Post-Abortive Trauma

This past Tuesday our church community had in the executive director of The Pregnancy Support Center of Stark County to equip our staff on the issues surrounding post-abortive trauma. It was definitely an eye-opening presentation surrounding the current needs of about 25% of our congregation (mothers and fathers) suffering from post-abortive trauma. (With an extra 15% contemplating abortion).

Little do we realize that while many mothers and fathers have embraced the fact that God’s grace covers their sin of abortion, many still sit in our pews paralyzed with guilt, unable to grow and live vibrant lives. Not only must they recognize that their God forgives them, but they must also move towards a place of healing and true living.

I found it interesting that women who have had abortions will never show up on a Mothers Day, Sanctity of Life Sunday, or any other Sunday focused on the topic of abortion. Yet at the same time an invitation towards healing and “living” is so key. So how will the church respond?

In light of how we must be an agent of healing to the post-abortive, I will leave you with an except from the book UnChristian, at the start of their chapter on “Judgmentalism“:

“You know what really bothered me?” the young woman, Lisa, confessed during a recent interview.
I was grateful for the frank thoughts of this twenty-nine-year-old mother of two toddlers.
“Well you’re asking how Christians come across to me. I’ll tell you. A few weeks ago I visited a Christian Bible study at a church. Every once in a while I go because I know a few of the women. You know, I am still trying to figure out this Jesus thing. After the speaker talked for a while, we started a conversation at our table—about either or nine of us women just chatting away. I was probably the youngest one there, but some of them were about my age. We go along pretty well.”
“What happened that bothered you?”
“We were talking about sex, intimacy, and pregnancy, stuff like that. I told them about a friend of mine who was considering an abortion. I told them about her entire situation; a 20-year-old; boyfriend left her. She’s feeling really lonely. I made some comment about really empathizing with my friend, that I could understand that abortion might make sense. I guess that shocked them. I know the women there are pro-life and all—I don’t know what I am, pro-life or pro-choice or just myself. But the conversation shifted at the point in a really weird way. Instead of having a dialogue, I was put on the defensive. They were nice enough about it, but the ladies just kept talking at me, trying to fix my attitude about abortion.”
Lisa paused and softened her tone. “And here is the part that bothered me, something I never told them. What they didn’t know is that I had an abortion—a long time ago. It was not an experience I would wish on anyone. But I can fell my friend’s dilemma because I lived it. I am not sure the Christians I hung out with that morning get that.”
“I guess the truth is I was hoping for some empathy myself.”


~ by Dave Smith on October 16, 2008.

2 Responses to “Post-Abortive Trauma”

  1. It is interesting how we have demonized abortion and oversimplified the issue for people who find themselves in incredibly difficult situations.

    On the one hand, it makes sense why some people react so strongly, i.e., because they equivocate it with murder.

    On the other hand, if we take grace seriously, then shouldn’t we pay more attention to the complexity of the situation before making a unilateral, universal judgment on the topic?

    Serious question: I would be interested to read up a bit more on some of those stats… where can I find them?

  2. Hey Ben,

    They rattled those statistics off pretty fast, so I am unsure of their source. You may want to check their website noted in the post or e-mail their executive director directly.

    Hope that helps.

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