18 years after having an abortion as a teen.
“Some of the (physical) things I was dealing with, (Dr. Barnes) said, ‘Trauma can keep you from healing. Have you experienced any of these things?’ And she started naming stuff,” Amanda recalls:
“Have you lost anything in a fire?”
Yes — Amanda’s mother’s cake shop had burned just a few weeks after Amanda’s abortion.
“Have you ever lost a child?”
Yes — Amanda confessed that she’d had an abortion at 14 years old. Dr. Barnes told her there was a Bible study, held upstairs in the same building they were in, for women who’d experienced abortion.
Amanda asked if she could help lead the study, but learned she had to go through it as a participant first.
“It was the sweetest closure,” she said. “I didn’t even know there was a Bible study for something like this.” Now Amanda helps lead similar gatherings for women who’ve walked through abortion, including a Bible study starting in the spring semester via Broadmoor Baptist Church.
She wants women to know they can talk about abortion without being condemned.
“People aren’t going to beat your door down (to find healing) when they don’t believe they’re allowed to,” she says. “It’s a grief that you feel like you aren’t allowed to grieve.”
Amanda would know. But she also knows God’s almighty restorative power on the other side of that grief.
‘I just cried out to the Lord’
Amanda grew up in Jackson and went to Funtime Skateland on weekends. That’s where she met her now husband, Jacob, when she was 11.
But when she was 12, she met another guy who was 15 and started dating him even though she wasn’t allowed. Two years later, she was pregnant. She didn’t find out till she was four months along. It was a boy.
“I was too young to get pregnant, in my mind. It was not on my radar.”
Nobody took the news well — not her boyfriend, just a kid himself, and not her mother, a single parent who was scared for her little girl.
“The conversation (about whether to get an abortion) was not necessarily with me; it was (mine and my boyfriend’s) parents talking,” Amanda says.
She and her mom went to an abortion facility on Robinson Road Extension in Jackson to confirm the pregnancy. The staff froze the screen during the ultrasound so they couldn’t see the baby move. Amanda and her mom went home, and a few weeks went by.
“Every week changed the dynamic,” Amanda says. Finally, the decision was made for her. She would have an abortion.
“My dad called the day before (the abortion) and said, ‘Don’t do it. I’ll take care of you’ — but he did not relay that to (my mom),” Amanda says.
Mississippi law prohibited late-term abortions, so Amanda, her boyfriend, and her mom went to a facility in New Orleans.
“By then, (the abortion) was a two-day process. I was not happy about that,” Amanda says. “But they told me I was too young (to have a baby). I was extremely anemic and weak, and I could damage my body forever — this was from the nurses.”*
On day one, “They encouraged me that I was doing the right thing because I still wanted to finish school,” Amanda says. “They inserted several (dehydrated) seaweed rods into my cervix to start dilation and labor.”
Amanda was in labor all night at the hotel. The next day, she was taken back to the abortion clinic — where she freaked out, ran out the front door, and wouldn’t come back in.
“I just totally refused. I was called everything in the book.”
Finally, she was informed that because they’d already induced labor, she would miscarry anyway — and if she didn’t complete the procedure, she might never be able to have children.
Just before the abortion, when she was alone, “I hit my knees and just cried out to the Lord,” she says. “There were blinds in the room, cracked just enough, and the sun hit me right in the eyes. I heard God say, ‘This will bless others one day.’”
Ironically, the abortion involved a “normal” delivery, complete with pushing, Amanda says. “The baby was caught up under my ribs, so the nurses were massaging my stomach to get the baby to move.”
Many years later, Amanda wrote a letter to abortion, she says. “I was angry at the abortion itself as if it was its own thing – and it is,” she says. “It’s Satan.” The following is an excerpt describing her abortion experience:
“Almost numb from the heartache and fear, I just turned my head and wept until it was over. When the doctor finished, I saw him hand the nurse a little pan. As she walked by me, I grabbed for it, knowing that my baby was in there. I just wanted to see him and say goodbye. Before I could, though, they held me down and gave me a shot in the arm, and that was it.”
Because Amanda had a D&E abortion (dilation and evacuation), she believes her son died during the procedure.
That was May 3, 1994.
“Momma’s cake shop (Decorator’s Delight) burned on Memorial Day,” just a few weeks later, Amanda says. “She saw that as God punishing her, even though God doesn’t do that.”
Due to the abortion and other traumatic events that summer, “I wound up in the hospital with anxiety attacks. I moved in with my older sister in Pearl,” Amanda says.
“They say life can go back to normal (after an abortion). Whatever. Mine was extremely traumatic, but everyone I’ve talked to who’s walked through this, even at four weeks, it’s traumatic. Even if you say you’re fine. There’s a place there (where that baby should be).”
She held fast to her experience with God from the abortion clinic, though she didn’t really know Him yet. “In my teen years, anytime I needed to share my story to help someone, I clung to that,” she says.
Eventually, she would find the purpose and peace that God had promised her in that moment.
*Teen pregnancies are riskier than others, but not as much in places with advanced healthcare like the United States. According to a paper published in 2021 at the National Library of Medicine, a 14-year-old pregnant mother has a 1.4 percent chance of stillbirth. When it comes to maternal mortality, much of the data focuses on low-income developing countries, but according to the World Health Organization, the maternal mortality rate for 15-year-olds in high-income countries is 1 in 5,400.
‘I was his first love, and he was mine’
Amanda reconnected with Jacob, the boy from the skating rink, and they dated off and on during their teens.
“We had mutual friends, and groups started going to the movies. He invited me as a friend to his company Christmas party, and we’ve been together ever since,” she says. “I was his first love, and he was mine.”
They got married when she was 17 and he was 19. Jacob had a daughter from a previous relationship, but his ex gave Amanda her blessing, and they’ve been co-parenting ever since. Amanda and Jacob then had a son of their own.
After five years of marriage, they separated, found the Lord, got back together — then had three kids back-to-back. Six weeks after their oldest daughter went to college, they “inherited” a niece and two nephews. The Scotts now have eight children total, and they live out in the country with four and half horses (one is a mini), five dogs and a cat. They’re still homeschooling two of the kids.
“We’ve just been blessed. There’s been a lot of hardship. But God is faithful,” Amanda says.
Along the way, she’s grieved the loss of her baby boy.
“I miss the child I didn’t get to raise. My oldest daughter is three months younger than he would’ve been,” Amanda says. “She’s my stepdaughter, but she’s my kid. She’s my girl. I will cut you (if you hurt her), you know?” she explains, laughing. “It’s been hard — first days of school, prom — but God said, ‘This is your blessing. You get to tell her all about (your son).’”
Like many women, Amanda has also felt the devil’s accusations after her abortion.
“I remember working with the babies at church and thinking, if parents knew … ”
In 2012, when going through that first abortion recovery Bible study, Amanda was praying and received a revelation of her baby’s name.
“It sounds kooky and crazy. I prayed, ‘God, if he has a name … ’ And I immediately heard, ‘A little boy named Levi. Momma, that was me.’” Amanda later found out from her Bible study leader that that kind of experience was actually very common.
In leading post-abortive Bible studies as a certified leader in the global ministry Surrendering the Secret, Amanda has heard about other common denominators among women who’ve had abortions: “Dreaming about tornadoes sucking you away; sleeping with the TV on; hearing the cries (of a baby) at night.”
In 2012, she and her friend Leigh Ramsey shared with local counselors and pastors about the desperate need for healing Bible studies for women who’ve had abortions.
“Preston (Crowe, counseling pastor at Broadmoor) was one of those men. I was a friend of his, so it was easier to shoot it straight,” Amanda says.
“Some women will go to the same counselor for 20 years and never, ever say (they had an abortion). Part of it was making them aware, you need a book on your shelf (at your office) that says the word ‘abortion’ — breaking the ice subtly so women know, ‘Oh, I can talk about that.’”
Finding healing and freedom
A few people have reached out to Amanda about her upcoming Surrendering the Secret Bible study, which is open to anyone, including women who’ve had abortions, those who want to help with crisis pregnancy care, and even men.
Participants will be separated by gender and will be placed in groups of five or fewer. Each group will have two leaders, one trained and one shadowing.
Amanda describes the freedom she’s seen women find on the other side of these studies:
“So many women who’ve walked through (abortion) don’t have kids because they’ve bought the lie that they don’t deserve kids. (But after the Bible studies, some of those women) have gone overseas and adopted children, or grown children have adopted them as their mother. They now have the freedom to accept the love of a child.”
Amanda detailed the peace she’s found — and her determination to help others find it — in another part of her letter to abortion:
“Yes, the tears will still fall. That’s what happens when you are free to finally let them. No more fear of judgment. No more fear of rejection from this world. You see, I am not alone here. There are many of us.
“Most of them know they are forgiven, but the Lord wants them healed and free! One by one the Lord is building His army. And when the healing comes, my prayer is that you will be the one left with an empty place.”
“But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit.
Those who see you will stare at you
and ponder over you:
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
who shook kingdoms,
who made the world like a desert
and overthrew its cities,
who did not let his prisoners go home?’”
– Isaiah 14:15-17, ESV
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28, ESV
How to help
Though statistics vary depending on which organization is reporting them, abortion is far more common than people realize, Amanda says. “We’ve had pastor’s wives in the Bible studies who’ve had abortions, and their husbands have no idea. We’ve had pastor’s daughters (who’ve had abortions) because of their father’s role in the church.”
In other words, “You are around someone (who’s had an abortion),” Amanda says. “Be aware and be humble. Educate yourself. And if you’re a Christian, they’re watching your every move.”
If a friend or loved one tells you she’s had an abortion, “(For them it feels) like the worst thing you’ve ever done times 30, probably,” Amanda says. “How would you want her to respond to you (if you confessed that)?” Above all, “really just listen (with) that gentle spirit.”
To learn more about crisis pregnancy care or Amanda’s upcoming abortion recovery Bible study, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or Preston Crowe at email@example.com. More information on the Surrendering the Secret curriculum and training is available at SurrenderingTheSecret.com.
The CPC Metro and Pro-Life Mississippi also offer abortion recovery programs, which you can learn about on the next two pages.