“I also had my first abortion here at the Seattle Planned Parenthood!” Actress Martha Plimpton (pictured above) told a pro-abortion #ShoutYourAbortion audience last June. She added, “Notice I said ‘first.’ I said ‘first. And I don’t want Seattle — I don’t want you guys to feel insecure, it was my best one.”
It is interesting that Plimpton took the time to declare her first abortion as her “best.” Why would she purposely outline which of her abortion experiences was better than another? She may have hoped to encourage the Seattle audience, yet her words outline a common theme in post-abortive people who have experienced abortion more than once – subsequent abortion experiences are far worse than the first.
According to the 2006 Guttmacher Institute report Repeat Abortion in the United States, women having a second or higher-order abortions are substantially different from women having a first abortion in two important ways:
- They are more than twice as likely to be age 30 or older and,
- Even after controlling for age, almost twice as likely to already have had a child. Among all women having an abortion, six in 10 are already mothers.
Abortion can become a habit in women’s lives. If abortion solved the first maternity crisis, many believe that choosing it again should do the same. Some are unable to use contraception effectively or find pregnancy prevention methods fail. Other women are concerned with the concept of more children when they are struggling to care for their current offspring.
Here are seven reasons why women should not abort multiple times:
- Repeat abortions are often more traumatizing because a second abortion is a huge trigger of previous abortion pain. After an initial abortion, it’s common to spend time reminding oneself of all the reasons abortion was the “best” choice. Great emotional effort is often expended to keep any potential grief away by reciting internally the reasons that abortion was a good decision. Sadly, as this actress outlines, a first abortion is very different from a second, third or more. If someone walks back into an abortion clinic to abort again, they typically re-live their first abortion emotionally, spiritually, psychological, biologically and physically during the second abortion. The trauma is then often doubled or even tripled.
- Women often do not have the same excuses for aborting a second time so coping skills are not as effective. Abortion guilt is quite different because it doesn’t have the same good excuses. Women who chose abortion multiple times typically are more mature and often have the ability to care for more children. The common abortion excuses of finishing college or not having a home/income are often not valid the second time around. When the moments come to remind themselves of the reasons for this second abortion, many can experience a much harsher emotional impact than the first.
- You may not be able to get pregnant again – Many women may want more children – just not right now – or with this father. A woman’s delicate uterine lining is often impacted by multiple abortions. That can lead this lining of life to be degraded because abortion’s impact can reduce the uterine lining’s ability to maintain a pregnancy in the future. Another pregnancy may never result when the perfect time arrives to have another child.
- You may lose your relationship with the father of this child – Relationships are deeply impacted by an abortion decision. Couples who make an abortion decision can certainly experience bereavement. According to a report on the long-term impact of the natural death of a child from the National Institutes of Health, bereaved parents reported more depression and health problems and were more likely to endure marital disruption. If the impact of a natural death of a child is so severe on a couple, you can imagine the added effect of choosing to take the life of a child through abortion.
- Your life will never be the same with additional abortions – Abortion never enhances a parent’s life but typically degrades it. While babies require some work in the beginning, existing children can help during the initial intense care period. Living with the truth of multiple abortion experiences can be quite crippling as well, resulting in the end of the possibility of any sort of perfect or peaceful life.
- The loss of this child will change your life forever – Children grow into adults who return the love and care taking of their parents in the later years of their life. An aborted child could have been the one that holds the hand of their parents as they pass away. This child could also be the one to donate an organ to family members or friends with a life threatening disease. Perhaps the tiny human is the one that will go to college and find a cure for cancer. It is impossible to determine the value, role and purpose of each child before they are born which makes abortion a far bigger decision than anyone can realize.
- Existing children are often negatively impacted by a parent’s abortion – A parent’s emotional stability is essential in raising existing or future children. Coping with one abortion is different than surviving a second one. Multiple abortions impact the bonding with living children and certainly have the potential to impact a woman’s emotional well-being and mothering skills. Many that contact our offices are in very depressed conditions, unable to even accomplish the simplest of tasks. Some are also hospitalized with emotional and psychological issues. Children of these individuals are typically then given to other family members or living birth parents for care. That can lead to many other problems in their lives.
No matter what anyone may say, abortion is never the right decision. If you’ve made this choice once or multiple times, please know that there is no sin that God cannot forgive. If you are struggling, it could be that you don’t forgive yourself and you may need help.
The Her Choice to Heal abortion recovery website can help you begin to understand the impact of a past abortion(s) on your life at a private and confidential level and lead you through God’s healing process. Our team is also available to assist you.
Our prayers go out to actress Martha Plimpton even if she is currently proud of her abortion history. While her statements about her abortion caused outrage, her declaration about her first abortion clearly outlines that her multiple abortion decisions were likely quite traumatizing. She deserves our compassion and prayers.