The Generation with the Highest Abortion Rates Faces Final Things: A Different Way of Looking at Death, Judgement, and Eternal Separation from God
By Kevin Burke, LSW and Theresa Burke, Ph.D.
November is a month when we remember our beloved dead, yet also meditate on our own personal mortality.
As we await the anticipation of Advent, and Joys of Christmas, November is the perfect time to give attention to some long-neglected areas of life that need reconciliation and healing.
For those who have participated in the death of a preborn child, this can have eternal significance.
The decade of the 1980’s was a period when our nation had the highest abortion rates. The U.S. abortion ratio reached its peak in 1984, with 364 abortions for every thousand live births. The high mark since the legalization of abortion occurred in 1988 with 1,590,800 procedures. 
Many of the young women and men who participated in the death of their preborn children, are entering a time of life when their living children have been raised, becoming “empty-nesters,” and for some, anticipating retirement.
This can be a wonderful time of discovering the joys of grandchildren, and the opportunity to explore new interests and travel. But as the years pass, we also begin to experience the loss of dear relatives and friends, and confront the natural physical losses associated with aging.
For some, this may spark the initiation a deeper examination of one’s life and contemplation on deeper issues of faith, and questions about death and judgement.
Many of the great mystics and theologians of the Church speak of a time immediately following death, when we will experience a review of our lives in the light of God’s love, mercy, but also His justice.
It is tragic that the faith experience for some people featured a steady and abusive stream of messages with a singular emphasis on personal sin, damnation and hell. This reveals a failure to share the compassionate love, mercy and forgiveness of our Heavenly Father, and the joy of the Gospel.
But it is a grave error to shift so far from the sickness of fear-based faith, to abandoning belief in our final judgement and the consequence of eternal separation from God due to persistent, serious sin.
Many people today consider judgement and hell outdated concepts. How can a loving God condemn a person to eternal suffering?
One of the visionaries of the ongoing apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Medjugorje, Mirjana Soldo, wondered the same thing, as she shared in her autobiography, My Heart Will Triumph:
“I asked our Lady, ‘How can God be so unmerciful as to condemn people to Hell for eternity’?
[Mary responded] God does not send people to Hell. They choose to be there…They rage against God and they suffer, but they always refuse to pray.” 
But why would someone choose hell?
We can become deeply attached to our sins, and to the denial and justification for what we have done, and failed to do. There can a prideful failure to examine the need for repentance and healing.
For those who face death still unrepentant of serious sin, the encounter with the light of God’s perfect love, mercy, and justice may be a searing, painful shock that will shake them to the core of their being.
Considering the words of the Blessed Mother to Mirjana, might a person become so attached to their denial, justification, and celebration of sin that they will be repelled by the light and truth of God?
Could such a soul be tempted to shut themselves off from receiving this truth, from accepting the mercy of God that will move them to repentance?
This denial may lead them to reject the invitation to enter into the purgation of their sin so they can, in time, enter the joys of heaven. Others may come to face their sins, but become so overwhelmed by the consequences of their actions that they are tempted by Satan to reject salvation. Souls in such darkness, as the Blessed Mother shared with Mirjana, can choose hell.
It is important to point out that many women and men avoid reconciliation and healing, not because they are in denial of their sin, but because of shame, fear, and self-condemnation.
This points to the value of an abortion healing program to safely open the heart and soul to accept God’s mercy. With the benefit of an emotional and spiritual healing program like Rachel’s Vineyard, participants come to a place where they can embrace their aborted child, now living in the Lord, with love.
Be Not Afraid
For those that reach out in humility to receive the forgiveness and healing mercy of Jesus, there is nothing to fear, in this life, or in death. We are all sinners in need of God’s mercy, healing and forgiveness.
If you have an area of serious sin in your life like abortion, or multiple abortions in your past, or have some direct responsibility in the death of a preborn child (e.g., paying for an abortion, driving a friend to the procedure, encouraging abortion or staying silent when a friend or family member faced an unplanned pregnancy etc.,) don’t let fear keep you from the love and mercy of God.
Even if you are facing a terminal illness, and in your final days, you can still find reconciliation, healing and peace. It is never too late, and Jesus hungers to receive you in his loving embrace.
Remember as Jesus told us, the angels in heaven rejoice when one sinner repents and reconciles with their Heavenly Father.
 O’Bannon, R. (2003). Abortion Statistics and Trends over the Past Thirty Years. NRLC.org
 Mirjana Soldo. My Heart Will Triumph. Pages 149-150