It's a disturbing statistic: Nearly half of all American women will have at least one abortion by the time they're 45. And of that group, about 47 percent will experience multiple abortions. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a special research affiliate of Planned Parenthood, Christians are as likely as non-Christians to seek abortion services. That means about 43 percent of TCW readers could be postabortive women. They may attend your Bible study, sit in your row at churchor even be you. Such is the case with Luana Stoltenberg and Sydna Masse. Both had abortions and felt they had no one to whom they could turn. As their self-esteem plummeted, they engaged in self-destructive behaviors and addictions. But the God who forgives all sins healed their emotional scars and prompted them to share their stories in an attempt to help other women in similar situations. Through their faith, these women have become powerhouses for the prolife movement. Here's what they're doing today.
"Abortion wasn't the solution to my problems
the abortion clinic employees promised."
On a cold, rainy day in December 1999, Luana Stoltenberg and a crowd of protestors stood in front of the newly opened Planned Parenthood clinic in Bettendorf, Iowa, singing carols and praying as they pushed baby strollers carrying dolls.
"The reason it's raining today is because God is crying," Luana told Jacqueline Adams of CBS' Early Show.
Luana, media spokesperson and treasurer for the Life and Family Coalition of the Quad Cities, is a woman with an energetic enthusiasm for lifeespecially the lives of the unborn. So much so that for the past six years, she's taken on Planned Parenthood (PP), the largest abortion provider in the nation.
For Luana, 41, living in the center of the abortion controversy gives her the opportunity to share how life can change from hopeless to hopeful. That's because Luana knows abortion's devastating aftermath firsthand: She had three before becoming a Christian, then married and discovered the damage caused by her abortions rendered her infertile. "After I found out I was infertile and why, I realized I needed to educate people and tell them how abortion affected me," says Luana. She got involved as a peer counselor with Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and began sharing her story with youth groups and churches.
Then in 1995, Luana Stoltenberg got involved with the Life and Family Coalition (L&FC), an organization concerned Quad City residents had formed when they became aware of Planned Parent-hood's intent to open a clinic in Bettendorf, Iowa. Realizing the presence of Planned Parenthood would change the fabric of the Quad Cities, four cities that border each other and the Mississippi River in Iowa and Illinois, Luana and the Life and Family Coalition, which USA Today has called "an especially effective anti-abortion group," went to work. And for six years, they were able to delay the building process.