The Movie "Unplanned": Before You Take Your Kids to See the Film, Check out this Important Feedback from an Expert on Siblings of Aborted Children
By Kevin Burke, LSW
Theresa Bonopartis is the Director of Lumina, offering hope and healing after abortion. A special area of her outreach features the “Entering Canaan” sibling retreat weekends which focus on the struggle of siblings who learn of a parent’s previous abortion, and the realization they have lost a brother or sister.
I asked Theresa, based
on her years of ministry with sibling survivors, to share some thoughts on the
Theresa: The impact of abortion on sibling survivors
is very complex and varied. Many parents tell their
children about a past abortion, and then believe they are fine once this secret
has been disclosed.
But when it comes to
abortion the parents are often the last to know the interior struggles of the
child they have told. I hope what I share can help them better discern if their
child should see the movie:
- Many kids see the suffering of a parent who has had an abortion. It is not unusual for them to express a sentiment of “now everything makes sense” surrounding their life once they find out about a sibling. Wanting to shield the parents they love from further pain, they often hide their own pain and conflict at the expense of their own healing.
are also wanting to be loved by them. The knowledge that their protectors were
involved in the death of a sibling is often very hard to reconcile but they do
not express this to their parents. Many times they are left with multiple
questions but feel unable to ask for fear of causing more turmoil.
Kevin shared in his recent blog, the movie has some disturbing and necessarily graphic
material. Discern carefully if this is the best way to educate your child
about abortion. Chances are they know the destruction of abortion just
from their personal experience and so there is not a need to subject them to
what could be additional trauma that they are already trying to reconcile many
times on their own.
survivors can manifest the impact in many different ways. Many feel guilty for
being alive, wonder if their name would be the same or if they would even be
here had their sibling lived. It is unrealistic to think that there are no
implications to knowing. Most either become very pro-life or as in the case of
children of abortion supporters they join their parent in justifying abortion
for any reason.
If your child does
knows of a past
abortion, and sees the film, they may benefit from connecting with others who
have this type of abortion loss in their families. It has been our experience
over the past nine years of offering
these retreats that it is very helpful to share and learn they are not alone, in
an environment that does not judge their parents, but offers support, and helps
with understanding. Many of the friendships made have been long lasting.
We have a support
siblings can connect with others who understand their loss. Our Next sibling retreat is
and will be led by Father Fidelis Moscinski, CFR, and a sibling with abortion
loss; both have extensive experience in this ministry. Scholarships are available.
[For More information: Please call us at 877-486-4621 or email firstname.lastname@example.org ]