FERRIER FILES: The story of the woman behind the abortion clinic plaque
HERMITAGE, Tenn. —
Judy Charest kept a horrible secret for 37 years, but discovered that once she did start talking about she couldn't stop. It would change everything.
Her son's name is David. April 17 is his birthday and his death day.
“I suffered for 37 years in silence, complete silence, but now i don't have to do that," Charest said. "I [brings me] I don' t want to say joy, but it gives me peace. I know he's in heaven."
April 17th , 1972; 16-year-old Judy was pregnant.
She knew she couldn't raise the baby, but she did not want an abortion. She wanted to put her baby up for adoption.
Her mom was very sick, and her stepfather would have made her get an abortion. She hid the pregnancy for 6 and a half months before telling her parents.
She thought she was safe.
“In the middle of the night, my stepfather woke me up and said grab a change of clothes,” said Charest. "This was a man you did what he told you to do."
She wound up at a hospital hooked up with an IV. She was scared.
She knew at seven and a half months pregnant it couldn't be an abortion, but that changed when the doctor walked into her room.
“He said I am getting ready to perform a salt saline abortion," Charest said. "I started screaming. They put something in the IV. When I woke up, I was in labor and I could feel my son dying inside of me."
Charest did not know how to honor her son until a conversation with Right to Life. She became the story behind a bill that would require abortion clinics to post a plaque in every clinic.
The plaque would read:
“It is against the law for anyone, regardless of the person's relationship to you, to coerce you to have an abortion. By law, we cannot perform an abortion on you unless we have your freely given and voluntary consent. It is against the law to perform an abortion on you against your will.”
The bill became law, and it changed everything for Judy.
“Now I feel that he is up in heaven, and he's there for the aborted babies and that he's good...he's good," Charest said. "He’s proud that his mom got his story out there so other babies can live."
Monday marked the anniversary of David’s birth and death.