Actress April Hernandez-Castillo, Shares Her Story of Having an Abortion at 19 and the Shame She Felt Afterwards, Urges Q Conference Attendees to Remember to Love ‘the Woman Who’s Terrified’

“My name is April Hernandez-Castillo and I had an abortion.”

The film and television actress recently stood before hundreds of fellow Christians at the Q conference to reveal her personal journey and to make an appeal: to love the woman as much as the unborn child.

“I understand that the topic of abortion is touchy. I understand that I am in a room full of believers, faith movers and shakers and yes we absolutely must fight for the life of the unborn child,” Hernandez-Castillo said last week in Nashville. “But I wonder, have we missed and failed the woman who’s terrified.”

The now 39-year-old actress — known for her role in the 2007 film “Freedom Writers” and TV shows “Dexter” and “Law & Order” — was 19 when she found out she was pregnant. She had just left an abusive relationship with a slightly older man who had almost taken her life.

She told no one about the abuse.

Her friend was with her when she took a pregnancy test.

“My friend, she asked me the $1 million question: ‘Are you going to keep it?’ It. Keep. It. As if I had an alien growing in my body,” Hernandez-Castillo recalled.

After two lines appeared on the test, she cried because she was terrified and ashamed.

“I cried because I knew I could not bring a child into this world from a man who almost took my life. I cried because I knew I couldn’t keep it.”

She took the Q conference attendees on the journey of how she came to have an abortion as a teen, detailing each excruciating and reluctant step she took and the guilt that ate away at her afterward.

When she arrived alone at an abortion clinic in New York City, she was met by protesters in front of the big corporate building. Inside, the receptionist coldly asked her: “How do you plan to pay? Cash or credit? And it’s 400.”

There were other pregnant women — the youngest likely 14 years old — waiting. Hernandez-Castillo didn’t look at anyone as tears fell down her face. “No one really spoke,” she recalled.

After being called in, she saw the sonogram of her baby — “It was no longer an it but it was a human being,” she described.

“But I still had to do it because sometimes when we find ourselves in desperate situations, we make desperate choices.”

When she was escorted to another room to have the abortion done, she saw a machine and stained blood. The doctor told her not to worry, saying it will only take five minutes and “you won’t feel a thing.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Sheryl Lynn