By Theresa Bonopartis
I can certainly tell you what a coerced abortion feels like. I remember it as clearly as if it happened yesterday. I was a pregnant teenager kicked out of the house, isolated and alone. Nowhere to go, no one to help, no money, no job, nothing.
I remember the desperation , feeling backed into a corner, along with the fear that those I loved, and were supposed to love me, were going to reject me further if I did not do what they wanted. It was like having your air supply cut off, slowly making you die to your desire of giving your baby life.
Day after day, as the pressure to abort grew, so did the desperation, until fighting for what felt to you was survival, you finally gave in because you honestly felt there was no other choice.
You, who felt the ultimate act of abandonment by those you loved, then give in to the ultimate act of abandonment by aborting the person you are called to love, your unborn child. Ironic.
For others the circumstances may have been different, but much of the feelings are the same. A husband who threatens to leave, a boyfriend who proclaims love, and speaks of another child when you are “ready.” The pressures of society, money, jobs, school … the silent coercions that place fear in your heart, weaken your will or worse yet, do not allow you to think things through.
Many women do not even realize they were coerced. It can be unbearable to see the truth of someone you love, so you would rather convince yourself it was your idea.
There is a quote in The Jericho Plan by David Reardon. He says that most women are socially aborted before they ever step foot into a clinic. I believe that is true. This great ‘freedom of choice,” has often left us with no choice. Emotionally aborted, we then do the unthinkable in participating in the deaths of our own children.
The good news is that this abandonment can often be the very catalyst that calls us to the heart of Jesus and healing. He who suffered the ultimate abandonment knows well the suffering of our hearts, and it is this suffering which allows us to recognize our dependence on Him.
In this upcoming Coerced Abortion Awareness Week, let us also remember another important event, the Feast of The Divine Mercy (April 27) and a God who calls us to Himself. As we bring awareness to the horror of coerced abortion, may we equally bring awareness to Mercy Himself who assures us we have “a right before others” to trust in His unfathomable mercy, forgiveness and love.
Theresa Bonopartis is the founder of Lumina, which helps women and men after abortion, and works with the Sisters of Life on their Entering Cannan healing ministry. She also conducts training seminars for clergy and mental health professionals.
Find More Information on Coerced Abortions
Center Against Forced Abortions: Legal Help for Girls and Women Being Coerced or Forced to Abort
Find Help During Pregnancy
Find Help After Abortion