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section on Life contains the following links:
!!!!! WARNING !!!!!
|Abortion is such
a difficult issue and one that many people shy away from discussing but
the aftermath, even after many years, can be devastating. Emotional and/or
psychological problems can arise when women deny or suppress the natural
grief that results from the loss of their aborted child. This denial or
suppression blocks the healing process and the trauma can manifest itself
as a psychological and/or physical breakdown. Women need to be able to
express their feelings following an abortion and hopefully this section
of the website will provide a way to do that.
Ann, one of our ‘Prayer Warriors’, sent in a prayer request recently. Tucked into her email sig. links was one for her own Christian website so at midnight one night off I went to have a look. Just as in life where ‘one word borrows another’ so too on the Internet, one link leads to another. I ended up at a New Zealand Pro-Life website with a balanced and fair view of abortion dedicated to those who have been hurt by abortion. It's called Abortion Concern.
It has afforded women a place to be able to write about their Personal Experiences of abortion and the post-abortion period. At 3-30 am I had to shut down and go to bed. At 6 am I was still distraught and unable to sleep because of the heartbreaking stories I had read.
f you have a story to tell and you feel others visiting this website might benefit from your experiences following an abortion I’ve set up a Form where you can send them in here. Only your Christian name or an alias will be used, but please do tell us where you are from too.
Before I get any deeper into the discussion may I point out that I am not a member of any Pro-Life group just a keen observer of human nature, a stout believer in the ‘natural order of things’ and a staunch advocate for life in all its forms. The purpose of this fdicussion is certainly not to condemn those who have had an abortion, because, as with most things in life, ‘There but for the Grace of God go I!’
Ann had a most beautiful picture of Jesus cradling a baby in His arms and immediately I thought of a way to use it as a possible means of helping those hurt by abortion. She kindly gave her permission to use it and it now rests on a plain page called Your Baby with no text or music to intrude. I hope this page will become a ‘Sacred Space’, a Place of Healing, a Place of Reconciliation. One of my daughters was grieving the loss of her tiny son Ethan after a 24 week pregnancy and we had a visitor from the US who was also grieving a spontaneous abortion. This picture was given to them both as a gift in a frame, and both were really touched by its calming and peaceful beauty. It is now set up on a page ready to print, even on plain paper, and frame. Every women following an abortion, be it spontaneous or induced, is a mother yet not one has a picture to be able to relate to. Perhaps this picture just might help the healing process just a tiny bit. The printable version is HERE. Just hit the Back Button to return here.
This wee baby is my baby! I had an eight-week spontaneous abortion after our first child was born and it was only about 8 years ago that I actually gave my baby a name, even though ‘she (we called ‘her’ Danielle) would be 28 years old had the pregnancy survived.
This wee baby is your baby! Yes both mother and father, whether lost through spontaneous abortion, induced abortion or stillbirth. Sit with ‘your baby’ for a while, grieve for it if needs be, talk to it, give him or her a name and, if Christians Baptise it simply by saying "I baptise you ..NAME.., in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen" and be assured that it rests in the arms of Jesus in all its beautiful and glorious perfection.
In Heaven there is no revenge, no recrimination, no condemnation, only pure, unconditional love. Your baby waits for the day you meet and will welcome its Mom and Dad with joyful open arms. And remember, that though Jesus hates the sin He loves the sinner without condition! Start to love yourself again as He loves you and to see yourself as He sees you, fine and beautiful even if sad and sorrowful!
This wee baby is our baby! It is every baby lost to the world every minute of every day through induced abortion. Each one of us should think about ‘adopting’ an aborted baby every day, baptising it and giving it a name and praying for the parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters of that child, and for the health care workers who killed, or assisted in the killing of that child. “…any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." (John Donne)
This discussion continues on the Abortion page for anyone interested in reading more. It looks at the role of parents of pregnant daughters, partners of pregnant girls/women, governments, education institutions, the UN and the EU. We've just added a new section on abortion offering the reader the TRUTH about this Industry of Death. There are pictures available that are far from pleasant but they portray the AWFUL REALITY of abortion. Hear from some Survivors of Abortion and read the Testimonies of health care workers have turned their back on the abotion mills and turned their focus on God' work and not that of satan! All the links can be found above.
A Special Message for Catholics Who Have Been Involved in an Abortion
In his encyclical letter Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life, paragraph 99), Pope John Paul II has a special message for women who have had an abortion:
I would now like to say a
special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of
the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does
not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision.
The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened
was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and
do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly.
If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and
trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness
and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand
that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness
from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert
help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience,
you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life.
Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other
children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to
be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at
In Crossing the Threshold of Hope (p. 206-207), Pope John Paul II writes:
...we are witnessing true human tragedies. Often the woman is the victim of male selfishness, in the sense that the man, who has contributed to the conception of the new life, does not want to be burdened with it and leaves the responsibility to the woman, as if it were "her fault" alone. So, precisely when the woman most needs the man's support, he proves to be a cynical egotist, capable of exploiting her affection or weakness, yet stubbornly resistant to any sense of responsibility for his own action . . .
...[In] firmly rejecting "pro-choice" it is necessary to become courageously
"pro-woman," promoting a choice that is truly in favor of women. It is
precisely the woman, in fact, who pays the highest price, not only for
her motherhood, but even more for its destruction, for the suppression
of the life of the child who has been conceived. The only honest stance,
in these cases, is that of radical solidarity with the woman. It is not
right to leave her alone. The experiences of many counseling centers show
that the woman does not want to suppress the life of the child she carries
within her. If she is supported in this attitude, and if at the same time
she is freed from the intimidation of those around her, then she is even
capable of heroism. As I have said, numerous counseling centers are witness
to this . . .
"Whatever is opposed to life
itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or
willful self-destruction . . . all these things are infamies indeed. They
poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practice them
than to those who suffer from the injury." (Gaudium et Spes, 27).
There are two major dimensions of post-abortion healing. One is spiritual, the other is communal. One woman who thought she was fully healed after confessing her sin to Jesus later discovered that sharing her experience with other post-aborted women offered another kind of healing: "While it takes the blood of Jesus to deliver us from guilt, it takes the acceptance of others to deliver us from shame."
This spiritual and communal aspect of reconciliation is evident in the earthly ministry of Christ. "During his public life, Jesus not only forgave sins, but also made plain the effect of this forgiveness: he reintegrated forgiven sinners into the community of the People of God from which sin had alienated or even excluded them. A remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at his table, a gesture that expresses in an astonishing way both God's forgiveness and the return to the bosom of the People of God" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1443).
For Catholic women and men,
the Sacrament of Reconciliation must be at the heart of the healing process.
Guided by Scriptural mandates (Mt. 16:19; John 20:23; 2 Cor. 5:18-20),
the priest is "the sign and the instrument of God's merciful love for the
sinner. The confessor is not the master of God's forgiveness, but its servant"
(CCC 1465-1466). In the process of reconciliation, the priest is uniquely
able to act as a representative of both God and community. As an ordained
priest, he represents God's mercy, which releases the sinner from guilt.
Simultaneously, as a merely human member of the parish, he is also able
to represent the support of the community which, together with him, prays
for the peace and joy of the sinner and the sinner's release from the bondage
of shame. Through this sacrament the sinner is reunited with the entire
community of repentant sinners who share Christ's table.
Originally printed in The
Jericho Plan (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books.) Copyright 1996, David C. Reardon.
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