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The Two Doors


By Julie Woodley with Matt Woodley

In July 1985, my husband and I paraded through the front doors of Methodist Hospital of St. Louis Park. We came to give birth to a beautiful baby girl, Bonnie Joy.

Six years prior to that, I had quietly slipped into Methodist Hospital through the back door, which is also known as Meadowbrook Women’s Clinic. I was single, lonely, and frightened at that time in 1979 when I went to the clinic.

The Story of Two Doors

When I entered through the front door of Methodist Hospital, they insisted that I ride in a wheelchair. The nurse called me “Mrs. Woodley” and wheeled me past a nursery brimming with living, breathing, crying babies. Babies carefully tended and wrapped in pink and blue blankets.

In stark contrast, I entered by the back door at Meadowbrook Women’s Clinic. There was no wheelchair. I was given a number for identification and directed to a waiting room after I paid the bill. Anything baby-like was strictly forbidden.

Shortly after I entered by the front door, my nurse strapped a monitor on my belly. Her relaxed eyes and gentle touch were her offerings as she assured me, “Don’t worry, we don’t take any chances with babies.” For twenty hours three nurses took turns recording and analyzing a rapid little heartbeat. During prenatal classes I had learned that three weeks after conception, my baby’s heart began to pump blood. Brain waves were present at eight weeks and at ten weeks. Bonnie Joy was closing her delicate eyelids, puckering her lips and responding to touch.

In 1979, behind the back door, the baby was treated as an intruder—a formless, featureless blob—and a dangerous one. The attitude was simple and single-minded: let’s remove it.

Behind the front door, Jody, my nurse, summoned the doctor to my room to review my charts, papers, and printouts. His eyes didn’t quite meet mine when he said that things weren’t going according to plan. After twenty hours of labor, the baby was in distress and in a difficult position for delivery. “We need your permission to do an immediate C-section.” The doctor sensed our fear and quickly added, “We have the resources to keep both of them safe.” The entire staff worked with one thing on their minds: “A mother and baby are in distress; we need to save them.”

Behind that back door, a mother and baby were also in distress, but no one came to save us. After the procedure was over I rested in bed at the clinic. A poster taped to the ceiling read in bold, stark letters, “If it weren’t for Planned Parenthood where would you be today?” That poster nauseated me more than the abortion. Filled with anger and frustration, I began to weep. “You didn’t help me,” I thought. “You had the resources but you didn’t protect me or my baby.”

Today Bonnie Joy is fifteen years old. Despite complications in delivery, my family, society, and Methodist Hospital found resources to save our baby. They spared no expense and employed cutting-edge technology to preserve the tiny life. That’s what they do behind the front door.

Less than a thousand feet away, a few doors down and one wing over, tiny lives are quietly and matter-of-factly destroyed. That’s what they do behind the back door.

The Third Door

It took a third door to heal my back door wounds. Jesus said, “I am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

Now I spend my life pointing confused young women to the true door of life and freedom—Jesus Christ. By entering through this third door, we join a radically different community—a fellowship committed to protecting the lives of both mother and baby.

©2009 Julie Woodley. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Read the letter Julie wrote to her unborn baby, Elizabeth, “She Said Good-bye.”

The Story of Two Doors was written by Julie Woodley, MA. Founder/Director of Restoring the Heart Ministry. She has recently produced In The Wildflowers, a DVD healing project with curriculum for those who has been sexually abused. She will also produce in the fall Into My Arms, a DVD healing project for those suffering from the trauma of abortion. Please log onto her website www.restoringtheheartministries.com, or call 1-866-RTHM.