Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 19, 1999
A woman's story of forgiveness
It took 3 abortions before Denise Mountenay realized abortion was murder
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
Three abortions and a decade of sex, drugs and alcohol later, Denise Mountenay has asked for forgiveness.
Forgiveness from her children Jennifer, Daniel and Rebecca. Forgiveness from God. And forgiveness from herself.
"I don't think you'll ever get over it," said Mountenay of the three babies she aborted. "You've lost children, you'll never get over that. But for me now, there's a peace knowing they're with the Lord."
The author of Forgiven of Murder . . . A True Story is not looking for sympathy for the wrongs she's done. She's looking to re-live her story so no one else has to.
"I don't want someone going through the same thing and then realizing afterward that she shouldn't have done it," said Mountenay, a 42-year-old Ontario native who now lives in Morinville. "Hopefully after reading this book, people will reconsider and won't listen to the lies that are out there."
The lies Mountenay refers to are those that sugarcoat the effects of abortion.
"There is no such thing as a safe abortion," she said. "And (technology) doesn't make it better today than it was 20 years ago. Abortion should be unthinkable. They don't even abort animals in this country. There are more rights for the unborn eagle egg than human babies.
"I always say there are two victims after an abortion. One dead and one wounded."
Mountenay was wounded long before she had her first abortion.
At 13, while at a sleepover, she was raped by a friend's 24-year-old brother.
"They say that when women experience something like this they either become very promiscuous or they start hating men altogether. I went the promiscuous route because I wanted to control (men). I wanted to be in control."
After the rape, Mountenay convinced herself that "no decent guy would ever want me."
Whatever she did after that she had nothing to lose.
She started hanging out with the kind of kids who head straight for your parents' liquor cabinet when invited over. The kind of kids who always knew how, who and on which street corner they could strike a drug deal.
"That was my life - sex, drugs and rock 'n roll."
Fearful their daughter was getting too connected with the "wrong crowd," Mountenay's parents sent her to Europe to live with her grandfather.
While there, she discovered she was pregnant. With the intention to keep the baby, Mountenay began stealing baby clothes and building up a stash of money and food so she could run away and raise the child on her own.
That dream was halted when her mother came to Europe and Mountenay confessed she was pregnant.
Her mother suggested she return home and have a "special operation."
"I thought if my mom thinks its OK to do this, then it must be OK," said Mountenay, who was 16 at the time.
Fast forward eight years later and the abortion option arose again.
Mountenay found herself pregnant, carrying the child of a former boyfriend. At the time of the discovery, she was living with a young doctor whom she was sure was the man of her dreams.
Mountenay's mother again encouraged her daughter to choose the "special operation." Even her best friend said not to risk her future with the doctor boyfriend. Her friend gave the thumbs up for an abortion.
This second abortion left Mountenay with an infection and a broken heart. The doctor boyfriend eventually distanced himself and abandoned the relationship.
That was Mountenay's low point.
She booked herself into the YMCA and turned the next four months into her own pity party.
She pulled out of the depression and returned to her routine. She got her job back, started seeing old friends and became pregnant. Again, abortion was the one and only option. After all, it was "going to ruin my life if I kept the baby. I was starting to use (abortion) as a form of birth control."
By the third abortion, Mountenay was in denial. She was not killing her baby, but ridding herself of an unwanted blob of tissue.
"I remember specifically asking my doctor about the pregnancy and what was going on. He put a dot on a piece of paper and said it's just a clump of tissue.
"And stupid women like me believe them. If doctors say it's OK, if politicians say it's OK, if my mother says it's OK, it must be OK."
It wasn't until she turned 30, that the clump of tissue became human to her.
Her sister-in-law was pregnant and kept a pregnancy book on her coffee table. The pictures gave Mountenay her first glimpse of the development of a baby in the womb. This, coupled with a Christian retreat she attended, was the beginning of her conversion.
At the retreat, Mountenay went to the altar to pray. And suddenly the realization "I had murdered my own three children" hit home.
Uncontrollable crying took over followed by a sense of peace.
"I knew then that God had forgiven me."
Since then Mountenay said God has continued his grace in her life.
"He has given me the will and strength to air my dirty blood-stained laundry," said Mountenay, who attends the Family Worship Centre in Edmonton. "Because abortion isn't a black and white issue, it's blood red."
He has also given her a more-than-decent man as a husband, someone she once thought she was not deserving of.
He gave her a son, whom she calls a miracle child because he was conceived despite the damage caused to her uterus from the trio of abortions.
"God just supernaturally opened doors for me," she said.
After seeing abortionist Henry Morgentaler on TV in the '80s, Mountenay made it her mission to stop the killing.
She picketed the clinics, became executive director of Christians For Life and in 1988, organized one of the largest pro-life abortion rallies in Canada.
Not only did she believe God was throwing opportunities at her left and right, but he was also commissioning her to write a book of her life story.
So she sat down and completed Forgiven, which was released in May.
"What makes this book different is that it talks about the perspective of a woman that's been there," Mountenay said. "I try to make the book readable. Ordinary people can read this. It's very straightforward. It's kind of a book anyone can pick up and read."
And since publishing the book, Mountenay is proud to say it has given at least two readers an option besides abortion.
Mountenay will continue her pro-life crusade. She is optimistic that one day the laws will recognize the faults of abortionists and she will no longer need to re-live her story at conferences and through the media.
"(Abortion) has become a violent form of birth control. It's in the Yellow Pages under birth control," Mountenay said. "People don't understand - pregnancy is not a disease. It's a gift."