A pastor’s pro-life sermon in church one day helped to change a hurting Florida woman’s life forever.
Now, Jeanne Pernia, of Miami, is sharing God’s grace and mercy with women across the world, offering pregnancy resources and the message of God’s forgiveness if they, like she, aborted their unborn babies.
Speaking with Live Action News, Pernia said she grew up with a single mother who ran an abortion facility in Hialeah, Florida.
“It was 1977 and Roe had been legalized,” Pernia said. “I was just so happy that women had a place to go and be safe, whatever their healthcare needs were. That’s how I looked at it at the time.”
At one point in college, she said she also worked at an abortion facility, although she did not know it was an abortion facility when she first took the receptionist job.
As a young woman, she said she began dating an older man and eventually became pregnant. Although she initially wanted her baby, Pernia told Live Action that she allowed her boyfriend and mother to pressure her into an abortion.
“I had convinced myself that because I was so sick, the baby would not be well, so that made it necessary for me to have the abortion,“ she said. “The whole experience was awful. As I left the facility, the sun was shining brightly, and I remember fervently praying to God that I would someday become a mom again.”
A few months later, she did become pregnant again and chose life for her unborn daughter. Later, she met and married a man and they had two more children, according to the report. Pernia said they were not Christians at the time, and they began having marriage troubles.
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Amid these struggles, Pernia said she decided to attend a church event in Miami with guest speaker Pastor John Ensor of PassionLife. When Ensor expressed sorrow at the high abortion rate in Miami, his comments hit her conscience hard.
“I just wanted to get out of the room quickly,” she remembered. “In addition to dealing with my own personal trauma, I came face-to-face with the realization that I once was a participant in the killing of innocent babies in that area because my mother had started the first women’s center in Hialeah.”
She said God used Ensor’s sermon to change her life, and she began dedicating her life to helping pregnant mothers and their unborn babies. She and her husband also became Christians.
Pernia helped the pastor find a building to house a new pro-life pregnancy resource center – “right next to the old abortion building where I had my abortion many years ago, where so many babies had perished.”
Her pro-life work continued as she helped to establish four more pregnancy centers in the area and later traveled to Mexico, Cuba and Colombia to help pro-life advocates open pregnancy centers there, according to the report.
“No woman truly wants to abort her child,” Pernia said. “From the moment that pregnancy test is positive, she is a mother. When she walks through those doors, we tell her, come back and bring your boyfriend, your mother, your friend, let us help you. It’s important that we keep in touch with her, because the longer she’s pregnant, the better. She needs to know we’re going to walk alongside her every step of the way.”
Now, Pernia shares her testimony, too, allowing God to use her to help women and children in need.
“When you say to the Lord, ‘here I am,’ it’s amazing what He can do,” she told Live Action. “I went to work at PassionLife, serving as director of operations for Latin America and am blessed to work with so many dedicated and caring people in the pro-life movement.”
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