I could also have entitled this “Starting the Year off with a Bang.” The picture above is, or should I say was, our car. Last week, on New Year’s Day, I got in a car wreck with my kids. Praise God and his angels that protected us that everyone was okay. In fact, not even a scratch or a bruise was found on my four and two-year-old girls. They did a fetal non-stress test and Ian appears to be fine too. I have some bruises, including a big one on my ego.
What kind of mother allows herself to get in an accident when she is carrying the most important things in the world in the back seat? How could I be so careless when I’m 7 months pregnant? Definitely not a time to get side swiped into a shallow ditch! It was my fault. I’ve had a hard time dealing with the guilt and shame. I can’t imagine my feelings if something would have happened to one of my kids or the other driver. (The other driver was perfectly fine too).
I recently read the book, “Recall Abortion” by Janet Morana. Janet is the co-founder of an awareness campaign and support group called, “Silent No More.” www.silentnomoreawareness.org This group offers women and men an opportunity to speak about the taboo- the pain and regret they feel after being involved in an abortion. They do this in hopes of saving others the pain they are going /went through. There are over 2,000 online. It seems to me that many of these women were duped by the abortion industry and societal pressure to do the “smart and responsible thing” and kill their child. Though a variety of reasons and circumstances are given, the most heart breaking stories are those where the women are coerced by family. A family that would do that doesn’t sound like family at all.
Many of the post abortive women feel depression, anxiety, and other symptoms of PTSD, but are unable to step forward and get help. Some of them don’t actually associate their downward spiral with the abortion, after all abortion is supposed to be safe and legal, the right thing, the responsible thing. Their resulting depression leads to many bad behaviors addictions, suicidal thoughts, and poor relationship choices. They find out the hard way that abortion doesn’t solve any problems, but created new ones.
Some people want to demonize the women who get abortions. Here is some food for thought if you’ve never heard this famous Frederica Mathews Green quote, “Women want an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.”
Like my car accident where I unknowingly pulled out in front of a car, some of these women have a huge blind spot when it comes to abortion. And it isn’t until – BANG- they get hit, that they realize they are the middle of a catastrophic event. Only they can’t look back and say at least no one got hurt. They look back and realize the awfulness of their action, and how their weakness directly resulted in the loss of their child. And to paraphrase one post-abortive woman, when my child died a piece of me died too. Some of the women didn’t want an abortion, they were pro-life, but felt without any other alternatives or hope. For these women it has been like watching a car wreck in slow motion. Every moment before during and after is agonizing. Here are two Pinterest memes I came across, “Abortion: a ten minute procedure you regret the rest of your life.” “You’ll never forget the child you never knew.” Men and women regret abortion. Not necessarily immediately and there are always exceptions, but go to www.silentnomoreawareness.org and you’ll see for yourself the raw remorse.
What stood out to me in the book was the regret of the families that had gone through an abortion for “acceptable reasons.” Janet Morana shares stories where babies were conceived in rape or where families were told that a birth defect would limit a child’s quality of life in some way. She detailed a study by Dr. David Reardon. He looked at 192 women that had unplanned pregnancies due to rape (85%) or incest (15%). Sixty-nine percent of women followed through with the pregnancy either keeping the child or giving it up for adoption. The other 29% elected to have an abortion (<2% miscarriage). The surveys from the study revealed that of the group that chose abortion almost 80% of the women reported “regretting” and/or feeling they made the “wrong choice.” Also telling was that of the 132 women that continued the pregnancy ZERO indicated feelings of “regret” or that they “made the wrong choice.”
So what about people with disabilities? Would that be an acceptable exception? I think that deserves a separate blog! So read my next post about fetal anomalies, where you may learn something new like I did about Perinatal Hospice programs.
After my car wreck I did not want to tell anyone. I didn’t want to be judged as the careless idiot I felt like I was. I talked to my mom the next day and she made me feel much better because she told me, “that is why they call them accidents!” You can’t beat yourself up so much. Like “sin” a word whose root is an archery term for “missing the mark” I was aiming to be a good and safe driver, but missed the mark. I’m human, and despite my striving, I’m not perfect. I went to confession and Father told me that sin wounds us, but God puts his love where we are hurting most and heals us. I felt so much better that I then felt inspired to write this blog and share my experience. Though logic may say the only thing stupider than doing something stupid is telling everyone about it, I feel like sharing this may help someone. Have you come to a place where you can feel Christ’s compassion for post-abortive women? Or do you still condemn them as evil?
Women in crisis pregnancies are releasing these arrows, but they may be so misguided by the abortion industry, society, peers, family, etc that they are not even aiming at the right target! Abortion misses the mark every time. It misses the mark, yet it often leaves a mark . . . a bruise or something more gaping. Janet said she has seen that in many cases it takes a woman 20 years to come forward and get the healing they need from their abortions. Partly because they have been conditioned never to speak of it, shamed into silence, or deluded themselves that it was no big deal and there is another cause at the root of their pain. Rachel’s Vineyard (www.rachelsvineyard.org), Hope Alive, Abortion Recovery International and other organizations offer healing and hope.
What I suggest instead of putting all the burden of guilt on women; is to look at the deceptive ways of the abortion industry. Look at how as a society we view fertility and/or pregnancy as a disease and our sexuality as fundamentally about recreation instead of procreation. Priests for Life offer this wisdom, “Abortion is violence masquerading as compassion” and “America won’t rid itself of abortion, until it sees abortion.” The public needs to see the true face of abortion. And we need to continue to counter lies with the truth that life is beautiful. Research into the “Silent No More” campaign is almost like informed consent, but most women don’t get informed. I can’t imagine anyone- doctor, friend, or family member- recommending abortion after reading even a handful of the thousands of stories of how abortion harms women emotionally and physically. Women deserve better! The unborn deserve better!
As we approach the anniversary of Roe v Wade across America hundreds of thousands if not millions of people will March for Life (January 24th in Boise). The pro-abortion enthusiasts paint us as anti-women, women-haters, waging a war on women etc. When you read the palpable pain post-abortive women bear in lieu of bearing their children you get a strong sense that it is abortion proponents playing the part of the villain hurting and victimizing women. If you are pro-life please do not play the role of the “hater” they have cast you in. Instead be Christ, firm in your conviction defending the sanctity of life, yet compassionate in your approach to God’s misguided children. We are all human and make mistakes. Buying into the pro-choice way of thinking is an accident waiting to happen. So we must be persistent in our pursuit to spread the truth and develop more conscientious drivers!
In the words of author Janet Morana, isn’t it about time we RECALL ABORTION? Visit http://recallabortion.com/petition.aspx to sign a petition.
I wanted to post a video of 2 yo Siena saying her nightly prayer to her Guardian Angel, but I can’t get it to work, so instead this is a picture of my other little gem the angels protected that day.
Karen SimkinsJanuary 6, 2015
Great analogy, Emily! I am giving a talk to a parish women’s group on Jan 21st, and am going to steal some of “your stuff”!
Melissa HemphillJanuary 6, 2015
Great job Emily. I enjoyed reading this! And, I’m really glad you’re all ok.
CindyJanuary 6, 2015
Thought provoking. Glad you’ve come to terms with the accident. Wish I’d been there to give you a hug. Love Mom
joniJanuary 6, 2015