When Denise Mountenay wrote her autobiography, Forgiven, in 1999, describing her life experiences and traumas that included rape at the age of 13, alcohol and drug addiction and several abortions, she did not know what effect the book would have. In fact, from the pain of reliving her own difficulties while writing the book, the lives of three preborn babies that she knows about, have been saved. She wrote the book “to warn and inform women and the public that abortion kills children, and emotionally, physically, spiritually and psychologically hurts women.”

She’s been surprisingly blessed for her efforts, learning by chance that at least three women changed their minds about having an abortion after reading her book. In the summer of 1999, just after Forgiven was published, she set up a table at a farmer’s market, as was her custom, in her hometown of Morinville, Alberta. A woman sought her out to say that she had given the book to a bachelor friend, who in turn had given it to a friend who had already had an earlier abortion and was now pregnant. The woman was deeply moved by what she read, and decided against having another abortion.

That same summer at a garage sale, Denise was talking to a woman and the conversation turned to the book’s recent publication. The woman’s niece was standing nearby. It turned out that the girl was pregnant, and was intending to have an abortion. Denise left the book with the aunt, who gave it to her niece. The woman later told Denise that her niece had changed her mind after reading the book.

A few months later, Denise met a woman who was an evangelist among native people in the area. They had met and chatted on a train trip between Alberta and Ontario a year earlier. “At that time I felt moved by the Holy Spirit to give her a copy of the book. I call these ‘divine appointments,'” laughs Denise. Apparently, the woman, in her 30s, was pregnant at the time and considering an abortion. She wrote to thank Denise for writing the book. She, too, changed her mind after reading it.

Recently, on a radio call-in show, a pregnant woman phone in to say that she was scheduled for an abortion. Denise recalls, “This was a perfect opportunity to plead with her to let her baby live.” She told the caller, “Don’t even cancel the appointment. Just don’t show up, because that [unkept appointment] will save another baby’s life.” She hopes and prays the woman followed through.

It seems that Denise’s inner pain and her own quest for redemption have resulted not only in her own redemption (she has a cherished eight-year-old son), but also in that of other troubled women. That is God’s gift to her.