Every March, Rebekah Buell can’t stop thinking how she almost ended her unborn baby’s life on her eldest son’s birthday.
“I think a lot about what might have happened. I can’t imagine waking up on March 14 pretending to be happy,” Buell said.
Rebekah had been through so much. After an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 17, she worked hard to put her life back on track. In one-year’s time, she delivered her son, Elias, married her baby’s father, and started classes at Sacramento State.
Her life was on the upswing, but not for long. Only months into the marriage, it started to unravel because her husband was physically and verbally abusive to the point where Rebekah feared for her and her child’s safety. On Feb. 13, 2013, after being married only 10 months, she and her son were now living with her parents, and she had just begun the divorce process.
Rebekah already felt like she had let everyone down, so it was a hard blow for her when she discovered that she was carrying her soon to be ex-husband’s child.
She’d be asked to leave her home
Stunned, as she looked at that positive pregnancy test, she could feel her life come crashing down. Rebekah couldn’t bear to disappoint her mom and dad yet again.
Stressing over the ramifications of another pregnancy, it was clear to her that if she revealed to her parents that she was pregnant, she and her son would be homeless.
“I knew that the rule was if I were to get to get pregnant again, we were going to be forced to leave,” she said during a Walk for Life West Coast speech.
College was already challenging with having one child. She wondered how on earth she could manage it with two little ones and no place to live and no health insurance. It seemed impossible for her to go through with the pregnancy.
Even though she knew abortion was wrong and it went against her Baptist upbringing, she felt it was the only answer. She hoped God would forgive her.
Was God trying to tell her something?
At 5 weeks pregnant, she and her now ex-husband went to a Planned Parenthood facility on a Friday to get a chemical abortion, but an abortion worker told them that they didn’t give the abortion pill on Fridays.
Rebekah made an appointment for the following week but missed it because of a family emergency.
The next week she went to a different Planned Parenthood clinic, but the medical technician wasn’t able to draw blood from her thin veins. “I thought, ‘oh my gosh, this is the third thing getting in the way of my having an abortion,’” she said in a speech.
Time was running out for Rebekah because chemical abortions, at that time, were not done after nine weeks. Later the timeline was extended to after 10 weeks of gestation.
An abortion pill in a Dixie cup
On March 13, 2013, now 8 weeks pregnant, she returned to the same clinic. They handed her the RU-486 pill in a Dixie cup, and told her, “Once you take this pill, there’s no going back.”
How the RU-486 pill works is that it blocks progesterone to the womb; without adequate levels of this hormone in the mother’s body, her baby will not survive.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, who received funding from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, “Medication abortions accounted for 31 percent of all non-hospital abortions in 2014, and for 45 percent of abortions before 9 weeks gestation.”
Though uneasy, she consented and then swallowed the pill. As instructed by the abortion clinic nurse, Rebekah would finish the second step of the chemical abortion protocol at home.
She wanted to push rewind
Scared for her and her first child’s future, Rebekah had gone to Planned Parenthood because they had promised her “freedom” and what looked like a clear path to success, but now sitting in her car outside Planned Parenthood, all she could think was that she made a terrible mistake. It never crossed her mind to try to vomit the pill. All she could think of was that tomorrow was her son Elias’ first birthday, and she would be ending her other child’s life on the same day when she took the second pill.
Remorseful for what she had done, Rebekah kept telling God, “I am so sorry!” She prayed to him, “If there’s a way out of this, please let me find it.”
She began frantically googling on her phone for some way to reverse what she had done, and she ran across AbortionPillReversal.com, which advised any woman who wanted to reverse a chemical abortion to call.
Rebekah dialed the Abortion Reversal Pill hotline at 877-558-0333, and a nurse explained to her about a treatment to reverse chemical abortions that consisted of progesterone shots through the first trimester of the pregnancy.
The APR nurse helped Rebekah to locate a doctor who would do the reversal. Within 24 hours, she had begun the abortion reversal protocol, which is the ideal window for saving the baby. There have also been successful “saves” with treatment started within 72 hours of taking the abortion pill, provided the second contraction-inducing medication, called misoprostol or Cytotec, has not been taken.
Whether it worked or not, Rebekah knew that this was her best chance to save her unborn baby — she felt a glimmer of hope. According to the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Rebekah had a 65 percent to 70 percent chance her baby would survive.
“Without APR, the chances that an unborn child will survive mifepristone [RU-486] poisoning are around 15 percent,” AAPLOG says.
Dad never really planned to kick her out
As Rebekah expected, her dad was mad when he found out that she was pregnant again. He was also astounded to find out that chemical abortions, which happen in people’s homes, existed. Despite his threat, which had haunted his daughter, he never had any intention of kicking her out of his house.
More than 450 saved
On Oct. 20, 2013, Rebekah’s second son, Zachariah, was born. As of 2018, he numbers among the more than 450 babies saved because of ARP protocol their mothers took, according to Dr. George Delgado, who developed the Abortion Pill Reversal program.
Since Zachariah’s birth, Rebekah graduated from William Jessup University. She’s currently the community outreach coordinator at her local pregnancy clinic and an engaging public speaker.
Zachariah, approaching 5 years old, is a happy and bright little boy who loves his big brother; there’s no sign of any harm from the progesterone injections that his mother took to save him.
Just to demonstrate what a witty little boy he is, Rebekah shared with me a cute story about Zachariah’s first Costco shopping experience. When Rebekah is invited to speak somewhere, Zachariah always goes with her, so he’s familiar with airports.
“The other day, we became members at Costco, and we did our first grocery trip on a Thursday afternoon,” she explained. “We walked in, and the first thing out of his mouth was, ‘Oh no, this looks like the Chicago airport!'”
Her home is complete
Since her son’s birth, another blessing has happened to Rebekah. On March 17, 2018, she married Kramer. Watching Rebekah and Kramer’s wedding video — seeing her adorable children — I couldn’t help but shed a tear. Rebekah’s decision to fight for Zachariah’s life brought her to this beautiful new beginning. In her darkest hour, she couldn’t imagine the amazing gifts Our Lord had in store for her.