Group Gives Women Plants to Take Home After Their Abortions: “Bring One Life Home”

National   |   Stacy Trasancos   |   Jan 21, 2014   |   2:11PM   |   Washington, DC

Sometimes words reveal more than they are meant to. When I read the testimonials from the charitable organization Plants for Patients (P4P) I sense a ghostly sadness. P4P hands out plants to abortion patients, succulents because they are “incredibly adaptable” and “come in a vast array of colors and shapes” like the women who experience abortion.

The succulent plants are growing in tiny hand-made planters made specially by a ceramic artist. The organization is neither pro-life nor pro-choice, but pro-compassion, offering gifts to women after abortion to show “love and empathy” not “shame and hate.” Why plants? Because scientific research has shown a connection between plants and healing, and the women need to heal, body and soul.

plantTo offer these suffering women a hand-made gift of life is surely compassionate, but it is a gift passed over in a fog of despair, symbolizing a crestfallen longing for a truth behind the appearances. Maybe these plants do not help in the long run as much as P4P hopes.

One woman wrote: “The ability to care for anything provides a woman with a sense of control and empowerment. It reminds me that I can be a kind and nurturing person.” Why didn’t someone tell her that motherhood is empowering and that she was the most important nurturing person to her child? Another woman wrote, “I feel that the plant will keep me from wondering and that I can care and love the plant as mere memorial.” But a memorial is a symbol of wondering; the life growing in the delicate ceramic pot will be a reminder of the fragility of the life that was in her womb. Another, “…even though one life may not be able to continue, you give the opportunity to bring one life home.” These are muffled pleas for love. “Perhaps to some, the plant is a tribute to the possibility of the life they decided against.”



While P4P aims to change the abortion conversation, it seems there is something primal and obvious already being spoken. Mothers need their babies and babies need their mothers, a natural law written and engraved in the soul of each and every one. Our society has planted the wrong message in the minds of young women, a message that will be all to clear, all too late. I wonder if the artists and donors ever thought about these women years later, sitting alone with a plant—a living, growing, but inanimate, unloving thing. Let’s work to inspire a love for the gift of life in pregnant mothers, before they become abortion patients. Note: Stacy Trasancos, Ph.D. is a scientist turned homemaker raising seven children with her husband in Massachusetts. She  just completed a M.A. in Dogmatic Theology.