If my daughter has an abortion, what do I do?

If my daughter is having an abortion, what is my obligation as a Catholic and as her mother?

My daughter, at 21, is still determined to kill her baby. Until now I have been loving, but clear about the truth and she is still determined. I have prayed and prayed, and now this anger is coming up. I feel that it is a righteous anger, but perhaps it is my pride or simply panic that we are coming closer to my grandchild’s death. All my daughter cares about is her feelings and what she wants.

I do not see how I can continue to share her life experiences since they will be at the expense of the life of an innocent. I do not see how I can look at her without knowing she murdered her child. I want to give her her baby things, tell her I love her, and tell her to “Please do not do this thing, because, if you do, I can no longer be a part of your life.” Is this sinful? As a Catholic, am I supposed to pretend this hasn’t happened? I guess I’m asking what would Jesus do?

I am so sorry and I hope and pray that your daughter changes her mind.

If she does have the abortion, try to remember that she will still need you, even if she is pushing you away right now. Abortions, despite propaganda to the contrary, are not always safe. There may be medical complications, and there almost certainly will be emotional complications. If your daughter is in pain (physical, emotional, or otherwise) and needs your assistance, try to be available to help her. The last thing you want is for her to feel that she cannot come to you for help if her health falls apart in the wake of this tragedy.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot grieve for your grandchild and that you cannot acknowledge your anger and disappointment with your daughter. But, for the time being at least, it may be better to seek professional assistance in dealing with those emotions rather than lashing out at your daughter or breaking off contact with her. I recommend contacting the Pastoral Solutions Institute, a Catholic counseling apostolate, for further assistance. You may also want to contact Project Rachel, a Catholic post-abortion recovery program, to find out if there is grief counseling available for close family members such as grandparents.

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