NOTE: This article is one of a series on the “top ten” accomplishments of the pro-life movement over the past 40 years since unborn children were stripped of their legal right to life by the 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court rulings.
If what we pro-life advocates are saying about abortion is true—that abortion is the profoundly unjust killing of an innocent human person with an inherent right to life—then being involved with abortion is bound to have a negative impact on one’s life. In fact, that is exactly what we see. After 40 years of legalized abortion, the evidence is clear that abortion harms women—and even some abortion advocates admit it.
Abortion harms women.
Abortion has been linked with increased rates of depression, suicide, substance abuse and sleep disorders, in addition to physical harms, which carry their own psychological dimension.
A woman’s relationship with the father of the aborted child is likely to suffer, and a she may find it difficult to connect with any living children she may have.
She may find herself in a downward spiral when abortion fails to solve whatever problems or dysfunctional behaviors led to an untimely pregnancy in the first place. She finds herself pregnant again and seeks a second abortion, compounding the negative effects of abortion.
Sometimes women are stricken with deep regret immediately after getting an abortion, but often they experience initial feelings of relief. It may take years for these harms to emerge, and years more for a woman to recognize the root cause of her sleeplessness, depression, suicidal thoughts and dysfunctional relationships.
Pro-lifers are there to help.
To whom can women turn when they experience the harms of abortion? They can turn to the pro-life movement.
Despite the stereotypes propagated by the abortion industry that we care “don’t care about women,” the outreach we offer to women in the aftermath of abortion tells a very different story.
Through programs like Rachel’s Vineyard retreats, Project Rachel and others are helping women deal with the guilt, shame and regret of abortion. A National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing has even been established to coordinate such ministries and inform them with the latest research and therapies.
Groups like Silent No More Awareness give these women an opportunity to share their stories and discourage other women from making the same mistake. These testimonies have become a major factor driving public opinion against abortion.
Nor are we content merely to wait for women to seek help after their abortions; we don’t waste moment reaching out to them. Flyers about services to help women deal with the aftermath of abortion are in the literature packet of every sidewalk counselor. Pregnancy help centers are equipped to help these women, too.
It’s our duty to help women heal after abortion.
We do so much to reach out to post-abortive women—and men—because it’s our Christian duty. As so many of our pro-life signs declare, “Jesus forgives and heals.” It’s our job to lead others to that forgiveness and healing.
That we’ve done so, so consistently, for so many years, is not only a testament to the sincerity of our convictions—it has made a real difference in the lives of countless women, who have found peace and wholeness after their abortions.
This ongoing ministry stands as one of the most significant accomplishments of the pro-life movement over these past 40 years.