Monday, July 18, 2005

Reaching out in love

More and more, I hear from women and men who write to share their story of friends, neighbors or coworkers who have had an abortion. In fact, one teenager today wrote that she and her sister hung up on their friend when she called after the abortion to say she was in pain. They were upset because they had offered to let her live with their family and handle her doctor bills, yet she sought the abortion because she did not have the support of her boyfriend.

As pro-life individuals, we do not know how to properly react to the abortion. These are honest concerns, and for someone who is pro-life, the news of an abortion by a friend or relative brings a mixed bag of emotions. Anger, rage, regret and sorrow are some of these emotions. Though this friend did commit a selfish act by aborting her child, no woman who truly understands what abortion is seeks an abortion. As Fr. Frank says, "women do not have abortions because they are exercising their freedom of choice, they are having an abortion because they feel they have no freedom and no choice."

Frederica Mathewes-Green puts it well when she says, “No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice-cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.”

Whether an individual had the opportunity to minister to this friend during her decision making process, it is never too late to share the good news of Christ's forgiveness. In fact, it is likely that she is experiencing intense feelings of guilt and remorse and does not know how to process these feelings. Society will not validate her feelings, and women do not talk openly about any of these feelings after abortion. During this time, you have a unique opportunity to share with her in reconciliation by giving her information about post-abortion ministries. I encourage you to do this. Healing for both the pro-life individual and the acquaintance will come in ministering to her during this time of despair.

Rachel's Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing.

The National Silent No More Awareness Campaign is an effort to make the public aware of the devastation abortion brings to women, men, and their families. The emotional and physical pain of abortion will no longer be shrouded in secrecy and silence, but rather exposed and healed. This effort is a key to make abortion unthinkable and persuade society that women deserve better than abortion.

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