What do you say to someone contemplating abortion?
A few months back, I asked Nicole Lau—former president of UTSFL, who spent a year working at a crisis pregnancy centre in Toronto—to contribute a guest post. She sent this in right away, but I’m only getting around to posting it now. Here’s a much belated guest post from Nicole Lau.
What do you say to someone contemplating an abortion?
First thing that comes to my mind is immediate panic and numbness. While that’s justifiable, it’s not the most productive. Allow yourself time to breathe though, and go through those feelings as quickly as possible. Try to remember the person to be a friend, and ignore the judgement that may arise. It isn’t after all, what she had planned. Nothing like “But that’s murder!” can help you at this point. We need to make an attractive case for choosing life. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is the humane, the good choice.
Likely the pregnancy is a result of a series of wrong decisions. While it may be clear the right and wrong answer of this problem, what isn’t so clear to your friend is what is possible. Her concerns, fears, are real. They overwhelm her beyond the morality of the decision. We need to establish right away the sympathy we have for the woman. Then she would not fear the truth we have for her. That her child is a gift. What are the real problems here? What is preventing her from seeing her child? There very often isn’t actually a hatred of the child, rather a fear of the unknown, that drives a woman to an abortion. People rarely genuinely see the child as a parasite, rather an insurmountable obstacle in their lives that overwhelms them.
Abortion hurts her, because it hurts her child. The harm of abortion on women also is an argument to use. If women knew the abortion hurts them, it makes a stronger case against the “easy-fix” illusion. Abortion as a procedure is invasive, clinical and risky. There are chances of causing damage to the uterus and the reproductive organs. During the procedure abortionists actually don’t see what they are reaching for when they operate, and detach the fetus from the uterus lining blind. As a result damage done to the uterus wall is not unusual.
Ultimately, how does an abortion solve the problems the pregnancy might “worsen”? The fact is, even before the pregnancy, the woman would have been experiencing troubles. The desire to abort is a symptom, not the disease itself.
What we want to do is cure the root problems, of family relationships, listening to their fears, helping your friend map out a plan of the pregnancy, how to tell her parents, her boyfriend/partner, these are concrete steps she could make while she is trying to decide. And if she can plan it out, she can choose life. What we can do is make the possibility of happiness as real as possible for her. She can attain goals, achieve dreams, and give life to her unborn child. It just takes a little time, and readjusting. But it is worth the effort.
So, what to do: convey you care about the trouble she feels she’s in. Call a pregnancy center and schedule an appointment, go with her. Find a good family doctor for her if she has no one. Talk to her. Be there for her as she decides. Pray for her. Identify with her. And don’t assume there aren’t other people pushing her to abort her child. Shepherd her through the decision as a friend can.