There is no pro-life voice more courageous and truthful than that of the woman who can say to her sisters: I have been there. I had an abortion, and I regret that choice that ended the life of my child. It was an evil choice, and I want to spare you the evil and pain of that sinful choice. Those of us who have been, by God's grace, spared the anguish of that experience should not go around pridefully congratulating ourselves for that: it is His grace, His mercy alone, that has permitted some of us to avoid such a dreadful experience. We should be firm in standing in solidarity with our post-abortive sisters--and brothers, too, for men too suffer greatly when their unborn child is put to death--and in giving them the love, support, encouragement, and place of healing and peace that they so greatly need.
Abortion advocates will never admit a post-abortive woman is a Mother because to admit that would acknowledge the existence that there was once a child. Not a clump of cells, but a very real living child. When girls begin menstruating they are not called mothers to a clump of cells, yet so many people really believe an abortion is just like having a heavy period or passing a large menstrual clot. This was how it was described to me when I found myself in their clinic fifteen years ago. Two years later when I returned to have a second abortion the lie had not changed.
For fifteen long years I’ve lived with the pain, shame and guilt associated with my past. In that time I’ve experienced denial, anger, and depression. It wasn’t till my conversion to Catholicism that I finally sought the reconciliation my soul needed. Once I received the grace of forgiveness I was charged with the next most important task of my life… to tell as many women as I can how horrible, evil and despicable abortion is.
However, it has taken me another six years to find my courage. In order to honestly talk about the truth I needed to admit to my past and in this one area my words failed me. Today I write this past so that I may finally own up to what it is I have done and make the necessary reparations for my crimes so that others will know just how fundamentally soul-destroying abortion is.
I am choosing this day to find my voice.
Here is the truth I spent so many years denying and keeping from the public – I killed two of my children, robbed my parents of grand-children, and murdered my son’s siblings. These abortions directly caused a medical condition known as incompetent cervix which resulted in the premature birth of another son who died after a week long struggle in the NICU in 2001. The suffering I’ve endured and caused others is immeasurable and the guilt almost drove me suicidal. I am a coward in every way. [...]
I refuse to be a coward anymore. In these times, no one can afford to be a coward. The price of our silence is paid in the blood of millions of innocent aborted babies. This is a deplorable evil and it must end now.
The Crescat's post today resonates with the power of her faith and with great courage. So often, a woman chooses abortion out of fear: fear of unplanned or unwed pregnancy, fear of what people will say or think, fear of the material and social consequences of letting the pregnancy continue, fear of single motherhood on the one hand, or giving the child up for adoption on the other. Society encourages that fear, because it encourages women to think that we are too weak, too helpless, too vulnerable to handle a child in a less-than-perfect situation or scenario. In some senses, abortion is the ultimate degradation of women, because society acts as though it's normal and fine for a woman to be punished by the loss of her reputation, her job or career potential, her educational opportunities, or of her home or boyfriend etc. as the price she must pay for failing to avoid pregnancy--and that if a woman is sexually active, she must be inundated with free contraception, lest she be punished with a baby for her sexual habits.
And as The Crescat says, we can't end the sin and evil of abortion, we can't end the suffering and tears of far too many women, we can't make a dent in our society's ugly misogyny that pits women against their unborn children who are their natural loves, not their natural enemies, unless we first conquer this great fear. It will take real acts of solidarity for our neighbors who are struggling with a crisis pregnancy for us to reach out to women at these moments and say with sincerity and love, "You are not alone. We are here for you and for your baby."
The people who can best help spread that message of hope and courage are the ones who have suffered as no others have, the ones who know what it is to be post-abortive, the ones who still struggle with their often-secret anguish over this terrible thing in their pasts. In my mind's eye I see these brave women as standing together against the darkness of the sin of abortion, and slowly, individually, and courageously lighting candles of truth. Today Katrina Fernandez has ignited the wick of such a candle, and one day soon these bright lights held aloft by the surviving victims of abortion will pierce through the dark veil of lies, euphemisms, and fear-mongering pushed by the abortion industry. Someday soon the outcry from these women's voices will drown out the harpies selling the misery and pain of abortion to yet another generation of young women; someday soon, the mothers mourning their lost beloved children will overwhelm the cynical rhetoric of "choice" that does not account for maternal hearts and the strength of maternal love which endures even beyond so painful and difficult a reality. In our solidarity with these women let us rejoice that the truth is setting them free, even while we listen attentively to what they have to tell us, and help them continue along the path of reconciliation and healing toward that peace that passes all understanding.