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What is the effect of an abortion on the grandparents? On the siblings?

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I recall the inaugural occasion on which I attended a workshop in which the presenter discussed the impact of abortion on the victim’s siblings. This was a considerable time ago. As is the case with the majority of attendees, I had already ensured that the emotional and psychological impact on men who had fought unsuccessfully to save their children was included in my discussions.

But siblings?

I subsequently read a compelling piece written by Theresa Bonopartis that delved into a hitherto unexplored aspect of this phenomenon: how surviving children who had learned about a lost sibling may seek to “protect” their parents who were unaware that their children were aware of this information.

Surviving children may feel a responsibility to keep the secret and support their parents for a variety of reasons. One may be to protect the parent from harm and hurt, another may be the fear of being rejected by someone they knew would protect them, but then find out they were involved in another sibling’s death. It is all very confusing and they are often afraid to make their feelings known.

It is therefore unsurprising that when I read abortion leaders stating that the loss of a family member is a “no big deal” when their children learn of this, I am left with a sense of disbelief.

Recently, all four of our grandchildren visited our residence. Fortunately, we are able to see them frequently. As we assume the role of grandparents, it becomes evident that the impact of abortion on grandparents is seldom, if ever, discussed.

It is necessary to consider the circumstances of this situation, which is arguably the most excruciatingly painful one that could be imagined. Your grandchild is on the verge of being obliterated by the very child you had hoped and prayed would be raised to honour life, even—and perhaps especially—in the challenging times. To be frank, it is difficult to imagine the horror and the utter sense of helplessness that would be experienced in such a situation.

I have previously published three articles about an unnamed grandmother who shared her experiences with Amanda Cable of the Daily Mail. The informant was designated as “Gladys.”

The loss of an unborn child’s life represents the pinnacle of tragedy. The impact of the loss on the mother is not explicitly delineated, although it is implied that she was never the same again. Nevertheless, the death of a large unborn foetus at 23 weeks gestation had a profound impact on the grandmother.

Despite her previous actions and statements, including her willingness to raise the child with her husband, Gladys comes to believe that her daughter will have an abortion, either alone or at an abortion clinic if necessary.

With a sense of profound sadness and a heavy heart, she accompanied her daughter reluctantly. The young girls, visibly distressed, gathered around Gladys, seeking protection and guidance. Despite the circumstances, she remained by her daughter’s side.

Subsequently, her daughter exhibited a profound and enduring change in her demeanor. The memory of the infant remained with the mother and her parents. The traumatic incident was re-enacted when Gladys’ daughter-in-law went into premature labour at 26 weeks.

“Sitting by Megan’s incubator with my son and family, I happened to glance at the baby next to us. It was a tiny red wreck, struggling for life, its body a mass of tubes and wires.

‘How old was this baby when she was born?’ I asked a passing nurse. Only 24 weeks, but she’s a real fighter,’ she replied.

“I stared at the baby’s chest moving in and out and realised it was the same age as Susie’s baby. I felt physically sick.

Outside, in the corridor, I burst into tears.

“My family assumed I was worried about my premature baby. Only my husband knew that I was crying for the baby who had not survived.

Ultimately, Gladys posits that if her narrative can persuade even one family to seek counselling and to be prepared for the reality of abortion, then she has fulfilled her purpose in speaking out. The term “counselling” is used to describe the information that was not provided by the abortion clinic, namely an explanation of what to expect during the procedure.

However, counselling would not alter the fundamental reality of abortion. The act would still be brutal, unloving, and (in the case of this infant) inflicted on a child capable of experiencing the excruciating pain of being torn limb from limb.

It is a tragedy for all those involved, but most of all for the infant.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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