Dear woman suffering after an abortion
Dear Woman Suffering After An Abortion,
I am writing because I want you to know that I care about you. I care about your well-being, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. There are some things I want to tell you, and although you don’t know me from the next guy, I hope that my words will not fall on deaf ears.
The first thing I want to say is that I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you found yourself in a position where you felt as though you needed to make the choice you did. I know it must not have been an easy choice, and I’m sure you did your best to determine the right choice given your situation.
It’s true that there are a lot of things I don’t know about you. I don’t know who you are or why you chose to have an abortion. I don’t know if anyone encouraged you in that choice or if anyone tried to dissuade you. I don’t know if you listened to people you should have ignored or ignored people you should have listened to. I don’t know what kind of support you had at all. Were there people who listened as you described the choice you had to make or did those people who were supposed to listen neglect to do so?
I don’t know if you have second-guessed your decision. Maybe you almost turned around on your way into the abortion clinic or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you were happy with the decision at the time but regret it now. Maybe you regretted it immediately. Maybe you are not sure whether you should be regretting it or not.
I don’t know whether you’ve ever cried thinking about your aborted child or children. I don’t know if you’ve lost sleep over it, or struggled with addiction as a way to avoid dealing with the choice. I don’t know if you’ve carried around shame, guilt, regret, unworthiness or any other negative emotion. I don’t know if you’ve been too afraid of condemnation and fear of rejection to speak up about your experience.
It seems like I don’t know much at all, really. Maybe all that sounds like you or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe some of it does but some of it does not. There are a lot of different ways that women who have had abortions look back on their experience, and each person’s response is different and unique.
While there are a lot of things I don’t know, there are a few things I do know, and I’d like to share those with you.
1. You are not alone.
The first is that, no matter what your experience, you are not alone. You may feel alone and you may even have been led to believe that you are alone, but it is simply not true. It is the work of Satan to make us feel as though we are alone in our struggles, whatever they may be for each of us. But please don’t fall for this lie, because that is exactly what it is. There is no truth there. In fact, there is never any truth to the fact that we are alone in our struggles, even though we frequently are made to feel this way.
When we begin to believe that we are alone, we become less and less likely to reach out for help. This can lead to isolation, depression, despair, and avoidance. It becomes a sort of cycle, and the further it goes, the more alone we feel. But please know that if you are in that cycle, you can break it. It does not have to continue on forever, and there are things you can do to remove yourself from the cycle.
It is true that many in our country get hung up on whether abortion should be legal, the philosophical and moral aspects of it, and the lies promulgated by the abortion industry. These are good discussions to have, there is a place for them, and I have participated in these discussions as well. But please know that I have not forgotten about you, the one who has been lied to and experienced the consequences of believing those lies. You are the one who has been hurt by the abortion industry. You are the one who frequently is overlooked in these conversations. You are not forgotten, and there are countless people who are praying for you every single day.
Perhaps you have lost your faith in God or come to believe that He doesn’t care about you. Maybe you hide in the back of church or maybe you don’t attend church at all anymore due to not feeling worthy. Maybe you long for forgiveness but aren’t sure where to turn. Maybe you have told people of your decision and they have rejected you as a result, further alienating you and making it even less likely that you will reach out to others in the future. No matter what your current state, the truth remains that you are not alone. There are people out there who have similar experiences and are willing to share them with you.
2. Healing is Possible.
The second thing I know is that healing is possible. Perhaps in the past, you have not believed this to be true or thought that it would be impossible for you to experience healing. Maybe you have been suffering for a long time, and have no idea where to turn for help. Maybe you have lived in darkness, longing to come back into the light but aren’t sure how to get there. Again, no matter your situation or personal history, there are people who have similar experiences, and they are ready to help when you are ready to ask for it.
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There are several organizations dedicated to providing emotional and spiritual care for women who have had abortions. These organizations exist because abortion brings suffering, and many women have suffered immensely after having an abortion. There are also websites available for women to tell their story (if and when they are ready to do so). The organizations prove that women do not have to suffer alone, and give testimony to the fact that healing after abortion is possible. I’m going to include some links at the bottom of this letter, just in case you are interested in contacting any of these organizations. Please do not feel pressured to do so, but know that they are available if and when you are ready.
Healing from the pain caused by abortion is not easy, but oftentimes the first step is the most difficult. Reaching out for help takes immense courage, but opens up the heart for healing. Perhaps you have wondered whether you would ever be the same or whether you would ever be able to experience joy in your life. Perhaps you have lost hope at some point or all but given up on the idea of ever feeling like yourself again. Perhaps you feel as though you could never forgive yourself. No matter what your state of mind or experiences, healing is possible.
3. There is Hope in Jesus Christ.
Lastly, and most importantly, there is hope in Jesus Christ. He alone has the power to make all things new again. There is no other way. He wants to take what is broken and make it whole. He wants to bring light to the darkness. He wants to pick up shattered pieces of broken hearts and mend them together again. He wants you to invite Him to heal you. He wants you to confide in Him your emotions and your thoughts, and share with Him your struggles and pains. He does not want you to live the rest of your life struggling with whatever you are struggling with. He wants to bear your burdens, free you from your past, and restore your joy. Remember, He came that we might have life and have it abundantly.
Moreover, He has the power to forgive and He wants to do that as well. There are incredible amounts of grace available to those who seek forgiveness and that grace can and will be instrumental in any healing process, whether it be yours or anyone else’s. It’s almost never easy to ask for forgiveness but you will be happy if and when you choose to do so.
So please remember that you are not alone. You don’t have to continue to live in the darkness and suffering. You can choose to take that first step toward healing. You can begin to open up and share your experiences with others who have struggled through the same things you are struggling through. You can be forgiven, you can experience the love of Christ, and you can experience joy again in your life.
It won’t be easy, but remember that the first step is the hardest. You just have to muster the courage to reach out. I will be praying for you.
P.S. Here are some of those links I promised.
Rachel’s Vineyard – This is a ministry that offers retreat weekends for women who have had abortions. Oftentimes, the retreat teams are led by persons who have already gone through the retreat weekend.
Project Rachel – This is an organization dedicated to helping women who have had or been involved in an abortion.
Silent No More – This is a website for those who have had an abortion or been involved with abortions in any way to share their testimony. This is a great site to learn about the experiences that others have had.
Reprinted with the author's permission from Catholic Stand.