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Contrary to what is often said, there is life after abortion. For the person destroyed by the abortion, their earthly life has ended, but they now reside with God in eternity. For the mom who chose to kill her offspring, God can forgive her if she seeks His forgiveness.
The good news for women who've aborted their children is that they can find complete forgiveness and healing in Christ. Over the last two decades of my priesthood, I have worked with many post-abortive women who've come to me for help in moving beyond their misery.
Contrary to what is pushed by Planned Parenthood, other abortion mills and abortion supporters, most (if not all) women who've taken the life of their child suffer tremendously. Many especially suffer great anxiety because it was their choice to kill their own flesh and blood.
In general, the first step in coming to terms with having aborted a child is to admit to having taken a life. Many post-abortive women play games with themselves over this simple fact, couching the act in various vague terms.
They might say, "I took a morning-after pill" or "I missed my period and was afraid" or "Everyone told me it was in my best interests to end this pregnancy."
In most cases, the woman knows, deep down, that what she is describing is gravely immoral. Simple questions on the part of a spiritual director can help her gain a true understanding of the grievous nature of what she did.
She might be asked, "You said you took a morning-after pill to stop a pregnancy. Is pregnancy an illness that you have to take a pill to get over?" The woman may then break down and start talking about what is tormenting her and what she has done. She may start spilling out all her guilt and discussing how, because of the sin, she has no peace.
At this point, a priest can begin talking some sense to the post-abortive penitent. One important and wonderful thing the mother may have overlooked is that, while they have ended their child's earthly life, they did not terminate their child's existence. Any person that was given life in God's image has a relationship with God forever.
No human has the ability to annihilate a person's immortal soul. The souls of the millions who had their earthly existence ended prematurely in the womb are with God, even if they are outside of our time and space.
Hopefully, the mother can realize she has an express purpose to live a good and holy life so that she can attain eternal salvation and be with God — who has her child's welfare at heart. Knowing this, it is then time for the child's mother to turn aside from all sins, including abortion, and seek to be with God as well. Every mom must know that there remains a maternal bond between mother and child, an unbroken connection between her and her offspring, that does not end with death.
For many years now, I've worked with Project Rachel, striving to reconcile God and women who chose abortion. Recently, a woman who in years past had come to me to make a good confession reached out to me in hope of finally coming to terms with how she (as an unwed young mother) had aborted multiple children.
As the penitent explained to me, she still grieves over how she killed her children and, as a result, will never have grandchildren. Her grief now is not the grief of the faithless, but simply regret and sadness for what could have been, as compared to despair and bitterness. She now has real hope and the knowledge that God has provided for her child's future. She also knows that, if she perseveres in the Faith, she has hope of seeing her children in the Father's house, which is filled with "many mansions" — as Christ describes in John 14:2.
She knows her children are thriving in eternity. She has hope of being with God because of how she's turned her life around — and thus of someday seeing in God's providence those people she conceived and of whom she is the mother.
She recently gave me the following insight:
My children now gaze upon God's most holy face. When I say my daily prayers, I pray that I may someday do so as well. May God give me the grace needed to refrain from all sin. Thank you, father, for assigning me a daily penance of saying a rosary every day for a year. At first, I thought it was harsh, but now, all these years later, I would not think of passing a day without saying a rosary. My daily Rosary is my lifeline. Thank you, Father, so much.
God can and does forgive all sin, even the sin of killing one's own child. And this certainly is good news.
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