By Dave Andrusko
What would you think might be the perspective of a woman who wrote a story whose title is “The Abortion I never had”?
I didn’t know either, so, intrigued, I read it. I’m glad I did.
The author begins by talking about a powerful story written by Christina, a woman who did have an abortion. Her account made the author think about her own “scare.”
The headline gives away that she did not have an abortion, but, she tells us, she surely could have. “[A]bortion is what my generation did,” she writes. And while the overall message of her essay on one level is “that could have been me,” there is much more.
What her brief narrative tells us is that when she did become pregnant “back in the day,” she was in what would seem to be a [relatively] stable situation. No ring, but…
“And then we had the scare. The situation quickly became all about him. HE needed to finish school. What would HIS parents think? HE couldn’t find a job to support us and a baby. HE didn’t want to get married then (to me anyway, as I found out later).”
It was a “false alarm,” but that didn’t prevent her from making what she now sees were additional wrong choices.
She tells us in her conclusion
“20/20 Catholic hindsight is like looking at that time in my life as if it were a different universe. My faith has brought me to a new understanding of love, sex, marriage, but especially abortion.
“I was spared the painful experience Christina and others have had. The Lord gave me a gift. At the time, I didn’t realize it or appreciate it, but I do now.”
There are many, many reasons pro-lifers do not, could not condemn women who have had abortions. We understand the pressures they were under; we understand that many times they are their own harshest critics; condemnation helps no one; and, of course, because our message is one of love and hope and forgiveness.
And we also know that unless we’ve walked in someone’s shoes we can’t know the pressures they were under, the strength of character it would require to say No to those who counsel death and to say Yes to Life.