Grief after induced abortion is often more profound and delayed than grief after other perinatal losses. Grief after elective abortion is uniquely poignant because it is largely hidden. The post-abortion woman's grief is not acknowledged by society because the reality of her child's death is not acknowledged. In order to gain her consent for the abortion she has been told that the procedure will remove a "blob of tissue" a "product of conception", or a "pre-embryo." She has been assured that her "problem will be solved" and that she will be able to "get on with her life" as though nothing significant had happened.
Yet the pregnant woman knows by the changes in her body that something very significant is happening to her: her menses have stopped, her breasts are enlarging, she is sick in the morning (or all day long), and she knows that the process which has begun in her will most likely result in the birth of a baby in nine months time if allowed to run its course. She is aware of the expected date of delivery and she has often thought of a name for her baby as she has begun to picture the child as he or she would be at birth (Bonding begins very early in pregnancy.). All of these feelings and fantasies about her pregnancy must be denied in order to undergo an elective abortion. The pregnant woman is asked to deny the fact that she is carrying a child at all!
Theresa Bonopartis relates her true story in her book, Divine Mercy In My Soul:
I could feel the baby thrashing around as his skin and lungs were burned by the saline. He was dying. Labor began. After twelve hours of labor, alone in the room, I gave birth to a dead baby boy.
I looked at his tiny feet and hands. All...
... middle of paper ...
...hat they have committed 'the unforgivable sin' and fear God's anger.
Women who have had an abortion often have many questions, the answers to which are indispensable to beginning the healing journey. Can God ever forgive me? Can my child? Can I ever forgive myself? Will the Church let me stay when I confess this sin? Will this horrible pain ever go away? Is healing possible?
The answer to all these questions is, of course, YES!
Bishops, US Catholic. "Bishops' Official Notes Coverage of Post-Abortion Program." http://www.nccbuscc.org/comm/archives/00-084.htm
Bonopartis, Theresa. Divine Mercy In MY Soul. http://www.hopeafterabortion.org/hope.cfm?sel=C18L
"Stories of Healing." http://www.hopeafterabortion.com/hope.cfm?sel=JHY7
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