We've got a little surprise for ya'll today! A guest post! Kaitlin and I have been talking about spreading out the blog to include more Christians involved with abortion by doing guest posts. We have just recently been privileged to meet a godly young lady, Anna Misko, and she has agreed to write an article for the blog. Yay! She has a blog called "A Handmaiden of the Lord...", which I would strongly encourage ya'll to check out! And if you'd like to follow her as well, that would be sweet :).
She's our first guest poster, and will hopefully post again. She not only has a heart Jesus, but she has a heart for writing as well. I think this post is excellent, and I think you will too. Thank you so much Anna! It's title is "Stop Harassing the Women!"
Have you heard that before? Or something like “You only think about the fetus”, “You’re ignoring the mother”, “You don’t care about anything or anyone except babies”, or “You’re not looking at things from the woman’s point of view. You should care about her, too”.
Pro-lifers are often accused of only caring about the unborn child, not the mother, father, family, friends, or even the child once he or she is born. However, a person who only cares about the unborn child is not thoroughly pro-life. If a person is really pro-life, they will be just as concerned about the mother’s life as the child’s. There is nothing about being pro-life that restricts who the subject must be – young, old, male, female, child, parent. Neither should there be a restriction on what type of life – physical, spiritual, emotional, mental.
We already know that the unborn child is destroyed by abortion, and thus every pro-lifer wants to save the baby. The need to help the child is obvious. But what about the mother? Does abortion hurt her? If it doesn’t, then she doesn’t need help, and thus the accusation about not helping the mother would not apply. Let’s look at some facts and testimonies from women who have had abortions and see what we find about the mother’s need.
According to an article titled “PsychologicalReactions Reported after Abortion”, over half of the women surveyed reported strong feelings of guilt, shame, and self-condemnation after their abortions. 55% of post-abortive women indicated they had strongly considered or attempted suicide, 89% said that they experienced negative reactions to their abortion (86% of those women would not have had an abortion if they could do it over), and many increased their use of alcohol and drugs.
Another study, outlined in the article “Abortion Risks: A list of major physical complications related to abortion”, noted that women who had abortions were six times more likely to commit suicide than women who had carried their babies to term. Other health issues such as cervical, ovarian, and breast cancer, ectopic pregnancy, and complications during later pregnancies were found to be far more common in women who had previously had abortions.
Beyond the facts, countless post-abortive mothers have deep regrets and emotional wounds from having had an abortion. Here are a few statements from some of these women:
Anna writes, “The guilt and pain from my decision that day still haunts me. I wish I could go back in time and undo that.”
From someone telling the story of a post-abortive mother: “There was one more thing that no one told Marquis at the abortion clinic, and that was how broken she was going to be. That she would spend years and years trying to fill a void with everything from people to experiences to alcohol because there was an aching need inside of her that she just didn’t know how to fix.”
Hannah laments, “I wish abortion was never legal, and I never would have had that choice, because I would be with my child, and my life would not be so full of pain and regret.”
Lori shares, “The nightmares began immediately. I was isolated in my intense pain and grief. I experienced depression, anxiety, mistrust, and feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem. It took months, but at some point I succeeded in rejecting my experience, denying my hurt, and suppressing all thought surrounding abortion. I numbed my pain but it did not really go away; it just waited.”
These testimonies are a tiny sampling of the heartache and turmoil that post-abortive mothers experience (for more, see After Abortion Testimonies). These are not the exception, they are the rule. Everywhere you turn, women are grieving because of abortion, often silently and under a pretense of being just fine.
These statistics and testimonies show us that most, if not all, women suffer terribly from abortion. In fact, we could say that abortion harms the woman more than it harms the baby. That may seem like a strange statement because the baby loses its life. However, death is as far as it goes for the baby. For the mother, on the other hand, there can be a lifetime of physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental pain and anguish. She will have to live with the ongoing consequences of having killed her child. Many of these women will have deep scars for the rest of their lives.
The father of the child, as well as family and friends, are also deeply affected by abortion, as illustrated by the following statements:
Jerald, a father, says, “Aborting our child actually seemed convenient at the time and was kept a total secret. What I didn't realize then was how this would affect me for the next 30 plus years of my life. Without my even realizing it, the guilt of what I had been part of created anxiousness, anxiety, and an anger hidden deep inside of me that I just could not understand.”
One person wrote a letter to her aborted half-sibling, asking, “Is it possible to miss someone you’ve never even met? . . . because my heart longs for you. It longs for you to have life.”
“I miss you. I love you,” the letter continued. “I’m so sorry no one loved you.”
In light of all of this, let me point out that it may often seem like pro-lifers are more concerned about the unborn child, but this is only a short term perspective. Since the baby in the womb is the one without a voice and the one whose physical life is in most immediate danger, our first goal is keep the baby from being killed. Once the baby is safe, the physical and spiritual life of the mother (as well as others) can also be ministered to and helped. That is what it means to be completely pro-life. With an attachment as close as that of the mother and her unborn child, nothing can happen to one without affecting the other. Because killing a child in the womb is never the best option for the mother, to save the baby is to care for and help the mother.