After confession, God heals
the wounds of her abortion
By Melissa Deming
ATHENS, Texas (BP)--On a Saturday night before Sanctity of Life Sunday, DeAnn
Brindley crouched in front the altar of the empty Galloway Avenue Baptist Church
in Mesquite, Texas. Almost 17 years after she aborted her first child, the
search for healing and forgiveness culminated as she tenderly arranged flowers
and lit a few candles in a makeshift memorial. Pleading with God to reveal the
identity of her lost baby to her, the burden of past mistakes seemingly lifted
from her shoulders. The Lord had given her a name. He whispered to her spirit,
Brindley walked away that evening with the strength to face the congregation the
next morning. In January 1995, Brindley and her deacon husband would share their
past with the church. The couple had no idea what was in store for them. From
this couple's humble plea for forgiveness, the lives of women across the state
would receive healing through the formation of the Crisis Pregnancy Center in
Brindley's ministry began in 1978 with her first abortion at the age of 16. In
1979 a second one followed. With no crisis pregnancy center in her area,
Brindley's parents took her to a nearby abortion clinic.
"My parents went to what they felt was a good place, and of course at that time
we didn't know what abortion did to women, physically, emotionally and
spiritually," Brindley said. "They sounded like they had all the answers. They
said it would be quick and simple.
"No one ever thought to look back to the Scriptures that say, 'I knew you before
I formed you,'" she said, referring to the first chapter of Jeremiah.
Believing the clinic's information, which described her baby as "a glob of
tissue," Brindley had the abortion on Friday. She was back in church the next
Sunday. However, it wouldn't be until 17 years later that she would reap the
emotional consequences called post-abortion syndrome common to women who have
In 1990, Brindley sought the counsel of her pastor after having a repeated
encounter with her Sunday school teacher who had been picketing abortion clinics
on Sunday afternoons.
"She was just killing me with it," Brindley said when her teacher would express
indignation toward the clinics during class time. "When she would start talking
about it, then the room would get 400 degrees and the walls would start caving
in on me."
Through the encouragement of the pastor, Brindley and her Sunday school teacher
worked through Brindley's emotions.
"She found a Bible literature that we could use by Ken Freeman called 'Healing
the Hurts From Last Harvest,'" Brindley recounted. "She said to me, 'I've found
this Bible course, and I'd like to help you walk through it and get you some
relief from what has happened.'"
On Sanctity of Life Sunday in 1995, after having completed the study, the
Brindleys stood in front of their church and shared their pain with their
friends. Having received forgiveness for aborting Audrey Dawn and their second
child whom they named Jennifer Nicole, the Brindleys made a simple offering to
"And my husband said, 'If there's anybody that has been touched by abortion,
please come to our house tomorrow night and look at this literature that DeAnn
went through,'" Brindley said. "And so the next night six ladies showed up at
A new ministry reaching women and men devastated by abortion had begun. The
couple soon moved, but the ministry, "Someone Who Cares," was left in the hands
of Carolyn Dyke. Since then Brindley has walked women through the same biblical
literature she went through, including a girl she was friends with in her youth
group as a teenager.
"She had an abortion about the same time as I had mine, but because we couldn't
tell, no one was supposed to know," Brindley said. "And so I had the privilege
of walking her through the same biblical class and help her get to the foot of
the cross and find forgiveness for what she had done in the past."
Although her life experiences have provided numerous opportunities to share the
Ken Freeman literature with many different women, Brindley's heart is centered
on the ministry she founded in February 2001, the Crisis Pregnancy Center of
"I want to be here in a warm location, a place that is neutral, a place where
they can feel loved," she said of the hurting women who walk through her door
daily. "And when a girl comes in, I want her to feel that more than anything. If
I take care of her, the baby will follow.
"We are here to spread the gospel," Brindley said, noting the center had one
profession of faith during the year. "Every time a girl walks in the door, she's
going to hear my testimony, and she's going to be presented with the chance to
make the decision for salvation."
Brindley also reported four healthy babies being born this year to abortion-
minded clients. She shared an example of one these abortion-bound women, a 38-
year-old named Tracey, who entered the center on her way to an appointment with
an abortion clinic.
"She was pregnant with her second child and already had a 7-month-old," Brindley
said, describing the divine appointment. "She had her money in her hand, had
borrowed somebody's car and was headed to Fairmont Abortion Clinic in Dallas to
"She sat through our little intake. I shared my testimony with her, and we
shared a video with her. And this past October when we had our fundraiser, she
stood on the stage beside me with her little girl in her arms," Brindley said.
"She said she was very glad that she didn't abort that day."
Brindley hopes the center in Athens is able to participate in more divine
appointments like the one with Tracey. Currently, only eight churches out of the
198 churches in Henderson County are helping the center reach that goal.
"This is a huge mission field," Brindley said. "We've already seen 158 girls
While First Assembly of God in Athens pays the center's monthly rent, Henderson
County Baptist Association's director of missions, Mike Smith, said the center
also receives support from the associational office, which often assists in
various associational projects. The office gives $200 a month, and also gave a
one-time gift of $2,500. Additionally, two Catholic churches provide help by
organizing "Walk for Life" events for the center.
Last November, the association contacted the Southern Baptists of Texas
Convention and requested additional help. The SBTC responded by sending a check
to the association in the amount of $400.
Smith said all the money would go to the center to help defray costs for medical
packets and pregnancy tests.
"We need very desperately for God's people to get involved," said Brindley, who
fills in when one of the 14 volunteers is unavailable to work one of the daily
shifts, often requiring her to work into the night and on weekends. "We need
individuals to support us through prayer as well."
Looking to the future, Brindley envisions opening a transitional home for women
who need a place to live during and after their pregnancies.
"This would be for a young girl who might be kicked out after she's found out
she's pregnant or for women who have decided not to place their baby for
adoption and needed a place to care for her baby," Brindley said. "We will let
her come stay with us for the first six to nine months of the baby's life, make
sure that she can support herself, help her get a GED, help her get an
apartment, and get her near a church that can help her further."
Hoping to raise the money to bring this new ministry to fruition in the next
year, Brindley said the transitional home would be located on the seven acres
adjacent to their own home.
John Brindley, who entered the ministry after their 1995 disclosure, currently
is pastor of LaRue Baptist Church in Henderson County. The Brindleys have been
blessed with three more children: Stuart, 16; Brittany, 14; and Tyler, 10.
New Life Children's Services presents
adoption by a family & by God
By Melissa Deming
HOUSTON (BP)--For 18 years, New Life Children's Services has facilitated the
growth of new families through giving birth parents, who are unable to care for
children, an alternative to abortion. NLCS has placed 275 children in Christian
homes, averaging about 13 placements a year, since starting as a ministry of
Houston Northwest Baptist Church.
The adoption agency was birthed from the heart of the late A.B. "Bo" Henderson,
associate pastor of Houston Northwest, as he counseled with women in crisis
pregnancies. An adoptive parent himself, Henderson began the often difficult and
tedious process of licensing NLCS with the state of Texas in 1983.
Although the ministry is now a separate entity from Houston Northwest, the
church still contributes $800 a month to NLCS. The adoption agency benefits from
its connection with the church by sharing electricity and water lines as well.
NLCS Executive Director Sara Black said the church's congregation actively
directs referrals to the agency and donates baby clothing, maternity clothing
and other items. Steven Wright pastors Houston Northwest Baptist, a member
church of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
Henderson hired Black in 1986. Before her hiring, however, God began to lay the
groundwork in her life preparing her for NLCS' needs. In 1976, the Blacks
adopted a biracial baby named Angie. After the adoption, Black completed a
master's degree in social work at Houston Baptist University while working for
Texas' Child Protective Services. During her time employed by the state, she
learned how to deal with licensing and legal issues facing adoptive families.
Such personal encounters with adoption have prepared Black to face greater
issues on behalf of the agency.
Black believes it is due to legal and licensing obstacles that more churches are
unable to sponsor adoption agencies.
"Adoption is a legal risk when you deal with birth fathers or birth mothers,"
said Black, who regards open adoption as the healthiest form of adoption. "The
concern would be birth parents who change their mind."
The legal matters can easily consume and financially overwhelm any institution,
particularly a ministry formed by a church, Black said.
Adoption fees, paid by the adopting parents, also constitute NLCS' financial
support. The fee of $14,000 includes the agency's work with the birth mother,
traveling expenses to interview and work with the adopting parents, medical
costs and legal fees.
"It sounds like a lot, and it is a lot, but when you look at adoption fees
across the board and call other agencies you'll find that it is like $25,000 and
$30,000," Black said.
With six families currently waiting to adopt babies through NLCS, Black said the
typical waiting period for a family could reach 18 months. Currently, NLCS has
10 women waiting to place their babies for adoption.
Because the heart of NLCS is to provide practical assistance to women in crisis
situations, it also offers services similar to a crisis pregnancy center. With a
licensed nurse on staff, the agency gives free pregnancy testing, abortion
alternative counseling and medical and shepherding home referrals. They offer
car seats and cribs free of charge as well. Birthparents are required to
participate in group and individual counseling sessions as well as childbirth
Potential adoptive parents also must complete classes concerning adoption just
like birth mothers. They are required to read certain books and undergo home
studies as well. Adoptive family requirements include: a two-parent husband and
wife family that professes Jesus Christ as Savior, between the ages of 21-39,
married for at least three years, active in a local church, and financially
Adoptive parents also must agree to three policies specified by the NLCS in
support of the birth mother: a name policy, which states that the birth mother
may name the baby; a gift policy, which states the adoptive parents must allow
the child to receive gifts from the birth mother and give a note of thanks; and
a communication policy. The communication policy requires the adoptive parents
to send a letter and 10 pictures of the child to the birthparents twice a year
for 18 years.
Black said these three policies are instrumental in the healing process of both
the birthparents and the child. The birth mother is allowed to see the child
grow and express love for the child in a somewhat limited manner. The adopted
child gradually understands the birth mother still desires to be a part of his
life and loves him.
As a mother nears the end of her pregnancy, she is shown profiles of prospective
families desiring to adopt a child. From these profiles, which include photos,
videos and autobiographies, the mother selects a family with which she will
place her own baby.
After the birth mother has her baby, she is then extended a 48-hour waiting
period in which she has time to finalize her decision to proceed with the
adoption or, in some cases, to keep the baby.
Black said this 48-hour period is excruciating for both the adoptive family and
the birth mother.
"It's awful for the adoptive family because they are waiting, and also the birth
mom because she is so grieved," Black said. "Sometimes our women are so focused
on adoption that they don't let themselves deal with the pain, but in truth,
when they are holding their baby in their arms, they have to deal with that
Black shared one example of a mother who decided not to follow through with the
agreement at the last minute.
"It was time to dress her baby and give it to the adoptive parents," Black
recounted. "She called me and said, 'Sara, I can't do this.' And I said, 'You
don't have to do this. This is your baby and you can make a plan for your baby.'
That was such a freeing thing for her. We have no right to say, 'You have to do
this, you've promised your baby to this particular family.' That's a very
unethical thing to do, but certainly it does happen."
Black said in situations where the birth mother is unsure of what to do, the
NLCS always supports the birth mother by offering interim childcare in a foster
home. This allows the birth mother additional time to make an unemotional
A modern misconception of adoption, promulgated by the abortion industry, states
that adoption agencies pressure mothers to sell their babies.
"We want to help birth mothers who want to place their baby for adoption," Black
said. "We aren't here to take anyone's baby or to coerce them in any way. For
some people, adoption is the best answer, but it's not for everybody."
For birth mothers who go through with the adoption, Black said grief is an
unavoidable side effect. Birth mothers also are faced with common misconceptions
concerning adoption suggesting they don't love their babies or that they are
throwing their babies away. For Black, birth mothers who place their baby
demonstrate a much greater love by giving them better homes.
Adoptive children also are faced with grief issues, believing their mothers did
not love them enough to keep them.
"We always take pictures of a birth mom holding her baby crying. It's not a
posed picture, just an impromptu picture, but we think that picture tells the
child years later more than words can ever say," Black said. "Because the world
would say to this child, 'Your mom didn't want you.' But the picture helps the
child to know that their mother loved them and the decision was a hard one and
that's why she's crying and holding them."
However, the adoption process does not end after a child is placed with new
parents in a Christian home. NLCS staff members continually offer post-adoption
counseling to birth mothers and their family members.
It also lifts up the newly created family in prayer.
"We know that it's such a spiritual battle, and we pray and fast on Thursdays as
a staff to seek to know what God would have us do," Black said. "We pray for the
adoptive families, and the birth families and we pray for the children."
One reason why Black feels so strongly about prayer stems from her desire to see
the children placed by the NLCS hear the gospel.
"We keep a list of the children who have been adopted and have made professions
of faith," Black said. "We want to know that these are the children who were
placed in homes that told them about Jesus."
Ultimately, NLCS seeks two adoptions for a child, an adoption into a new earthly
family and a second adoption as a child of the King.
"Adoption is an incredibly wonderful way to become part of a family," Black
said. "And it's the way that we become part of God's family, because he adopts
us into his family if we believe in Jesus Christ. So some of these kids are
For more information on New Life Children's Services or to receive their
newsletter call (281) 955-1001 or visit their website: www. newlifeadopt.com.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title:
PRAYER, FASTING & ADOPTION.
Women who have abortion more likely
to face depression, study shows
By Matt Pyeatt
WASHINGTON (BP)--Women who abort their first unintended pregnancy are more prone
to clinical depression, increased substance abuse and suicide than women who
carry their unintended pregnancy to term, a new study suggests.
The study, which appeared in the prestigious British Medical Journal Jan. 19,
was funded by the Elliot Institute of Springfield, Ill., a nonprofit
organization that examines post-abortion complications and promotes outreach and
counseling programs for women.
According to CNSNews.com, data for the report comes from a national study of
American youth, which began in 1979. A subset of 4,463 women were surveyed about
"depression, intendedness of pregnancy and pregnancy outcome" in 1992.
The study found that eight years after their abortions, married women were 138
percent more likely to be at high risk of clinical depression compared to women
who carried their unintended first pregnancies to term.
David C. Reardon, Ph.D., director of the Elliot Institute and the study's lead
author, said the study is consistent with other recent research that has shown a
suicide and substance abuse increase of fourfold to sixfold associated with
prior abortion. The study is also the first to include an analysis of depression
up to eight years after an abortion.
Reardon said the study was conducted using the same data set as that used by
feminist psychologist Nancy Russo of Arizona State University, who determined
that self-esteem was not affected significantly among women who aborted and
those who carried to term.
"The most serious flaw of the Russo study is that the authors did not even
comment on the extraordinarily high rate of concealment of past abortions in the
sample," Reardon said. "Women who do not want to mention a past abortion are
most likely the ones who will have unresolved feelings of shame, guilt or
Another problem associated with Russo's study is that researchers relied on a
measure of self-esteem that is not sensitive to post-abortion stress, Reardon
"Russo's previous analysis of this data set was methodologically weak and was
frankly a poor basis on which to build the claim that abortion has no measurable
effect on women's well-being," he said. "The results of our reexamination of
this data set -- especially in combination with other studies showing higher
rates of suicide, substance abuse and other mental health disorders associated
with prior abortion -- shows that the 'no effect' hypothesis should be
rejected," Reardon said.
Reardon believes he believes this research can assist physicians in
understanding their patients better. "We recommend that physicians should
routinely inquire about the outcome of all patients' pregnancies," he said.
This would allow women to discuss unresolved feelings about prior pregnancy
loss, Reardon said. It would also be a good opportunity for physicians to give
referrals for additional counseling, he said.
(Information about the Elliot Institute, biographical information about David C.
Reardon and related articles and resources can be accessed at
http://www.afterabortion.org. The full article in the British Medical Journal
can be viewed on the Internet at
Pierce is a staff writer with www.CNSNews.com. Used by permission.
Effects of Abortion Pill Tough to Swallow for Pro-Lifers
The abortion industry has stopped at nothing to convince
people that RU-486 is safe. Now, a little over a year since
the Food and Drug Administration approved the pills for use
in America, new data proves that the drug can create serious
medical complications. Of the 33 people whose cases were
referred to the FDA, several have experienced "life
threatening" side effects. And, even more alarming,
according to the FDA's own records, five people have already
died with RU-486 listed as the prime suspect. How many more
will be sacrificed for a political agenda that trumps
reality? Contrary to popular belief, these aren't magic
pills-they're a human pesticide that endangers mother and
child. Dr. John Diggs, a pro-life doctor and FRC advisor,
says he isn't surprised at the dangerous effects of the
drug. "The problem is [that] the FDA chose to overlook
them. Any drug that's causing...deaths under any other
circumstances would be withdrawn... But this one was pushed
through under fast track." This story points to the crucial
decision facing President Bush who is in the process of
selecting a new FDA commissioner. We urge the president to
choose someone who will make decisions based on sound
science and principle, not hidden agendas and politics.
Dear David Hunt,
I know you are a person who cares deeply about preserving the sanctity of life ...
... so I want to ALERT you to a strategic pro-life case we are fighting in New York - and I want to ask you for your support in this effort!
The Attorney General for the state of New York has launched a campaign to SILENCE the pro-life message!
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has issued a SUBPOENA against pro-life counseling centers as part of a campaign to disrupt, discredit, and harass pro-life counseling centers. At question here: did the centers dispense medical advice to women without being licensed to do so?
But the issue is much more than medical.
The counselors at these centers work with women who are faced with an unwanted or an unplanned pregnancy. Sometimes it's a difficult pregnancy. In any case, it's a tough situation - and the counselors try to help.
And, in doing so, it is PERFECTLY LEGAL for them to share that abortion isn't the only alternative!
That is why we have agreed to serve as lead counsel in representing one of the clients named in the subpoena. We have FILED A MOTION to quash the subpoena on three grounds:
1. The subpoena VIOLATES THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT of the center by attempting to eliminate constitutionally protected speech.
2. The subpoena contains NO SPECIFIC COMPLAINTS against the center.
3. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has publicly pledged to work with the National Abortion Rights Action League - whose strategy includes TARGETING crisis pregnancy centers. This subpoena may well be little more than a tool in a politically-motivated campaign to CENSOR THE PRO-LIFE MESSAGE!
It is wrong for the New York Attorney General to SINGLE OUT these centers simply because he disagrees with their viewpoint and message. And we intend to make sure the pro-life message is protected!
Pro-Aborts "Sound Off" about CCPA
After a bill mark-up that nearly became physical, the House
Judiciary Committee passed the Child Custody Protection Act
that makes it a federal offense to take minors across state
lines for abortions in places that don't require parental
consent or notification. During the hearing, an angry Rep.
Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) showed the pro-aborts' true colors by
throwing a microphone across a table, saying, "If you want
to be disruptive, we know how to do that." So much for
civility in public discourse. But then, there's nothing
civil about abortion.
From: Ken Connor, President
Date: April 2, 2002 - Tuesday
To: Friends of Family Research Council
Pro-Aborts Fail to Practice What They Preach
In an apparent attempt to put a religious gloss over their
otherwise barbaric push for abortion, Planned Parenthood has
appointed a "chaplain" for its Washington state chapters.
According to the Seattle Times, the Reverend Monica Corsaro
will provide "pastoral counseling" to women seeking
abortions, as well as act as a "liaison" with the religious
community in lobbying for abortion. Her attempt -- and
Planned Parenthood's at large -- to justify the destruction
of innocent babies by spiritualizing the debate is ironic.
Why would religious counseling be necessary at all, except
to assuage the guilt and pricks of conscience faced by
thousands of troubled women who have been duped into
abortion? A cleric's garb cannot disguise the fact that
Corsaro is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and her hiring is
just another marketing ploy by the abortion provider.
Perhaps the reverend should reflect on the admonition of the
prophet Isaiah, who said, "Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil" (Isaiah 5:20).