At least outwardly, both sides of the abortion debate agree that there ought to be less instance of abortion, and that repeat abortions are a tragedy. In her book, Forbidden Grief, Dr. Theresa Burke reports on a meeting of the National Abortion Federation in which one abortion provider dared to suggest that her clinic was apprehensive about performing the 14th abortion on a patient.
The rest of the abortion industry is nowhere near accepting this philosophy, though they appear to frown upon repeat abortions. A response was made in this meeting that this mother of 14 destroyed children validly made the choice "not to contracept" (p. 155).
It is often said that a woman who has multiple abortions is using abortion as a method of birth control. However, let us consider the woman who has had multiple abortions. Experts in post-abortion care (from the pro-life perspective, that is) agree that the post-abortive woman is severely traumatized and may engage in repeat abortions due to the traumatic nature of the event. Women do not engage in repeat abortions as a means of birth control, but only because they do not seem them selves as capable of being a mother after being a woman who has killed her own child.
Dr. Burke describes a woman named "Christine" who had 6 abortions simply because after the first, she could no longer see her self as a mother.
"Christine's story illustrates one of the many overlooked consequences of abortion. It is the unspoken but accepted message to a woman that she is inadequate. Instead of being offered support, encouragement, and trust in her ability to care for a child, a woman is persuaded to accept a violent solution that invades her physical and psychological integrity. The result, at the very least, is a lack of self-confidence and a diminished sense of self-worth. When traumatized women lose all confidence in their ability to protect and care for others, they are prone to become entangled in a pattern of multiple abortions" (p. 150).
Due to her initial lack of confidence during the first pregnancy, this woman subjected herself to aborting her own child. Feeling inadequate to perform as a mother, upon discovering a subsequent pregnancy, her self-worth and confidence are already cut down so dramatically that she finds it impossible to see herself as a mother. Here, it is easy to see that the weak woman is the most likely to be the tragic victim of multiple abortions.
A report out of Pennsylvania shows a steady decline in the number of abortions in the state, with a great dispute between pro-life and pro-choice organizations as to how. The pro-life forces attribute the decline to readily available, state-funded alternatives programs. Pro-choice forces attribute the decline to readily available contraceptives. Yet, besides statistics showing a decline in the number of abortions, "We have women who are having two, three abortions over a period of time, and this indicates that women are using abortion as a form of birth control," Marie Vitale said told LifeNews.com.
Ms. Vitale is the education director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. Perhaps Ms. Vitale does not understand that women do not submit themselves to multiple abortions for reasons of birth control. In depth post-abortion research shows that women
This claim further alienates pro-life persons from post-abortive women who desperately need our compassion and understanding.
To say that a woman who has had multiple abortions is using it as a method of birth control is insulting to this woman who likely been using some form of contraception in the first place. This contraceptive mentality (that if pregnancy occurs as a result of sex with contraception, the pregnancy, the child, can be destroyed) may have lead to the abortion, therefore the issue of contraception must be dealt with thoroughly for both the woman and her partner. They need to understand that the proper context for the conjugal act is within marriage and open to new life.
This woman may not want children, however, this woman does not understand that she must have a life-style change. Natural Family Planning is recommended for couples who have serious reason for spacing births. In her lifestyle change, a woman must turn away from the destructive things in her life such as alcoholism, eating disorders, which may be consequence of her first abortion. Abortion has been known to lead to many destructive tendencies and habits among women, and it is precisely these things that lead to a second pregnancy, and oftentimes a second abortion, third abortion or more.
The pro-life community does this "clean up job" after abortion by such programs as Rachel's Vineyard because we understand that abortion has consequences for women emotionally, physically and spiritually. The pro-choice community, through such efforts as "I'm not sorry" continues their philosophy that abortion is good for women, or at least, is not bad or painful for them. Post-abortion efforts that are sponsored by the pro-choice community and abortion industry do not focus on repentance or forgiveness, but on "coming to terms with choice." Nonetheless, as seen in the fact that most abortion appointments end with a "take home bag" of contraceptives, the abortion industry believes that women should take contraception more seriously so as to avoid using abortion as the last ditch opportunity for birth control. This is yet another way that the abortion industry lies to women; it has been proven that in all places where contraception is pushed, the instance of abortion rises. This is due to the contraceptive mentality.
The pro-life community sees abortion not as a means of birth control, but an abuse of women. Therefore, for the pro-life community to say that woman who has had repeat abortions is using it as a means of birth control shows incredible ignorance of the trauma of abortion. For a pro-life'er to say that multiple abortions shows "abortion as a means of birth control," it is as if to subscribe to the pro-choice mentality that abortion is without consequence, emotion, trauma or grief.
"One way in which women who are traumatized by their abortions seek to reassert power over their lives, and simultaneously to 'undo' their abortions is through repeat pregnancies. Unfortunately, this is a very risky proposition. While some women do carry their subsequent replacement pregnancies to term, others quickly discover that the same pressures that led to their first abortions are still there. as a result, they are likely to have another abortion, which reinforces the trauma of the first" (p. 148-149).
The great irony is that society has ultimately failed women, even in the name of feminism and "equal rights for women." The woman who is pregnant ought to be supported emotionally, practically and spiritually by the child's father, her family, her church and her community (in that order). The woman who has been traumatized by abortion ought to be lead back to hope and healing through programs such as Rachel's Vineyard.