Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gianna - Aborted and Lived to Tell About It.

Gianna, Aborted...and Lived to Tell About It

I have been in awe of Gianna Jessen since I learned about her recently and saw her videos. I am only half way through her biography but I want to share a little about her. Gianna suffers from Cerebral Palsy due to her traumatic abortion survival. Living with this disability means therapies and surgeries along with a daily challenges it affords her, but Gianna thanks God for it.

Learn more about her by watching her testimony here.

What the videos do not contain are the trials and courageous stories of her youth. Gianna was blessed with a tenacious adoptive mother who was not intimidated by the doctor's reports that Gianna would never crawl and never walk. It was the dedication of this loving woman that has in part inspired Gianna in her Pro-Life work and ministry.

Gianna's adoptive father walked out on Gianna and her mother when Gianna was a teen. They started over and when they did, they poured out more love and help on others who were in worse shape than them. Her mother working more than one job at a time they always had more to give to those in need.

Living with cerebral palsy was challenging enough but Gianna's junior high years proved to be difficult and challenging in a whole new way. Ostracized again and again, Gianna and her mother decided to adventure into the world of homeschooling after the school counselor offered to get Gianna some "volunteer friends," and still Gianna was about to learn about the world and it's vast complexities in a greater degree than she already was acquainted with.

Gianna began public speaking at a very young age presenting herself just as she is, a radiant spunky and joyful child with a story to tell. She sang and/or spoke in many states here and countries abroad, expounding on the importance of forgiveness, telling her story and inspiring many. Hear Gianna sing "Come Gracious Spirit" here. It wasn't long before she would learn that the evil that had deceived her birth mother was still a strong hold in her country, growing larger and evolving into a many headed monster.
Gianna flew to Montgomery, Alabama to testify before a health committee meeting. After giving her testimony a Pro-Death speaker stood and fully facing Gianna rather than the committee contended that handicapped children, like little Gianna, were a burden on society. Though the animosity was a shock to little Gianna, it only strengthened her resolve.

At 14 she spoke before an Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors who was at the time one of the most powerful groups in the country. They had assembled to hear testimony for and against the controversial abortion causing pill RU-486 already banned by the FDA. As Gianna spoke she was heckled, she was shouted down, ridiculed and intimidated by members of Act Up a homosexual group. The motion passed 4-1 allowing importation of the abortion pill, Mike Antonovich casting the lone dissenting vote. Gianna received a letter from supervisor Antonovich commending her and letting her know that her testimony challenged many that day causing them to question their beliefs. "...the Lord will recognize you and all of those fighting for the sanctity of life."
Shortly after she would be in Atlanta, Ga braving the "death-scorts" or volunteers determined to help pregnant mothers into the abortion mills. Gianna and 11 other teens were attempting to shut down a 60,000 sq. ft. building dedicated solely to abortion. Posted in pairs at as many doors as they could cover it wasn't long before Gianna found herself in a face off.

"She looked up. A security guard, legs spread and arms behind his back, stood facing her. She caught his eye and tried to talk to him. 'Your clinic does late term abortions, doesn't it?' she asked.

'No,' he replied.

'I've hear that hey do, I've hear that they don't do anything but abortions here and that many of them are late-term.'

'They might do a few.'

'My birth mother aborted me,' said Gianna softly, keeping her eyes on his. 'She was seven months pregnant. But I survived.'

The guard just stood there. His eyes were troubled now. Gianna could see questions in them-doubts and uneasiness.

'I have cerebral palsy because of the abortion.'

The guard never said another word.

That day ended in arrest but her ministry took off eventually. TV producers were calling her and Gianna was able to witness to the nation via a talk show.
Gianna is truthful about her emotional struggles, her attitude towards her birth mother and the doctors, the bitterness that she has faced and the difficult realities that are hers. But you will also find that what follows is a message of God's sovereign grace and hope in the Lord. That He has mended her and that He has been her Saviour in all ways. When asked about how she found out that she had been aborted Gianna testifies to God's graciousness.
Gianna was asked by Morrie Povich, "When did you find out the real story about the abortion attempt?" the conversation follows.

"When I was 12 years old. It was on Christmas Day. We were making Christmas dinner. I said, 'Mom, why do I have cerebral palsy?'

"I had asked her that I don't know how many times. But for the first time, she said, 'Do you really want to know why?' and I said, 'Yes, I do,' and she said, 'You'd better sit down, ' Well, your mother was seven months pregnant, and she-- she--' As soon as the words were about to come out, I filled in the words. I said, 'I was aborted, right?'

"Now, don't tell e how I knew, because I didn't know for 12 years, but at that moment--But at that moment, I feel -- this is the way I really feel -- God gave me that. He told me at that right moment as that I could accept it and it just wouldn't be a big boom for me."
I highly recommend the book. I hope you'll find yourself a copy and once finished pass it on. I also hope that it will encourage clarity of vision, and resolve to see it through. Gianna is an excellent example of that to be sure. Gianna's testimony calls to mind Luke 2:49 "And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"
Of which Matthew Henry says this: "Herein he hath left us an example; for it becomes the children of God, in conformity to Christ, to attend their heavenly Father’s business, and to make all other business give way to it. This word of Christ we now think we understand very well, for he hath explained it in what he hath done and said. It was his errand into the world, and his meat and drink in the world, to do his Father’s will, and finish his work"


Megan said...

Gianna's story should serve to be an inspiration to anyone and everybody. I read her story years and years ago, and I have never been able to forget it.

Bethany Hudson said...

What an inspiring (and at the same time devastatingly sad) story. Thank you for sharing it, as I was not familiar with Gianna and her story.