Theresa Bonopartis knows she is not the only woman who struggles when she reads an article or study that implies women do not suffer ill effects after having an abortion.
And she has seen them more frequently in the past few years. Abortion advocates have been ramping up their efforts to normalize abortion through story-telling campaigns that urge women to share how their abortions positively affected their lives, studies from research groups and universities, media reports and more. They want to make the killing of an unborn child seem normal, good and even necessary for women’s success.
At the same time, however, they are silencing a huge group of women – ones who are hurting because they had abortions. Bonopartis is one of them. She had an abortion, and later struggled with pain and regret as she realized what it did to her unborn baby.
In a recent column for The Federalist, Bonopartis described her reaction to a recent study from the University of California, San Francisco that claimed to show that aborting an unborn child did not have a negative impact on women’s mental health.
“The pro-abortion crowd denies any negative effects of abortions and works diligently to remove abortion stigma in an attempt to make abortion an acceptable ‘normal’ act of life,” Bonopartis wrote. “This is their dream study to prove that abortion really is no big deal.”
The reality is very different, as Bonopartis has both experienced and witnessed. She runs Lumina and Entering Canaan, post-abortion healing programs that offer hope and help to people suffering because of abortions in their past.
“Many of us have sought counseling only to be told, as this study does, that our feelings are not from our abortions,” she wrote. “Sadly, we trusted their professionalism and as a result of this lie continued on a road of self-destruction because no one addressed our pain and legitimized our experience.”
We deserve to be heard, and we have a voice, a voice that often is ignored and marginalized. At one time we may not have been able to speak for ourselves because of our wounds, and because society denied our pain. Even today our voices are often drowned out, but we will continue to speak the truth from our experience so we can reach out to those still suffering in silence. These are people I am speaking to in this article.
I can only imagine the emotions that overcame you if you saw this article on the web or the news. I am sure it triggered a host of emotions, not least a feeling of craziness at the denial once again, of your experience with abortion. The message is clear: you are not allowed to feel negative consequences, because according to them there are none. Your feeling must be wrong or come from a different place.
Bonopartis reassured women that their pain is real and their struggles legitimate. She emphasized that there is help and healing for women and men who are struggling because of an abortion in their past. She encouraged them to reach out and find others like her who have been through similar struggles.
“Don’t listen to those who say there is no healing from abortion, and make you feel as though you will be damaged for life,” she concluded. “Will you forget? No. But do you really want to forget your child? Instead, you will be able to look at it in a different way, a way of newfound peace.”
Numerous programs that offer confidential, caring support are available to help individuals who are struggling with a past abortion. Bonopartis’s Lumina and Entering Canaan are among them. Rachel’s Vineyard and Surrendering the Secret are others.
Abortion activists do not like these programs. They do not like stories like Bonopartis’s that show how painful and damaging abortion can be to women, and it’s because they acknowledge the root of the pain: the unnecessary death of an unborn child.