Compassionately reaching out to women who have keenly suffered as a result of their abortions

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Editor’s note. My family will be gone on vacation through August 24. During that span we’ll run prior posts from the past year that remain timely and/or were particularly well-received. We will also add a new story or three as events dictate.

I recently heard a talk by a woman named Patricia Sandoval, and I was once again reminded of the tremendous outreach of the pro-life movement to women who have suffered the indescribable pain of abortion.

At the age of 19, Patricia found herself pregnant. Her boyfriend was actually elated at the news, eager to serve as a father to the baby he already loved.

But Patricia fell under the influence of people who insisted she have an abortion. Shame and guilt drove her to a fateful decision to abort her child.

Two more abortions followed, and Patricia ended up working for Planned Parenthood, who hired her for her bilingual skills. Even though she had no medical training, she was enlisted to perform as a nurse. She was told never to allow a pregnant woman to see an ultrasound screen, because seeing the image of a preborn baby could obviously cause a woman to have second thoughts about abortion.

Sandoval’s life spiraled out of control—she ended up addicted to drugs and homeless. Eventually, Sandoval found her way to a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, which brought her to a place of healing and hope.

Her powerful testimony is contained in the book Transfigured, a story of redemption following the profound despair of working in the abortion industry.

The care with which the pro-life movement reaches out to women who have suffered the loss of a child to abortion demonstrates immense love. Abortion advocates falsely label the pro-life movement as “anti-woman”; the real-life experiences of women like Sandoval show that to be pro-life is to be pro-woman. Sandoval did not find comfort working for an abortion center. 

She fell into a deeper level of pain. It was only through the efforts of pro-life advocates that she found the strength and courage she needed to deal with the grief from her abortion trauma.

Consider taking some time this week to say thank you to those who compassionately reach out to women who have keenly suffered as a result of their abortions. Their efforts truly are a work of love.