By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
Whenever I contemplate the effect of abortion on women, I think of a friend I will refer to as “Jessica.”
A boyfriend pressured Jessica into an abortion when she was a young teenager. She felt she had no say in the matter, and she believed she was powerless.
Years after that tragic event, she firmly believes that if a single person had supported a decision for life on the day of abortion, her baby would not have died.
A noteworthy national poll bears that out. The survey of post-abortive women indicated that the vast majority of respondents would have decided against abortion if just one person had offered support. Just one!
Jessica has now dedicated her life to being that “one person.” I have lost count of the number of women and children she has helped through her outreach.
And Jessica is far from alone now. Many, many women who have had abortions are channeling their pain into positive action, trying to assist other women facing challenging pregnancies. A number of post-abortive women have key leadership roles in the pro-life movement, demonstrating that the movement is incredibly empowering for women.
Meanwhile, with research showing as many as 60% of abortions are coerced, it is more important than ever to show pregnant women in difficult circumstances that they do, indeed, have options other than abortion. Women are being pressured by boyfriends, husbands, even parents and grandparents to abort their precious offspring. Certainly we can show them that there is, in fact, a better way.
Mothers are the second victims in any abortion. They are left to grieve their children–often alone and in silence. I thank all the dedicated pro-lifers who reach out to these women, offering them the chance at hope and healing following their abortions.
Let us never forget the terrible wounds inflicted on women by abortion trauma.