Planned Parenthood’s recent encouragement to women to tweet their abortion truth using #ShoutYourAbortion will have a long lasting impact not only on the women who responded but also on many families who will read, with horror, about the death of a family member.
The candor of this truth, tweeted quickly and without thought to future consequences, will remain a permanent record of a child’s death. It will also be a black mark in some circles for the woman who confessed in such a sensational manner. Sharing this truth rarely enhances the post-abortive life but often reduces it.
I was one of the early pioneers in sharing my abortion experience publicly in 1992. My story was shared on a two-day broadcast that reached millions outlining how horrifying my abortion impacted me at a spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical level. Thousands of women who felt the same way about their “choice” responded. My work in helping women find healthy ways to grieve this choice and forgive themselves began with that first public sharing. Yet there were major costs to my family for this confession.
Immediately after an abortion, it is a typical post-abortion experience to endorse and even recommend abortion. After my abortion in 1981 I surrounded myself with pro-choice people who would not judge me for this choice should they discover my truth. I only supported pro-choice candidates and even encouraged one of my friends to abort. Thankfully, she didn’t listen to me and is enjoying her daughter’s grandchildren these days. It wasn’t until I saw my next child fully formed on an ultrasound screen that I “realized” I had lost a person that day in the abortion clinic.
Defunding Planned Parenthood efforts across America have dredged up many women’s vivid experiences in these clinics during their own abortions. Footage from the Center for Medical Progress featured brutal discussions and clear dissection of our “blobs of tissue.” These images brought back memories we had hoped to forget.
Yet an amazing thing resulted from these video exposes – the world finally realized what women endured being under the “care” of such brutal hearts that were so calloused to tiny human beings. Compassion for the post-abortive has finally been released, particularly for those who regret their abortion choice.
Once you have lost a child to abortion, the experience becomes part of your soul forever. As long as it remains a secret, it can fester and grow into either pro- or anti-abortion sentiments. Once an abortion secret is revealed publicly, it can be used as a reason to discredit the women at many levels.
Few consider the consequences to family and friends who don’t understand a love one’s stance to glorify a choice that cuts off a whole family branch. Anger and outrage typically results towards the post-abortive woman from these family members.
Two years after my abortion, I was entering my last semester of college. Before I met two family members for dinner, I spent twenty minutes talking with fellow students about how abortion had empowered women. I was in that “abortion is great” mood when I sat down to dinner.
While it was unplanned, I casually announced, “I’m so glad that abortion is legal. I‘d never be to this point in my education without it.”
My family responded in total shock. Anger was the next emotion expressed as one asked fiercely, “You actually had an abortion?”
My response was positive and upbeat, “Yes and it was the best decision of my life.”
The emotions these two presented then were unexpected. I had no clue that my abortion truth would be considered a death experience to my family.
Heartlessly, I continued to outline why my abortion had been a great choice. As I talked, the anger and opposing sadness increased. Confused, I grew angry at these people and said, “Do you think I shouldn’t have aborted?”
No answer was given. They simply stood up and left the restaurant. Never again would these two people sit in my presence without the same emotion of disrespect and hatred being presented towards me. My casually shared abortion truth ended their love for me permanently.
While my life has drastically changed in regard to my support of abortion, it made no difference to these two individuals. Even in specifically asking for their forgiveness for both aborting my child and speaking so casually about it to them, no clemency was gained.
For every person that learned of a loved one’s abortion truth through the #ShoutYourAbortion social campaign, understand they did not share this truth publicly to specifically wound you. They simply do not understand your angst towards their abortion choice. These women believe that if abortion is safe and legal, why would it upset anyone?
If a #ShoutYourAbortion tweet outlined the death of a loved one in your life, take time to carefully guard your words. Take time to grieve this lost child and learn more about why women abort. Visit a local pregnancy center to discover how to communicate with your loved one and help others make a better choice than abortion. Please also continue to pray for the post-abortive person as the consequences to sharing this truth so publicly may be more than they can bear in the years to come. The last thing they need is your rejection.
God’s grace, mercy and truth applies to every post-abortive person despite the pain they may have caused in your heart. I’m grateful for God’s help to face the anger and outrage that I often experience from people after public presentations despite being clearly against the abortion option. But for God’s grace, anyone could have chosen abortion, even you!
For more information on finding healing after abortion, visit: herchoicetoheal.com/ Sydna Masse is President & Founder of Ramah International and author of the book, Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion.