Today I ran across an interesting article on a “mommy blog” called The Stir that contained a confession from a woman who regretted her abortion because of a consequence she never could have foreseen—her abortion at 17 was keeping her from bonding with her new baby. In her own words:
Ten years ago, when I was 17, I had an abortion. I had just been accepted at a good university, was working hard to earn money to afford it, and had just broken up with my boyfriend. It was a horrible time to have a baby. So my mother took me to the clinic.
I know it was the right thing to do. I have since finished college and graduate school. I have a great career and married a man with a great career, and we have plenty of money, a beautiful home, and now have a daughter who is 2 months old.
But I can’t stop thinking about my first pregnancy. What might she (I assume it was a she) have looked like? She would be 10 now. It’s affecting my ability to bond with the baby who is here.—Anonymous
Our culture of death and the abortion industry sold this girl a bill of goods about her abortion. She was told it would be no big deal and would have no long-term consequences. What’s worse, it sounds like she may have been pressured into the abortion with the old, “You’ll ruin your life if you don’t have this abortion” schtick.
Now she’s come to the realization as an adult that her teenage choice has left her with two babies, one living and one dead.
What Prompted the Epiphany?
What the abortion industry and the column’s author want us to focus on is the woman’s comfortable life now. What they absolutely don’t want us to think about is the catalyst for the anonymous mom’s epiphany about her dead baby, which was, of course, her living baby.
As I’ve seen with my 3 children, holding a newborn baby makes you reflect on the wonder of life with a clarity you could not possibly have had before holding your own child.
The miracle of perfectly formed fingers and toes, the smell of a newborn baby’s head, the very question of why this perfect creature exists instead of not existing, the fact that you had some hand in its creation—all these realities conspire to make the world seem like a place bursting at the seams with magic and wonder.
Is it any wonder, in the face of this epiphany, that questions would arise about the handling of the previous pregnancy?
Trouble Connecting with #2
Once questions about her previous pregnancy arose, the facts become obvious: what was destroyed in her womb at 17 would have been exactly the same kind of miraculous creature as this baby she now. Now she has to deal with the fact that that baby, that irreplaceable wonder, was torn limb from limb at her request.
It’s not at all hard to see how that would make it more difficult for a mom to connect with her new baby. Feelings of guilt, of “What if?”, of unfitness to be a mother as well as the depression and lack of self-worth that often come in the aftermath of abortion seem like a totally natural response to the situation.
But what advice does she receive from The Stir’s community?
You have no way of knowing if you had gone through with the pregnancy what might have happened. You might never have finished school. You might not have had a career, though you probably would have had a job. You may not have met your husband. It’s the same for all the choices we make in our life, both minor and major.
Thinking about the abortion doesn’t make you weird or crazy. Nor does it mean you made the wrong choice. You are where you are now because of all the decisions you made, and to me, it sounds like you’re in a place to offer a real, stable home to a child.
Most of the comments follow the tone of the post’s author, quoted above (though I was thrilled to see some very sensitive pro-life comments as well). The broad theme was, “Don’t think about it. You probably wouldn’t have as much stuff as you do now if you hadn’t had the abortion.”
How chilling that material gain could be weighed in the balance with human life . . . and win!
Help IS Available
I posted a comment on the post offering simply the best help I know for women in this situation: Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries.
Rachel’s Vineyard offers help and healing to women dealing with the aftermath of abortion, including retreats, books and a toll-free helpline. Perhaps the woman in the post will see it and find some healing.
Though it’s difficult, many post-abortive women have dealt with the guilt and pain of their abortion, found healing, and gone on to be bright lights in the pro-life movement. Some of the clearest testimony against abortion comes from those who have lived through it. Here’s hoping that’s what happens this time.