NRL News

Helping Women Who Are Hurting

by | Aug 4, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

When you say something over and over and over again, it might be because it’s a truth that bears repeating–life is good, abortion is wrong, for example—and is very much worth sharing.

Other times something is stated over and over again because the individual needs to convince themselves—“Now is the time for everyone to begin talking about their abortion stories unapologetically,” as one of many pro-abortionists blogger recently put it—before they can persuasively share it with anyone else.

That same blogger then added (both logically and defiantly),”Defy the shame and the stigma.”

If you were to ask the blogger why shame and stigma attaches to abortion, the answer would probably be something along the lines of (a) because not enough women have openly talked about their abortion, and (b) because pro-lifers have (wrongly) portrayed the “procedure” as something to be avoided.

But if every pro-lifer were silenced, the voice of regret and remorse would still speak to millions of women grieving over a decision they would do anything to reverse.

Probably every pro-lifer who has toiled for any length of time has had this experience. You are having an everyday conversation with someone when, out of left field, she shares, “I have had an abortion.”

Often, as you replay the conversation over in your mind, you realize that there were hints that something dramatic was coming. But since it never crossed your mind that this particular woman would have had an abortion, those clues went right by you.

A related thought: As I have written many times, the one workshop at the National Right to Life Convention I always at least visit is “We are the Sheep….Where are the Shepherds?” How to activate reluctant pastors is a topic pro-lifers can never get enough of.

One of the questions that panelists are always asked is how do you help your pastor understand that there are women in his congregation who have had abortions. And that virtually everyone in the congregation (knowingly or not) knows or is related to a woman who has aborted.

Another—and certainly related question—is what do you say when the pastor asks how can they preach about abortion without hurting these women?

There are many good answers, especially to the latter. That apprehension assumes women who have aborted are not already hurting. But they are!

Whether it be a pastor, a concerned layperson, or someone with no faith  at all, the answer is to help the woman understand that you are not there to condemn them—or to make them feel shame. Your task is to help them heal which many times will take the form of gently directing them to someone else.

This whole experience can be emotionally draining for everyone, but it is one of the great privileges of being a pro-lifer.

Your feedback is important to improving National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments to If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at

Categories: Abortion