In this beautiful month of May as we celebrate our mothers, why introduce the painful and contentious topic of abortion? Mother’s Day is actually the perfect time to look at this issue, but with a fresh perspective – through the lens of the physiology of motherhood.
The pro abortion movement has been successfully programming our society for many years to see abortion as a private personal decision. A woman, who bears the physical responsibility of carrying a child, must have exclusive control over her body and decisions about pregnancy and parenting.
My body – My Choice – Right?
It is an indisputable physiological truth that when a woman conceives a child, her body begins a process of change that will enable her to welcome and nurture this new life. The disruption of menstruation, the increase in pregnancy hormones, morning sickness and other signs are the body’s way of shouting out…congratulations…you are a mom! The female body is not ambivalent and certainly is not pro choice about a conceived pregnancy. A woman’s body is naturally pro-life.
It is certainly true that many pregnancy situations are marked by anxiety, stress, pressure and even coercion to abort. Yet regardless, the body will carry on with its job to protect and nurture the developing child. The only exception would be if the unborn child for whatever reason does not thrive. But even in these cases, a mother will experience the painful, but natural process of miscarriage.
However humans are not simply bodily creatures, but persons with minds and souls. If there is anxiety and fear about the pregnancy, there can be a struggle to emotionally accept and bond with the child. Parents of unborn children can turn to the medical procedures developed to disrupt this natural process. Since 1973 in the U.S. there have been over 55 million legal abortions.
Abortionists use a variety of medical techniques to sever the connection of the unborn child to the body of its mother. The cervix does not want to open to the abortionist so the physician must forcibly pass through the protective operculum (mucus plug) and enter the womb to suction out or dismember the developing fetus; the cervix and womb naturally fight to hold on to and protect the child. In chemical abortions, the woman’s body is flooded with hormones leading to a traumatic rejection of the developing child.
How can you participate in an aggressive disruption of a very natural and complex biological process and not expect some physical and emotional complications? The post abortion reality is very different from the propaganda we are fed by the media, health care and mental health professionals and “reproductive rights” organizations. This is anything but a natural and benign event.
In the same way a woman or man facing an unplanned pregnancy can ignore the biological reality and reject their motherhood/fatherhood, women and men can remain in denial for many years about their abortion loss and minimize the pain this has caused in their lives. There are those that will claim that their abortion was a positive and empowering experience. For some women and men, on the surface, there may truly be a sense of relief and empowerment about their abortion. Many years in post abortion ministry teach us that even in cases where only positive outcomes are presented, there are often deeper feelings and memories that have not been allowed to surface.
A Dwelling Place of Hope and Healing
As we celebrate Mother’s and in June Father’s Day, most of those that have participated in abortion decisions and procedures know the truth; abortion is anything but a simple matter of personal choice. The Shockwaves of abortion have far reaching effects beyond the mother impacting fathers, siblings, grandparents and other relatives and friends who have been part of the abortion decision and procedure.
For moms with living children, as they are honored with those precious home-made cards and a breakfast in bed they are reminded that a child (or children) is missing from their celebration. They can feel (with varying levels of awareness) guilt, grief and shame because they participated in the death of another little one who will not share in the joy of that day. These feelings may be disconnected from the actual abortion event. But symptoms such as depression, anxiety and insomnia can surface, triggered by the special focus around this holiday on motherhood. For those who struggle with infertility (which can be directly related to a previous abortion procedure) this day can be especially painful. Mothers can be tormented by the tragic choice to abort their only opportunity to love, nurture and parent a child.
But even in these tragic cases, death and despair do not have the last word. In a healing program like Rachel’s Vineyard, parents can reconcile this loss and develop a spiritual relationship with their child as they go through the grieving and recovery process of the weekend. The children lost to abortion can now be welcomed into their family and be remembered with love on Mothers/Fathers Day. While there may still be a sense of natural grief, there is no longer despair. Parents now have the living hope, rooted in the death and resurrection of Christ, of one day being united in Heaven with their precious child/children.
Susan Swander is a Rachel’s Vineyard team member in Oregon. She shares this very beautiful reflection as a mother and reveals the fruit that awaits any mother or father that has the courage to repent and heal of their abortion loss:
-Yes, Mother’s Day can be a hard day. But it can also be a day for women with abortion loss to celebrate being mothers. So many women who have had abortions never thought of themselves as mothers, if they didn’t have any living children, until after a healing program like Rachel’s Vineyard. And even someone like me who does have a living son, after doing my Rachel’s Vineyard retreats, Mother’s Day became a day for me to honor and celebrate my three aborted children & one miscarried. So, now I have five children that I rejoice in.-
Jesus shares with us the source of this joyful hope:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. –John, 14
A blessed Mothers Day to all mothers and eternal peace and joy to those now with the Lord.
-Kevin Burke, MSS
A Special thanks to Susan Swander for her contribution and editing assistance.