I have a difficult subject to discuss today, but the fact that it is difficult to talk about, and so many people avoid it, makes it all the more important.
You have heard us speak before on [Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint Commentary] broadcast about the sanctity and dignity of human life. But while it is easy to debate the issues surrounding abortion, it is less frequent that we stop and really think about the women and men who have been touched by it — or even think about how we can offer our compassion and help.
One newly developed outreach is doing just that. The campaign is called Abortion Changes You, and the purpose is to reach out to all those who have been impacted by abortion: from the woman who chose to abort and is still struggling with difficult emotions; to the man who was her partner; to the mom or dad who would have been grandparents, but instead suffer a silent loss; and to the boys or girls who later learn that they will never meet one of their siblings.
Here is the sad fact: One in three women in this country will have chosen to have an abortion by the age of 45. That’s right — one in three. Given that, it is likely that you know someone who has been impacted by abortion.
That is why I am grateful that AbortionChangesYou.com and the companion book Changed are now available to begin to offer direct help for these hurting women, men, and children. Both website and book offer help in a way that is non-threatening and non-political, making them accessible to women and men from every walk of life. The book includes testimonies of people who have all been profoundly changed by abortion.
Rarely have I been as moved emotionally as I have been by reading these stories.
There is the teenage girl whose parents insisted she have an abortion; the husband who drove his wife to the abortion clinic against his own better judgment and later watched his marriage unravel. One is about a grandmother who each year, as the date of her daughter’s abortion nears, silently mourns the loss of the grandchild she never knew. These stories will change you. They will make you look at this issue differently, just as the experience has changed the people involved.
The founder of the Abortion Changes You movement and author of the book Changed knows full well. Michaelene Fredenburg shares her own experience in the book. She says, “There are still many times that are painful for me. Mother’s Day is particularly difficult. The year my child would have graduated from high school was filled with pain. . . . If my child had gone to college, she would have graduated this year. This child would now be a young woman with gifts and abilities, hopes and dreams, her whole life ahead of her. There will always be a hole in my heart,” she says, “a hole in the fabric of our family and our community.”
Some of you listening may be impacted by these words because abortion has touched your life in a deeply personal way; others of you may be moved to compassion to help others contemplating an abortion or dealing with its aftermath.