Abortion hurts, part four: healing

My personal history is extreme: high school dropout, coerced abortion as a teenager, self-injury, attempted suicide to escape the consuming guilt after killing my first baby, years spent working in an abortion clinic (trying to convince myself that killing children is acceptable), and finally accepting the truth and becoming pro-life and continuing along the long road to recovery. While I recognize and acknowledge that my experience is not common, it is not rare either, and it is shameful and dishonest for the pro-abortion PR machine to churn out propaganda pretending that post-abortion emotional trauma and regret do not exist.

In my dreams my not-sleeping mind creates a full life for my baby. When I am awake, I wonder what he’d be doing, what he’d look like, what career would he have chosen, would he be married by now—would I be a grandmother by now? There’s a thought that gives me great pause: so I exterminated not only my first child but my grandchild(ren) as well… When I met Live Action’s President and founder Lila Rose for the first time I was shaking with the knowledge that she was only a handful of months older than my first baby would be had I allowed him to live. There are times when fantasizing about my unpresent child leads to wistful melancholy, but thankfully it has not (again) led to the depths of despair and hopelessness it once had.

Recently, The British Journal of Psychiatry published an analysis of 14 years’ worth of research studies on the link between abortion and subsequent mental health issues in women. Women who aborted had a much higher risk of mental health problems compared to women who continued their pregnancies. It is no wonder that the outlets for post-abortion healing and recovery are numerous and diverse. For women seeking spiritual post-abortion healing, Rachel’s Vineyard offers counseling (individual, group, and at some places weekend retreats) at 150 locations across the United States. For those wishing to seek solace through sharing your story visit Silent No More. Private psychotherapy is also a path to recovery for regretful post-abortive women who are in danger of depression, harming themselves or others, or who have been unsuccessful in reconciling their grief with the help of family, friends, or clergy.

My story doesn’t end here. This is, and will always be, a work in progress. Like me. My healing can never end—for as long as I am alive I will regret not giving birth to my first child, for as long as I am alive my abortion will hurt—but it is how it hurts and how it affects my actions today that matters. Do I regret my abortion? Yes. Do I miss my baby? Yes. Do I still weep daily about it? No. When I feel the pain, longing, and loss creep into my consciousness I acknowledge it, feel it, own it, then let it go. Most of the time. I have completed some very comforting, self-directed art therapy as part of my recovery, and I hope to participate in a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat someday. And I share my story. I have written about my time at the clinic and my conversion experience and have begun speaking publicly about my experiences.

I find it impossible to close this series without sounding cliché: if even one pregnant mother hearing my story of weakness, pain, regret, and shame changes her mind and chooses life for her baby—if any hearts and minds within the abortion industry are changed and clinic workers leave the culture of death—it will have all been worth it.

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