After an abortion, it is not unusual for women to experience a series of complex emotions. There may be immediate feelings of relief which eventually give way to sadness, guilt, or anger — but no matter their circumstances, post-abortive women deserve to know they are worthy of healing.
According to The Leaven, a chance encounter enabled pro-life advocate Debra Niesen to help another woman do just that.
In a story she wrote for the outlet, Niesen revealed that in 2019, she was distributing tickets for the pro-life film “Unplanned” when she met a woman who was struggling with a past abortion. “Clare” (name changed to protect privacy) approached Niesen to share her story as Niesen was preparing to leave.
“Though I know it will be difficult, I think the Holy Spirit is moving me to see this movie,” Clare told Niesen. “I’ve never told anyone this before, but long ago, I had an abortion. I think it is time for me to face what I’ve buried for so long.”
Clare said that when she was 20 years old, she went to Planned Parenthood for an abortion. But instead of counseling her through her options, Clare told Niesen that they “simply moved through the process” without providing any information about where to locate pregnancy resources, nor did they warn her about the risks of abortion.
Niesen wrote that her heart “broke for [Clare].” She noted that Clare was “sold a lie when she was most vulnerable. The abortion industry made her believe her only and easiest option was to end the life of her child.”
As Live Action News has previously reported, Planned Parenthood often coerces women like Clare into abortion by withholding information on fetal development or convincing women that abortion is somehow a “quick” and “easy” solution to a challenging pregnancy.
The pro-life advocate decided to invite Clare to an upcoming retreat through Project Rachel, a ministry of the Catholic Church that offers healing to those who have been wounded by abortion. Though it took Clare a while to muster the courage to connect with the ministry, after she went through the program, Niesen said that she was “overjoyed” to receive a thank-you message from Clare after she found the healing she needed.
“I wanted you to know that the reason I finally healed was due to the compassion I was shown that day I picked up the tickets for ‘Unplanned.’ I have carried this deep wound for forty years, like forty years in the desert, and am finally free of the shame,” Clare wrote.
“The key for me this weekend was to realize that my 20-year-old self did not have all the information that my 60-year-old self has. I could finally forgive my 20-year-old self,” she added. The Project Rachel retreat leaders worked with me and me alone. They were amazing and compassionate women!”
“…Thank God the Catholic Church has this ministry. I will lead people to Christ in honor of my child in heaven and will help people to realize the evil of abortion and Planned Parenthood to my dying days. Thank you.”
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