There But For the Grace of God, Go I

Thursday, January 26, 2012
I had a pro-life post all planned for the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It was going to detail how now that I’m a mother abortion has become so much more difficult for me to discuss or to even debate because my response to it so much more visceral. My Mama Bear instincts rise up whenever there’s talk of harming a little cub.

But something funny happened about a week ago and I feel called to write a little about it and the issue of abortion from a slightly different perspective. Last week, we received the official report from our meeting with Abby’s geneticist. (I’ll have to write a separate post on the whole meeting-with-a-geneticist thing.) Whilst reading over the section of the report that discussed our medical history, it noted that we had procured a “therapeutic abortion” prior to having our first child. My first thought was “what the hell?” We did have a miscarriage before Hannah, and miscarriages are sometimes referred to as “spontaneous abortions,” but that is a big difference than a therapeutic abortion. Big difference. Huge. I actually had to look up “therapeutic abortion” because I wasn’t sure what it was exactly. Perhaps it was another term for miscarriage. It’s not.  Much to my dismay, “therapeutic” is just a word they throw in there to make abortion sound better. 

After my initial shock wore off, I became a little angry; especially when I noticed that copies of this report had been sent to several of Abby’s other doctors. My pride flared up and I started to think, “They think I had an abortion? Me, of all people? I would never…”  

Later, at dinner, when I showed Matthew the flawed report, he pointed out that that if we actually had had an abortion it would be something we would forever have to report to doctors. This thought completely changed how I perceived the entire situation. Suddenly, I was thrust into the shoes of a woman who actually had undergone an abortion and the embarrassment and shame of carrying that fact around for the rest of my life. And that started me thinking. It’s been said before, but I feel compelled to say it again, abortion is absolutely horrible for the women who have experienced them. 

It’s an undeniable thing that the taking of an innocent life is a horrible tragedy. But I like to think those innocent little babes go straight into the arms of their Maker and enjoy endless cuddles from Our Lady in Heaven. It is the mothers of those innocents who must endure the pain and guilt for the remainder of their days here on Earth. How awful that must be.

The Boston Archdiocese is offering an upcoming retreat hosted by Project Rachel for women who long to find healing after their abortion. I feel compelled to laud those women who will be attending the retreat. Man oh man, does that take courage.  I also want to do something for the women who will be attending the retreat. Any ideas? I thought about perhaps making a delectable dessert and delivering it, or sending a small donation for the retreat organizers to buy a fancy dessert. Those women deserve to be pampered a little because I’m sure a retreat like that cannot be easy.

Will you please join me in praying for them? There but for the grace of God, go I.


  1. Wow. How lame that they got your records wrong..and what a difference between spontaneous and "therapeutic". ...awful term!

    Yeah, it's true, in filling out medical forms recently, I have thought of how many women have to put a number besides zero in the abortion box.

    Thought of you at the March for Life!

  2. So lame. The doctor was really apologetic, but still!

    Ugh, awful, I tell you.

    How was the March?!?


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