What if all the shouting about abortion means that hurting women are not being heard?
By Marina Young
Hi, my name is Marina and I am the founder of the Buttons Project, a special ministry which helps women towards healing after abortion.
October is significant month for me, it is a time to reflect, to remember, to grieve and love.
Because of certain experiences in my own life/family, and one significant choice in particular that I made in October 1986.
I had an abortion.
Abortion is different for everyone, and everyone’s story is different. For me, abortion wasn’t the so called quick fix we thought it was.
If I knew back then what I would go through, I would have chosen life for my baby, and a future free from the consequences of health and relationship problems that resulted from my abortion.
It has been a long road of healing, and through my experience the Buttons Project was birthed to help others share their story, and give a button to commemorate the baby they never got to meet - and to declare the truth that what happened mattered, and that a way to remember, to grieve and to love is necessary.
Religious beliefs are often blamed for women feeling stigmatised, shamed and judged after their abortion. However, it is often only through faith that women find healing, forgiveness and unconditional love.
Through the Buttons Project I have received many stories from woman, often decades after the event, going through regret and grief emotions.
Sometimes in life you wish you had your ‘older self’’ able to speak into your thought process - to give you that perspective that’s missing at the time of decision making, because there is no turning the clock back on past events.
Something done to solve one issue can have unimagined consequences; for ourselves, and many others - let alone the baby.
Whatever your beliefs are, we need to walk gently in people’s lives, as we do not know the journey someone has travelled, or the choices that a woman was facing that led her to having an abortion.
There are many women and men sitting in the pews of our churches, not living their lives to the fullest, because like me and my husband, in the past, they have been wounded by abortion and don’t know how to reach out for help.
We need to speak the truth about abortion with the balance of love to support those that are hurting.
I would encourage people to be more informed, and to find out more about what supports are out there for post abortive women and men - without this, we cannot hope to be truly effective in bringing healing and hope to those who are suffering from this wound. (We have a list of local support options on our website that you can check out.)
It has been horrible of late hearing the truth come out about Planned Parenthood selling the parts of aborted babies.
My heart goes out to the women having the abortions. It must doubly hard having to work through the loss and then also coming to the realisation of the way their baby was terminated and handled.
With all of the recent bad press for Planned Parenthood regarding their abortion practices, a new global PR campaign was launched on Twitter, and in the mainstream media last week called Shout your abortion.
This campaign, or so they say, is about trying to remove stigma, and encourage women to 'shout' that their abortions were a right and good thing to do.
How do we respond to this? How do I respond?
I often find the more defensive someone gets, the more they are trying to convince themselves that what they have done is right.
Through my own journey, and through hearing from many other post abortive women via the Buttons Project, I know that the realisation of what you have done may not come for many years, and that the periods of depression, anxiety and the empty void within links back to the abortion.
Deep within ourselves we know that to have had an abortion was an unnatural surgical procedure, and that we became a mother when the baby was conceived, but we didn’t allow ourselves to experience it due to the different pressures that surrounded our decision.
Many post-abortive women are struggling alone with their pain and just waiting for the right person to hear their story.
Someone who seeks to understand what she's going through. Someone who will not condemn her, and definitely not minimise the true reality of what has happened to her (like this new Shout Your Abortion campaign tries to do.)
If you have been effected by abortion, or have any questions about post abortion healing support, please know that you can contact me at anytime through the Buttons Project website, or via our Facebook page.
We will always listen, without judgment or condemnation.