Dear Naya Rivera,
I read that you disclosed your abortion in People magazine as advanced publicity for your new book Sorry Not Sorry.
So, I’m writing to let you know that like you, I had an abortion to protect my career when I was twenty-three too. You might object that I was just a DJ in local radio and not a star in prime-time. But I bet we’re alike in that the way I sought to prove my worth had always been performance. And, I’m sure we both had worked very hard to get there when that pregnancy threatened to bring it all to a crashing halt.
You shared your story of abortion as “a decision to put your career first.” The detail that really struck me is how you carried out the decision on “your one day off.” Grueling, for me too. And I get that it’s a scary thing to open up about this–but you say you’re speaking out as a noble thing, to let other women know they’re not alone.
Believe me, I am the last one to judge having walked this sad mile myself.
But, Naya, here’s what I want to say to you in love, if you can receive it
I wonder if your confession isn’t also based in justifying your decision? I’m all about telling a better story and finding the beauty, and helping other women is my life’s purpose. But the truth is that you and I put ourselves and our needs before the life of an innocent human being, our own flesh and blood. There may be solidarity but there can be no nobility in a choice like that.
I tried to forget the abortion by throwing myself into my broadcasting career. It was a faulty foundation of self-reliance that only added to how I had forsaken my child. God mercifully provided many material blessings as I advanced, and I loved the work. But to believe that a career and its rewards would heal me and help me pay for my selfishness was a lie. There can never be peace in our hearts when we’ve placed career or anything else above the precious value of an innocent human being.
In our well-dressed world of media and entertainment I look around and wonder: who among us is numbered in the one out of every four Americans carrying the sorrow of a lost child along with our delicious designer bags? And I wonder too: how far would I have been able to advance if I had stepped away to become a mom? And how had it damaged my own heart to have sacrificed a child as a stepping-stone to success?
Abortion costs us something, but we get it so wrong as to exactly what. God in his mercy redeems even the choice to build our house on our children’s innocent blood when we now choose to believe that Christ’s shed blood has forgiven us and that he will make us new. I pray you find his love today.
And I also want to prepare you for the fallout that may occur in the life of your son for the way in which you’ve disclosed aborting his sibling. Kids can have an existential crisis and full-blown survivor guilt, wondering why they were spared when their sibling was killed. It’s a very real phenomenon. I hope that he can reconcile bargaining your fame for his brother or sister without that dilemma breaking his heart.
Portions of this post excerpted from Cradle My Heart, Finding God’s Love After Abortion
Cradle My Heart, Finding God’s Love After Abortion provides affirmation and hope after abortion from the Scriptures. Here are more resources for help and healing. If you are pregnant and need free, confidential help call 1-800-712-HELP. If you’ve had an abortion and need immediate help call 1-866-482-LIFE. Join us on Cradle My Heart Radio. Call 1-800-811-3003 LIVE from 9:30-10 pm ET Sundays on Faith Radio or voicemail 24/7. Ask a question at kim @ kimketola. For a list of radio stations or for live streaming, go here. Podcast on iTunes and archived here.