First it is fair to acknowlege as a practicing Catholic and mother of four that I could never see myself having an abortion, or encouraging anyone to have one. When faced with the possibility that our last child might have a genetic defect, a cousin thought that we were having advanced testing to prepare for an abortion. I told her "No", that if were going to have a handicapped child, I wanted to know and be prepared for how to deal with all the potential ramifications." Today I would do anything I could to support a woman to bring a pregnancy to fruition.
That said, I have great compassion for any woman/couple faced with this dilemma due to life circumstances or genetic health of the child, and have learned not to judge them. Years ago in a counseling support group setting, I met many women who had had abortions, some up to 5. In nearly all those cases, they saw abortion as their ONLY option at the time. Often along with other life issues, potential loss of the BF or even husband was a primary cause of the choice to abort. None of those women had a strong sense of self esteem, and it became clear to me that if each did not value her own life, how could she possibly value the life of her unborn child? Understanding this has fueled my compassion ever since. None of these women were glad for their choices, and most regretted them deeply.
This summer I had the opportunity to work with a women's healing group. One 40-something woman shared that in order to have chosen abortion due to her life circumstance, she had had to ..."lock up her 'love place'". Her confession affected me deeply, and I was honored to hold her, witness and grieve with her. Another young woman was facing a newly confirmed unplanned pregnancy. With the news just a week old, she was now showing signs of potential miscarriage. When asked how she would feel if she did lose the pregnancy, she expressed sadness and loss. I gently asked if she might feel even some relief. She became indignant, stating, "No! My 'mom gene' has already kicked in!" I can only imagine that these feelings might be real for any woman facing the choice from life circumstance or even genetic health reasons.
When listening to the first guest share her story, and with dismay note that most of the abortion attempts/techniques could have cost her her life, the irony was clear that at some level it was ok to end the life of the baby, but that she was not ready/willing to give up her own. Again, I consider these observations with great compassion.
posted 4 years, 4 months ago
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