She was just 15 years old when she discovered she was pregnant, but Sophia Gavino didn’t know who the father was. She was in a relationship at the time, but one night when she was at a party with friends, she became intoxicated, and a much older man took advantage of her inebriated state.
Sophia never had any exposure to abortion or knew much about it — that is, until a friend who had an abortion encouraged her to do the same. Convinced she had no choice, a family member drove Sophia to the Walnut Creek Planned Parenthood in California to have the abortion. But the abortionist botched the procedure and she started to hemorrhage.
Sophia told Live Action News, “Because the abortion hadn’t been done right, I needed to go back into the room again to complete the procedure. When I finally got home, I just wanted to be alone. I never stepped foot in that clinic again and I broke up with my boyfriend. Something in me died that day.”
After the experience, Sophia wrestled with shame and regret. Looking back, she wished she would have encountered a sidewalk counselor who would have helped her get on the right path. While she became a follower of Christ seven years later, she never adequately faced the pain of her abortion.
“Every once in a while our church would host a representative from the local Pregnancy Resource Center,” she said. “I would cry a bit at times, but then quickly pushed the pain deep inside. I knew could not change what I had done.”
In 2016, a preacher at her church started to speak out against abortion. Sophia never heard that type of message from the pulpit. At a prayer meeting one evening, the preacher related the biblical narrative of the young boy David taking down the “giant in the land” to the battle against Planned Parenthood — and told the congregation to “get off the sidelines and rush into the field.”
Sophia said, “When it came time for prayer, I lay face first on the ground and began to weep, asking God to forgive me for my sin of abortion and that if He saw fit, he would use me” to help save babies from abortion. “It was as if the scab had been ripped off and it was time to heal. Little did I know, this was the same year Love Life Missionaries was founded.”
But Sophia didn’t just pray for forgiveness that day. She also prayed for Planned Parenthood to be defunded. Two months later, she was astonished to get a postcard in the mail stating that two Planned Parenthood facilities in her county had closed due to defunding. Excited, she sent a picture of the postcard to everyone who had attended the prayer meeting. Her prayer had been answered.
For the next four years, Sophia — now a single mother with two children — learned everything she could about defending life. She felt a stirring to be involved in a specific capacity but never felt peace about any role. Then, she heard about a missionary in New York City at the Margaret Sanger Clinic who was serving with Love Life, which piqued her interest. She learned more about ministry from the videos her brother shared from his training at the Love Life headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. The mission of Love Life resonated with her….
Just two months later, Sophia and her son traveled to Arizona from California to a conference. Motivated by hearing Love Life founder Justin Reeder speak, both mother and son signed up for Boot Camp training to become Love Life missionaries on a day that marked 25 years since her abortion. Ironically, her son was 15 years old at the time, the same age as she was when she had the abortion.
Sophia serves as a Love Life Missionary in the NorCal region in Contra Costa County. She prays and sidewalk counsels at the Walnut Creek Planned Parenthood, the facility where she aborted her child. Of the 700 abortion centers in the United States, 160 are based in California. Sophia hopes that additional Love Life Missionaries will be planted in mission fields across Northern California and that churches will partner with Love Life to become Houses of Refuge providing safe havens for women in need….
The above comes from a March 11 story on Live Action News.