Today is my birthday.
I don’t tell you this simply to draw attention to myself (though gifts are always appreciated!), but rather I want to let you know what has caught my attention the last few weeks: May 14.
Because today is a Friday lots of things are happening. Promoters are hyping the exciting things that will be taking place on May 14—concerts, movies, speakers, parties. My ears perk up a bit when I hear that, and I smile because—for me—May 14 has a positive association.
This happy thought led me to an unhappy one: there are people out there who do not associate May 14 with happy things. There are many, many people out there who hear a date and cringe, or cry, or get angry.
These “anniversary” reactions are common among those who have lost a loved one. Their grieving, while painful, at least is allowed to be public (though perhaps only for the first year or two).
Women who have had abortions, though, often experience many of these negative emotions in silence. An abortion is supposed to be a procedure that takes about an hour and permanently ends the pregnancy and the worry. Instead, this day—or the day that would have been the baby’s birthday—becomes seared in many women’s minds. The abortion becomes the beginning of a much larger, longer lasting problem.
Did you know that Lorena Bobbitt, for example, attacked her husband a week after the three-year anniversary of an abortion he forced her to have? She attacked his manhood the way he had attacked her womanhood.
David Reardon, a noted researcher in the field of post-abortion trauma, tells the story of a Japanese college student who would sob uncontrollably and hide in her room every month on the anniversary of her abortion.
Stories like this are common in post-abortion literature.
Chilli, a member of the band TLC, was on TV recently talking about her abortion. She tells the interviewer that it was “one of the worst things,” while wiping away tears. She says that having a “replacement baby” (using the words of psychologists) with the aborted baby’s father was the only way for her to move past nine years of daily crying over her lost child.
And a recent article by LifeNews.com reports on a newly released study which found that women who had abortions were nearly four times more likely than those who hadn’t to abuse drugs and alcohol.
I hope that you, like me, are able to find joy in May 14 (and every other day of the year).
Let us continue to pray that all children will get to have birthdays, and that no more mothers will be haunted by days that should have been joyful.