In all of the rhetoric that comes out of things like the Women’s March and even the March for Life I never hear of anyone speaking about what happens to the women in the life or death situation called abortion. This is a very personal and very emotional choice that happens to hundreds of women every day.
I wonder if anyone ever thinks about what happens to the women who decide to have an abortion? Does anyone recognize the pain and the hurt that these women experience? I don’t think that all these women walk out of the clinics thinking ‘I feel better now that it’s taken care of’. I think most are crushed, shamed and emotionally devastated.
You see, I was one of those women, back in the ’70s, who walked out of a clinic. The situation was bad; I was not married and had gotten myself tangled in a sexual situation that I found I couldn’t get out of. Sexual addiction is a topic for another time, but that’s where I was. When I got pregnant I went to the baby’s father and he just wanted me to “take care of it”. Abortion hadn’t even crossed my mind until then. I had to get the money together and with every ounce of courage I had, I walked into that clinic and had an abortion. The amount of emotional pain I experienced can’t be explained.
The story doesn’t quite end there. I couldn’t get out of this sexual situation. It was an actual addiction; I hated and loved it at the same time. So later when I thought I was pregnant again I couldn’t handle even thinking about it. It was one of those stupid things that people do; if I don’t think it’s true, it isn’t true. When I started bleeding I was relieved. Then I didn’t stop bleeding. I finally went to the doctor, who put me in the hospital thinking I was having a miscarriage. This time my parents needed to be informed and the shame was compounded. I overheard the doctor talking to my mother that the baby was “viable” and the bleeding was from a severe infection. He had decided to go ahead with the “D&C” (abortion) because of the situation.
I was so emotionally devastated that I couldn’t talk about what had happened, not with my parents, my pastor or my friends. I ended up bottling it up inside me. I would cry at night when no one was around. Everyone around me thought I was doing alright but I was a mess inside.
One night while I was crying, I heard an audible voice (only to me, I’m sure) that said “you killed my children!”. Of course I knew this. I knew who was speaking to me. I was raised in the church. I knew the sixth commandment. I ended up confessing it all to the Lord and afterwards I felt His love and His peace. Yes, I’m forgiven and I know this with a peace that I don’t understand. The emotional pain and grief that I feel now is like a person would feel when a child dies. I mourn the loss of my children.
What about the women? In all the talk I don’t hear anyone address the issue of the women. The emotional and mental stress of having an abortion is overwhelming. These women need love and acceptance. We must be sure that women who have made this choice in their lives get to hear that they can be forgiven. When we are speaking against abortion, we need to be mindful of those who have walked that road. These women do not need to be judged by others. The anger and hate that I have seen do nothing but compound the shame and pain that this procedure causes. I know, because I have felt it. For this reason I don’t talk about abortion very much. This isn’t an abstract idea for me. It’s very personal.
We need to be aware of the emotional and spiritual consequences of abortion. It’s not just killing a baby. It kills a bit of the mother as well. We need to hold out our hands to the women who, for whatever reason, have suffered this emotional pain in silence. We need to reach them and let them know that the Lord loves them, even if they think that He couldn’t. They need to see that they don’t need to carry the burden of guilt and shame. Yes, the pain remains. But for me it’s a reminder of our Lord’s forgiveness. I carry those children in my heart and I hope to see them in heaven one day.