Are We Hurting the Pro-Life Movement by Helping the Post-Abortive Find Healing?

By: Josephine Balsamo, Staff Spotlight

When I read DARKNESS: Abortion Seduces with Promised Sexual Freedom, published in July on Clash Daily, which is a self-described “mosh pit of breaking news, edgy opinion, lots of attitude, and a call to action for God- and country-loving patriots,” I was shocked at the author’s gross mischaracterization of women seeking abortion:

postabortion“One may argue that the sympathy for women who seek abortion is needed for one to reach out to these women. How misguided! The one who seeks an abortion feels that she is entitled to sympathy from others, because she is evil, wicked and perverse…Anyone who denies this is either deluded or depraved of all integrity…”

“It is the very sympathy that people show to women who abort their babies that not only weakens [the] pro-life stance, thus defeating its real purposing, but ridicules and blinds the people of the pro-life movement.”

Having worked one-on-one with hundreds of women who have had abortions over the last 10 years, I can tell you that post-abortive women are intensely aware that a child has been lost. It is this very realization that brings them to our doors, seeking reconciliation and healing from what many of them truly believe is an “unforgivable sin” – taking the life of their unborn child.

Perhaps the author of the blog should have consulted the Elliot Institute — a non-profit group that has conducted over 30 in-depth studies on the detrimental effects of abortion on individuals — to see some facts about abortion in America today:

  • 64% of women felt pressured or coerced by others. Coercion can escalate to violence. The No. 1 cause of death for pregnant women in this country is homicide.
  • Up to 83% of all abortions are unwanted.
  • Most felt rushed and uncertain, yet 67% had no counseling before abortion.
  • 79% were not informed about available alternatives.
  • 84% said they were not given enough information to make an informed choice.
  • 60% said: “Part of me died.”
  • 65% suffer multiple symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder directly attributed to their abortion.
  • Women are more likely to suffer from clinical depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, and suicidal behavior after abortion.

To add insult to injury, the abortion coalition in this country spends a great deal of money to carefully market abortion as a good. They call it healthcare, a woman’s right, choice and freedom. It is marketed so well, in fact, that most women could not know the horror of what occurs in the clinic until after it’s over. Only then is the reality of abortion revealed…in its aftermath.

The truth is that many women who find themselves in an abortion clinic don’t want to be there. Backed into a corner with nowhere to turn and no viable options, these women succumb to abortion. It is not because they are inherently evil, but because they feel they have no other choice.

56885d76-53d1-46e2-87eb-a3ac0047121aAs a pro-life community, we need to reach out to these walking wounded, and help them find reconciliation and healing through Jesus Christ, who came to save all sinners, including those who have participated in abortion.

If our response in the pro-life movement to those who have been coerced into abortion is judgment alone, we might as well give up now and declare defeat. We need to remember that there are always at least two victims in every abortion – the mother and the child — and we need to love them both to truly create a culture of life.

To learn more about abortion’s injustice to women, please visit the Elliot Institute’s Unfair Choice Campaign.

Staff Spotlight is — in an ongoing effort to get a range of content on Encourage & Teach — content from staff members within the Diocese of Arlington from contributors who do not write as a part of their day-to-day job.

Josephine Balsamo has been the Program Coordinator for Project Rachel in the Diocese of Arlington’s Family Life Office since 2004. The ministry offers post-abortion healing retreats, monthly holy hours, professional counseling, a confidential phone line, referral to priests for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and multiple other resources.

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