[Not for very young readers]
When we hear about a woman who had an abortion, it's very tempting to jump up, point an accusing finger and say: 'What a monster! How could she kill her own baby?!'
Not so fast, though. According to the book I am reading now, 'Making Abortion Rare', 70% of the women who have abortions think abortion is morally wrong. Am I saying it justifies them? No. But it can give us a hint about how a woman that 'decides' to have an abortion really feels: trapped. Scared. Guilty. This is how my mother probably felt when she was pregnant with me. Had she been younger, had it been easier for 'well-wishers' to influence her, I wouldn't be writing this right now.
Here are some thoughts that are possibly running through these women's heads, as they are waiting for their turn at the abortion clinic:
'I wish I could have this baby. Oh, how I wish I could have this baby. But I have no choice. Jack says he's not ready for this responsibility yet, he's threatening to leave me if I don't do this, and there's no way I can raise this baby on my own.'
'OK… this is my final year in college… I can't risk getting kicked out right now! I'm doing what's best for everyone… and I can always have another baby later, right? But then why do I feel so awful? Why am I so scared?'
'I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. My parents are going to kick me out of the house if I refuse. Goodbye, my precious one. Please forgive me.'
By accusing these women when they talk about what they had been through and guilting them into silence ("You're in pain now? Serves you right! It was your own fault"), instead of grieving with them and acknowledging their loss – yes, they were responsible for it, but it doesn't make their dead child any less of a loss - we are basically making them stop talking about their feelings, deny them, and harden their hearts. We make them justify what they did. And then what are we causing? We are putting these women in an even higher risk group for abortion.
Did you know that a woman who had an abortion is much more likely to have another one? This is one of the reasons. If their pain isn't legitimate, they can't go through the process of mourning and step up to a higher level of understanding their emotions. They are trapped in a vicious cycle of death, sorrow, anger, guilt and fear. They are hurting. They are in desperate need of God's forgiveness, and they need our help, support, prayers, and fellowship, to get to the point when they can accept it.