An overlooked area of concern is what happens to a woman after she has an abortion.
Sometimes even when we mean well, we don’t do well.
I know that the issue of abortion creates an emotional reaction to almost anyone who hears it.
A pro choice person is almost always adamant that a woman has a right to make any decision she chooses about her own body, even if that means interrupting a pregnancy. A pro life person considers the well-being of both the pregnant woman and the life growing inside her.
The issue is difficult to discuss without the debate becoming heated.
But an overlooked area of concern is what happens to a woman after she has an abortion.
If she happens across a picket line full of well-meaning people holding signs that tell her she is a baby killer and remind her that abortion stops a beating heart then I can imagine that grief, regret, and emotional pain would be expected. I’m sure if that woman has any current or future religious affiliation, a level of guilt could be expected as well.
That is why I love the Pregnancy and Family Resource Centers in Butler County. The Augusta and new El Dorado branches have volunteers and directors who are as fervently pro life as anyone. But don’t expect to hear a message of condemnation and anger from them. That’s not how they work. They have the same message but use very different methods.
Their effort is to meet women in the process of making the decision and try to love them, educate them and help them make a decision to give life to the child growing inside them.
They offer material, emotional and spiritual support in a time when a woman truly needs it most.
“We want to let women know they are loved,” said PFRC Executive Director Kimberly Andrews. “We want to treat them with dignity and respect and help them with their greatest needs.”
One of the things people need is to understand that no matter what has happened or how bad you think it is, forgiveness is still available.
“We don’t force decisions,” Andrews said. “So some women who we work with still make a decision to have an abortion or maybe they have before we met them. We want those women to know they still have value and are loved by God.”
That is why the Pregnancy Care Center is offering a Bible study for women who have been through an abortion.
The study is called Forgiven and Set Free. There is more information about the study at silentnomoreawreness.org.
Some women keep an abortion secret for years. Many feel shame and deep emotional pain.
“It can be very healing to get in a small group with others who have been through this,” Andrews said. “We are all a mess. Abortion is one issue. We all have issues.”
If you are interested in the study, you can call Andrews at 322-0070 and she can provide more information.
Whether you are pro life or pro choice, everyone should try to help the women who have made the difficult choice to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org