“Years ago, I learned what really happened to pre-born babies during the different abortion procedures, and I was just devastated,” says Bernadine Barber, a spoken word poet. Barber uploaded her poem, “Condolences” to YouTube last month and hopes to reach the hearts of women who have experienced the tragedy of abortion.
Barber spoke to Texas Right to Life about what inspired her to write and perform “Condolences.” She calls the work an open letter to women who have undergone abortions. “I wanted to know what could drive women to make such a decision. After a lot of research, I learned that most women made the decision out of desperation, not empowerment. If only they had more emotional support from family and friends, if they felt taken care of instead of condemned and abandoned, they would not have made such a decision.”
Barber continued: “I also learned that more than half of all women who’ve had an abortion immediately regret it and deal with depression, addictions, and suicidal thoughts for the rest of their lives. Along with all of that, I read dozens and dozens of stories from these precious women on Abort73.com and it broke my heart even more.”
Barber’s heart for the personal stories of post-abortive mothers has shaped her view of abortion over the years. She also shares that, in a small way, she has experienced the stigma that is cast on young mothers:
“Personally, I am a 25 year-old wife and mother to two toddlers. I have, in a tiny measure, experienced what it’s like to be looked down on simply because I had children very early in my life. Pregnancy, regardless of the circumstances of conception, should never be condemned. When it is, we as a society are putting that child’s life in jeopardy because people (even strangers, or worse, family members), look at that precious baby bump and treat it as a curse and nothing more.”
Barber’s Christian faith inspires her to be a voice – not only for the voiceless preborn, but also for their mothers, who are so often robbed of the freedom to share openly their anguish following an abortion. The so-called “women’s rights” movement insists that abortion is liberating and wonderful.
But Barber knows that, sometimes, the mothers who chose abortion are stigmatized into silence by the very movement that claims to liberate them. “I pray that with God’s help, I was able to put into words what these women may not be able to fully express. I hope that I have put myself in their shoes and could also share with them the Truth of Jesus’ redeeming work and the freedom that comes from His relentless Love. This poem was not written without the shedding of tears. I pray that they could feel God’s undying love for them and their sweet babies.”