This is an especially important feast day for Catholics in the pro-life movement because Our Lady of Guadalupe, or OLG as she is lovingly called, is the patroness of both the Americas as well as the unborn.
When she appeared to St. Juan Diego in the 16th century, her message was one of hope and of being Our Mother. She appeared as a pregnant Indian woman, and in her message, she pleaded with the Indians to stop the killing of infants and unborn children. These babies were killed as sacrifices to idols.
In her apparitions, she said:
Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.
Fittingly, a new study from Oslo, Norway was published today in BMC Medicine comparing the long-term psychological effects of miscarriage with long-term psychological effects of abortion. Not surprisingly, the study shows that while the immediate distress of miscarriage is greater, the long-term trauma and pain caused by abortion is far worse.
The pro-life movement has known this for years. Even for women who were very firm in their decision to abort, many come to regret this "choice" later in life. The explanation for the difference in the degree of suffering between miscarried mothers and aborted mothers also follows a logical sequence. The death of a loved one suddenly is frequently a harder emotional hurdle than the death of elderly or sickly loved one. The distress after an unexpected death is caused by the lack of closure that the survivors have, the lack of knowledge by the survivors of the destination of the individual's soul, and other elements. When someone is sickly, most survivors have a greater sense of closure with the deceased individual; they also feel that the proper "end" has come, and that the deceased one was able to resolve personal issues before death.
Hence, if a woman aborts, she feels that there has been closure. Women who have aborted have even said that they have "talked with the child" and "apologized for the abortion" before committing it. This initial, though false, sense of "closure" helps these mothers to justify the abortion internally and to feel a sense of relief, not guilt, immediately following the procedure. On the other hand, the woman who has miscarried feels she does not have closure with her dead child. She feels that the child's life came to an end before the planned time. This can lead to feelings of despair and grief over the child's death.
In time, mothers who abort will realize that causing the death of the child was wrong, and grief and regret will set in. Those women who suffered miscarriage will, in time, realize that there was little or nothing they could have done to prevent the death of their child and come to peace with it more naturally.
A wonderful prayer for the mother who has miscarried is available from EWTN.
For the mother who has suffered abortion, please visit the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.
Something else wonderful happened today, but I'm not sure if it's public knowledge yet… so, you, my dear reader, will have to wait and see!