by Cheryl Krichbaum
Among post-abortive women, those who emerge from the experience with a pro-choice viewpoint seem to be more vocal than those who regret their abortions and become pro-life. We can’t help wondering why.
Post-abortive women are those who have had at least one abortion. Those who are pro-choice often attempt to justify their abortion. We’ve seen so many of them using the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion– and doing exactly that kind of shouting all over social media. If their sheer vociferousness is enough to convince us that they represent the majority, it can seem like most women are just fine after an abortion.
But not all women who have had abortions feel it was the right choice. Many post-abortive women are pro-life because they know personally the devastation of abortion, not just as it affects the baby but in terms of the toll it takes on themselves.
More and more, we’ve been hearing from celebrities who have chosen abortion. We read comments from post-abortive, pro-choice women on social media. Although the pain is often evident in their eyes, they “shout their abortion” in an effort to make it seem normal and necessary.
I used to be them. I had an abortion when I was seventeen. I became vocal in the pro-choice movement because I had to justify my “choice.”
Once I became a true believer in Christ and realized that I had done wrong, I repented. God reminded me of Psalm 51:7—I was now white as snow! I learned to be quiet about my story, nevertheless, because some Christians didn’t see me as white as snow. They didn’t know how to react to my big sin. They didn’t know what to say. Feeling that I was getting the Christian cold shoulder, I stopped speaking up.
Could that be why so many post-abortive, pro-life women are remaining silent? The shouting of post-abortive, pro-choice women is far louder than that of the few post-abortive, pro-life women who are also speaking up. Yet among the millions of post-abortive women and men, many deeply regret their abortions. They long to tell other women and men not to abort, but they are silent, hiding and hurting.
In recent years, the Lord has called me to speak boldly–not to hold back, but to raise my voice like a trumpet (Is 58:1). Now I am completely healed and tell my story without hiding the truth because I want to save other women from the death our spirits feel when we abort (Ps 51:10-11). As a result, women often contact me to confide that they also have had abortions and that they are devastated by the current trend of “shouting your abortion” in our country. They want to speak up, but they are afraid–as I once was.
Groups like Silent No More have been encouraging women to speak up about abortion regret for years because it’s important that people hear the psychological and spiritual effects that often happen after an abortion. But we need more. What we need is a trumpeting chorus of post-abortive, pro-life women and men speaking boldly (Is 58:1) about the devastation of abortion on women and men (Ez 33:5). Millions of women have aborted, as many as 38% with the influence, approval, or outright coercion from their babies’ fathers (Care-Net 2016). Can you imagine the power of testimony from each of the women and men who deeply regret their “choice”? What a beautiful sound that would be!
Perhaps then women and men—of every age, since everyone 64 and younger has known Roe v. Wade their entire adult lives—will choose life and abstinence outside of marriage (Matt 5:21-32). Most importantly, perhaps they will choose Christ (Ps 51:13, Rom 6:23, Rom 5:8).
How can we support post-abortive, pro-life men and women? One way is by our responses to them. If you aren’t sure what to say to a woman who had an abortion or a man who supported an abortion, try saying things like this:
- “I’m so glad that you are in the body of Christ” (Col 3:14-16), or “I’m so glad that you have chosen to be adopted by God” (John 1:12-13).
- “Have you taken a post-abortion healing class? There’s one through my church or through the local crisis pregnancy resource center.” (Search for one near you on the care-net.org website today so that you can name a resource center near you whenever the need arises.)
- “I support you in speaking boldly against abortion” (Is 58:1, Ps 51:13), or “I support you in speaking the truth in love about abortion” (Eph 4:15).
- “May you always know the love of our Father no matter what mere humans say” (Prov 18:21, Matt 7:1-5, Luke 6:31).
Guest writer Cheryl Krichbaum is the author of the Faces of Abortion series of books, which give voice to those who are post-abortive and pro-life. Interviews for her second and third books You can find her first book, ReTested, featuring an endorsement by “Unplanned” movie protagonist Abby Johnson, at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Interviews for her second and third books have begun. Connect with her at facesofabortion.com.