Walk with me: A post-abortion journey

By Dave Andrusko

Life gets in the way, but I try as often as I can to carve out time one night during the week to meet with members of my adult Sunday school class. Most of the time, our gatherings are just fun times to get to know each other better.

Recently, however, one of my class asked if I could meet them for morning coffee. I did, not having a clue what they wanted to get together separately.

When we got together a few days later, one look at their face told me this would going to be serious. They wanted to talk about their sister’s abortion.

This is not the first time I have talked with someone about an abortion, theirs or someone close to them. That took place in the late 1970s when over wine and cheese a young woman told me about her multiple abortions, largely (I’m guessing) to see how I would respond. She knew I was very pro-life.

She dropped the fact of her abortions so casually it threw me off-balance. Schooled in how to debate the abortion issue I was new to dealing one-on-one with something who’d actually had an abortion, or, in her case, three. I can only hope and pray what I said was of help to her.

I say all that because that conversation of a couple of weeks back reminded me not only of my first experience navigating the minefield of trying to help a post-abortion woman (or man), but of something I once read and then commented on in this space.

It appeared at postabortionwalk.blogspot.com. The headline was “Postabortion journey, walk with me: A story of hope and healing after abortion.”

Bluntly she informs us, “At the tender age of 17 I walked across this bridge, alone, into Downtown Pittsburgh, with $300 in my pocket that my mother had given me to get an abortion.” You could write volumes just unpacking that one sentence.

As you read the accounts of women reflecting back on a decision they would give anything to take back, often they are grappling with two convictions at war with each other: that God has forgiven them but their own inability to accept that forgiveness. Your heart goes out to them as they tip toe right up to full acceptance of that divine forgiveness but then retreat. At some level they are unable to believe that they can forgiven—or, perhaps more accurately to their way of thinking, should be forgiven.

When I first read the blog entry, it was on a 4th of July which turned out to be the one-year anniversary of when she “began this online journal of my journey.” She told us of how so many people “stumbled” across her blog as they looked for information on a whole host of subjects.

Everything from those “looking for ultrasound pictures and how to tell male from female in utero, and down’s syndrome in utero, and malformations in utero” to those “searching for ways to help a post abortive woman, preaching on abortion, and similar search phrases” to those having trouble conceiving.

As it happens the “odds were certainly against” her becoming pregnant, but she did—three times.

In this July 4th entry she began, “I’m not sure why I’m moved this morning to tell it, maybe because it’s Independence Day and this will be another step toward my independence of the impact this story has on my life today.”

Clearly, as you read subsequent entries, there are still steps to go.

But we can pray for her–and all the other women who suffer from the aftershocks of that tragic decision–that they will each one day feel fully independent.

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