Abortion Makes Mother’s Day a Solemn Occasion for Many Women
by Maria Vitale
May 5, 2008
LifeNews.com Note: Maria Vitale is a LifeNews.com Opinion Columnist and the Education Director of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.
Mother’s Day will be bittersweet in some segments of our nation this year.
For some women, there will be no flowers, no chocolatesjust the painful memory of a child lost forever to abortion.
It may seem incongruous to talk about abortion in connection with Mother’s Day. After all, this is a holiday meant to celebrate the amazing, life-affirming gift of motherhood. Yet, in our schizophrenic society, it’s possible that some women will go in to facilities to have abortions on Saturday and be expected to join in the celebrations of Mother’s Day on Sunday.
I’ve seen the anguished face of a woman reliving the moment of her abortion. It’s a portrait of pain that is indescribable in its torment. At times like that, there will be no abortion facility personnel around to hold the woman’s hand, to treat her post-traumatic stress disorder, to bring her healing and hope.
And abortion is certainly not a rare occurrence in our nation. An estimated 1.2 million abortions occur each year in the U.S. Since 1973, the year that Roe versus Wade was decided, an estimated 50 million unborn children have died as a result of legal abortion.
Abortion has become a major public health problem, in terms of its effects on the health of women. Study after study shows the devastating impact that abortion can have on the physical and psychological well-being of America’s female citizens. For instance, one study shows that one in five women who have had abortions will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorderthe illness most commonly linked with soldiers returning from the battlefront. Research has also shown that post-abortive women are likely to have worse health overall than other women.
As many as 60 percent of women who have had abortions think about suicide. Abortion has been linked with a two-fold increased risk of alcohol abuse, and women who abort are twice as likely to become heavy smokers. Yet, when was the last time you saw a local news segment focused on the harmful health effects of abortion? Have you ever?
Part of the problem is the disinformation campaign waged by the abortion industry. To hear abortion providers tell it, you would think that there are no side-effects from abortion at all. Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion operation, claims abortion is safe but available medical research contradicts such a contention.
The wall of silence surrounding abortion can cause a woman to suffer alone. Following an abortion, there is no wake, no funeral, no graveside service. Women are expected to tough it out in isolation, with no one around to join them in their mourning. The grieving process is heightened by the fact that this was a death which could have been prevented.
The pro-life movement is reaching out to women who regret their abortions. Retreat programs such as Rachel’s Vineyard help post-abortive women to cope with their losses. Women can visit www.rachelsvineyard.org and be put in touch with someone who can share their pain. Women can reclaim their motherhood, naming the babies lost to abortion. They can find consolation in the forgiveness of an all-loving God.
This Mother’s Day, please remember those mothers who never got to see their children’s faces those who were coerced into abortion and those who chose abortion based on misunderstandings and misinformation. Their losses are deep, and their emotional scars can last a lifetime.