When I read articles like this one in Rolling Stone, it makes me so angry. I know that by stating things like this they are throwing many who are suffering into deeper despair, and they are the ones telling lies.
I am not going to get into all the lies here, because we are going to post some things about them in the coming days, but waking up to this story made me even more angry.
Sometimes I wonder if it is even worth it responding to this junk instead of putting all my energy into reaching out to those like the Charlottes, and letting them know there is hope and healing. I guess we are called in some ways to do both.
I know for me prayer is key. A clinging to Jesus knowing we do have the truth and He has already freed us. It is only through HIs grace that we can fight the good fight.
So, two Charlottes were lost in the past week due, at least in part, to abortion, and yet, the pro aborts keep saying there is no such things a post abortion stress.
If you are suffering because of an abortion you are not crazy or alone...reach out for help. Many have gone before you and can assist you in your healing.
As for these two women, I know there are those who would say, they comitted suicide, but the truth is only God knows what happened before they died and only He can judge them.
My prayer are with them and their families.
May they be united with their babies and yay the souls of Charlotte Dawson and Charlotte Coursier rest in peace!
After her abortion Charlotte expalined, "I felt a shift... maybe it was hormonal, but I felt the early tinges of what I can now identify as my first experience with depression."
What follows appears to be years of dealing with depression and suicidal attempts. Although not unfamiliar to many of us who have experienced abortion, it is something that continues to be denied by a society which will not acknowledge the depth of destruction that abortion causes to many those who have had one.
I know from my own abortion experience, the temptation to suicide and the fight against the idea of it is very real. The abscence of hope and the life of despair makes you feel you are damned to hell and you are lefting hating yourself. Any negative experience was just a reflection and confirmation of all I felt to be true, and the despair would go deeper. Depression was my constant companion for many years.
Although many attempts were made to get someone to listen to my feelings, I was always told it had nothing to do with my abortion, which left me feeling even more isolated and crazy. I always knew my abortion had changed me, but yet I was being told by "professionals" that it was not true.
It took the unconditional love of those who would finally listen to me to validate what I was experiencing and support me in my journey to healing. It took me coming to know Jesus Christ, who loved me in spite of my abortion, or as Cardinal O'Connor used to say, because of it. It took a surrender and a trust in the one love that could free me from the bondage I found myself in, along with learning the tools I needed to heal.
I needed to learn my personal abortion connectors so that I would not react to things in the present because of my abortion experience. It took me learning that every relationship argument was not an ending or abandonment, but that people could just disagree.
It took me learning to reach out to those who understood when I wanted to isolate and fall into despair no matter how hard it was for me or how loudly I was telling myself not to. It took me becoming a new person in Christ and learning that He would never abandon me no matter how it looked or what I felt. In time, I learned this was true. Through the grace of God I was freed.
I feel sad that Charlotte probably never found the same freedom. That she was locked in the prison of a past abortion, living with her despair for years, obviously trying to hide it and fill the emptiness instead of being given the opportunity to grieve and forgive and heal.
I pray Charlotte, that in your last moments you met Jesus who is rich in mercy and understands better than we do what happened. May you rest in the peace of Christ along with your child.
If you are suffering because of a past abortion, please reach out. There is hope and healing, not because of who we are, but because of who He is.
Here is something I wrote while going through that time of hoplesseness and despair.
Where Mercy Meets Faithfulness
It is the point of healing. The joining of ultimate pain with ultimate love. An act of complete trust and surrender, a climbing on the cross with Christ there to join mercy with faithfulness.
I can remember the struggles of faithfulness, the searching in the dark to find God, the holding on to His Word because I had tried everything else and I longed to be healed. The movement in spite of the pain, the darkness, the fear, because there was nothing to loose…there could be no greater hell than the one I had made for myself.
I begged and pleaded with God reminding Him of His promises, in spite of me. I worked at chipping my remains away, fighting myself so I could reach a complete surrender.
There were many times when I needed encouragement to continue, my temptations and bouts with despair. Times when I felt I couldn’t go on, but God provided the people necessary to give me the push that I needed, the words I had to hear, the strength to hang on.
I continually pleaded for the saint’s intercession and especially entrusted myself to Mary and Joseph.
And finally, one day alone with Jesus, because He is the only one who can heal, I trusted enough to climb on the cross, to be one with the pain and love that exists there and to allow that love to fill the deep wounds that I had.
There, His mercy met my faithfulness and I finally felt healed of my abortion. I suddenly understood so much of scripture. So much of it was then fulfilled in me, such a gift given. I felt like Mary Magdalene at the foot of the cross. Immense love had taken on immense sin and had washed away its stains.
To be sure, the process of healing from abortion is painful and delicate, but with the right help and trust in God even if not “felt," it is possible. Jesus in His mercy longs to heal us…we in our faithfulness need to persevere.
Next week we will be begin the season of Lent. I love this time of year, because it focuses on the ultimate sacrifice and the great love and mercy God has for each one of us.
We have a beautiful Eucharistic Prayer of Reconciliation in the Catholic faith that says, "When we were lost and could not find our way to you, you loved us more than ever." How beautiful that when we were lost, He did not forget us but, He loved us more than ever! Something so hopeful and comforting. We may not have seen Him or knew He was there, but He tells us He is always there - loving us!
Who is more lost than a mother walking into an abortion clinic to participate in the death of her child? Abortion goes against everything a mother should be and do. It is so completely unnatural. A mother's natural inclination is to protect and nurture.
The reason abortion is still so controversial after over 41 years of legality is because everyone knows in their heart that it is not a good thing, even the women walking into the clinics.
With 57 million abortions in our country since 1973, we all know someone who has had an abortion whether we realize it or not. A day does not go by that we don’t hear something about abortion in the news, it is in front of us daily.
Consequently, we are a wounded nation. Not only are there millions of babies who have been denied their right to life, but there are millions more people whose lives have been stripped of their dignity, living in grief and shame because of abortion. Mothers, fathers, and even the siblings of these babies are suffering because they wonder why their brother or sister is dead and they are alive. Postabortive siblings may worry about a parent who is depressed or unattached because of an abortion they had in their past or if their very name would have been the same if their sibling had lived. There are millions of grandparents mourning the loss of their grandchildren through abortion, and yes, society as a whole is suffering.
We have seen the threats to life increase on an immense scale this past year and abortion continues to be the hot button of the health care debate. There has been talk of a "middle ground." What middle ground can there possibly be when it comes to a person's life? There will never be peace or compromise on abortion. How can you compromise taking a human life and the devastation caused by killing the unborn and damaging countless other lives. Every life is impacted by abortion.
I often hear people say, "I cannot understand how can anyone have an abortion.” It is something many people cannot even fathom doing.
I usually reply, “Thank God you can not understand. Thank God your husband did not threaten to leave you if you did not abort, or your parents did not kick you out of the house and deny you their love. Thank God you have not been filled with fear by a boyfriend who is threatening you if you do not abort, or telling you if you love him you will get rid of the baby. Thank God you never aborted because you felt like you could not afford another child, or you got an adverse diagnosis and were told you would be selfish to give birth. Thank God!"
Of course, none of these reasons justify abortion, but we need to understand that women do not walk into a clinic joyfully. After 20 years of doing post abortion work I can tell you, most women walk into a clinic not because of their "freedom of choice," they do so because they feel they have no choice.
The 40 Day Vigil for Life vigil is a beautiful witness which has had amazing results across the nation thanks to the grace of God. As a participant in a 40 Days Vigil, we are called to be a sign to those who are lost, as the Eucharistic prayer says, “loving them more than ever." We are called to care as much for the soul of those participating in an abortion, the mother, father, perhaps grandparents, clinic escorts, and yes even the abortionist, as we do the unborn child, both when they are going in the clinic and when they are coming out.
We need to offer women in crisis pregnancies help, but we also need to reach out to all those suffering as a result of a past abortion, so that they can come to see that forgiveness and healing is possible and they can have joy in their lives again.
I would like to share a little with you about someone who I believe is a living saint. Monsignor Philip Reilly of the Helpers of God's Gods Precious Infants. For those of you who may not know who he is, Monsignor Reilly began The Helpers of God Precious Infants, a group of people who pray in front of abortion clinics. Monsignor himself prays outside an abortion clinic every day. He prays and fasts from when he rises until he gets home from the clinic.
Right now, Monsignor has cancer from standing out there day after day in the sun. For me, he speaks so truly to our role at an abortion clinic whether it is with the Helpers or 40 Days for Life.
“The reason we go out is not primarily to save the physical life of the child, though we want to do that, absolutely, but if that becomes our primary purpose we will become limited in what we will achieve and we are going to misunderstand why God wants us to be there. Our purpose will determine the instrument that you use so if your purpose is to save the physical life of the child then you are going to measure your success on whether the physical life was spared. But the real purpose should be the salvation of souls, the abortionist, people working there, the mother, boyfriend, all people who brought her there… God wants the mother and the people who bring her there. God loves them.'
God willing - the mothers will spare the life of the child, but the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus is present on Calvary in you and me. It took a death, His death to convert many. It is Jesus who is going there, to calvary, in us to bring about conversions. Jesus and Jesus alone can overcome death and error and darkness with His love, be an instrument of Jesus Christ..convert with love and prayer..be there in love, be Christ to them, meek, gentle, kind, treat them with dignity, no shouting, no protesting, enter into the mystery of the meekness and power of God!”
It took a death, His death to convert many.
I believe that, for I too am post abortive. I know what it is like to walk into a place that is going to take the life of your child. But, I also know that the death of my son Joshua from abortion is the very thing God used to convert me teach me about His love. Not that He ever wanted the abortion, but in His mercy He turns even our worse sins into good.
My son also brought about the conversion of my mother, my father who forced me to abort, and countless others who his death has touched through my work in postabortion ministry through both Lumina and the Entering Canaan Ministry.
There is another Eucharistic prayer in our Church which says, “God of love and mercy, you are always ready to forgive, we are sinners and you invite us to trust in your mercy.” He does not force us - he invites us. He tells us it is there, we need only to come to Him who “loved us more than ever.” What comforting words, especially for those who have been involved in abortion.
It took Calvary to redeem the world, for the blood and water to flow from the Jesus and bring our salvation. I know I am capable of any sin were it not for the grace of God. Each of us are. We are all weak human beings in need of God's mercy. God's grace is there for each of us, the woman going into the clinic, her unborn child, for the father, the grandparents, even for the abortionist.
May we each be a sign of that mercy as Jesus is a sign for us, to bring about not only an end to abortion, but as Monsignor Reilly said, the salvation of souls.
Today is the anniversary of the death of Dr Bernard Nathanson...an amazing example of an conversion and the mercy of God. Please pray for him and for all those in need of healing from participation in abortion and if you have not already, do yourself a favor and read his book, The Hand of God.
My son Joshua has been hangin' with Rebecca from the beginning as this powerful remembrance is moved to various locations to place a name on those lost to abortion.
Here is a great video showing the display...
The 'A Cry Without a Voice Project' was to represent three 'cries' associated with abortion.
1. The first cry is the unborn child(ren) in the womb crying out for LIFE. 2. Second, are the mothers who silently grieve year after year and have no voice due to the guilt and shame they carry. 3. The third cry represents the fathers who have no voice in whether their child will have a destiny thanks to a 'woman's right' to choose.
As someone who believes that God's desire is to reunite the family spiritually, I think perhaps it is so beautiful to me because it encompasses the whole family - mother, father, and child.
If you are grieving from a past abortion, maybe you would like to add your child...
"There are many good reasons for pro-lifers of faith to familiarize themselves with secular reasoning against abortion. Christian pro-lifers often cite religious texts and doctrines to oppose abortion.
And while 'God hates abortion' may be a compelling argument for fellow Christians, we need to recognize that pro-choicers can use religion too. People’s interpretations of scripture differ, of course. And apart from scripture, 'my personal religious beliefs' can be manipulated by a creative person to justify practically anything.
I stumbled across an example of this in the book Our Choices, Our Lives: Unapologetic Writings on Abortion. I was reading the story of a woman who had three abortions. The woman, who gave her name as Chandra Silva, was a rape survivor who had her first abortion as a teenager when she was well into her second trimester.
Her baby, at this point, was highly developed. Chandra describes the injection of prostaglandin, and the pain she experienced as her body tried to expel her child:
I felt the need to use the bathroom when something started descending and my mother, who was trying to help me to the corner store style bathroom, kept forcing an orange bedpan underneath me. At one point, in desperation, I glanced between my legs and I saw a head. It was dark and bluish, and seemed to have little dark hairs. In that split-second instant there was a nurse on the floor searching between my legs. She was in a bit of panic herself, fumbling with gloves and clamps, then whisking away the bedpan contents.
While I do understand what Sarah is trying to get across, I think anyone who has experienced abortion would say that there is much more going on here than prochoice or prolife reasoning. There is the very real trauma of abortion!
Chandra obviously had a saline abortion during her second trimester of pregnancy. You wonder, why did she wait ? Since she was raped and so young did she even know she was pregnant? Was this first abortion something she really wanted to do or was she coerced? We really do not know, but judging from the circumstances I am sure it was a complicated decision.
I know all too well the trauma of a saline abortion and seeing your own child. After hours of labor you give birth to a dead baby. Countless numbers of women who have experienced this feel damned to hell with no way back, and so their behaviors reflect that which is their reality. Denial and rationalization become your companions, and thank God for them! In fact, according to the article, Chandra even says it. She "checks out"...the abortion "requires it," "desires it."
There is no way you can look at a traumatic abortion, especially one which is late term where you see your child, unless you first come to experience and know the love of God. It is impossible to survive otherwise.
In keeping with the theme, Sarah is right, Christian religious arguments are not going to work. The mantra is to avoid God at all costs. Someone already feeling damned to hell does not need reenforcement.
Instead of preaching about abortion being wrong because of God, we need to be a reflection of God and of His mercy and love. It is through this reflection that those who experience such a trauma aquire hope of healing and become able, little by little, to look at the reality of what has happened.
In the Gospel of Life, Blessed Pope John Paul II tells those of us who have experienced abortion: "... do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and His mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. "
Lastly, it is never too late to reach someone like Chandra. I have been blessed to witness countless times women who have spoken as she has turn to Christ and obtain His healing peace. No one is beyond God's grace.
So, maybe the question should be not if prolifers should speak of God and abortion, but instead that they reflect God's mercy and forgiveness and healing. If we do that, even the most hardened sinners are known to come home!
Are you or someone you know suffering from the aftermath of an abortion? There is hope. There is healing. Visit the Lumina Website for more information.
Entering Canaan Entering Canaan is comprehensive post abortion ministry consisting of Day of Prayer & Healing, weekend Retreats and monthly Gatherings. It also includes a yearly "Mercy Renewal Retreat" which enables those involved in the ministry to come aside each year to grow more deeply in their healing and faith.
Lumina Hope & Healing After Abortion A post abortion ministry of Good Counsel, Inc., Lumina provides groups, retreat days, trainings, public speaking, & referrals to post abortion ministries, professional therapists and clergy.
Abortion Recovery International ARIN is an affiliate association, dedicated to connecting and assisting like-minded abortion recovery centers, programs and services; as well as individuals working within the field.
Ramah International Assistance for those hurting from post abortion syndrome through communication, resources, and local referrals.
Project Rachel The Catholic Church's healing ministry for those who have been involved in abortion.
National Office of Reconciliation and Healing A network of researchers and psychotherapeutic professionals working in the field within the U.S. and abroad, consulting on the formation of post-abortion support services within secular and religious settings.
Rachel's Vineyard Rachel's Vineyard retreats combines a unique and creative process for psychological and spiritual healing.
Safe Haven Ministries Safe Haven is a peer site for those who have had abortions to find comfort, hope, understanding, and healing.
Ramah International – Sydna Masse’s Blog
Ramah International, Inc. was founded by Sydna A. Masse, a post-abortive woman who experienced God’s healing touch eleven years after her abortion through a crisis pregnancy center’s ministry program.
After Abortion Life after abortion: News, opinion, personal experience, resources