By Joel Berry
We have been seeing more ghastly behavior from the pro-choice movement lately. For a long time, the reality of abortion has successfully hidden behind euphemisms and pleasant PR to promote its agenda, but I believe it is all starting to fall away. They have lost the scientific debate. The science of embryology clearly establishes human life begins at conception. Undercover journalists like Live Action and the Center for Medical Progress have exposed the abortion industry for the horror-show it is. Their PR is in shambles, and we are finally seeing them admit what they already knew: they are killing human beings and they are ok with it.
By now we have seen the videos. Students on campus ratchet up the rhetoric to the most shocking and evil things they can think of. Chants about dead fetuses and “I eat baby lungs for breakfast” are designed to maximally offend the pro-lifers they are facing, but they also serve to cover a deep hurt inside.
A deep-seated pain
This is what I want to talk about. Some of the vilest rhetoric comes from women who have had multiple abortions. And there is something which bothers me a little about some pro-life responses to these women. Some people often share videos of these activists on social media for the purpose of condemning millions of women. Sometimes, the pro-life protester tries to confront a furious abortion supporter with “facts and logic,” only to see them become more furious. Sometimes people laugh at how illogical or stupid their arguments are.
There is something we need to remember about these post-abortive women. Many of them are deeply hurting. Many of them know what they did, and that it is too late to undo it.
When a women has an abortion, she is making a choice she will have to live with for rest of her life. She is inducted into a corrupt community that will not let her go easily. Often, the only way to leave that community is to face the horror and trauma of the decision she made. In the process, she not only dredges up buried pain, but she turns her back on the pro-choice sisterhood that affirmed her and helped her bury that pain for so long. I cannot begin to imagine the courage it must take to do that. That is why most post-abortive women do not take that road. They bury the guilt deep inside until they cannot feel it anymore, and then they move on with their lives.
There are some women, however, who react to guilt differently. The shame is not easily dealt with. As a result, they immerse themselves in a world that affirms their decision, assuring them again and again that what they did was brave, empowering, even good. Surrounding themselves with this message, some women eventually become callous until they can barely feel the guilt anymore. They keep doing this until their self-loathing turns to hatred for anyone who would dare challenge the morality of their decision with “facts and logic.” The pain and hurt in the eyes of post-abortive women triggered by a pro-life display is often evident. They know what they have done and the knowledge they killed their preborn child is a heavy burden to bear.
Giving the slave a chance at freedom
I want the pro-life community to see these women, not as the enemy, but as slaves of the enemy. Our enemy is a liar and a cruel master. The pro-life cause is not just an argument which needs to be won. The truth is on our side, but we still have to work to change hearts. We are dealing with tens of millions of women who are wracked with guilt, who have found comfort in a community of people just like them who will help them to bury that guilt as deep as possible.
These women and girls will remain slaves of a master who hates them unless the church finds the courage to start talking about these issues honestly. Our message of grace needs to be louder than the lies and false comfort offered by the other side. The gospel beckons all who are weak and heavy-laden to come and rest (Matthew 11:28). Pro-lifers have a lot more to offer than airtight logic and sound arguments. We have the gospel of Jesus and we need to preach it more. A lot more.
Resources for post-abortion recovery:
- Contacting OptionLine or using the search tool on the website to find a pregnancy help center which offers free post-abortion counseling
- Rachel's Vineyard offers retreats for those seeking to recover from or deal with their emotions and thoughts regarding abortion (specific statement regarding services during COVID-19 here)
- Silent No More's awareness campaign, where you can read stories of abortion regret and/or recovery and anonymously submit your own story, and find resources for recovery programs
These resources are by no means exhaustive.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.