Because of her abortion, she had given up—on lots of things. On heaven, on living the Catholic life, on the pursuit of holiness, on the fact that God truly loves her.
By Deacon Frederick Bartels
3 April 2019
While listening to a Catholic Answers radio show today featuring Trent Horn, a woman called in and admitted she’d aborted her child. It was one of the most heart-wrenching stories I’ve ever heard. What most affected me, was this woman’s admission that she felt forever unable to attain holiness and enter heaven without having to suffer an untold period of waiting and purification in Purgatory.
Because of her abortion, she had given up—on lots of things. On heaven, on living the Catholic life, on the pursuit of holiness, on the fact that God truly loves her. It seemed to me that she was convinced of her permanent unloveliness. That she could never again be whole. That she was tainted—forever.
And, in the midst of the unbearable pain I heard in her words, the death-chorus of anti-life elitists welled-up in my memory: “abortion is a woman’s right”; “it’s reproductive health care”; “no one can tell a woman what to do with her own body”; “we want less abortions, but nobody should ever force their personal morality on others”; “women need our help”; “women will get abortions anyway, so we want them to be safe”; “abortion is necessary to prevent suffering.”
Necessary to prevent suffering? Safe? As if legalized abortion somehow cares for women and has their best interests in mind?
The woman I listened to is stuck in a living hell.
She had been to confession, she had prayed, she had cried every single day since that terrible hour. Yet her soul remained deeply scarred. The memory wouldn’t go away. She said she was a woman with a giant “A” stamped on her forehead. And it couldn’t be removed.
She had lost her peace.
To make matters worse, she told a story about an abusive husband who swore he wouldn’t help her care for the child she was carrying. How she was pressured. How she was scared. How she made a quick, rash and imprudent decision. How she so wished she could bring her child back.
She said she would do anything to bring her child back. Anything. And I knew that she meant it. Every word.
It’s likely she might not be fully culpable for the sin of abortion. Even so, her pain remains unbearable. She is a mother who killed her child. That will never go away in this life. That terrible fact can only be healed in the next life, in the light and warmth and unspeakable love of heaven and the Beatific Vision. That moment when God becomes all in all.
If abortion had not been legal, she would not have had recourse to it in her fear. She would not have walked into whatever house of death she chose. She would not have submitted to the surgical instruments used to destroy her child at the hands of a physician who claims what he’s doing is somehow a necessary and “good” thing. Her child would not have been ripped from its first home. Her soul would not have been shattered.
Legalized abortion brings three great tragedies:
First, it physically kills innocent pre-born children who have a right to life.
Second, it psychologically kills their mothers and thrusts them into a living hell.
Third, it does the same to fathers who are complicit in this terrifying crime of death.
God can and will forgive any sin through the sacrament of confession his Son, Jesus Christ, instituted in the Church. When one makes a good confession, the guilt of sin is removed. Sin is absolved. Forgiveness is certain.
Yet the scars remain. Sometimes they grow to nightmarish proportions.
And the abortion industry claims it is helping women.
Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo. He holds an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry and is a Catholic educator, public speaker, and evangelist who strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel.