For Christina Bennett, the fight for life is not just part of her professional career, it is deeply personal as well. Her mother was literally waiting in a hallway for her abortion when one simple action by a janitor changed her life. Now Christina uses her family’s story to help fight for the lives of preborn babies, especially in the African American community.
There are a lot of abortion survivor stories. From babies that were born alive after an abortion attempt to women who decided at the last minute to walk out of an abortion clinic, I’m sure that in every family tree there is a story that falls somewhere within this spectrum. Some know their story, but many others do not. That’s what Christina Bennett, Communications Director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, learned after she first heard about the angel that helped save her life decades ago. However, initially her mother was hesitant to tell her the whole story.
“I can’t remember who exactly who it was, but I know that someone approached me at church and told me that something remarkable happened around the time of my birth that God wanted me to know about,” Christina said. “So, I asked my mom and she said to me that she’d met an angel before I was born and that was something that she didn’t want to talk to me about.”
Christina decided initially to let it go, but that changed after working in Kentucky during the summer with the Campus Crusade for Christ. She wanted to know, so Christina’s mother shared her incredible story about how she was moments away from an abortionist’s hands.
“My mother was scheduled to have an abortion at a hospital,” Christina said. “This was 1981 and my mom was pressured by my father to have an abortion, and she went to her church mentor hoping for support and her church mentor rejected her when she told her she was pregnant. Her mentor told her that if she came back to the church the mentor would be the first person to put her foot in the door and not let her in.”
When I was interviewing Christina, I found the reaction of her mentor incredibly disheartening. In a church environment, something like this should never happen.
“My mother went on to make the appointment on her own,” Christina said. “She was told by the counselor that it seemed like abortion was the best decision for her, but that was all the ‘counseling’ she received. When she left the counselors office, she was supposed to go in the waiting room but instead she went into the hallway and that’s when an African American janitor saw her crying. This elderly black woman asked my mother if she wanted to have this baby. My mom said yes, and then she told her that God would give her the strength to have me.”
It was a chance encounter, but one that God preordained. The janitor’s comments did give Christina’s mother pause and she thought about leaving, but then her name was called by the doctor soon after and she hesitantly followed him in.
“She went into his office and he hadn’t cleaned up the blood from the last abortion,” Christina said. “It was really disgusting, and she ends up telling him that she changed her mind and she wanted to keep me. He told her that she had already paid for this and then he tried to tell her that she was just nervous about the procedure. Then after that he ended up yelling at her and telling her to not leave this room, but she ran out anyways.”
She kept that story secret for 20 years.
“I did have questions about my life and questions about my calling,” Christina said. “I think that for most people, especially for someone like myself in a very liberal state with most of my relatives being Democrats, to hear a story like that they would think ‘Oh my gosh, that’s amazing and then leave it like that.’ I think I probably would’ve done that too if not for God. He really pursued me with dreams about girls that were in abortion clinics. Dreaming that I was telling people not to have abortions. God started speaking to me and told me, ‘I wanted you Christina and what do you think about the others?’”
Though Christina had plans to go into journalism or something similar after college, her life changed forever after she met Lou Engle of TheCall. Instead of getting a “regular job” after college, Christina left everything behind and moved to Washington DC to join a prayer ministry dedicated to ending abortion called the Justice House of Prayer and Bound4Life, which was also started by Engle and a group of young people from Colorado Springs.
Christina’s now spent 15 years working and championing the pro-life cause, and she is a much needed and powerful voice within the African American community. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, black preborn babies make up 38% of all abortions while African Americans comprise only 13.4% of the population.
“I think it’s devastating that they’re such a lack of knowledge about how the abortion industry is advertised as a savior of the black community,” Christina said. “It’s very sad.”
I love Christina’s story. It’s an incredible reminder that even the smallest of actions can change a person’s life. If that janitor had not stopped to give Christina’s mother some encouragement in that brief interaction, would she be here? In that moment of obedience, the janitor knew that giving a preborn child and a mother a voice and support could change history. Who knows how many other women and babies were saved through this quiet interaction that probably lasted only a minute?
Or maybe, just maybe, she really was an angel.