Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this guest post are solely those of the author and are not necessarily reflective of Live Action or Live Action News.
Abortion activist Renee Bracey Sherman recently wrote in Newsweek about the 15th anniversary of her abortion. Sherman shared how easy her choice to abort was and that even now, 15 years later, she still doesn’t regret it. She said abortion “was – and still is – the best decision I ever made.”
After reading Sherman’s op-ed, it would be easy to view abortion in a positive light. We look at her life post-abortion and see a woman appearing to thrive. But personal narratives do not negate truth, and stories like Sherman’s shouldn’t influence us to deem a wrong as a right. Abortion is a travesty, no matter how the woman feels about it afterward.
Our feelings and emotions are often subjective barometers. They can swoop and sway us wherever the wind blows and help blind us to the sin in ourselves and in the world. Sin hardens our hearts, not only dulling our ability to discern what’s true, but causing us to accept and celebrate what God opposes.
Particularly in our me-centered culture today, hardened hearts can compel us to make decisions with only ourselves in view. We weigh the consequences of a certain decision in light of our own life and circumstances. The world applauds us as we look out for ourselves, just as we applaud others as they do the same.
That’s why stories like Sherman’s can lead to destructive aftermaths. They help perpetuate the love of self already rampant in our society as they encourage others to elevate their interests above others.
Sherman’s piece in Newsweek does not speak about the needs of anyone besides herself – most notably the life and needs of her baby. She wrote, “Was my body ‘the most dangerous place for an African American’ as one anti-abortion billboard told me? Is ‘our next leader aborted every 21 minutes’ as another said, alongside an image of President Barack Obama?” She said she knew the answer was “no.”
She does not grasp that her baby was a real, live human being with a beating heart, a future, and a soul. She feels no regret because she doesn’t seem to understand that the biggest impact of her abortion has nothing to do with her, but with the defenseless person who lost his or her life.
In reality, the rosy picture Sherman paints does not represent the masses of post-abortive women in America. It may not actually even represent her, as it’s possible she inwardly feels grief. Studies show that many women regret their abortions and that, compared with women who have not had an abortion, post-abortive women have a higher likelihood of depression, addiction, and suicide.
Sherman thinks pro-lifers want her to feel regret and shame. She said, “I believe that what most upsets people who attack me is that I love myself, publicly… I don’t hate myself, and I think that makes people angry.”
This is simply not true. The pro-life community doesn’t desire for her to hate herself because she chose to abort her child. Rather, we care for her and every other post-abortive woman, and we want them to know the mercy and goodness of Jesus. He is gracious to forgive us and allow us to walk in total freedom, without one ounce of shame for any of our mistakes.
What we don’t want is for a woman’s subjective feelings and experiences to distort what’s true as it portrays abortion as a moral good. Labeling abortion “as the best decision of my life” will only influence more people to support this deadly atrocity, resulting in more women walking down this painful road and more babies losing their precious lives.
Amanda Sherzer is a writer in Dallas, Texas. She is a Dallas Seminary graduate and a former aide to First Lady Barbara Bush and White House writer for President and Mrs. George W. Bush. You can follow her on twitter @amanda_sherzer.
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