“I said no to abortion. They just didn’t listen to me,” the broken woman shared her story with me. “I wanted my child so much! I said no so many times, but my mother and sisters were determined. They wore me down by threatening to kick me out. Without outside help, what choice did I have? I was just 15. I didn’t have a car or a job. But I thought about adoption…”
Millions of women across the world have been forced to abort children against their will. Perhaps the child was conceived in rape, or from the sexual abuse of a pedophile. Maybe the abortion was enforced due to the race of the father being contrary to the mother. Many times, it is simply because family members don’t want the “shame” of a public unwed and unexpected pregnancy.
Abortion in these circumstances is rarely a choice a woman makes for herself. Under deep duress, the girl is marched into the abortion clinic and threatened with abandonment if she comes out pregnant. The resulting agony and heartbreak, combined with abuse that forces her to abort, often lead to suicidal idealization as the woman simply wants to go to heaven and hold her child at last.
One of the key elements in abortion recovery is the understanding that abortion ended a life of a human being. When a woman has been forced to abort against her will, she typically understands she was carrying a child. If she truly hoped to be a mother, coercing individuals can step in and ensure a birth doesn’t happen.
Years later, when explaining a forced abortion, many women will assume the entire responsibility. They believe they could have done more to fight back against the abortion idea. They forget their circumstances back then. On top of dealing with the pain of this loss – and many could still be living with family members that forced their abortion – these mothers are burdened with a guilt that is not their own. Because of the deep loss, they also often wallow in grief and depression.
When a family unit is steeped in dysfunction, sexual abuse and abortions abound. Grandmothers or mothers who aborted often encourage daughters and granddaughters to do the same. Abortion then becomes a family habit or a generational curse.
This caller discovered from her extended female family that from all the offspring of their great-grandmother – who insisted on their grandmother’s first abortion in the 1920’s – over 25 family members had been aborted. Her grandmother personally had four of those 25 abortions!
Family histories that include abortion often contain many other traumatic events. Unplanned pregnancy occurs often during deep family strife as one generation significantly impacts another. These strife cycles cascade down the family line often ending in a generational circle of discord. Since one generation clearly impacts another, abortion decisions are often repeated down a family line. This is how this family ended up with 25 aborted family members.
There is a psychological test about the impact of family strife on an unplanned pregnancy – the “Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)” test. In this test, family strife situations are broken up into 8 experiences:
- Recurrent physical abuse
- Recurrent emotional abuse
- Contact sexual abuse
- An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the household
- An incarcerated household member
- Someone in the home who is chronically depressed, mentally ill, institutionalized, or suicidal
- Mother is treated violently
- One or no parents
A study in Pediatrics researched ACE results in comparison with teenage pregnancy, discovering that if your childhood experience included 4 or more of these variables, you were likely to have experienced an unplanned pregnancy.
How many of those pregnancies end in forced abortions? Too many…
Consider this young mother being forced to abort a life she loved. Take a minute to walk in her shoes. Can you hear her mother saying, “You will not shame us in this town. I won’t share a grandchild with those lowlifes either. My abortion was a good decision and yours will be as well!”
Have you ever tried to reason with a post-abortive family member who is intent that you will never bring a living example of what they aborted into the world? These are the most intent and traumatizing abortion influencers in the world because they are the woman’s family. In these situations, the young mother has no choice without outside intervention.
Sadly, sometimes even in pro-life circles, abortion after rape is often encouraged by those who are helping the sexually abused woman. During a time when these women need understanding and support, many feel pressured to abort by those who are “attempting” to protect them.
When abortion was made legal in the late 60’s in several states, sexual abuse rates were quite low due to the possibility of pregnancy. If a young teen became pregnant, her family would search and prosecute the man who had abused her. The pregnancy then revealed and ended her sexual exploitation.
Most children born out of wedlock in those days were placed for adoption. Mothers were rarely allowed to see let alone raise their children. Adoption plans were imposed on those women just like abortion today. Adoption means the child can live which can be a real comfort to the mother versus knowing her child is dead.
No matter what the reason for a forced abortion, many women walking through this death procedure live out the passage of Scripture found in Isaiah 53:7 – He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
Abortion is never a healing experience. It should never be chosen under any circumstances. When abortion is enforced as a woman’s only choice, it can ensure an even deeper wounding.
Thankfully, God can bring healing in any situation, even forced abortion pain. Romans 5:5 outlines God’s ability to heal the hearts of His people – Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.