Aborting a Millennial
Signs bearing the message, “We are the pro-life generation that will abolish abortion!” will be in full view in Washington this week. Members of the millennial audience, or Generation Y, are expected to turn out in record number for this year’s protest march recognizing the anniversary of Roe v Wade.
I aborted a millennial in 1981. My aborted child, whom I later named Jesse, had a March 21, 1982 due date. After enduring that abortion without benefit of anesthesia, I went on to have three more son who are also included in the millennial demographic.
To say that my sons have been impacted by my abortion would be an understatement. They have been devastated by it. Nothing changes a mother’s heart like abortion. Yet many of those changes are subtle and clearly change over time.
When I first held my oldest son, love for him flowed out of my heart instantly. The spiritual experience of pregnancy and giving birth overwhelmed my new mother’s heart as I cried for joy. That delight was short lived.
A new kind of regret then entered my heart. My newborn’s face reminded me of my “other” child – the one I aborted. It was then that the element of Abortion PTSD – inability to bond with current or future children – began its impact on my soul.
Once I realized the incredible maturity of physical motherhood, forgetting the child I lost to abortion became far more difficult. Ignoring that memory required a great deal of emotional energy, particularly since my newborn’s smile could ignite pain instantly. My aborted child seemed to haunt me, wanting to be recognized in my motherly soul.
Three years later, my second pregnancy ushered in a different peace. From the positive pregnancy test, I was well aware that I was carrying a tiny human who would impact my life deeply. There was also another element that assisted my heart then – tears.
My neighbor, who had been a motherly mentor to me, was murdered. Tears for this friend’s horrific loss literally exploded my pent up grief for my lost child. Those tears released a great strain on my heart.
Three months after my second son’s birth, I began working for a ministry called Focus on the Family. My first day, Dr. James Dobson outlined his compassionate pro-life stand by talking to me directly as a post-abortive person. He said, “There is no sin that God cannot forgive – even abortion. The problem may be you don’t forgive yourself and may need help.”
Dr. Dobson’s compassion towards me revealed my pain issue – how could I forgive myself? By participating in an abortion recovery program at my local pregnancy center, God restored the, “years the locust have eaten” (Joel 2:25). He repaired my mother’s heart.
My work for Dr. Dobson quickly became focused on abortion and the work of pregnancy centers. Abortion was a commonly used word in our home as a result.
At some point, each of my millennial aged sons learned my abortion truth. The first step in sharing that truth was simply to outline the idea of abortion.
My husband, Tom, and I waited for the each to ask, “What’s abortion?”
Responding gently, I said, “Abortion is where they take the baby out of their mother’s belly before they are old enough to survive in the outside world.”
Each child’s response to this gentle description of abortion was immediate shock and horror.
One son stated the obvious, “Oh, Mommy, I’m so glad you didn’t abort me!”
I comforted this son, knowing his heart was too overwhelmed by the idea of abortion to hear my truth then. Six months later, we had a talk about my abortion.
I concluded by saying, “My baby went to be with Jesus that day. God forgave me. You have a big brother in heaven named Jesse!”
A broad smile overwhelmed my son’s face as he said, “I have ANOTHER brother and he’s in heaven? That’s so cool, Mom.”
Each of my children would ask many follow-up questions over the years as abortion was always an “open” topic in our home. Without open discussion and transparency on this gruesome topic, many children of post-abortive people go on to abort themselves and the generational sin cycle continues.
The sons and daughters of America’s post-abortive, Generation Y, will arrive in force at our nation’s capital, bearing much more than signs. They are fighting with a different level of knowledge about the repugnant nature of this choice that they saw so clearly demonstrated in their parent’s lives.
As Acts 2:17 outlines, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy…” I’m proud of the millennial audience for rising up to fight abortion while past generations stood still.
Sydna Massé is President and Founder of Ramah International and author of the book, Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion.