Post Abortion Syndrome

How Washington and the Media Impact Post-Abortive Hearts

by | Oct 22, 2012

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (1 Corinthians 1:27-30)

For those who hold life-affirming views, events surrounding abortion due to the “power shift” in Washington that occurred during the 2008 elections left us bewildered, distraught and even hysterical. Over the last years, that feeling has intensified and remains with us today.

There is clear reason for alarm. The U.S. government seems adamant in expanding abortion rights at a level we never anticipated – both here and around the world. Yet, as the verse above outlines, the Lord is using the weak things of the world (abortion) to shame the strong.

Positive Fallout

Most within our ranks seem to have missed one significant “fallout” of the 2008 power shift. Did you know that every time the word “abortion” is featured, the pain within the unhealed heart of the post-abortive individual is triggered?

Because no one can avoid this term in the media, abortion’s wounded are now seeking out recovery programs at a record rate. This is the revival that we have prayed for all these years. Most of us never anticipated that the floodgates of post-abortive individuals seeking healing would come as a direct result of the success of “pro-abortion” legislative efforts!

Because of that “fallout,” these wounded individuals are also privately seeking help from clergy about their pain. These private confessions are educating these unknowing ministers as to the particular agony that has festered within their congregations for many years.

Finally, these quiet confessions are leading pastors to understand to depth and volume of post-abortion pain in their congregations. Churches are contacting Ramah International at an incredible rate, seeking resources and training to begin to help these folks find God’s healing. We are happy to assist in these endeavors.

Reaching the Deeply Wounded

On the opposite extreme are post-abortive people who are digging deeper into their pain, refusing to consider that this word sparks any related agony. These souls can writhe in unexplained turmoil whenever the word abortion is featured. Because they hold onto the belief that their abortion was a good choice, this “unexplained” struggle often leads them to believe they are going crazy. The enemy is having a field day in our nation today. But God remains on His throne with a very specific plan in these recent developments.

Severely wounded PAS individuals who embrace a “never surrender” mindset on abortion rights may actually be empowered by the ongoing use of this term, participating more vehemently in promoting destructive pro-abortion agendas. These internal emotional battles to NOT feel pain requires a great deal of emotional strength. Anger is a close ally in this endeavor. These are the faces on the pro-abortion picket-lines that rage against life-affirming hearts.

When you come in contact with these wounded individuals, I beg you to be compassionate and loving. Embrace the mindset outlined in Proverbs 15:1-3: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

God loves the hardest of hearts and wants to use you to bring them to His saving grace and mercy. We must respond in a Godly manner at all levels of this debate.

One Woman’s Story

I am a woman who made the decision to abort my first child. I was not only a teenager, I was also a Christian. Before God’s love broke through my heart’s wall of denial surrounding this choice, I was very careful to avoid the word “abortion.”

Initially, in an effort to prove to myself that my abortion had been a good decision, I volunteered for a presidential campaign specifically because they support a woman’s right to choose. As a then college student, I agreed to make phone calls encouraging people to vote for them. With a sheet of paper in front of me, I made my first contact with a democratic constituent. Everything went fine until I hit a bullet point near the end of the page. Next to that bullet was the dreaded word, “abortion.”

When I vocalized that word, I immediately short-circuited. Tears filled my eyes and I couldn’t finish the conversation. Afterwards I struggled to understand my reaction. It was impossible for me to then admit that I had done anything wrong in choosing abortion.

Within a few days I was able to put the experience out of my mind. My defense mechanism to avoid anything to do with the word “abortion” was only slightly dented. Upon leaving that campaign office, I felt great relief. Returning to that campaign was out of the question! I realized that the abortion term meant pain. So I diligently worked to avoid reading or speaking that term.

Throughout the following years the word “abortion” grew more powerful in its ability to impact me emotionally. If I saw the word in the newspaper, thoughts of my unborn child were triggered. When the local news addressed anything concerning abortion, my mind would suddenly return to my loss at that abortion clinic. The pain was centered on that word! I hated it and my anger grew in an attempt to keep grief from attacking my heart.

After I got married, my husband and I worked for over a year to get pregnant. As I struggled with infertility, my mind would uncontrollably return to my past abortion experience. Deep inside my heart I was missing the child I would never hold this side of heaven. I was forced to relay my abortion past to my doctor. He would later determine that my difficulty conceiving was probably related to my past abortion. That period in my life, when I had to face the consequences of my choice, led to moments of great depression.

When they placed my second child into my arms, I was overwhelmed by unexpected joy and love for my new child. That love was unexpected and intense. Looking into my son’s face reminded me of my lost child.

While I struggled under the burden of grief over my abortion, I never knew how to find peace. It would take three years, and the birth of my second son, Michael, for my mind to discover that my abortion was the common denominator to my unresolved pain in motherhood.

I remember the orientation program on my first day at Focus on the Family. I was apprehensive of the Christian environment, concerned that if they discovered that I had chosen abortion, I could be fired. Then they showed Dr. James Dobson, founder of that ministry, on a video sharing about his view on abortion. I’ll never forget the moment when he said, “I know I am speaking to many women who have chosen abortion. I want you to know that there is no sin that God can’t forgive. The problem may be you don’t forgive yourself and you may need help in that area.”

Suddenly a wall within my heart was broken down. I felt safe for the first time in many years. I was working in an organization that clearly wouldn’t judge me. The next day I discovered a Focus on the Family booklet entitled “Identifying and Overcoming Post-Abortion Syndrome.” With shaking hands, I opened the resource. It took every ounce of courage I could find!

There it was in black and white. The booklet described the classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder as it related to an abortion experience. Suddenly, I knew the root of many of my heartbreaking apprehensions in life. Empowered by that information, I was able to seek help.

I soon discovered the power of God’s grace and forgiveness through an abortion recovery class at the local pregnancy center. An amazing peace and purpose came upon my life. I have been helping pregnancy centers and abortion recovery programs ever since! God has used me numerous times to spare other women from this pain when they choose life for their unborn children.