Friend revealed she had an abortion


#1

I didn’t know where to put this so if it needs to be moved feel free to do so. I’ve recently reconnected with an old friend from grade school. We’ve been emailing each other back and forth. She’s had a lot of tough times since graduating highschool. She revealed to me she had an abortion in college. She said she was an alcoholic at the time, the father was a jerk and “it was better off”. She said her mom “helped” her during that time or she didn’t know how she’d get through it. She’s Catholic, we made our first communion together.

We are supposed to be meeting for lunch this weekend and I have several prolife bumper stickers on my car. I took a long time thinking out my response, I tried to respond as gently as possible and gave her the link to Project Rachel. I did warn her about the bumper stickers incase she sees them on my car. She also mentioned she’s on the pill even though she hasn’t dated in five years. She’s tried to come off it but has panic attacks when she does (irrational fear of pregnancy stemming from the abortion I would guess.)
She’s in such a bad place right now. She’s out of work, in danger of losing her house -she’s trying to sell it but in this MI economy no one is buying. I don’t want to push her a way or make her feel judged. I did (with some humor) explain where I am at in my life as far as being a very “fervant” Catholic and that we use NFP and it works. I hope I handled it ok. Haven’t heard back yet but I just sent it a little bit ago.

Any advise or suggestions on how I could help her or how to proceed?


#2

The best course is to tell her that you are there if she ever wants to talk, and that you are not judging her for having an abortion but hope she will get healing if she needs it.

From the heart is the best approach.


#3

I think you did great. You were gentle and compassionate with her, yet did not compromise or dilute your faith.


#4

Well I heard back from her. She said something along the lines of “everyone is entitled to their opinion and believes in God in different ways”. She said “the only thing I dont’ like about the anti-abortion thing is parading in front of clinics” Apparently she fell away from the church for a while and went to a unitarian. Now she’s back in the Catholic Church but seems have bad experiences with Catholics that act pious but are anything but. Her mom is divorced and I think she feels the church judges her mom for that too. Anyway…
I decided I’d better let it rest for now. We are still planning on lunch so hopefully that goes well.


#5

It sounds like you handled it very well – you showed compassion but didn’t compromise the truth. Right now it might be best simply to pray for her and let God work in her heart. Abortion is an emotionally and spiritually shattering experience, and women have to set up elaborate rationalizations and defense mechanisms to justify it and try to live with the decision they made.


#6

I agree with Veritas. Women go to tremendous lengths to rationalize an abortion. I know. I was married to a non-Catholic woman who rationalized her abortion of a “blob of tissue” for 16 long and emotionally and spiritually dead years. It did not help that we lived in Wichita, Kansas, the home of George Tiller and his abortuary, where many large-scale protests have occurred, which I believe do not help our pro-life cause.

It’s possible that your being a Catholic might be a thorn in her conscience, a strong reminder of the pain she went through or has denied. Or your Catholicity might be the vehicle through which she finds healing. Whatever you do and say regarding the subject, do in sincere love, respect and understanding. Any hint of a judgemental attitude will work against your friendship and her path to healing.

I pray that she finds God and His infitinte mercy, and that you are able to be the friend that she needs. God’s love to you both.


#7

Completely agree with two previous posters. I am ashamed to say this, but I used to share those views. Not regarding abortion, but the whole ‘truth is subjective’ thing. All my friends where gay men when I was a club-going 18 and 19 year old, before I reverted, and they were really into the self-destructive life style. The things I told myself to make it okay could fill a book. Let me give you hope by saying all it took for me to see the real truth was I went to mass. Then another. Then the new priest asked me to a Legion of Mary meeting. I met people my age who were devout there. I considered my vocation. I began to read. And because one loving person who barely knew me invited me to that mass, I have a new heart. I am in love with the Magisterium and teaching the faith to a new generation. It wasn’t overnight, but pretty darn close. I went from, “God doesn’t send “good” people to Hell” to a healthy fear of the Lord and an obsession of His love letters, the Bible, the CCL, and the CCC.


#8

I also think you are doing well to reach out to her in love. I came back to the Church very confused about the abortion issue in my own life. NO, I did not disagree with Church teachings…what I said to people was very similar to what your friend is saying now. I worried about ‘imposing my religious views on others’, I was concerned that my past made anything I was feeling suspect and therefore unworthy to even broach with people.

I will state here and now that the first person who opened the door for me back to being in full communion with the Church on this issue was Father Vincent Serpa. He suggested that I take things one step at a time. Was I sorry about my sinful past? Yes. I went to confession and received absolution. Next he suggested that I read the Catechism and then all I could find on the subject of Abortion. He then told me that there was much grace in being willing to submit to the authority of the Church in all matters and that this might be my chance to understand the virtue of obedience.

I deepened my prayer life over this and other so-called issues I had with Church teachings and just as Father Vincent told me my heart began to change and turn more fully to the light.

Here what is the best part - never once during this journey of mine did anyone jump on me and tell me I was going to hell or that there was no hope from me. The Truth was not hidden but the people who helped me Home to Rome were fully confident that He who is The Word would shine brightly enough that I would recognize that light and follow it.

You are in such an incredible position to be that kind of light keeper for your friend. She is already ‘back in the Church’ so half the battle is won.

You are in my prayers and so is SHE!!! PS - I think you’re awesome…:clapping:


#9

Just wanted to give a little up date. My friend is coming to Mass with us today and confession. Please pray for her.


#10

I will.


#11

I will keep her in my prayers, and you as well that you are guided by the Holy Spirit in speaking with her.

That she is going to mass and confession is fantastic! Even if she’s not ready to confess the abortion yet, and she may not be because she may not yet be able to admit the sin and responsibility of that action, the grace she will experience by trying may help her get to where she needs to be.

God be with you both.

~Liza


#12

Things went wonderfully Sunday. It truly will be a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Our priest suggested she give a name to the baby which she seemed happy about and is planning on doing. The Holy Spirit truly works in amazing ways. Thank you all for your prayers!


#13

Now that is great news!! I feel blessed to have read this post…

Thanks for sharing…


#14

Rayne,
I am so proud of you. I had a situation about 7 year ago where a friend told me about her abortion. She was date raped, 17 years old. Her mother “forced her” to have an abortion. Her father (the friend’s father), who was Catholic, was very much against it. Her mother took her anyway. She also but the rapist behind bars.

She asked me what I thought about her abortion. I am ashamed of myself and what I said “just to make her feel better” and I will not repeat it. They were lies and falsehoods. I was only 20 and confused myself and seeking answers. I forgave myself for being weak, but I promised myself that I would never again be weak, but strong and compassionate and ready to help in anyway I can. The truth is my meek words did not help her, and they did not take away hurt and help her heal. I wish so much that I could have given her information about Rachel’s Vineyard.

My prayers are with you and God bless you.


#15

You Are Awesome


#16

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