Mothers in particular, but also Fathers (depending on their role in the abortion) suffer the immediate impact of the abortion. Mother’s and Father’s Days allow us to focus in a special way on the unique experience of abortion loss suffered by the parents of unborn children, and the personal costs and effects on marriage and family life. Mother’s and Father’s Day can be a painful and confusing time for many because it touches on a core issue of denial and repression of this loss…the rejection of the unique motherhood/fatherhood of that unborn child who is missing from the family celebration.
In order to put the abortion event behind them, parents shut down their feelings and repress them deep into the unconscious. Some women and many men have the capacity for a time to successfully dissociate from this painful violation of the heart, soul and body and on the surface function quite well.
Others are less well-defended against the onslaught of emotions and memories from the procedure. This is especially true of men powerless to stop an unwanted abortion and women who feel ambivalent or felt great pressure to abort. These mothers and fathers experience the immediate symptoms of complicated grief and trauma…often in isolation. Depression and anxiety/ sleep disturbance/ suicidal thoughts/ relationship instability/ promiscuity/ sexual dysfunction/ addictions of all kinds and psychosomatic and auto immune disorders all are ways that the abortion wound is calling attention to the lost child and the pain and grief that is being repressed and denied. This is also related to the unfolding traumatic fallout after the procedure.
The repression and disconnection from the abortion event establishes a very powerful psychological division within the mother but also the father as well. Psychological survival after participating in the death of an unborn baby requires a parent to rationalize that we made the right decision…for ourselves and the child. Friends and family often confirm this denial and the dismissal of any feelings of regret or pain with comments such as: Now you can get on with your life. One day you can welcome a baby into this world when you are ready to start a family.
However without an integrated emotional and spiritual healing of an abortion loss, denial after abortion means you will never be a whole and integrated person. You may be a decent, caring, loving individual with many wonderful gifts and qualities…but you will remain in the deepest recesses of your heart and soul…deeply wounded.
Another way to understand this: If you remain disconnected in your heart and soul from the emotional and biological truth of what has been lost and your intimate and eternal connection to that child, it is natural that there will be a negative impact on emotional and medical health and one’s personal relationships.
For more information about Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion campaign, to hear testimonies, prayers, sermons, and interviews:
Yes, Mother’s Day can be a hard day. But it can also be a day for women with abortion loss to celebrate being mothers. So many women who have had abortions, and have no living children, never thought of themselves as mothers…until after a healing program like Rachel’s Vineyard. Even someone like me who does have a living son, after doing my Rachel’s Vineyard retreats, Mother’s Day became a day for me to honor and celebrate my three aborted children & one miscarried. So, now I have five children that I rejoice in.
Jesus shares with us the source of this hope:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. John 14:1-4
Leslie Davis Blackwell is the Virginia co-coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, sharing her own testimony of regret for having two abortions. A self-described reformed radical feminist, Leslie supported pro-choice causes for over 20 years before her heart dramatically changed. She now works tirelessly for the lives of the unborn. For more information about post-abortion healing and the Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion campaign, please contact:
Leslie Davis Blackwell, VA Regional Co-Coordinator, Silent No More Awareness Campaign
Sanctity of Human Life