Actress Amy Brenneman’s new video about her abortion experience should be both heartbreaking and revealing to pro-life advocates.
The actress has repeatedly and openly defended aborting her unborn child, and advocated for pro-abortion causes. In a 2016 column for “Cosmopolitan,” Brenneman described her abortion in detail.
She was 21 at the time and a junior in college. She said her boyfriend was loving and supportive, and they were using birth control; but she became pregnant anyway. Immediately, she said she knew she wanted an abortion.
“I have never, not for one moment, regretted my abortion,” she wrote in 2016.
In a new video for the “Lives of Women” series, Brenneman said she received a lot of criticism and hatred online after she shared her story in Cosmo.
“I’d actually been public about having had an abortion about 10 years ago, but that was pre-social media,” she said. “Now, in the age of Twitter and Facebook, I was trolled pretty viciously.”
The former “Judging Amy,“Private Practice” and “NYPD Blue” actress said the comments hurt her deeply. Eventually, she said she found a “pro-choice” church that helped support her through the rough time.
“In my church, we are prayerfully pro-choice, which means that we believe in the moral agency of women,” Brenneman said. “I think a woman’s moral agency means that she has autonomy over herself to decide what is right for her body and decide what’s right for her fetus.”
The problem is that some choices are wrong, and violence against children, born and unborn, is one of them. Choosing to have an unborn baby, a “fetus,” killed in a violent, brutal abortion never is right for that child or the mother. Most Judaeo-Christian groups condemn abortion because it is an act of deadly violence against a human being created in the image of God.
But pro-lifers also should take note of what else the actress said in the short video.
“I’m never going to win those pro-life people over,” she said. “They hate me, and they say horrible things about me …”
Those words should make every pro-lifer think about the attitude when they talk about or to a woman who has had an abortion. Brenneman turned to an abortion-supporting church, supposedly because she felt hated by pro-life Christians.
It’s hard not to ask “what if” in the actress’s situation. What if, instead of the abortion-supporting church, Brenneman had found a pro-life church that welcomed her and told her that, though aborting her unborn child was wrong, she is loved and can be healed and forgiven. Many post-abortive women have been in the same situation as Brenneman and have found healing and love in Christian congregations. Today, these women are some of the strongest leaders in the pro-life movement because the pro-lifers in their lives showed them forgiveness and compassion. And these women work tirelessly to help other women and their babies avoid that same pain of abortion.
Maybe a loving pro-life church or individual did reach out to Brenneman, but she rejected them because they would not validate her “choice” to have her unborn baby killed. There’s no way of knowing. But her statements should be a reminder to pro-lifers that we must work hard to be a movement of compassion. Pro-lifers must condemn the violence of abortion against unborn babies, but we also must strive to provide forgiveness and compassion to post-abortive women who are hurting.