Speaking Out About an Abortion

The pain of abortion is often shrouded in silence and shame manifesting itself in unhealthy ways on many levels for those who are post abortive.  In John 8:32 we are told, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free”. The truth about our abortion experience is no exception. Sharing our story with others is both healing and freeing, but does this mean you have to go public to be healed?

In recent times there seems to be a push for those who are post abortive to share their testimonies in public, and oftentimes there is an implication that unless you do so, you will not be healed. Is this true? Do all alcoholics speak of their actions in public, or adulterers? Of course not! While there are some who openly discuss their sinfulness, most only share their experience in the rooms of AA, with a clergy person, a friend or a professional therapist, so why the push for those post abortive?

In recent years I have seen more than a few women run full force into full disclosure in the quest for healing. Often they are nowhere near ready or healed enough to withstand the scrutiny of public speaking and become even more wounded. Some speak out before family members even know of the abortion, causing deep pain to family members. Others speak so that they can attain the promised healing they are so desperate to achieve. Recently, a woman shared with me how her relationship with her son was strained. She has been active in giving her public abortion testimony. When I asked how her son felt about it she told me she did not know, she had never spoken to her son privately about her abortion. He had learned of the death of his sibling from her public witness. She is not the first, or the only person I have heard stories like this from.

While I support and even participate in the wonderful organizations that have done tremendous good in bringing the pain of abortion through public testimony to the forefront of the debate showing its harm to countless people, they are not for everyone. Just as every alcoholic does not announce his addiction to the world, not every post abortive person is called to give public witness.

I worry sometimes, that in our eagerness to end abortion we exploit those who have had them. Are we ministering to one soul at a time? Is our concern for the good of that individual soul or only for an end to abortion? Do we see the dignity of each of these souls in the sight of God recognizing His love for them?

The quest for healing from abortion is intense because the pain is intense. The desire for acceptance and forgiveness can cloud a person’s view and pull them full force ahead without a real concept of God’s will.  Only God can reveal if a person truly should go public with their abortion story. Under the guidance of a good spiritual director and the aid of a healing program, women and men who are thinking of speaking out can discern God’s will for them. He may call some to go public; others may be used in other ways, one on one sharing, work in a ministry, writing, or perhaps a commitment to prayer. Healing comes in doing God’s will, not in public speaking or with other costs or prerequisites. The price has already been paid by Mercy Himself.

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  • plowshare

    While no one should be pushed to give public testimony about her abortion, nor feel under any compulsion to do it, the witness of women who regret their abortions is very much needed to counter pro-abortion propaganda.

    Organizations like Planned Parenthood push the lie that abortion is a liberating experience, that the aftermath of abortion is almost invariably a sense of relief, that it is exactly what is needed for the women involved to put their lives back in order. The ONLY effective way to counteract this propaganda is for courageous women to testify from their own experience that this is far from a universal truth.

    Mere polls will not do the trick, because they do not go into the dynamics of the tragic aftermaths of so many abortions. Women need to hear the details so that they can see, “This could easily happen to me if I go that route.”

    The next best thing is women at rallies carrying signs saying, “I regret my abortion.” That at least silences the hecklers at pro-life rallies and makes the people at pro-choice rallies stop to think.

  • When considering a serious sin like abortion, “the public” is the priest in the confessional, because he stands both for the Church (and therefore the People of God) and for Jesus who forgives and absolves. Any other public disclosure would be left to the woman’s careful discernment.

  • blondie

    Plowshare, what Theresa is saying is that people should not be used… I think there is a danger in making post abortive women part of a effective “strategy” to combat PP. Those who feel called to public witness should pursue that witness, if that is what the Holy Spirit is calling them to do. But we should be careful to avoid creating an environment in which we seem to be telling them they need to do it for the prolife cause because “it is the only way to counteract… propaganda”.

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  • Mrsrbarry

    Jesus Christ is the great Healer! He can heal all wounds and wash away all shame….PRAISE JESUS…Read my teatimony for Christ. I had an abortion at age 18.BIG MISTAKE…HUGE MISTAKE. Praise Jesus that I have since then been forever changed by the soul salvation Christ offers. Nothing is the same anymore…he’s changed me from the inside out! For me…I want to tell others who are thinking of abortion to please DON’T DO IT. GOD WILL EXALT YOU AND MAKE A WAY IF YOU KEEP THAT BABY! GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!

    Praying someone is Blessed by this!