NRL News

How pregnancy help ministry heals women’s wounds one conversation at a time 

by | Mar 14, 2022

By Susanne Maynes 

It was a weird day at the church office. My coworker came into the room holding out her phone, saying, “You’re not going to believe this.”

She showed me the photo of a sticker she’d found semi-hidden on a toilet paper dispenser in the ladies’ restroom. The sticker advertised a website for ordering DIY at-home abortions.

She found a second similar sticker on the paper towel dispenser, and a third one on the church’s big sign in the parking lot.

Additionally, all the brochures we had displayed in the women’s restroom offering post-abortion healing had disappeared out of the rack.

My guess is this was the work of a woman who had been triggered by the sight of the post-abortion healing brochures—a woman who has yet to find the healing she clearly needs.

How many more women who have been impacted by one or more abortions are hiding in plain sight in our churches? 

How does this affect their lives and their relationships?

I put it this way in Unleashing Your Courageous Compassion

“Freedom of choice for women has wreaked havoc in so many lives that our whole society has been affected by this travesty…The ripple effect of countless private decisions has sent shock waves throughout the whole population.”

Abortions are often kept secret, yet they don’t take place in a vacuum. 

Considering the circle of relationships the average woman possesses, it’s easy to see how one abortion could affect fifteen or more people—loved ones, coworkers, friends. 

There’s collective damage at work, and here’s what complicates it—our culture has minimized the sin of abortion, and thereby, minimized its grief as well.

How many women and men are left to suffer alone after an abortion decision? How many are burdened with guilt and regret, feelings of unworthiness, and despair?

When we try to calculate the number of those who have made abortion decisions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the staggering need for help and healing.

Of course, many post-abortive women deny that they need help. 

They deal with their choice by rationalizing it. They claim their decision was for the best. 

This can look like in-your-face pride about choosing abortion, or defensive anger at those who would question the choice.

A post-abortive woman may become passionately pro-abortion. She may lash out at politicians who seek to protect life. She may volunteer or go to work for Planned Parenthood.

She may leave stickers in her church’s bathroom.

All of these are means of building a defense mechanism against the pain of abortion.

In reflecting on the many conversations, I’ve had with post-abortive women, I’m struck by a pattern I have seen. 

Once a woman begins to acknowledge that abortion hurt her, a revelation hits—the realization that her abortion decision was the causative factor of numerous problems in her life.

“Oh, wow,” reflected one young client with a look of astonishment, “it was the abortion! Within like six months, I went from being a happy, healthy, normal teenager who loved her family to being strung out on drugs and homeless. It was all because of the abortion.”

As another woman put it, “I used to think these things were unrelated or that there were other causes for the depression and self-hatred I felt. Now I know all of it was the result of the abortion.”  

This woman is so convinced of the power of abortion to hurt, and the power of the grace of Christ to heal, that she leads a post-abortion recovery group to help other women find the peace and freedom she has regained.

I think of another woman who was so deeply impacted by her abortion she could hardly get through the workday or care for her children.

You might think she was far along in her pregnancy or had a physically traumatic surgical abortion, but she had done a medical abortion early in her pregnancy. 

The emotional effect was equally devastating.

I realize I’m preaching to the choir here—you already know that post-abortion syndrome is a thing. You’ve seen it firsthand many times.

The question remains, how can we make a difference—especially now, with new products designed to make abortion more doable and private than ever?

I won’t attempt to tackle the practical side of this complex issue so much as offer you some vital encouragement.

Now is not a good time to give up.

The world is shouting louder and pushing harder, and more women are hurting than ever before. As abortion gets easier, the battle gets harder—the battle for the lives of the unborn, but also for the souls of women.

Don’t look at the numbers. Be there for the one.

When he felt overwhelmed, the Psalmist put it this way:

“When my heart is weak, I cry out to you from the very ends of the earth. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I am.” – Psalm 61:2

I’m convinced God will lead those of us in pro-life ministry into creative ways to address the issue of today’s more readily available abortion products.

Whatever He shows us to do, we must keep putting one foot in front of the other. We must lean into Him for strength and wisdom. We must not give up.

More than ever, we must be there for every woman who courageously seeks healing.

Editor’s note: Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN) and Pregnancy Help News where this first appeared. Reposted with permission.