As a male, I’ll never know what its like to physically lose a child from my body. Writing a blog about knowing someone who has had abortion(s) feels like it should come with some pre-stated facts:
I am a male.
I can only speak from observation.
I do not know these people’s personal thoughts or feelings other than what was displayed at the time.
These opinions are based on the stories I’m telling here. Though I am pro-life I do recognize that there are extenuating circumstances to be discussed.
I’m open to criticism or comments.
The first person that comes to mind is an old friend of mine from high school who I’ll call Natalie. Natalie was always very open with her sexual experiences with her boyfriends. She was a big advocate for experimenting, whether it be with multiple partners, voyeurism, exhibitionism, the list goes on. She always seemed to be carefree about her sexual exploits and encouraged them in her friends as well, claiming that it builds stronger bonds between couples and that “once you do meet the one you’re going to marry, they’ll appreciate your experience”. We often argued this point.
One evening Natalie and I were texting, just catching up on college life and other boring stuff when she began to hint that she had a secret. I didn’t think much of it, instead opting to ignore what I thought would just be another sex tale. Finally, after many passive hints, I asked what the juicy tidbit was. Her response was “Well, let’s just say that yesterday I was pregnant, and today I’m not”. I was shocked at the way it was phrased but also not surprised that this had happened. Though she wasn’t the first person I knew to have an abortion, the way she summed up the “problem” was just so cavalier and sad. I don’t doubt that the occurrence affected her deeply but because of this “quick fix”, it seems that the convenience of the process itself makes the woman think that they too should be quick to get over it and move on.
At the age of 22, I remember thinking “Well, it’s done now. I suppose the real test is to see if her lifestyle changes at all”. I wondered if she would settle down and evaluate what was important to her in her life. I wondered if she wouldn’t drink as much and say yes to any sexual adventure that came her way. By the end of the week, her Facebook showed that little had changed. I looked at this girl, posed with her friends, drink in hand, droopy drunk eyes and smile, knowing that just days earlier she had gone through something so traumatic, so permanent and the fact that she stood there amongst a group of people who probably had no idea was just mind blowing. I guess I can’t say what I expected though. The more I thought about it the more I thought “Well, I guess she doesn’t have to become a hermit and wallow in her guilt forever”, but more than anything I think selfishly it bugged me that my friend seemed to have no guilt at all. It was just such a situation of “sh** happens, whatever”. It annoyed me to no end that there was this failsafe in place where a life is taken just because she didn’t have any self control or common sense.
A few months later, my boss at the time told me that his ex-girlfriend had an abortion a few years earlier and right after the fact, he came out of the closet. He and I could not have been further apart on the hot topics spectrum. Though I’m not sure how he wanted those two facts to correlate, we discussed the issue and I told him of my friend Natalie and how it always stuck with me that she never seemed to learn from the experience, that she didn’t seem to change her ways and that she relied on abortion to almost put her at ease about not being careful. He became very serious and said “Trust me, its affects you forever”.
I’m not saying that if you’ve had an abortion that you need to shut yourself up in your house and think endlessly about what you’ve done. I’m not saying that at all. You’re not a broken person or “damaged goods”. There is full renewal and acceptance in God. All I can speak from is my experience with friends having abortions and seemingly using it as a safety net to ensure their lifestyle can continue uninterrupted. This is what’s frustrating to me. No one likes feeling judged or condemned. It’s difficult to react with grace when you disagree with your friend’s decision but you have to find that fine balance as well.
If anyone would like to share their own stories of reactions to friend’s abortions below in the comments, we’d love to discuss further.