It’s been an interesting week. Many of you read the post that I wrote in response to an anonymous commenter (thanks again to all who responded with such encouragement!), regarding some differences of opinion, and the concern that those with an abortion in their past, who might stumble upon my blog, could possibly feel condemned. While we finally had to “agree to disagree” on our abortion stance (our conversation continued in the comments), I took the commenter’s thoughts to heart and decided that, in an effort to make absolutely sure that ALL readers would feel welcome, I would include an explanatory paragraph each week. Following is what you can expect to see:
If you’re just joining us, click here to see what this prayer team is all about! While we are a “pro-life” prayer team, we, IN NO WAY, stand in judgment against those who have chosen abortion in the past! We hold you and your heart in the highest esteem and you are SO WELCOME here. Many women (and men) who’ve experienced abortion often hold onto the memory in silence, suppressing feelings of guilt, shame and grief for, quite often, years. If this describes you, and you would like more information on how to find hope and healing, please visit this site, or click on the “contact me” button above.
On that note, I think this is an excellent week to bring the topic of post-abortion trauma back into the spotlight. We’ve hopefully all been active in doing our part to protect against tax-payer funding of abortion through health-care reform, as it’s been the hot topic over these last few weeks. But we need to continually remember those who are living the ramifications of “choice,” and the love without judgment they so desperately need. Here, again, are the statistics:
- 1 out of every 3 women has had an abortion – 43% of women of childbearing age.
- 92% of post-abortive women experience emotional deadening.
- 86% of post-abortive women experience anger and rage.
- 86% of post-abortive women fear others will find out.
- 82% of post-abortive women experience intense feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- 63% of post-abortive women experience denial.
- 58% of post-abortive women battle nightmares.
- 56% of post-abortive women develop suicidal feelings.
- 53% of post-abortive women engage in drug abuse.
- 39% of post-abortive women have eating disorders.
Statistics taken from Surrendering the Secret: Healing the Heartbreak of Abortion by Pat Layton.
That, my friends, is an astounding number of hurting and broken women. What can we do besides pray?
- Ask your church leaders what is being offered for post-abortive women (remember, 1 in 3…they are a large part of your church body).
- Volunteer or support your local crisis pregnancy centers and ask what they offer for post-abortion healing.
- Consider attending a leadership training in your area for Surrendering the Secret, to lead in your home, church or at a CPC.
- Send info about the study to those in churches or CPCs that might not know about it.
Finally, if someone opens up to you about their past abortion, LOVE them and show them the way to the only One who will ever be able to heal their wounds.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1 ESV
…’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and,
‘LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
Luke 10:27 NIV (emphasis mine)
I think that is a great way to open your posts. It is very clear that you are not trying to shame anyone. On the contrary, love just oozes out of that. You are a beautiful testimony to the love of Christ, Melinda.
Your willingness to evaluate your blog and it's content speaks of great maturity and you are to be commended.
Your statistics are overwhelming. I would not have known ANY of that! Thank you for tracking them down and sharing them.
Beautiful Melinda!! I just love your heart.
Praying along with you.
I worked for Planned Parenthood for many years doing pregnancy testing and counseling. I have referred many women and girls for abortions and some for adoption. I have heard countless stories of how these women and girls ended up with an unplanned pregnancy — some stories I wish I could forget. Stories of incest (on more than one occasion stories of repeated pregnancies from incest), rape, domestic abuse, loneliness, heartache, self-hatred, and fear. Never in all of the years that I worked in an abortion clinic did I meet a woman who casually chose abortion on a whim, as if without thinking or because it was the “easy” thing to do. Never did I meet a woman who was not torn up over her decision. And there it is: her decision. Not mine. Not yours. Not a Senator’s sitting on Capitol Hill. Hers. There in that very small counseling room, looking at that positive pregnancy test, knowing that she was going to make the hardest and worst decision of her whole life. And knowing that she will never be the same again.
I do not advocate or encourage abortion, but I believe that our government must maintain the right to legal and safe abortion for women who want to end a pregnancy. Women must be allowed the right to make this decision between herself and her physician without the interference of any government entity. I believe that reproductive choice is a fundamental human right. Criminalizing abortion will not end abortion. Women will die just as they did before abortion was legalized. My own mother lost a high school friend to a botched back-alley abortion in the 1950’s. Even in the 1990’s I met women who came to our clinic after trying to perform their own abortion by their own crude means. All to save face and avoid having to come to our clinic.
We live in a tragically fallen, sinful world and abortion is part of it. Sex without commitment (ie, marriage) is part of it. Unplanned pregnancy is part of it. Criminalizing abortion will not change these facts. Only the return of Christ and His reign on Earth will change these facts. Until then I believe that we must educate our young women and men (in homes, schools, and churches) about healthy sexual activity and the consequences of sex outside of marriage. We must work diligently to improve the self esteem of teenage girls so they do not seek acceptance through sex. We must provide affordable birth control to women of all races and economic classes. We must provide single women with economic and social support to make parenthood a feasible option. And we must reach the world for Christ so that women will have a foundation and support system to help them choose not to have an abortion.
Please know that I do not take this issue lightly. My husband and I struggle with infertility and the knowledge that we will never have our own biological child. Some days I feel that I would give anything for my own pregnancy and I struggle knowing that there are women out there choosing to end theirs. But my pain does not give me the right to take away another woman’s choice. It is hard and it doesn’t make sense, but God is good and his forgiveness and mercy are unfathomable.
Posted in Christian life, Christianity, Food for Thought,
Praying your message and heart are realized by all who pass this way.
What a great post, it was clear, informative and full of love, but it was your prayer that touched me. You have a gift of prayer. Every week your prayers are so powerful. It's clear that the spirit is guiding you. I'm praying for you and with you in this battle. God Bless!!
What an excellent (heart-breaking) collection of stats. So often I focus on the embryo/fetus side of the equation. I appreciate your pointing us to the other side; the one involving the women who bear such a heavy burden, often for a lifetime.
Amen. And I don't say that lightly, Melinda.
I gladly join hands and hearts in prayer, stand tall with you for Life, and speak His Truth.
Bless you and your righteous work for His kingdom.
Still praying in Oregon.
Melinda, great post. I continue to stand with you and all those who are striving to see life and death decisions stay in the hands of the One who is the giver of life.
You wrote a tactful paragraph
about our not judging those who chose to end their pregnancies.
I wish there were some way the younger generation of women could realize that acceptance doesn't mean they have to give in to a person who fast-talks them.