an After abortion

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

New York-based post-abortion ministry Lumina posts a new articles page every so often. The newest selection of articles is up. I'll include some excerpts below but you should read it all.

Michael Ferris of A Choice to Heal writes about abortion and the church:

In the gospel of Mark:10:46-52, the story is told of a blind man named Bartimaeus who sat by the roadside begging. One day Jesus, accompanied by His disciples and a large crowd of followers were passing by. When Bartimaeus heard it was Jesus he began shouting "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many of those who were following Jesus rebuked Bartimaeus and told him to be quiet.

Not much has changed since then. On any given Sunday as you look across the congregation of any church in America, the statistical reality is one out of every three women sitting in our church pews have had at least one abortion, the consequences of which have left 73% of them emotionally and spiritually wounded, and like the followers of Christ in Bartimaeus's day, the attitude toward these women is one of rebuke and a conspiracy of silence. Yet, for those women who are as desperate for their healing as Bartimaeus was for his sight, Jesus still bids them to come.

As was the case with Bartimaeus, one of the biggest obstacles between a wounded person, (especially one who has been wounded by abortion) and their ability to receive a healing touch from God, can often be the followers of Christ. Yet it is those of us who follow Christ that should be declaring to the wounded, "Cheer up! On your feet! He is calling you!"

And a woman shares her story about an abortion and its aftermath:

Is abortion the only answer? Sometimes my mother would tell me life isn't as we always want it to be and we have to do things we don't want to do. I am thinking of it now and wonder if God will still love me after I actually go through with the procedure. Am I being selfish? It is my mistake on my conscious and it isn't necessary to hurt more people than I have to. I don't believe the alternative I chose is the right one. It goes against everything I believe in. But I also know I can never imagine telling my parents of my deed. I have to live with it every time I see a baby. When I marry, whether to the father or not, I will always remember and for me that is punishment enough.

The letter above was written 30 years ago. I did not marry the father and what happened after the initial abortion was even worse. I had the abortion, then went back to the clinic six weeks later for a check up and found out I was still pregnant. The doctor told me I had to have another abortion for fear of the health of the remaining child. Twins! I was 19 and I believed the doctor, so I had a second abortion.

Two days later I began to hemorrhage. On the second night of bleeding, while my 17-year-old sister was with me, I bled until I miscarried the parts of my baby still inside of me. I saw an arm. I saw the fetus. I flushed the bowl, relieved that the bleeding had stopped. I don't remember what I did the next day, but now 30 years later I know I went into an emotional wasteland. I went on to marry happily. I have four children and genuinely believed my life was good. However, I was afraid to go to church. After my first child was born and he was six weeks old I threw up one day when the realization of what I had actually done hit me. I pushed it further and further away, until my father died. That was when I couldn't control things anymore. Within six months of his death I began to slip into hell and didn't quite know why. I blamed it on his passing, but inside me I knew that wasn't it. It was almost a year after my father's death when I realized I suffered from Post Abortion Trauma.

There is help, there is recovery, and there is hope. It isn't an easy journey. In fact, it is the hardest thing I ever had to do, but a journey I had to go on to finally accept my twins, accept responsibility and move forward. The most wonderful lesson I learned is that God is forgiveness and love. He is there for everyone.

Again, read the whole thing.

By the way, this woman's experience of hitting the wall shortly after the death of a parent is something I see a lot. Is it because the death of a parent reminds us on a primal level that in the abortion we interrupted the generational chain our parent did not interrupt? For those who are believers, is it because of the sense that a parent in heaven now knows their secret...if it was kept a secret, that would have been because of the fear of disappointing the parent or being that feelings come up with the perception that the disappointed/disapproving parent now knows? Is this because the new grief reminds the woman of an earlier ungrieved loss? I have heard all three feelings and thoughts expressed.

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