Anne Lastman A Reflection “Peter,” The Holy Father, Pope Francis, without breaking the line of…
I get some interesting questions in the most interesting of places and interesting times. Today was one of those. My bank teller noted the name “Victims of Abortion” and asked what does that mean and what do I do? And so the explanation of my work. At One point I used PAS (Post abortion syndrome) and she looked dazed, and being conscious of those behind me and long queues I suggested she looked at my blog (gave her details) and I would put an explanation there for her, so here it is. I hope it helps her and I am going in next week to check if she is OK and not on a busy day.
Post abortion Syndrome (though I don’t really like to use this term anymore) or grief, pain, regret, depression, weeping is the response following an abortion. Some would say that no one experiences these feelings anymore but my experience is that they do especially women and the men issue has not even been looked at.
If I were to put a spiritual slant on this I would say that rightly understood post abortion grief is “normal” because it acknowledges that something big happened and affected her badly. However, it can also be seen as a gift Mercy, forgivenss and hope for healing after such a horror as the intentional death of a very small infant.
Abortion suffering can be a promise from the Father of Life that the one designed by Him and given as a gift to the world would not pass by unnoticed. It is a gift of Mercy for the mother and father of the infant and perhaps even for society which permits as normal this “right” of woman to have her child within her womb killed legally. This suffering when attended to well means Mercy.
When this grief comes it is a gift which the baby gives to the parents who took it to die. However, it has now changed its constitution. Without the abortion the child would have been born into Life, with all its failures and success joys and sorrows. So important is that new life that new structures would have had to be arranged in order to accommodate this new creation. However, because of the abortion the child is still born but born into the sorrow of its parents and society. And the gift returned to God unopened.
And another thing abortion does not negate the conception. The conception of a new life happened. Abortion negates the birth according to the laws as we know them. However, it cannot negate its birth. Its birth is through violence.
An abortion gives birth to a child in such a way that it cannot exist in earthly life but certainly and assuredly exists in eternal life. However, though the child was not born into the normal of this earthly life it does leave behind a memory of its its existence but a memory filled with pain and regret rather than joy.
It has been suggested that there are studies which show that mothers retain cells of each of her children at the base of her brain stem, so if this this is so, how can she ever forget? Even if she wanted to. So a memory of this infant that might have been is will be kept as a memorial to a refused grace. An image of grace refused.
In remembering the broken body of her infant the response is pain and deep within this pain is the seed of sorrow leading to repentance.
Remembering the refused grace (gift of a child) can, when seen well, become the turning point to change. The Regret… a moment of deep sorrow.. a beginning of the journey to the understanding of the enormity of what was done.
The most profound sorrow begins when responsibility is taken for the abortion, and her/his part in that action and from onwards there can be two roads which can be travelled one of hope and healing, love and Mercy the other of despair and hopelessness.
I have said that there are two roads, one which is filled with forgiveness, light and hope the other with despair. substance abuse, suicide, psysical/psychical abuse, abandonment, loss of love. The other also has pain in the rememberance of what was done but with belief that there is a God of Mercy then healing is given.
Abortion means many losses, of sons, daughters, future fathers and mothers, their children, whole generations never to be born because a child dies. Loss of charisms, vocations, all vocations, medical, teaching, priests, parenting, nurses.garners, plumbers, authors, musicians etc.
Abortion means loss of integrity within our society. What does it say about a society which legalises abortion of early developed infants and infanticide of later term abortions. Remember a late term abortion abortion, more than abortion, it means legalised infanticide, because it is an infant who with help can survive who is killed because it is unwanted.
Abortion means loss of childhood/innocence of the young, hearing that infants in the womb can be disposed of and fears that their own survival might be in jeopardy.
Abortion of 13 year old young girl means she lives the rest of her life as she procedes through it more and more, as she matures, that she was responsible for the death of her son or daughter. How does she cope with this?
Abortion means that a society which insists and demands and legislates for abortion legislates to terminate its future citizens…legally…and we dare to judge despots of the past and call this a society jus and righteous?
We live in a society so desperate for the Mercy of God because of our great sins. We need Church. We need prayers and those to intercede for us. We need he 10 righteous people of Abraham to intercede for us. We need parents to learn to love the “unplanned pregnancy” this could the the greatest gift for their lives and in their lives.
We need priests to stop being social workers and be soul workers and use their prophetic gift to speak out against this infliction of pain.
God is always Mercy and offering Mercy but it needs to be accepted and this I think is where the problem lies. The acceptance of Mercy would mean a change of heart and this is where the problem might more deeply lie.
Woman is not designed to take her infant to die. Woman is designed to protect it at all costs. Abortion is the laceration of the “feminine genius” and its is this “feminine genius” which has to be found again, strengthened if we are to continue as a society immersed in our Father’s heart.