Thursday, November 30, 2006

Interesting comment about abortion

In the post below that talks about people choosing not to have children, someone left a comment that reads in part:

"Like the woman you write about, I had an abortion. I was sixteen, wanted to keep the baby, and my parents gave me only two choices: adoption or abortion. I thought adoption of a child I wanted would break my heart, so I chose abortion.
It's taken me a long time to come to terms with my anger at my parents, and with my own feelings about all this. In the end, I left the Catholic church. I left because I feel that God doesn't love me any less for my experiences, and I don't feel what I did was a sin. I feel like my childbearing decisions so far have been reactions to choices constrained by circumstances, and I feel sure in my heart that God understands that."


Please join me in praying for this woman. I posted a comment in response to hers:

Thank you for your heartfelt post and honesty in writing about your experiences. I am sorry about your abortion; it sounds like you really didn't want it either. You mentioned being angry at your parents, so I presume it is related to their not allowing you to keep your baby.
You are right that God doesn't love you any less for what you did, just like he doesn't love any of us less for what we do. But that doesn't mean that what we do is always the right thing. God is too loving to tell us that it's OK to do evil, as if we can remain untouched by what we choose.

God doesn't condemn you for the abortion but calls you to repentance for it, like he calls all of us to repentance for our sins (including me--I'm not exempting myself in any way from the call to repentance.) The good news is that Jesus washes away all of our sins in his blood. We only need to acknowledge and repent of them. It's actually quite easy--almost too easy. True, it can be a bit embarrassing to confess our sins to a priest, but it's over quickly enough, brings the relief of finally getting it out, and best of all, the words of absolution actually bring about the complete cleansing and forgiveness of any sin. Then the joy of the Holy Spirit fills our hearts. Happiness!

God bless you!

What would you say if you could speak to this woman?


Anonymous said...

I am struck by the woman's statement that she apparently feels there was no sin because the abortion was a "reaction to choices constrained by circumstances." She may have come to terms with her anger at her parents. I don't think she has come to terms with the fact that she chose to end the life of her unborn child rather than see that child live with adoptive parents ("...adoption of a child I wanted would break my heart..."). She wasn't thinking of the life she was carrying. She was thinking of her own grief in losing a living child to another person. So she chose to lose the child to abortion instead. I am also saddened that Catholic parents would put a 16 year old in a position to make that choice.

Sr. Lorraine said...

Yes, it is sad. Since she was only 16, her parents' pressure would have been very powerful.

The Original Mark said...

Obviously, these many years later, her abortion weighs heavily on her mind. That's sometimes a sign of despair or usually an attempt to come to terms with her decisions.
There are two ways to deal with guilt:
1. Numb the conscience (which I'm as guilty as anyone of doing)
2. Deal with the issues which are bothering your conscience
I don't know how old this woman is, but that fetus would now be a full grown human. Possibly attending school or starting a family of their own. It was a mistake. We don't love you any less and neither does God. But the only way to come to grips is to recognize the mistake and ask for forgiveness.
You still believe in God, and he's waiting with open arms to embrace you.

Marty Helgesen said...

Many Catholic dioceses have a Project Rachel office to help women who have had abortions. They were set up primarily for Catholics but will help anyone. Someone can find one by calling a parish or diocesan office, Googling on "Project Rachel" and the name of your diocese or city, or looking in a telephone book.