Abby Johnson: “what do I deserve?”

Reblogging other people’s posts twice in a week is something I try to avoid. What Abby Johnson writes at the link below, however, dovetails nicely with Catherine Adair’s post that I reblogged a couple of days ago. Calls to compassion are worth repeating. So are first-person accounts by pro-life activists who used to work at abortion facilities. If you’re not familiar with Abby, this post is a good introduction.

http://www.abbyjohnson.org/tell-me-what-do-i-deserve/

“Dear Clinic Escort,” by Catherine Adair

Catherine Adair
Catherine Adair

I’m reblogging this from The Harvest is Abundant, written by Catherine Adair, who has had an abortion herself and has worked for Planned Parenthood in its Boston facility. Now defending life, she has a message for the “escorts” outside abortion offices. She gives us all food for thought. The post is from today, 28 May 2013.

Dear Clinic Escort,

Today I saw you, with your bright orange vest emblazoned with ESCORT on the front and back. You refused to make eye contact with me. I saw your gritty determination as you grabbed arms with that young woman and whispered in her ear, “Ignore them,” you said, “Don’t look at them, they are here to intimidate you, to scare you. I’ll keep you safe, don’t worry.” You walked quickly, head up, steel in your eyes, never letting up your grip on her arm. Her head was down, following your lead, mutely keeping up with your fast trot to the abortionist.

You ushered her in through the doors and soon emerged, alone, smiling at us triumphantly, a glimmer of malice in your eye, a smirk of arrogance and joy at having bested us – another woman you saved from the anti-choice fanatics. You rejoin the other escorts, laughing and joking, until the next car pulls up, and your face resumes the mask of the militant soldier, ready to do battle for women’s reproductive rights.

As I watched you I wondered, have you ever been inside the clinic? Have you ever been in the waiting room, filled with the silence of trepidation and fear? Have you listened to the stifled tears?

Have you ever been in the counseling room? This place, where instead of asking questions and listening, the worker masks the truth, or outright lies about the third life in the room, the life growing inside the woman’s womb? Have you seen her sad and scared eyes? Have you asked her why she is there? Do you know if she is being pressured or forced into this abortion, if she is safe at home…all the questions she won’t be asked inside the clinic? Does she know about all of the help available to her if she keeps the baby? Does she know how many couples would love to adopt her baby?

My dear Clinic Escort, have you been there for the ultrasound, where you can see the fully formed baby kicking its arms and legs? Have you heard the worker tell her it is just a bunch of cells? A blob? A product of conception? Have you been with her, holding her hand as she screams in pain, ignored by a doctor who doesn’t even know her name? Have you heard the suction machine, watch as the blood, tissue, and body parts flow from her body into a cold jar? Have you heard the sound of the currette scraping her uterus? Have you seen the body parts – an arm, a leg, a piece of a rib cage, poured into a baggie as though it were scraps of meat?

Have you sat with her in the recovery room as she stares off into space, desperate to get away from this place so she never has to think of it again? Have you been with her through the depression and the anxiety that plague her after the abortion? The breakup of her relationship? Have you helped her through her drug addiction, her binge drinking? Have you been there when she is unable to bond with her children? When her marriage falls apart? Will you be there when she attempts suicide? Will you be at her funeral when she succeeds?

Dear Clinic Escort, look into my eyes. They have seen things you could never imagine. Things that have made me scream in the middle of the night. Things that are never discussed in the intellectualized, feminist world of abortion rights. Because while you see a job well done when you usher her through those doors, her nightmare is just beginning.

By the Numbers 5/22/13

This week’s post is abbreviated, with one (see? there’s the number) notable event for your consideration. Post-abortive women, and all people who have been affected by abortion, have an opportunity for this workshop being held in New England in a few weeks. This announcement came to me courtesy of NH Right to Life.

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat: Friday June 7 to Sunday June 9

Have you been wounded by abortion or know of anyone who has suffered the trauma of abortion?  Please consider the following invitation:   The retreat will provide post-abortive participants an opportunity to process their pain and sorrow and an opportunity to form a spiritual connection with their child(ren) as well as the compassion and forgiveness of Jesus as they begin the journey toward healing.    If you are interested in learning more about this special confidential retreat weekend, call Susan at (603) 315-6971.

One more thing: please follow @Leaven4theLoaf on Twitter. It’s about time the blog got its own Twitter voice.

Basic Book: Voices of Post-Abortive Women

Aborted Women: Silent No More by David C. Reardon. 1987: Crossway Books, ISBN 0891074511.  Reissued 2002: Elliot Institute, ISBN 0964895722

I have the older edition on my shelf. It was the first thing I ever read about post-abortive women, beyond a few brochures from an outfit called Women Exploited by Abortion. With WEBA’s cooperation, Reardon surveyed 252 women in 42 states about their abortion decisions and the aftermath. The survey results would have fit into a short magazine article. What makes the book so enlightening and necessary are the many stories recounted by and about the women who agreed to speak to Reardon.

Reardon surveyed 252 women in 42 states. That’s a fairly small sample, and to a degree it was a self-selected group, since the women were part of WEBA. The stories and the numbers are powerful nonetheless. All the women cited in the book were determined to be “silent no more”. Their stories had, and continue to have, urgency and importance.

One of Reardon’s statistics stands out even today: over two-thirds of the women surveyed felt rushed to make the abortion decision. It’s ironic that New Hampshire’s lawmakers are arguing now over whether a 24-hour waiting period is too great an imposition on a woman’s right to choose abortion.

This book is available on Amazon but might be hard to find in bookstores. Look on your church’s bookshelf. This one made a splash when it was first published, and a lot of faith communities with active pro-life ministries picked up the book.