Likely the pregnancy is a result of a series of wrong decisions. While it may be clear the right and wrong answer of this problem, what isn’t so clear to your friend is what is possible. Her concerns and fears are real. They overwhelm her beyond the morality of the decision. We need to establish right away the sympathy we have for the woman. Then she would not fear the truth we have for her: that her child is a gift.
What are the real problems here? What is preventing her from seeing her child? There very often isn’t actually a hatred of the child, rather a fear of the unknown that drives a woman to an abortion. People rarely genuinely see the child as a parasite, rather an insurmountable obstacle in their lives that overwhelms them.
What we want to do is cure the root problems. Listen to her fears, help her map out a plan for the pregnancy and this may likely include how to tell her parents and the father of the child. These are concrete steps she could make while she is trying to decide. And if she can plan it out, she can choose life. What we can do is make the possibility of happiness as real as possible for her. She can attain goals, achieve dreams, and give life to her unborn child. It just takes a little time, and readjusting. But it is worth the effort.
Recently, I had a friend who had a friend contemplating abortion. It was the very one I had blogged about in the abstract, except it was happening now. She is a Catholic school teacher, who got pregnant and thought abortion was the only way out. There certainly were many other issues involved, but her job was a big issue. Ironically, having the baby gets her fired, whereas having an abortion? Well, it makes her unpregnant. And in doing so, she is outwardly living the Catholic lifestyle she was hired for. I was dumbfounded. Can you imagine? If only (and I know, I know, there isn’t) we could take the child away before the nine months of pregnancy, we could have saved that baby. It is a tragic choice she made, and all the arguments in the world just didn’t resonate. Promises to adopt the child, promises to help her through it, none of it was enough to overcome her fear and shame of going through with the pregnancy. Such tragedy. Yet, I remember the one thing I’ve always been told, as a former crisis pregnancy counselor, “to that child, you were their voice, and that child is embraced by God in heaven now.” It is of some comfort, that we can only do our small part in the world, and in the end, God is in control. Pope Francis said recently, it rang truest of all: ” “Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection.”
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