Rachel’s Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing. Rachel’s Vineyard can help you experience God’s love and compassion on a profound level. It creates a place where men and women can share, often for the first time, their deepest feelings about their abortion. You are allowed to dismantle troubling secrets in an environment of emotional and spiritual safety.
Date – The next retreat in the Ottawa area is May 4-6
Cost – The 230$ cost covers all meals and lodging from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. Financial assistance is available.
To register or get more information, email us at rvr_ottawa [at] yahoo.ca or call 613-806-5522 (Lynda or Terry).
That appears to be the case on Ryerson Campus in Toronto, where posters offering support to pregnant students caused another… kerfuffle. The student union doesn’t know what to do now, because they are worried the pregnancy support might be “anti-choice.” Does the student union understand how extreme this sounds to outside ears? Do they not believe there could even be one woman who would benefit from attention and support if she is pregnant unexpectedly and doesn’t want to abort? Have they never met anyone who was pressured to abort? These things are quite common. Must be that they live in a little ideological bubble, where all they can process are the words pro or anti-choice.
CBC is taking a look at abortion. Today, as I type, they are listening to men’s experience with abortion. I can’t help but think this is a good thing because the stories are definitely conflicted and you can’t avoid that, unless they were to censor almost every story.
One fellow just now, in Windsor:
There were two abortions and you wonder sometimes. Anybody who has experienced an abortion, anyone who doesn’t at least ponder what that child would have been like, I think it’s insane if you never think what that child would have been like… It’s normal. You’re gonna be curious, you are going to think about it… It’s hard to say if we regret it. Looking back now, having three, looking at that whole time frame, sometimes I think maybe it wasn’t the right choice, but ultimately you can’t change the past.”
All this to say, people “get it” on the human level. What would these children have been like? It’s normal to ask that.
As I finish typing this, I’m listening to a man talk about how he has never gotten over the abortion his girlfriend had.
I would love for women and men to be healed from their abortions. Counselling plays an important role in this. When people are healed and can talk about it, I think we’ll see a less pro-choice culture. To this end, if you are in the Ottawa area there is help for you, free of charge, at First Place Options. Also you can google Project Rachel.
On rare occasion, the World Wide Web does something positive by bringing people together. I got an email from Jennifer Rose (not her real name) who was asking for places to go for healing after an abortion 28 years ago. Something about Jennifer’s story really resonated with me. She doesn’t have other children–her aborted child was it. Could this not be any one of us? I consider how life goes in our “modern” world and I really feel her story could be me. Suddenly, you are 40 or 50 or 60 and you look back on your life and realize so many things you thought were difficult could have been coped with. We are all compelled to make our own mistakes and suffer the consequences, as if there were no older, wiser women to learn from. Must it be this way? Here’s one older, wiser woman, who would like to tell her story so that others can read it, hear it and change course if they are in her situation of 28 years ago.
Here’s Jennifer’s story:
I regret my abortion. It was 28 years ago and this is the first time I am writing about it. It is time to leave my head—to get my story out. There are many reasons why I made the mistake to end my pregnancy; fear, self-hate and ignorance top the list.
I was 28 years old and missed one day of my birth control pills. I was in a serious relationship. I believe I had the abortion at eight weeks. It was an unsettling and exciting time in my life. I had just uprooted the only life I had ever known and moved from one coast to the other, to be with the love of my life. He was starting a new job and we wanted to start a new life together. He was not happy for us when he heard the news. He had two older children from a previous marriage and our finances at the time were a shambles. He said he would leave if I had the baby. (He denies he said this.) I was too afraid to tell my parents back home. I wish I was happy with the news regardless of how my partner felt and whether he wanted another child. I felt so scared and very alone. I felt I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t have a baby. Me? Having a baby? Being a mother? I panicked.
As a young, introverted girl, I rarely thought of growing up and having a family like a lot of my friends. I tended to talk about “deeper” things like why the universe is the way it is, or what the purpose of life is. Then when I was eight, my childhood came to an abrupt end and my family was fragmented forever when my oldest sister, just 18 years old, dropped dead from a heart attack. When sudden tragedy strikes I believe it depends on your age, stage in life and temperament as to how and in what forms you process the event. I lay in bed that night listening to the horrific wails of grief coming from my mother downstairs. That memory will always be with me. I was good at internalizing and over-thinking events even then and created the thought that having children must feel terrible because they die and you cry and hurt.
What if my baby died like my sister did?
I wish I could go back to my 28-year-old self and tell her not to make the biggest mistake of her life. If I could, I would have told her she didn’t need to feel scared or alone and to reach out to a supportive minister or counsellor for guidance and support—someone who would show her that her life was going to change for the better. I would have told her this was not entirely about her, that she must be brave, that this baby deserves a chance at life and even if she felt that she couldn’t raise the child, there is always adoption. If the baby was born with physical or medical problems that she would be able to cope with strength, love and courage.
I wish I loved and believed in myself more back then. I wish I knew then what I know now that everything will always be okay. Everything. I wish I had had my strong personal faith in God like I do now. I kept everything to myself. Thinking I knew best, I guess, I let my ego rule over my heart. I still remember as if it were yesterday when they put the oxygen mask over my face; I had tears pouring down my face. So, so sorry I was so selfish and stupid!
Now, I am 56 and childless. My partner at the time and I have since married and have stayed together. Through the years since my abortion, I’ve been angry at myself. I tried to cope by numbing everything with booze, but the pain and regret never really seemed to go away. I have been treating myself as an invisible visitor on this earthly plane. I tried propping my self-esteem up with pro-choice and feminist beliefs for many years after that because I was too afraid to face the ugly truth of what I had done. But my soul always knew and it has weighed on me.
My self-esteem was demolished—the day my sister died. I work every day with meditation, my faith and journal writing to save any innocent essence I have left. I pray daily, repentant, and I know I am forgiven. I am back on the path and walk in His grace and mercy every day.
We are women and we can bring new life into this bizarre and beautiful place. I want my story to be comfort and inspiration for some scared young woman who perhaps, like me, fears being a mother. I want to tell her to go for it: Jump into the unknown with love and know that there are people out there who care about you. Whether you intend to keep your baby or not, know that you are bringing a new life into the world who deserves to be here.
And to tell her that everything will always turn out okay. Everything.
Sometimes I hear pro-choice advocates on the radio and they say things like “abortion is a settled issue.” Perhaps they believe that. Meanwhile, the only reason they are on the radio is because it’s a very heated, live issue right now, particularly in my town of Ottawa, and not at all settled.
I have not seen any video footage outside the Bank Street abortion clinic. There are reports of harassment and intimidation. I am a pro-lifer who is against harassment and intimidation, no ifs, ands or buts about it. I’d like to know more about what has happened in front of the downtown Ottawa abortion clinic. I confess I pass by once in a while and haven’t seen anything. That’s not to say there aren’t problems. It’s only to say that I need more information other than what the clinic itself provides, given the heated nature of anything to do with abortion. If they have video footage, it would be great if they released that. They’d have the support of the pro-life community in curtailing violence, harassment and intimidation, that much is true.
Christie Blatchford writes about this issue in measured tones. She refers to what we on the pro-life side know as the “abortion distortion” without using those words. The abortion distortion happens when valid health information that would help women make informed choices is suppressed because it appears to be “pro-life.” And it happens when authorities use “an elephant gun to kill a flea,” as Blatchford puts it, which is what is about to happen as regards ensuring there is no harassment or intimidation outside abortion clinics.
This much is true:
But if she and Gibbons were members of Black Lives Matter, or the Tamils who about eight years ago blocked a ramp to the Gardiner Expressway, or almost any other protest group in this country railing about almost any other issue, they wouldn’t be being carted off to jail with such alarming frequency.
I read this piece and thought, yes, it’s the pro-choice memoir we all need right now. I actually agree with the Globe and Mail writer, Denise Balkissoon.
The hallmark of the abortion movement can never be compassion to the child. It will never be that. Abortions take the life of that child without asking, without concern and without anesthetic. That’s why the start of this column is most curious:
A pregnant teenager learns that the fetus she is carrying will be born without a functioning circulatory system. At no point will it be able to breathe for itself – there is no way that it can live. The teenager decides not to terminate the pregnancy, telling her obstetrician that she is “praying for a miracle.”
Twenty weeks later, the teenager gives birth. In a new memoir, the doctor, Willie Parker, writes of his “horror” watching the newborn’s immediate, inevitable death. “Born at term, the baby could feel pain … ” Dr. Parker writes. “She must have felt all the anxiety and panic that would accompany suffocating to death.
“In this case, an absolute reverence for life led to a situation that, to my eyes, consisted of nothing less than pure cruelty.”
Pro-choice people ask us to swap the cruelty we can see for the cruelty we can’t see. There is no evidence that taking the life of the unborn child in the womb is less cruel. The result, after all, is exactly the same, it’s just we saw a little bit less.
When I miscarried at nine weeks, the hands of this new person were clearly evident. Tiny, perfect fingers, thin, transluscent. Real. Hands like the ones I’m using to type right now.
So bring on the memoirs that describe how and when a man draws his line in the sand about when he can end the life of a baby versus when he can’t. It gets us all talking about the reality that is abortion. Killing kids ain’t no form of compassion–and that’s all the pro-choice movement has. That’s what they defend. I’ll wait for a miracle any day of the week. And hope for a doctor who isn’t negligent in providing pain relief after birth, if such a thing is sadly needed.
If Planned Parenthood is defunded in the States, there will be an outcry about how this is misogynistic, because Planned Parenthood is somehow responsible for women’s healthcare. In the United States (not in Canada) Planned Parenthood is actually an abortion provider–that is their main business.
This little video shows what they offer to pregnant women who want a non-abortion related ultrasound. (If you don’t have time to watch it, I’ll tell you. The answer is nothing.)
GREAT little video, which explains the numbers succinctly.
Wise words from a young woman. Wish there was more out there like this, stories from women who face an unplanned pregnancy and keep the baby. How great that someone was able to encourage her, that there was a place to go, even though she was very angry at the time. I’d love to go more in depth with her on how things are going, how she is achieving her goals, what kind of help she is getting, what has been the most difficult, what has been the most rewarding. That kind of thing. Certainly seems to be a bright, young woman–and with a bit of perspective, it’s hard to see how her beautiful daughter will “ruin” her life.