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What is the impact of an abortion on the grandparents? What about their siblings?

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I recall attending a workshop many years ago where the presenter discussed the impact of abortion on grandparents. As the grandfather of five grandchildren, I am acutely aware of the impact this issue has on me and my family.

I also remember attending the first NRLC convention workshop that opened my eyes to the impact on the unborn victim’s siblings.

I subsequently read a powerful piece written by Theresa Bonopartis who probed an aspect of that dimension I would otherwise never had considered: how surviving children who had learned about a lost sibling may seek to “protect” their parents who were unaware that their children knew.

It is common for children who have survived a traumatic event to feel a sense of responsibility to keep the secret and support their parents for a variety of reasons. One reason may be to protect the parent from harm and hurt. Another may be the fear of being rejected by someone who was previously a source of protection, but who then participated in the death of another sibling. It is a complex and emotionally charged situation, and it is not uncommon for children to be reluctant to express their feelings.

When I read abortion leaders stating that it is of no consequence when their children learn that a family member has passed away, I am compelled to express my dismay.

Recently, all five of our grandchildren visited our house. (We are fortunate to see them frequently). As we assume our roles as grandparents, we have come to understand that the impact of abortion on grandparents is rarely discussed.

Please consider the following scenario: Your grandchild is about to be obliterated by the very child you’d hoped and prayed you’d raised to honour life, even—especially—in the tough times. To be frank, I am unable to comprehend the horror and the overwhelming sense of helplessness.

I have previously written on three occasions about an unnamed grandmother who shared her experience with Amanda Cable of the Daily Mail. The subject was referred to as “Gladys.”

The loss of a foetus is undoubtedly the most tragic outcome of an abortion. The impact on the mother is not specified, although it is revealed that she was never the same again. However, the death of a large unborn baby at 23 weeks gestation had a significant impact on the grandmother.

Despite her previous actions and statements, including her willingness to raise the child, Gladys is convinced that her daughter will have an abortion, either by herself or at an abortion clinic.

With a heavy heart, she accompanied her daughter reluctantly. The young girls, visibly distressed, sought comfort from Gladys, who remained by her daughter’s side throughout the ordeal.

Following the incident, her daughter’s demeanor underwent a significant shift. The memory of the child remained with the family. The incident was brought back to mind when Gladys’ daughter-in-law went into premature labour at 26 weeks.

I was seated by Megan’s incubator, alongside my son and family, when I happened to glance at the baby next to us. A tiny, red scrap lay fighting for life, her body a mass of tubes and wires.

I enquired of a passing nurse how old the infant was at the time of birth. The nurse informed me that the infant had been born at 24 weeks gestation, but that she was a resilient and determined youngster.

I observed the infant’s chest moving in and out and noted that it was approximately the same age as Susie’s infant. I experienced a physical reaction.

Upon exiting the premises, I was overcome with emotion in the corridor.

“My family assumed that I was concerned about my premature grandchild. “Only my husband was aware that I was crying for the baby who had not survived.”

After all this, Gladys concludes, “If my story persuades just one family to seek counselling – and to be prepared for the reality of abortion – then I believe I have done the right thing by speaking out.” By “counselling,” she means what the abortion clinic did not offer: some explanation of what was to come.

However, counselling would not alter the reality of abortion. The procedure would still be traumatic, unkind, and in the case of this baby, inflicted on a child capable of experiencing the excruciating pain of being torn limb from limb.

It is a tragic situation for all involved, but most of all for the unborn child.


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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