Dear Dr. Reardon,
I was surprised and pleased to see your article in the recent Post-Abortion Review concerning how parental notification/judicial bypass hearings are conducted. I believe it is the first discussion I have seen on this most important point. It is a shame and quite unfair that these hearings are merely one-sided and give “rubber stamp” approval of the request for abortion.
You mention that the judge must decide whether the girl is mature or that the abortion would be in her best interests. Actually the judge must also decide whether she is capable of giving informed consent. This would require that she know the effects of an abortion and possibly the methods, etc. This is not meant as a criticism. I was just happy to see a discussion of these hearings.
I agree with you that in order to have an actual “hearing” there should be an attorney representing the other side in order to determine whether the minor is mature, can give informed consent, or that it would be in her best interests.
Name Withheld — Retired Judge
Finding Hope After Abortion
I have just finished reading a free sample of Hope and Healing. The articles in it are very good, accurate, and encouraging. I believe too that healing and recovery after abortion are possible. You could not have convinced me of that nine years ago, however. And even if you could, and had offered it as possibility, I would not have received it. I felt that I deserved the internal torment I was experiencing and was determined to only work on some of the problems caused by my abortion. People told me that God loved me and that He forgave, and that was fine; it was His job. I just knew I could never forgive myself.
But God has a different plan, a better plan. The more I attended post-abortion counseling, the clearer it became that recovery and healing are “follow through” concepts. You can’t partially heal your life.
Today I am amazed at the changes that have taken place over the past nine years. I am able to work in a crisis pregnancy center and help other women who come in for post-abortion healing. It is such an incredible transition to see how these women come into group and then see how changed they are after. They may not be completely recovered, but they are on the road and they have something they thought they would never experience again, HOPE.
I don’t believe Webster’s dictionary has a word to describe the place women go to emotionally after an abortion. We know how it feels, but it is difficult to find the words that could convey it to someone in an authentic, descriptive way. But I also believe we need to share our stories in spite of this fact. Who else but post-abortive women can share what the actual experience meant to them emotionally, physically, spiritually? If we stay secluded in our place of personal silence, no one will be able to reach in and cradle what is now such a delicate soul.
Thank you for your publication, and know I will share this paper with as many people as I can in the coming months.
The Tragedy That Is Abortion
Dear Dr. Reardon,
I was one of the ladies in your group on Sunday. I wanted to talk with you at the end of the talk but couldn’t. The thought of abortion in our family is a terrible thing.
It will be three years this November since our granddaughter, age 21, had an abortion. Three months later her father found her hanging from the cross beams in the basement.
We did not know anything about the abortion until a week before her death when she tried suicide by cutting her wrist. Her girl friend found her and called her mother. That was when she told her mother what she had done. They took her to the hospital to the floor for the mentally depressed. They kept her five days, released her, and then three days later she killed herself.
She said her boyfriend made her do it [the abortion] by making promises of marriage, etc. She found out he was seeing another woman and couldn’t handle it.
She dearly loved children, especially her boyfriend’s two little ones. She was always taking care of some friend’s children.
Thought perhaps this story might help you in your work. If someone like you could have talked with her, she might be alive today.