It’s something many couples would prefer to forget. But from the St. Louis Review comes this inspiring story of a courageous couple who can’t forget — and who are reaching out to help others.
Chuck Raymond clearly remembers the moment a visiting priest came to his parish and spoke at Mass on the subject of abortion.
It was a moment in which the Holy Spirit was “calling me out,” he said. More than two decades ago, when they were teenagers, he and his wife, Linda, made the decision to end their unplanned pregnancy with an abortion. It was a heartbreaking moment from their past that they shared with few.
In the pews were brochures on Project Rachel, the Catholic Church’s ministry to those who have been through an abortion. He knew he had to take one home to show his wife.
But Raymond said he was “petrified” that his fellow parishioners might see him pick up the brochure and became paranoid of what they might think of him. Once he brought home that brochure, it was several weeks before he had the courage to show it to Linda.
Fast forward several years later, and the Raymonds, members of Holy Infant Parish in Ballwin, have taken their sorrow and turned it into a message of hope, through sharing — here and around the United States — their personal story of woundedness and healing with others who have experienced an abortion.
“We want to try to get out (the message) that they’re not alone,” said Linda Raymond. “The good news is Christ loves you so much, He wants to heal you and still love you.”
It was 1976, just three years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe vs. Wade to make abortion legal in the United States. Chuck Raymond was a senior in high school and Linda was a freshman at a local junior college when the two discovered that Linda was pregnant.
After the abortion, the two eventually married in 1981 and had two more children. They put the abortion behind them, suppressing their emotions about it for years.
“Every now and then a comment (about the abortion) came up,” said Chuck Raymond. But it wasn’t until their children became adolescents that the couple started thinking about whether they had prepared them as they were becoming sexually mature — including talking about topics such as respect for their own bodies and members of the opposite sex.
Linda Raymond also was struggling on and off with depression. She surrounded herself with questions about whether she was being a good mother to her children. Her husband started to wonder whether the abortion had something to do with it.
Read what happened next.