Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author.
She tearfully described decades of shame, sorrow, and self-destructive behavior after choosing abortion in fear of being disowned and left destitute after conceiving out of wedlock. Her story rushed forward as I counseled her — a woman convinced abortion was her only answer, fearing she would bring disgrace to her mother in a culture that supremely values honor. “This comes down to the question of whether your mother will forgive your transgressions and ultimately lovingly welcome her grandchild,” I told her, “or whether you will be able to forgive yourself for ending the life of your baby conceived in love. I believe love trumps all and your mother will forgive you.”
If you are among the tens of millions of often silent “walking wounded” negatively impacted by abortion, I am filled with compassion for the personal tragedy you endure. Women who have had abortions and those in the industry have the greatest ability to change hearts because of their personal awareness of abortion’s harsh reality and aftermath.
The maternal instinct, which has perpetuated countless species and gives mothers a drive to protect their young, is unraveling in our warped society — like a mama bear who lets down her guard with an ambivalent, “Eh, go ahead. Harm my cubs. Their well-being is of little consequence to me.” Abortion goes against natural, maternal hard-wiring and is a genocide on the innocent unborn.
Offspring are not the enemy, regardless of the circumstances of their conception or their arrival time. Our children are to be protected, nurtured, loved, and celebrated – for every life has inherent worth. An abortion decision comes with grave consequences rarely made clear to women. Where is the truth about the inner repercussions mothers experience when they deliberately end the lives of their unborn children, and how can we help women avoid future ramifications and hurt?
As a crisis pregnancy center Client Advocate, I have certainly seen joys – beautiful, inspiring, courageous stories of life – healthy babies in the flesh, and Abortion Pill Reversal protocol success stories. I have also seen clients whose hearts I feared would shatter if they chose abortion. Their body language exudes turmoil as they convey that abortion goes against their values. I attempt to help them evaluate the situation with a focus on personal strengths and on identifying support systems. What obstacles do they perceive as barriers to choosing life? I listen and aim to plant seeds of hope and courage, for where they are in that desperate moment is not where they will be in one year or five or ten.
Many women considering abortion are filled with despair and utter panic. Abortion may go against their moral fiber and inner voice, yet instability in their current life circumstances (relationship issues, family expectations, financial pressures, addiction, or educational/career aspirations) may lead them to reach the conclusion that they are ill-prepared, unwilling, and unequipped to choose to bring a baby into the world – to either parent or place for adoption.
Abortion in one fell swoop takes what presents like a huge, complicated mess and swipes it off the table. The woman brushes off her hands, takes a deep breath, and tells herself that the situation is taken care of, she’s “ok” – yet she may suffer indefinitely from the effects of abortion because it irreversibly ends the life of her child.
Psychiatrist and OB/GYN Julius Fogel testified that abortion always exacts a psychological price. “Every woman — whatever her age, background, or sexuality – has a trauma at destroying a pregnancy.” Abortion comes with potentially complex, long-range, major problems; including emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual consequences. Women face increased rates of suicidal feelings during the year following an abortion, often along with regret, substance abuse, anxiety and depression.
If this experience resonates with you, share the truth. Women deserve to know what an abortion decision involves.
Life is the most basic human right. No unborn baby deserves to be killed within what should be the protective space of a mother’s womb. Yet, I do not believe women desire abortion. Those I have encountered feel pushed toward an incredibly difficult abortion decision due to circumstances they feel too overwhelmed to manage. “I cannot continue this pregnancy,” is the message they convey for uniquely personal reasons.
There are many pregnancy resource centers that offer post-abortive recovery programs at no cost to help women heal. Sometimes women secretly carry their pain for decades before they open up, share, and seek the help it takes to forgive themselves, rest in God’s loving mercy, and move forward. If you understand what I’m describing and are hurting, please know you are not alone.
Bio: Julie Overlease is a wife, mother of four, community volunteer and author in Kansas City. Her spiritual memoir, “Hope Upon Impact: A Miraculous True Story of Faith, Love & God’s Goodness,” (Paraclete Press, 2020), is a story of trusting God’s will and leaning on faith during adversity.
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