Pennsylvanians for Human Life
 

Post-Abortion Syndrome

Women who have had abortions in the past often regret their abortions. There are often physical, mental, spiritual and social complications following abortion. Rachel's Vineyard is a weekend retreat program for women who are suffering the emotional or spiritual pain of an abortion. Click here for more information on Rachel's Vineyard Retreats.

Women who want information can call 877-HOPE-4-ME or visit www.rachelsvineyard.org

Women in the Scranton area can call the Diocese of Scranton at 207-2213 for information about their upcoming Rachel's Vineyard Retreats.

Vera Faith Lord presented a workshop Post-Abortion Syndrome at the 2003 Pa. Pro-Life State Convention held Sept. 27 in Scranton. Here are excerpts from her talk:

Ms. Lord observed, “All our children hear in the public schools and in the media is “It’s your body and your right to choose.” No one tells them what will happen after that choice is made and the baby is dead. I was 34 years old when I killed my son. He would be 21 today. I was 21 weeks pregnant and I felt movement.” “I had an abusive husband...I was abusing cocaine and meth-amphetamines. I was a poster child for the abortion industry.” “I heard it from my doctor, my friends and even a pastor; “You don’t want to bring an addicted child into the world into an abusive marriage.”


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Elliot Institute

Rachel's Vineyard
“After the abortion, maternal instinct stirs up. Every cell in your body knows you have killed your own offspring- it is the worst feeling imaginable. We spend the rest of our time running away from it. We have a dead child. If a woman has a baby who dies of SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome, she has the support of the community, family and friends and a funeral where she can grieve. In abortion society says, “Baby? What baby?” You must grieve and mourn that death alone."

"Symptoms of post-abortion syndrome can include, “migraines, eating disorders, and inability to bond with people. Compulsive perfectionism, and other compulsive behaviors. Post- abortion syndrome affects every relationship a woman has including her spouse, other children, family and friends.”

“There is a way out. The first step is being forgiven by God." Thirteen years after her abortion, Ms. Lord says she was snapped out of denial. Doing some research she found nine books and 21 national organizations to help women heal after their abortions. “Although many have been around for over a decade, the average person can’t name one of them...A big part of a mother’s soul dies with her baby. Many women take it to their graves and never connect the dots. Women in their eighties and nineties come up to me carrying their grief for sixty years. Being forgiven by God is only the first step, the more difficult is trying to forgive ourselves.”

Ms. Lord recommended two books, one written for post-abortive women, Her Choice to Heal by Sylvia Massey and Jan Phillips. For Priests and Counselors she recommends Father Mike Mannion’s Abortion and Healing a Cry to be Whole. It is available at The Pro-Life Information Center by calling 570-343-5099.

Vera Faith Lord has two speaking ministries; Alpha Omega Life which is an outreach to all Orthodox Christians and Vera Faith Lord International Life Outreach. She travels throughout the U.S. to share her story and expose the truth about abortion and post-abortion syndrome.


"Silent No More" Campaign Participants, Actress Jennifer O'Neill Regret Abortions

The "Silent No More" campaign took its message to Washington D.C. and state capitols across the nation this January 22nd. Brave women across the nation came to give testimony, pray and say, "I regret my abortion." Actress Jennifer O'Neill, best known for her role in the movie, The Summer of '42, was the keynote speaker at a gathering before the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. With great dignity and sadness she recounted the nine miscarriages which followed her abortion. Other women spoke of nightmares, suicidal tendencies, their inability to bear children, damaged relationships and even breast cancer.

Georgette Forney co-founder of the "Silent No More" campaign, said "I was inspired by God after struggling with the pain and agony of my abortion. I regret my abortion and I know others feel the same way." Olivia Gans, director of American Victims of Abortion, reminded participants, "we are mothers and fathers with empty arms. We have not been silent these past years, and we will not be silenced now. Our pain is real. There is much to be learned from our experiences that will protect and benefit women in the future. It can no longer be assumed that abortion is good for women."


Women Deserve Better Than Abortion!

By Georgette Forney, Executive Director, NOEL (In March 2007, NOEL changed its name to Anglicans for Life)

What activities can a pastor organize to reach out to post-abortive parents and families and to help his people to be active in the pro-life movement?

To address this question, let me share some strategies NOEL is using. We want to bring people who are pro-choice, or who are apathetic, step-by-step, to the pro-life cause. We want to win people's hearts over for life, not win a debate. But changing people's hearts takes longer than winning an argument, and it takes a lot of love as well as patience. Much like working with people, it takes patience. It also means meeting people where they are at in their stand on abortion, and bringing them a little bit closer to being pro-life.

The example of Ann illustrates this method. Ann, a post-abortive woman, called the NOEL office and expressed shock because she had just been informed of the Episcopal Church's position of acceptance of abortion. She was considering leaving her local church out of disappointment and disillusionment. But I suggested that she seek God's guidance and consider the possibility of staying there to make a difference in her church community.

We outlined a plan where she shared her post-abortion pain with her clergy, as well as important statistics. She pointed out to her priest that according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) 43% of American women will experience an abortion by age 45. Not only that, but 73% of those women identify themselves as Christians, thus illustrating the need to address this topic in their own congregation.

Ann's priest was reluctant to permit pro-life literature in her church, but she was willing to allow Ann to hold a post-abortion Bible study. Through Ann's educational efforts, her priest was able to let down her defenses and took a step towards becoming pro-life.

Ann got the opportunity to announce the Bible study at her church and talk about forgiveness and reconciliation available to those who have had an abortion. That is worth celebrating! People in that church will experience God's healing, and this will lead more members of the congregation one step away from abortion and one step closer to life. She has done all this without having her clergy completely change her opinion of abortion!

Ann's example is great because no one can deny the pain she has gone through. But not everyone has a testimony like hers. We can still present abortion in a persuasive manner to others by pointing out how abortion hurts women. We now have physical as well as emotional documentation about abortion and women's health. There is a great new book out called Women's Health After Abortion: the Medical and Psychological Evidence by Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy and Ian Gentles. It is an excellent resource, compiling a vast amount of data into one book, and you don't need a scientific background to understand it all.

Since abortions in the U.S. total about 1.3 million a year, the immediate complication rate in abortions is approximately 11%. That means 144,000 women have complications from abortion every year. This does not even account for long-term complications such as infertility, which may not be discovered until years later. The most common immediate complication from abortion is infection, but other complications may occur such as uterine perforation, hemorrhaging, cervical trauma, and even possibly death.

Abortion also increases a woman's risk for breast cancer and cancer of the reproductive organs. It can lead to infertility or complications in future pregnancies--and it is minorities who seem to suffer with the most serious complications.

Women need to have this information in order to make informed decisions and parents need to seriously consider this when abortion seems like the solution to an unplanned pregnancy.

Not only does abortion threaten women's physical health, but it devastates her emotional health as well. Women who elect to have an abortion experience a loss of self-esteem, intense feelings of loneliness and anger, have difficulty in their relationships, often resort to drugs and/or alcohol to deaden the pain, may develop eating disorders, suffer from insomnia and nightmares, and may seriously contemplate suicide.

Whether it is clergy getting people involved or people getting clergy involved, the studies confirm what we have known all along. Abortion is lethal for the baby, and devastating for women. Women deserve better.

NOEL offers a tract that summarizes these health risks. To order a copy, you can call 800-707-NOEL or go on-line at www.NOELforlife.org.





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