In the 45 years since Roe v. Wade passed, the damage has been catastrophic. Almost 60 million babies have been aborted. Women have been killed, and others have had their bodies butchered. Among those who have been lucky enough to escape abortion physically unscathed, there’s still the issue of the tidal wave of grief and pain that millions of women have had to suffer through. A majority of women have said that there are no positives to having an abortion, and the majority of scientific data has found that women are at high risk for negative psychological consequences after having an abortion. Many women have spoken out about how they regret their abortions.
But it’s not just women; abortion is toxic and it has a way of poisoning everyone it touches. Men grieve abortion as well, and regret the loss of their children. And grandparents have begun to speak out about how abortion has affected them, too — and ministries are stepping forward to help them heal.
Many parents dream of the day when their children will grow up and have children of their own. But what happens when their children choose to have an abortion instead? One grandmother opened up about how haunted she was by her daughter’s late-term abortion, grieving each time her family welcomed a new, living, grandchild. “I stared at the baby’s chest moving in and out and realised that it was the same age as Susie’s baby,” she said of the birth of a premature grandchild. “I felt physically sick. Outside, in the corridor, I burst into tears. … [o]nly my husband knew that I was crying for the baby who had not survived.” She had begged her daughter not to have an abortion, but her daughter refused. “My first granddaughter would have been six by now,” she said. “I often watch children in the local playground and wonder what she would have been like. Other times, at night, I dream about her vividly, and know the answer.”
“Blonde-haired, blue-eyed and with a shy smile,” she continued. “Time and time again, I dream that she has just been born, and as she is handed to me, I name her Katie. Just as my heart is about to burst with joy, I wake up and realise that she does not exist.”
Another grandmother similarly was crushed when her daughter, at age 19, chose to have an abortion at 10 weeks of pregnancy. A surgical abortion at 10 weeks involves dilating the woman’s cervix and then using a powerful suction catheter, 10 to 20 times stronger than a vacuum cleaner, to violently remove the preborn baby from the uterus. The abortionist then uses a curette to scrape the mother’s uterus and ensure that no remains are left behind of the preborn baby. Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino explains the procedure here:
This grandmother told her children that should they ever get pregnant, to tell them and they would help raise the baby. “I told them never, ever to consider abortion,” she said. “I felt it had the potential to ruin their life as I am a medical professional and I have seen how past abortions can screw women up emotionally even if there are no physical sequelae.” While her daughter initially kept the abortion a secret, she eventually opened up to her parents, admitting how difficult it had been for her. “She broke down and said she’d suffered a great deal psychologically, since once the initial mental numbness wore-off, she began to suffer incredible guilt over what she had done,” the grandmother said. “This also drove her into promiscuous behaviour because she felt so worthless and her academic work also suffered.” She told her parents because she was pregnant again, and this time, her boyfriend told her that she had to either get an abortion or he would leave her. But this time, the daughter knew she couldn’t go through with another abortion.
While the promise of a new child brought happiness to the family, the grief of losing the previous grandchild was still there. “My husband and I were incredibly upset and shocked,”she admitted. “We went through a gamut of emotions, from feeling desperately, desperately sorry for our daughter, to feeling like screaming at her, to feeling violent towards our daughter’s ex-boyfriend. Our grief over the abortion far outweighed our upset over the current pregnancy. We felt we had failed this particular child.” Her daughter has since given birth to a baby boy, gotten married to a man who accepted the baby as his own, and they’ve had another child together. But the sorrow of that abortion is still there.
Another grandmother was pregnant herself when her 18-year-old son came to her and told her that his 17-year-old girlfriend was pregnant. She was supportive, and initially, it appeared that the girl planned to keep her baby. But her parents pressured her to have an abortion, and she eventually agreed, leaving both her son and herself devastated. “I tried my hardest to talk to her and told her I would support and help her as much as she needed, to no avail,” she recalled. “I held her hand as I begged her for the life of my grandchild, but the limp clammy hand signalled it was falling on deaf ears.”
I got home from work one Sunday evening to find my 18 year old son sobbing uncontrollably as he told me the abortion was scheduled for the next day. I held him in my arms and sobbed with him. He wrote the most beautiful poem to his unborn child (he believed God had shown him it was a daughter) which I may share at some point, but it was written in love and a broken heart, and to this day, tears my heart out. I pleaded with God the whole night for the life of this child, my own baby kicking in my belly. Somehow, quietly and gently He told me He would not violate the girls will, it was her choice. Over the next 12 hours peace came and grew in my heart; I knew there was nothing I could do, as my son wrote in his poem, she was on her way to be with the Lord.
Every November I remember that day, and every beginning of June I think of how old she would be now, just 2 months younger than my own daughter. I know I will see her one day, and I know my son and I did all we could, but the loss is still palpable.
There are countless more stories of grandparents devastated by the abortion of their grandchildren.
There are organizations that can help grandparents heal from the pain of abortion. The Silent No More Awareness Campaign aims to make the public aware of the devastation of abortion, as well as aid people hurting from abortion — mothers, fathers, grandparents, and other family members — find peace. Ramah’s Voice, a website dedicated to abortion recovery, likewise has tips for grandparents suffering from abortion. The Abortion Recovery InterNational likewise has advice and resources for grandparents recovering from post-abortion grief. Rachel’s Vineyard can likewise help grieving grandparents.