Mother’s Day is supposed to be a joyous occasion, a celebration of the women who raised and cared for us. For women who have had abortions, however, it can be quite the opposite.
Some post-abortive women find Mother’s Day painful because it is a reminder of their unborn children. Others find little meaning in the holiday at all.
Mic editor Jenny Kutner recently interviewed four such women who told her that Mother’s Day didn’t have any special meaning to them. Kutner, who wrote about her own abortion two years ago, said she never really considered herself to be a mother.
“The truth is, it never occurred to me to think of my abortion on Mother’s Day …” she wrote. “That does not make me callous; it just means I’ve never felt an early, unintended, unwanted pregnancy made me a mother.”
Several of the other post-abortive moms told Kutner similar things. Shawanna, who had an abortion and a miscarriage, said she felt attached to her miscarried child but not her aborted one. When she became pregnant for a third time, she said she immediately felt attached to that child, the son she is now raising.
“With the two procedures I had, even though I miscarried one, I still don’t look at it as me having a child before having my son,” Shawanna said. “I don’t believe I’m a parent to any other child but the one I have now.”
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Rebecca said she had mixed emotions when she aborted her “unwanted pregnancy.” Her unborn child was diagnosed with heart defects, which prompted her to have the abortion. Still, to her, Mother’s Day is about her and her born children.
“I don’t think about my kids on Mother’s Day; I just think about me,” Rebecca said. “What we’re really fighting for is the autonomy to make these decisions. It’s not about the fetus or potential life, but about our ability to control our destinies.”
Nicole Russell, a senior contributor to The Federalist, pointed out how feelings dominate these women’s stories rather than facts. Biologically, these women are mothers of aborted children, even if they do not realize it, she said.
In response to Kutner, Russell wrote: “Further, if a woman isn’t carrying a human being before she aborts it and pregnancy doesn’t make her a mother, why are we even discussing abortion in relation to Mother’s Day? It doesn’t matter if a woman feels like she is a mom while carrying her child in utero pre- or post- abortion; she is.”
That fact is exactly what makes Mother’s Day so painful for post-abortive women who recognize that they are mothers of dead babies. No longer in denial, they grieve their unborn babies’ lost lives and the decision they made to abort them.
Russell offered words of hope to women experiencing pain on Mother’s Day because of an abortion:
You are a mom, and your choice does not change that; but neither do you need to live buried underneath a mound of guilt and shame. To the women who are trying to justify an abortion—or, worse, applauding, parading, or encouraging abortions—on any day, but especially Mother’s Day: Your moral relativism, flimsy excuses, and logical fallacies demonstrate that feminism’s philosophy of pervasive selfishness has left a parade of murdered babies and devastated mothers in its wake.
Help is available to women who are grieving because of a past abortion. Post-abortion programs like RachelsVineyard are helping thousands of women and men find healing and forgiveness after painful abortion experiences.