Archive for category Post-Abortion

Sin By Participation

I once had a discussion with a woman in her twenties who found more than disagreement with Sidewalk Counselors outside abortion clinics who offer prayer and outreach with hope and help for the abortion-vulnerable parents.  This woman maintained that the Sidewalk Counselors were judgmental and accusatory toward “those in need” of an abortion.

 

I sought to dispel the false notions she had of the Sidewalk Counselors and explained that what she says is nonsensical as likely forty percent of all Sidewalk Counselors, maybe even more, have had or participated in an abortion themselves.   There is enormous sensitivity among Sidewalk Counselors that we are there to help dissuade others from putting themselves at risk of suffering what so many of them already do suffer.

 

The woman quickly countered that she wasn’t relying on hearsay, but instead had experience on the sidewalk when escorting a friend to get the “needed” abortion.

 

Not to give too strong a focus on this aspect of the conversation, I quickly mentioned that if her claim was true then she had objectively sinned herself and sought to return to a discussion of Sidewalk Counselors.

 

She quickly interrupted me and asked how she could have sinned if she didn’t have the abortion.

 

This was a teachable moment for me.  We have fallen to a state that our relationship with Christ and His Church is so intensely legalistic and blind.  Though she had gone to Catholic School for sixteen years, it escaped her that one can sin through the cooperation of another’s sin.  This is a teach of the Church, the teaching of a loving relationship with Christ, with which could refresh my Examination of Conscience.

 

In rereading the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 1868 explains that we cooperate with another’s sin when we

approve of their sin;

knowingly benefit from another’s sin;

command the sin of another;

counsel another to sin;

concealing the sin or by not hindering them from sinning when one has the obligation to do;

defending the sin;

praising their sinning behavior; or

by facilitating the sin.

 

The issue is less the legal quest for a loophole and much more the trust we give to Jesus Christ is being our God to whom nothing is impossible.

There Can Be Recovery From Perpetual Adolescence

Part II of II

 

A week or two after a giving a talk on the consequences of abortion and on the resources availab e for healing after an abortion, I was approached by a woman who had an abortion well over a decade ago.  She expressed deep interest in what I described as the halting of one’s maturing process at the point of having an abortion or beginning to rely on contraception.  The phrase that stayed with her was “perpetual adolescence” as a consequence of abortion.

 

She expressed how she felt that perpetual adolescence best expressed how she had lived and that she had recently realized that it was unhealthy for herself to live this way.  She told me wanted to begin to  grow-up with the ability to care for others in an adult and truly caring manner.

 

I explained that I received the teaching on this concept from Dr. Theresa Burke and I still needed to find more resources that addressed recovery from perpetual adolescence.   As I understood the topic, there simply were not many resources then available.

 

I did ask her if she has admitted honestly to herself her responsibility in the abortion.  She said yes.

 

I asked her if she understood that it was wrong for her to have the abortion and why it was wrong.  She explained to me that she did understand it was wrong and why it was wrong.

 

I asked if she had sought to make it right with God and her child.  She told me she had.

 

She was then asked if she was now including her child in her prayers, thoughts and life.   She said yes while telling me that her child is with her always.

 

I then asked if she had begun to see other areas of her life that have been adversely affected by her failure to take responsibilities for her actions and she said she had.

 

I noted that she had also been involved in outreach to help those who are vulnerable to abortion.   I finished with telling her that I didn’t have any professional’s documentation for recovery from perpetual adolescence but that I felt she had returned to that point when she had the abortion.  She had taken responsibility for the abortion where she had not taken responsibilities for her child.  And she had begun to make amends for her lapse that had cost her child’s life.  I didn’t have the professional there to back me up, but I assured her that she had begun to grow the moment she returned to the abortion to take responsibility for her role in it.  It was then that she had already achieved considerable healing and she was on the path of growth that now has her even practicing outreach for others.  She had unwittingly been doing all the right things and was growing into a true adult mother and woman.

 

The same can be done by many others of us who have turned away from responsibility and turned instead to rely on contraception, an addiction, relying on an unhealthy relationship, remaining silent when asked to be accountable for what you did, turning to pornography, or one of countless other ways of dodging  the consequences of our actions.

 

We need to ask for the grace to see in what ways each of us may have lapsed in our accountability for our own actions.  We must then ask for the fortitude to return to the point of our earlier lapse with a renewed determination to make amends for its harmful consequences.  Our salvation and our life depend on our returning to shoulder our true responsibilities.    Perpetual adolescence can be overcome by grace and real growth into adulthood.

A Baseline for Healing

Sidewalk Counseling outside abortion clinics is a tool of outreach to pregnant mothers who are considering or being coerced into aborting their child or are determined to do the same.  In such outreach, the mother is presented with knowledge of just what her options are the comprehensive assistance that is available to support her decision for life, and encouragement for her spirit for life that may be faltering.

 

That maybe articulated reasons for sidewalk counseling and each is true.  Sidewalk Counseling also contributes to hope and healing for the post-abortive person.  Those who go for an abortion, along with those who accompany, drive, pay for, encourage the abortion in any way, or even coerce a mother into having an abortion need both hope and healing that only God can provide.

 

Dr. Theresa Burke, the Founder of the post-abortion ministry Rachel’s Vineyard, has said that those who are offering outreach to the abortion-bound provide for that person a base-line of truth that contributes positively to the admission of truth by the post-abortive of what really happened in the abortion and their recovery from the abortion.  Those sidewalk counselors may be the only person(s) in the life of the post-abortive who acknowledge the life of the preborn child.  They may be the only source in the world of the post-abortive that affirms that there is a problem with the unresolved abortion and can provide direction toward hope, healing and recovery.  One must recognize the problem before a solution can be offered.  But once the problem is identified, the right solution must then be applied.  Sidewalk counselors among the small and growing numbers of people who can help in this regard.