The Women Who Grieve Their Abortions Are Not Alone or Hopeless

Political News


Sisters of Life nuns sing hymns following a papal mass conducted by Pope Francis in Philadelphia, Pa., in 2015. (Mark Makela/Reuters)

Just before I went into quarantine, I was in one of the Sisters of Life convents where they do their hope and healing ministry. There were roses by the altar and a Divine Mercy image of Jesus. Each rose represented a child who was lost to abortion. Women who have abortions had been there for a retreat a few days before. Some women put multiple roses by the altar, representing multiple babies lost to abortion. I keep thinking of those women during these quarantine times. They are signs of hope, that they can have the humility to go to God with their abortion and encounter His love. There was a woman I saw walking out of a Planned Parenthood in the fall who looked so devoid of hope, like life had been taken from her, which, of course, it was. I hope she encounters the Sisters of Life or Project Rachel or anyone else who can help her see herself as God sees her.

Mother’s Day can also be excruciating for a woman who lost her child to abortion. So can these coronavirus times, knowing that you played a role in the ending of an innocent life. The sisters continue to minister to these women at this time. Abortion doesn’t kill their love for a woman, whom they want to help experience God’s mercy and healing.

They do the work that Pope Saint John Paul II talked about in his Evangelium Vitae, “The Gospel of Life”:

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I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.

God loves you and may just be raising you to be leaders in a culture of life and hope we surely need.


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