Friday, January 25, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
January 22, 2008 - the 35th anniversary of Roe v Wade - this commentary was delivered by PFM President Mark Earley.
The Legacy of Abortion
By Mark Earley
A woman-let's call her Caroline-was 92 years old. She was dying, in agony, but Caroline's pain was not physical. It was emotional. Caroline, you see, had been carrying a secret for more than 50 years: As a young woman, she had undergone two abortions, suffered terrible guilt all her life-and now, on her death-bed, afraid that God could not forgive her.
As her palliative-care nurse, Jean Echlin, writes, "At the end of her life she shared with me her agony over her lost babies . . . she felt that she had committed murder."
Caroline is not alone, as Echlin writes in Perspectives 2007, a publication of the De Veber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research. Echlin also tells the story of a woman named Lydia, who was dying of cancer. Even with the use of a pain pump, which gave her steady doses of morphine, Lydia's pain did not abate.
"I asked her if her faith or prayer could be of any comfort," Echlin writes. "Lydia remained silent except for her moaning." But the next day she confided the truth. "I can't pray-God won't listen," Lydia said. "I killed a precious baby when I was 18 . . ." Lydia's abortion had taken place more than 40 years ago-and she was still grieving over it.
Caroline and Lydia are but two examples of what the Institute calls an "unexpected correlation" between abortion and pain-relief care. Dying women experience unresolved guilt and psychological pain related to their abortion-guilt and pain that stand in the way of a peaceful death. Their guilt is so great, Echlin says, that it impedes the effectiveness of their pain medication. Only when the abortion issue is resolved-when someone listens to them and assures them of God's forgiveness-is the pain medication made effective, and the women able to die peacefully.
This is dramatic testimony that abortion is not, as the abortion lobby claims, something women will "get over" in a week or two. It is evidence that we know inherently that we are made in the image of the God who gives life. When we do violence to that image-when we destroy life instead of nurturing it-it has a profound effect on our emotions, our psyche, and our souls.
Today, as we mourn the 35th anniversary of , and the tens of millions of abortions that have resulted from this dreadful decision, we must recognize that there are likely many women among us who are silently suffering abortion grief decades after their babies' lives were snuffed out. As the De Veber Institute notes, these women need our compassion, and their trauma should be recognized and acknowledged by their care providers.
As we comfort the dying, we must also help the living. We must make sure young women know the truth: that abortion takes a human life; that there are alternatives to abortion; and that there are people who will help them through a difficult, unplanned pregnancy.
And they must be told that the notion that they will simply "get over" an abortion is a bold-faced lie. The truth is that if they walk into that abortion clinic, they may still be feeling the agony over taking their baby's life-even on their deathbed a half century later.
Featured article from Breakpoint, the newsletter of Crosswalk.com, on January 22, 2008. Email entitled "Crosswalk: The Legacy of Abortion - January 22, 2008."
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Friday, January 18, 2008
Should we picket outside of abortion clinics?
This is a very serious question. I have been trying to find a particular testimony I read of a woman who chose not to have her abortion because of caring people who took time to talk to her as they were picketing outside the clinic she was entering. If you know of a link to this story or one like it, please send it to me or post it here. I have read hundreds if not thousands of post-abortion, almost-had-an-abortion, glad-I-didn't-have-an-abortion, etc testimonies from many sites over a period of years. It takes a long time to re-read all of them.
So I have a mixed response to the question. Do I think it can be helpful and beneficial? Absolutely. That's why the particular testimony I reference stuck with me forcefully. That why I have participated in picketing that was thoughtful, respectful, kind, and prayerful. I think that kind of picketing (on public grounds - DON'T TRESPASS!) is wonderful.
At the same time, I utterly loathe in-your-face; you're-a-murder; hell, fire, and brimstone picketing. Have compassion for pity's sake! Imagine the turmoil the woman is already going through. Be gentle, be kind, and do tell the truth, but do it loving.
Have I answered the question at all? I am sorry for not having the testimony on hand. I've delayed posting this hoping to find it, but I've been unable to date. Please let me know if I need to elaborate at all or if you want to see another issue addressed.
Friday, January 4, 2008
This question was asked regarding abortion after I completed the series here on it.
It's a question that hasn't left me alone.
I haven't answered the question sooner than now because I wanted to give a thoroughly thoughtful answer. It's easy to just throw something out there for the taking, but lives are literally at stake here. My thoughts have not changed drastically since I first read the question, but, yet, I have changed.
I don't imply that I am for abortion, I most assuredly am not. However, it's something I've had to face and ask myself, not abstractly, but quite concretely. At work yesterday I was made aware of a co-workers friends' situation. Her friend is pregnant, and if she carried the child would probably refuse to give it up for adoption. At the same time, she also would probably be too self-absorbed to give it proper care, attention, as so forth. So what do we do? Wouldn't it be better to never let the child go through a tough childhood? In other words: wouldn't it be justifiable in this case to kill the child so it won't have the live the hard life we presume it will have to live if allowed to live?
Various issues were discussed while I mutely went about my work. How could I speak? It didn't directly affect or involve me. Who was I to speak about the decision of another person I don't even know?
But the longer I waited, the more a fire burned inside me: I had to speak.
Think about it: the life of another human being could literally be hanging onto my words and actions how could I be silent?
So what do we do?
- Give the facts. Don't push them down people's throats, but the facts speak for themselves. Not only is the life of another human being at stake (fact), the mother also will suffer consequences of having an abortion (fact).
- Show the pictures. They say a picture is worth a thousand words; these have the power to save lives. Don't let the the victims of abortion die in vain. Tell their story so another might live. Their blood cries out from the dumpsters and clinics all around you.
- Do not be silent. Tell others about abortion, the consequences, the alternative options.
- Promote adoption: There is no such thing as an unwanted child. Many women feel trapped and consider abortion the only way out of the mess they're in. Many don't realize that hundreds and hundreds of people want children, but are unable to bear any of their own. Adoption allows you to give the unborn life and provide the child with parents who are willing and able and want to care for the child as their own, and you get to live without the guilt of an abortion and the satisfaction of knowing your child is in good hands.
- Pray. The most important thing we can do is pray. Pray for the mothers considering abortion, that they won't go through. Pray for this nation and others alike that abortion will become illegal. Pray for wisdom for those trying to get the message out in the world for the right words to say.
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