April is Abortion Recovery Awareness Month, and in the movement to provide healing after abortion, we have been taking extra steps these last few weeks to help the public understand more deeply the multi-faceted, and multi-generational, wounds abortion causes as well as the opportunities for forgiveness and healing that are available.
These wounds are physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, and community-wide, and the healing has to occur in all of those arenas as well.
Also, our society is starting to understand more and more that beyond the primary victim of abortion, the baby, and beyond the pain of the mom and dad, wounds are inflicted on grandparents, siblings, friends, the abortionists, the pro-life people who try to save these babies, and our whole society. There is a wider circle of victims than the slogan “this is between a woman and her God” would have us believe.
This increased awareness on the part of our movement and, to a certain extent, the wider public, has helped to shape the current Dobbs case at the Supreme Court. Mississippi, in explaining to the Supreme Court the reasons for passing its law protecting babies from 15 weeks forward – reasons that the lower courts simply ignored because 15 weeks is before viability – pointed out that abortion causes serious harm to women. Far from serving women, abortion does the opposite, and nearly 50 years of legal abortion in America has caused us to learn this the hard way, and made it clearer than ever before.
The argument is that along with the fact that it is based on a total lack of Constitutional grounding, has proven unworkable, has been overtaken by scientific, legal and cultural developments, and is not something women need to advance in society, Roe v. Wade has caused untold serious damage – moral, physical, psychological, and legal.
Are the courts aware of the damage abortion does to women?
In 2007, in its decision Gonzales v. Carhart, upholding the law protecting babies from partial-birth abortion, the Court did say, “it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained. … Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow.” The Court called abortion “a decision so fraught with emotional consequence.”
Since 2003, right from the steps of the Supreme Court, women and men, grandparents and siblings, friends and former abortionists have testified publicly to those emotional consequences as part of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign’s gathering which has become an integral part of the events marking the conclusion of the March for Life each January.
So yes, the Justices have heard the voices of regret, and those voices have been formally submitted to the court in the form of amicus briefs in many abortion cases, including the Dobbs case, by groups like Priests for Life (on behalf of Silent No More), the Moral Outcry, Good Counsel Homes, Concerned Women for America, and more.
Abortion Recovery Awareness Month, in other words, accomplishes different goals all at once. Helping people understand the harm abortion brings helps them make sense of their lives, because to suffer the wounds of abortion is not necessarily to recognize them as caused by abortion. That recognition is part of the healing, and once people connect the dots, they can address the cause of their pain more directly through ministries like Rachel’s Vineyard.
Also, a greater awareness of abortion’s wounds equips everyone – pregnancy centers, sidewalk counselors, parents and friends – to more effectively guide others away from abortion.
But the multiple goals of this annual month of awareness also include legal and judicial goals, because the awareness that is generated also influences lawmakers and judges. The law, and the courts, are supposed to protect. And that job is done best by those who know what the people have to be protected from.
Let’s continue to work and pray that the Dobbs decision will usher in a new wave of protection, both for babies in the womb and for everyone else whom abortion devastates. And along with that protection, let a new level of healing begin!
For more information on the Dobbs case, its briefs and arguments, and for a national prayer campaign, visit www.SupremeCourtVictory.com.
For more information on Abortion Recovery Awareness Month, visit www.WhatFollowsAbortion.com.