Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion


January: Overview of the Campaign: Partners in Healing

In January 2015 Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion will be launched at the steps of the US Supreme Court after the March for Life with a visible and dramatic representation of the vision for this year long initiative.  Representatives of the various kinds of people wounded by abortion loss will gather together to share their testimonies. 

The Shockwave Initiative will reveal how abortion impacts not only the child, the Mom, and the Dad, but entire families, including grandparents and siblings. Moreover, the wound extends to friends who were involved, to the abortionists and their staff, to pro-life people who tried to stop the abortion but couldn't, and to entire communities.  The Shockwave Initiative presents a vision and resources for communicating this in a new way to our churches, families and nation devastated by abortion loss.  (Be sure to visit our Shockwaves Website for an in depth introduction to the initiative.)

Because January is also when many Churches observe Sanctity of Life Sunday January will focus in a special way on Churches and pastors, and point out the need for healing. Silence from our Churches and silence from our Pulpits has sent a clear and powerful message to those with abortion loss in their history: "Be Silent. Do not talk about abortion." 

This silence does not indicate and lack of care and concern for the unborn or those suffering after abortion.  More often this silence is related to an anxiety and uncertainty about how to best communicate with love, mercy and truth about abortion and abortion loss.  But it is important to understand the long term cost of this silence on our faith communities.

What does this silence from our pulpits and from our churches wrongly communicate to those with abortion loss in their history and anyone who has been involved in an abortion decision?  

  • This is not an area of concern of the Church and it’s best to just move on from that abortion experience, leave it in the past and never talk about it. 
  • Abortion healing is not an important part of Church ministry…like feeding the hungry.  The Church doesn’t care or want to get involved. 
  • The only message of the Church (if they actually ever hear a pro life message) is one of condemnation of abortion (and hence in their mind a condemnation of all who have abortions.)

Truth is, the silence of the Churches enables the denial, the isolation and suffering of those with abortion loss.  This silence and lack of awareness and understanding allows the after-abortion symptoms to continue to extend out from the wounded heart of the mother and father.  This has a powerful impact on personal, emotional, and physical health, as well as marriage and family life…and the mission of the Church. 

Silence Can Be Deadly!

For those who will be tempted to abort; the youth, couples with a fetal anomaly diagnosis, etc. would be blessed by hearing the truth about the lifelong effects of abortion.  Abortion is sold as a quick fix to resolve a crisis and get on with your life.  But it is a life changing event with serious spiritual, emotional and relational consequences that have lifelong and eternal consequences.  Hearing about abortion suffering and testimonies from those who have experienced abortion loss will help those that are tempted to abort in a crisis and to choose life.

Almost half (46%) of all abortions are repeat procedures.  This is related to the repression of complicated grief and emotional pain and memories of that loss. This repression can lead a woman to express that pain in self-destructive patterns in her relationships and abuse of drugs and alcohol and other self destructive behaviors.  This results in another unplanned pregnancy - and another abortion. 

Finally, this silence also leaves the grandparents, who may have been intimately involved with the abortion decision as well as siblings, friends, counselors and medical staff from hearing the truth that abortion wounds all who participate in the death of an unborn child.  But they also are denied the opportunity to learn about the spiritual and emotional impact of this loss in their own lives, to receive the encouragement to repent of their role in the child’s death, and to attend a healing program. 

Be Not Afraid! Break the Silence

The Church is greatly diminished in its mission by this silence…and greatly empowered in its mission when proclaiming the Gospel of repentance, healing and restoration in Christ. 

Abortion has gravely wounded the Body of Christ.   When we expand our understanding of those impacted by this loss, and consider the number of people…a large part of our church communities have been directly impacted by abortion

  • All those impacted would benefit from hearing the truth proclaimed with love and compassion.
  • It is important that people learn of the common symptoms and issues people struggle with after this loss and the personal, marriage and family impact.
  • God’s people desperately need to hear the good news of abortion healing in the Lord.  A testimony at an appropriate time in your church service is a personal and powerful way to reveal the suffering after abortion and the effective healing programs that are available.
  • Shockwaves will feature an excellent internet based healing resource, www.Abortionforgiveness.org,  that generates trusted abortion healing programs in one’s area by entering a  zip code. 

[The month of January is a perfect time to share a message of hope and healing. Go to the Shockwaves website where you will find Sample Sermons, Bulletin Inserts and a downloadable brochure.]

The Fruit of Healing – Blessing the Churches

One of the wonderful fruits of abortion healing that I have seen is the large number of our alumni who respond to a call to serve in their churches as catechists, pro life volunteers, lectors, homeless shelters etc.   - Emma Boe, Project Rachel Director and Rachel’s Vineyard Coordinator, Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL

When a spiritual and emotional healing program safely opens the abortion wound to the light of Christ, there are miraculous encounters with the Lord.  One of the fruits of this healing is the number of alumni that become involved in Church ministry and service. 

There is a vast mission field of the mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, abortion providers who have participated in, or have been deeply affected by the death of an unborn child, and are desperately in need of the forgiveness and healing of Christ and his church.  From this act of mercy, forgiveness and healing will emerge men and women on fire with the Gospel and ready to serve God’s people according to their gifts and calling. 

Abortion Healing – The Family - Evangelization

The family is the primary place for evangelization, for passing on the faith, for helping young people to appreciate the importance of religious practice and Sunday observance. How can we not be dismayed as we observe the sharp decline of the family as a basic element of Church and society? [1]    Benedict XVI

Abortion is a relational wound that takes place in the context of the most intimate of human encounters, regardless of the circumstances and length of the relationship that led to conception. [2] Therefore the wound is very deep in the heart and soul of the parents and all who participate in or are impacted by the death of an unborn child.   Because of the symptoms that arise when this loss is repressed and denied, marriage and family relationships inevitably suffer. 

There can be difficulties in bonding with living children and having a healthy communication and trust with partners and spouses leading to addictions, affairs, family dysfunction and divorce. Often there is not a conscious awareness of the relationship of those symptoms to an abortion loss in their past.  If there is previous sexual or other abuse, neglect, and addictions in one’s history there is an even greater likelihood of serious reactions[3] after abortion

  If the family, as Pope Emeritus Benedict shares is the “primary place for evangelization,” then recovery from this loss is essential for the health of the U.S. Church and the mission of all Christian churches and faith communities to bring forgiveness, healing and strengthen families in an often hostile secular culture…because family is as Benedict shared, the "basic element of the Church and society."

Relationship with God and the Church

Abortion not only damages us personally, and our personal relationships, but the relationship of each person to their Heavenly Father and Creator. 

  • Sometimes this is expressed in a distance from God and the Church because of fear of judgment…some feel their sin is unforgiveable and fear a vengeful God’s wrath. 

  • Others direct outward the denial of their post abortion pain, displacing this grief, shame and anger from their abortion loss onto what they see as an unresponsive or out-of-touch church or hostile and dangerous pro life movement.  (You see this often with pro abortion activists.) Reinforced by the secular messages hostile to the faith and pro abortion, they can easily drift away from Sunday services and regular practice of their faith.  

  • Look at Catholic Church attendance rates since the Roe V Wade decision in 1973…Mass attendance rates in the United States were cut in half and continue to decline.   There are other reasons of course, but abortion is surely a contributing factor.

  • Staying on the Sidelines of Faith - Participation in the death of an unborn child causes a rupture in one’s relationship with God after their abortion.  This loss keeps men and women on the sidelines, watching the game but keeping their distance.

  • This spiritual suffering and distance from God/Church is also found among all those who is some way participated in the death of the child.  A brother who lent his sister money for the procedure; the Grandparent of the baby who could not prevent or encouraged/pressured for abortion; the friend who drove her to the clinic; the counselor who advised that abortion was the only rational choice, the Catholic or Christian physician/nurse/counselor who recommends abortion to the couple with an unborn child with a poor prenatal diagnosis or chromosomal abnormality. 

If you would like more information and want to partner with us in the Shockwave initiative please visit our website and fill out the Stay Informed Section on the homepage.

[1] Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC. April 16, 2008.