Glancing at the New York Times bestseller list, I see three out of America’s current top ten nonfiction books featuring personal stories of pregnancy loss, choice, and abortion. While the political debate has raged for almost forty years now, our actual experiences have only been a whisper until this recent rash of books.
I hear deeply personal stories of abortion, pregnancy loss, and exercising choice with increasing regularity in my line of work as I help women and men draw the connection between their present problems and the buried pain of an abortion in the past. People open up to me. But these bestsellers are breaking taboos by disclosing details of an abortion, candidly addressing questions of career vs. children, and answering our deepest questions about the death of a child.
#1 Heaven is for Real was reviewed for me by a woman I had just met in a coffee shop. Early in our conversation she disclosed having an abortion as a young woman 40 years earlier, while relating how Todd Burpo’s book comforted her grief over that lost child. Simply reading the truth about the eternal nature of life before birth changed the course of the life of my coffee shop friend. She is now energized to help others avoid the pain which has defined her adult life.
Meanwhile, American Idol judge, Steven Tyler’s autobiography (#8 on the list) bravely and brutally brings to light what abortion does to the heart of a man who is not bound by any social restraint as he acted out his pain after sponsoring an abortion for his young girlfriend. I read the young woman’s story in the news. She is now speaking out about the devastation she suffered as well.
A People magazine article about Tina Fey’s memoir Bossypants (#3 and a former #1) quotes her internal debate over whether to have a second child. The happy ending punch line, of course is Fey’s trademark self-deprecating wit about her career ambitions and the later announcement on Oprah of the happy news. How many women like me, who destroyed a child for the sake of career, will read Tina’s story and weep over their lost opportunity for motherhood? How many others will regret delaying their decision until infertility makes the choice for them?
Now that we’re reading these stories, I just wonder how we’ll deal with the critical mass—one out of every three American women has had at least one abortion by the time we reach age 45—when the millions of women who need help begin to seek out care.
Abortion providers and their advocates coming alongside the broken and wounded women who got sold a “right to choose” would have to admit they’re causing harm. To do so would be to radically revise their agenda, and their agenda is all they’ve got. There is no heart at the heart of the abortion rights movement. In fact, right now the abortion lobby group, NARAL is engaged in a concerted effort in many states to close down pregnancy resource centers, which are non-profit community outreach efforts offering compassionate, effective after-care.
These centers deserve our support as they offer tangible help through Option Line. Call 1-800-395-HELP to receive assistance with a pregnancy decision or get help after abortion. Lend a hand if you’re not in need of help–get involved today.
As someone said, “No one grows up dreaming of having an abortion.” Abortion is a losing strategy for life, as so many of us now know firsthand. And if you’ve been hurt by abortion, as I was, someone is listening, and someone does care.