As she listened to the testimonies of people who turned to Christ after a lifetime of mistakes, she often thought to herself, “I’m never going to have a story.”
Then came junior high school and the pressure to be popular.
In high school, Gibbs began dating a boy in spite of the disapproval of her parents. At the end of her senior year, she learned that she was pregnant.
The counselor at the pregnancy center she visited to confirm her worst fear asked her what she would do.
“I said, ‘No way will we have an abortion because I come from a Christian family and we don’t believe in that, but everybody is going to be very shocked,’” Gibbs said during the Pregnancy Test and Resource Center’s fundraising banquet Thursday night.
Her father, Jerry Little, was a youth pastor in the church where Gibbs was raised.
On several occasions, their family had taken in girls whose parents had turned their backs on them in their pregnancy.
Yet after learning that Gibbs had been abused by her boyfriend, Little convinced himself and his daughter that their situation was “different.”
“The sickest thing I said to Candy was ‘The best thing we can do for the baby is to give it to Jesus,’” Little said.
Little drove his daughter to an abortion clinic two hours away.
Each time he had an opportunity to turn the car around, he struggled with his conviction that abortion was wrong and his own desire to assure his daughter that it was acceptable given their circumstances.
Little was not allowed to be in the room with his daughter while she underwent the procedure. He stood outside the door and prayed that the doctor would miss the baby if it was God’s will.
When his daughter emerged, Little knew that his grandchild was gone.
“I knew immediately that nobody could have abused my daughter or our family more than I just did because we went in that clinic, she was crying. When she came out, there were no tears, no emotion. When I looked in her eyes, it was like she wasn’t even there,” Little said.
Two years later, a co-worker gave Gibbs a pamphlet about a post-abortion recovery Bible study.
Gradually, Gibbs found healing and convinced her father to seek counseling as well.
Today, both are involved at the Care Net Crisis Pregnancy Center in Amarillo. Little is the coordinator of the men's post abortion ministry, and Gibbs is the executive director.
Gibbs warned the audience that abortion is not an issue that only affects “someone else.”
She said that statistically, one in three women have had an abortion, and most wait between 15 and 18 years to tell anyone about it.
Gibbs also encouraged those in attendance to support the PTRC as it assists mothers who have unplanned pregnancies.
She said that based on more than 14 years of experience in a similar ministry, the young women who come into PTRC aren’t interested in debating a woman’s right to choose.
“They say things like, ‘My parents are going to kick me out. My boyfriend is going to break up with me. I was leaving to go to school.’ So to me, the loving thing to do is to help her with whatever that thing is that makes her feel like abortion is her only choice,” Gibbs said.