Kelly Rosati shares in Christianity Today:

… it often seems as if pro-life and pro-justice Christians come from two different planets…

Image result for right to life catholicsA 2012 American Values Survey, revealed the deep divisions in the Catholic Church between those who identify as social justice and right to life Catholics.

It is tragic when we fail to see the fundamental relationship of abortion to the serious problems that impact all of our families, but especially the poor and minorities who have especially high abortion rates in their communities.

While abortion may initially appear to solve the problem of an unplanned pregnancy, the unfolding consequences of the procedure can be devastating for women with a previous history of sexual, emotional and physical abuse.

  • The Shockwaves of Abortion have especially devastated the African American family in the United States.[1] Since 1973, 13 million African American pregnancies have been ended by abortion.
  • If we look at the rate of sexual abuse among Africa Americans, we find a group of women that is especially vulnerable to post abortion complications. Statistics reveal that 1 in 4 or 3.3 million African American women have been sexually abused.[2]

Image result for abortion traumaThe intimately invasive and painful abortion procedure can be experienced as a traumatic re-enactment of the physical and emotional violation of previous abuse. Abortion creates emotional, spiritual and physical wounds and vulnerabilities that only exacerbate a woman or man’s pre-existing trauma.

After the abortion these women may experience a powerful resurgence of symptoms; addictions, impulsive acting out in relationships, episodes of rage, anxiety, depression, self-injury, nightmares and difficulty sleeping.

These symptoms can contribute to problems parenting their living children.  Women are left more vulnerable to ongoing exploitation, dysfunction and abuse in their relationships.

We know that this instability and dysfunction in relationships leads to breakdown in family life, leaving women and their children vulnerable to predatory relatives, partners and friends.   Economic and social problems are closely connected to family instability and dysfunction.

The cycle continues; more abuse, more trauma, more abortions, more death.

Breaking the Cycle of Death

Abortion prevention and abortion healing – if possible after the initial abortion – is essential to help break dysfunctional patterns in the lives of the poor (keep in mind repeat abortions make up close to half of all procedures – with higher repetition rates among minorities.)

Image result for abortion healingThe emotional and spiritual recovery process helps to significantly reduce destructive symptoms and behaviors and provide a foundation to build a healthier relationship with God, spouses/partners and living children.

Abortion Healing and Prison Ministry – Reclaiming Lost Fatherhood

Anonymous surveys were taken of prisoners attending chapel services at two maximum security prisons in the W. Palm Beach area.  The surveys revealed that a majority of the men were involved in at least one previous abortion, and that experience had a negative impact on their lives.

Under the leadership of therapist Donna Gardner, prison ministry teams began ministering to men with abortion loss using a support group version of Rachel’s Vineyard along with exercises from the Healing a Father’s Heart bible study.

The healing journey of the inmates has revealed something very important about the interaction of abortion and poverty. This has relevance to men outside the prison walls in our poorest communities where children and young adults are hurt by abusive or absent fathers, sexual and physical abuse, and divorce.

– In an abortion healing journey the men repent of their role in the child’s death and restore their fatherly relationship with the aborted child or children.  They invite the Holy Spirit into the dark wounds of their own father wounds.

– As they address their abortion wounds men learn on a deep and intimate level how to grieve in a healthy way.

The abortion recovery experience empowers these men to begin to let go of the rage and unhealthy behaviors that were the only way of coping with their pain in the past.

They are restored and strengthened as men and fathers.

Consider the potential for healthier families if Churches, social workers, and health care professionals, as well as political leaders in our poorest communities, would see the benefit of abortion recovery programs for their congregations.

[1] According to the Census Bureau, the rate of abortions in 2006 among black women was 50 per 1,000, compared with 14 for white women and 22 for “other” women. In New York City, 6 out of every 10 unborn African Americans are aborted.

[2] Robin D. Stone.  No Secrets No Lies: How Black Families Can Heal from Sexual Abuse.  Harmony (March 8, 2005)