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April 30, 2008

Abortion Changes You

Abortion_changes_you_2 I've been researching this week for BreakPoint a recently launched campaign called Abortion Changes You and a companion book called Changed.

Basically, this is an outreach movement to help those who have been affected by abortion -- whether it's the woman who aborted her child, her partner, her parents, a friend, or other children of the woman who had an abortion. The website www.abortionchangesyou.com offers support, resources, and help in dealing with the grief and pain following an abortion. I've been profoundly moved in reading the book, Changed, which offers many personal stories.

I want to share some excerpts from this book with you over the next few days. Part of my reason for doing so is that it is likely that either you, the reader, or someone you know has been affected by abortion. According to statistics, one in three women in the United States will have had an abortion by the age of 45. Given the web of relationships that each of us exists in, it is likely that most of us have someone close to us who has in some way been involved in a decision to abort.

Often we talk about these things in a purely abstract and theoretical way. But the reality is that there are many hurting people all around us who are ostracized by what has become such a sharply political issue. Bumper stickers and political debates exist in the same world as the hurting woman who regrets her decision, the boyfriend who helped or couldn't stop his girlfriend from aborting their baby, or the child who later learns that he or she will never know a sibling. I think each of us could share this book and site with those in our lives who have been impacted by abortion, or use them ourselves to rekindle the compassion that made us care about this issue in the first place. It can also season our discourse on the subject with proper sensitivity.

Here is the first of several excerpts from the book:

The day after I graduated from eighth grade my mother had an abortion. She raised me to be pro-choice so I really didn't think much about it. Well, not until last year. While my mother was driving me back to college, out of the blue she told me she'd had another abortion while I was growing up. At first I was shocked, then I was appalled, and finally I was angry with her.

I began researching abortion on the Web; and the more I researched the more I came to believe abortion is bad for women. . . . I've spent a lot of time thinking about what it would have been like to have two siblings. I'm angry with my mother that she would abort them--that she would take them away from me. I feel like my life as an only child is a lie.

But I also began to understand why my mother struggles with depression. While I was growing up, there were so many times that her bedroom door would be closed and I could hear her crying in her room. I feel compassion for my mother but at the same time I am angry with her.

I want to repair the damage to our relationship, but first I'd need to share how I feel about her abortions. I'm afraid to do that. I'm afraid I'll hurt her. I'm afraid I'll be too angry to control myself.

--Amber, as told in Changed

(Image © Abortion Changes You)

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"But the reality is that there are many hurting people all around us who are ostracized by what has become such a sharply political issue."

I see this happen in a number of issues. Whether abortion, homosexuality, or some other thing, there is a tendency to treat certain practices as especially vile or else as something to embrace. Neither extreme communicates to those actually suffering with guilt that they, too, are within reach of the cross.

A friend of mine talked about counseling she received years after having an abortion. As part of the healing process, they had her name the baby. That provoked me--that the road to wholeness involved acknowledging the full humanity of the baby. At first I wondered if declaring that you allowed a named baby to die would only increase the shame, but then I remembered that, no, to receive grace you must first acknowledge you need it.


If abortion wasn't legalized, I wonder how many would have gone so far as to seek out an illegal abortion. I believe the numbers would have been significantly less. I pray that America is healed of this horrible sin.

harvey Ward

Its not only siblings that are deprived of brothers or sisters but also grandparents who may die without grandchildren. Ask an elderly person what gives them such joy and the majority will tell you their grandchildren are a source of pleasure and meaning. The generational effect of abortion is strikingly brought home in Francine Rivers novel "The Atonement Child"
My children are fiercely prolife after reading that wonderful story. Another of course with a sound message of Hope is Frank Peretti's novellette "Tilly" which I have shown to friends in our lounge - it is a Kleenexfest mind you but a great source of discussion with unbelievers.
I am delighted their is a groundswell of clear thinking about what abortion really is and Stephanie Gray from CCBR in Canada with her team haas been exemplary with her on campus displays.


The answer is as always God's Law and God's Gospel. We do no one any favors by minimizing the enormity of their sin, but when they do realize that, we need to meet them with the Gospel, and the complete forgiveness of their sin that is available if they will but repent. We must remember to "afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted."

God really does treat some sins as more vile than others. While the wages of sin is death, some sins really are more vile, more abominable, more horrific, than others.


I intend to give my 9 year old son a serious talk about abortion when he gets old enough to notice girls.

BOYS should be made to feel that unwanted kids are their problem, too.

And when my son is old enough to handle the truth, I will tell him - he could have been aborted!

(He was born to an underage teen mother, on the streets, who had had 2 previous kids, and who was on drugs)

Some would have said "Abort the child" but fortunately this young, scared mother did not and I have a great son.


Another note - Males need to feel their equal responsibility.

I suspect that in God's eyes they are equally or even MORE sinful than the mother.

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