by Sherry Crater
February 16, 2009
In the window of the Martin Luther King Library in downtown Washington, D.C., is a sign with a quote from Rev. King, the famous pastor and civil rights leader. It reads, “In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”
For too long, women and men who know better have been silent about the negative effects of abortion on the women and babies who undergo the procedure and on their family and friends. Women in high stress situations of unplanned pregnancies, and the babies they have conceived, have been without the benefit and support of people who could have spoken up about the serious negative after effects of their own abortions or the abortions of women they know. For too long knowledgeable people remained silent while women facing abortion believed the lie that this “product of conception” was just a blob of tissue, only to be told after the abortion that, “It was a boy/girl.”
Perhaps it was hidden guilt, deep shame and emotional pain, private agendas of some sort or fear of being perceived as judgmental. For many understandable reasons, women and men neglected to talk about this very serious issue that has devastated so many lives and killed millions of babies. Women contemplating abortion often believed they would be happier and have more opportunity if they just aborted or got rid of their unwanted baby. However, these same women would have benefited greatly from full disclosure by those who knew that abortion could be a very traumatic experience with potentially serious health and emotional consequences.
Ultrasound, the “window to the womb,” has been a clarifier for many abortion-minded women. But, now many are also being helped by brave women who regret their abortions and have come forward to speak openly about the unresolved grief, depression, feelings of unworthiness, addictions, eating disorders, relational problems and feelings of bitterness that resulted from having an abortion. These women are committed to helping others by being silent no more, and you can find out about some of these women at www.silentnomoreawareness.org. Many pregnancy resource centers around the country, such as Care-Net and Heartbeat International, offer post-abortion recovery groups for women and men seeking to find healing after abortion. Another resource for abortion healing can be found at www.abortionchangesyou.com.
Even those who have not had an abortion can have very helpful input based on what they know about the effects of abortion. When I first realized how important it is to speak up about this difficult subject, I was at a business meeting where one of the young mothers had brought her new baby. Several women were admiring the infant and congratulating the mother when one of the onlookers said, “I’m afraid I will never be able to have a baby. ” When I inquired why she felt that way, she explained that she worked as a counselor at a Planned Parenthood clinic and “just saw a lot that makes me afraid.” In response I simply said,” That’s interesting because if the counselors at Planned Parenthood would encourage girls/women to carry their babies to birth instead of aborting them, there would be babies for women like you to adopt if you could not get pregnant.” Others acknowledged my statement and agreed that what I said made sense. This experience confirmed to me that each of us needs to kindly and carefully speak the truth because it just might really help someone in need. It is fitting that the friends of life are being silent no more on the devastating effects of abortion, but also regarding the hope of healing and adoption.