Abortion is like no other medical procedure. No matter what the abortion industry wants us to believe, it’s always a tragedy. Here is my dos and don’ts advice for you if your friend tells you she had one. (Note: this blog post is neither about minimizing the truth or stigmatizing women. It’s about reality and compassion).
- Do remember to love the sinner*
- Do listen to her
- Do tell her that she is not alone
- Do show empathy
- Do tell her about post-abortion recovery programs
- Do be silent when necessary
- Do walk away if you are upset
- Don’t judge her
- Don’t ask her if she was using contraception
- Don’t assume it was all about *choice*
- Don’t tell her that she should have known better
- Don’t torture her with “what if…”
- Don’t ask too many questions
- Don’t try to make her say something to justify your anger
Abortion is based on a lie and your friend has been lied to. No one in their right mind, knowing what abortion does and its consequences, having other alternatives, desires to destroy their own child (also abortion is often coerced and unwanted).
If you are a Pro-Lifer and she is not, chances are she isn’t going to show the feelings of regret that you expect (even though she might feel it).
She might say:
“It was the best choice for me based on my circumstances” or
“I’m so angry at him/myself/my parents/society” or perhaps:
“What have I done?”
In any case, keep in mind that we, post-abortive women are good at rationalizing. Also, you can’t force someone to feel a certain way if they are not “there” yet.
Healing starts with facing the fact that a child died but your friend doesn’t need graphic images or “how could you be so selfish?” speeches right now. Aborted women have complicated, self-destructive emotions that I can’t start to describe but I want to protect them from further destruction. This is the time for empathy, not condemnation. Also, we torture ourselves enough, trust me.
Jesus forgives, yes! But is your friend ready to hear it? If you think so, you may direct her to a pastor (Catholics: Sacrament of reconciliation) or you can contact a Silent No More regional coordinator so she can speak to someone who *feels* forgiven.
I hope one day all of us are healed from abortion as individuals, as communities, as the human family. In the meantime, be the light to someone.
*Love the sinner, hate the sin attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo