Listeners to CBC Radio, Ontario recently heard two, one-hour long discussions featuring women and men talking about something they rarely do: their past abortions. The shows aired on November 29th are still available online at cbc.ca.
The 50-minute conversations offer some intriguing insight into the impact of abortion on both men and women (interestingly, its impact on pre-born babies was not discussed, even though it was alluded to by more than one caller).
For both programs, host Rita Celli invited a prominent guest to offer commentary between and during calls. Predictably, both were pro-abortion and made it clear they see abortion as nothing more than a “health procedure.” Even so, they did acknowledge that abortion involves a “loss” in some way and is not a emotionless event.
For the women’s show, Celli invited Dr. Jennifer Blake, CEO of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. Dr. Blake has been featured in several news articles, including one in which she offered a tepid defense of a 35-week abortion in Montreal one year ago. For the men, Celli invited gynecologist and “family planning expert” (AKA abortionist?) Dr. Dustin Costescu.
Celli, Blake, and Costescu provided soothing voices and rationalizations in support of the women and the choices they made. Be warned, it may be hard to listen to someone justify having had their own child destroyed by abortion, but even with the most defiant callers, a sense of sadness, guilt, regret, at the very least emotional confusion, can be detected. Most callers, including those claiming no regrets, admitted to feelings to grief, shame, guilt, or anxiety even decades after their abortion.
For the men, feelings of helplessness, submission to the “choice” of the woman, and powerlessness were also present in their experiences. Almost all callers said their past abortions were rarely shared with others.
It seemed the men were more willing, or able, to admit to negative emotions around a past abortion than the women were. Perhaps a lessened sense of culpability permitted a more honest reflection of the experience?
It is clear listening to these callers the abortion experience is one that impacts both men and women in ways they may never fully understand. Most were surprised to learn of an unplanned pregnancy but instead of accepting the news and putting their faith in God as Mary did, they resorted to ending the life of their child. For those who will eventually acknowledge the truth – that the abortion was an act of violence that killed their child – real healing and forgiveness can be found.
Christ was conceived of the Virgin Mary, who was surprised and bewildered by the news of her pregnancy. She had unwavering faith in the will of God and carried His son to term. With His birth, all of humanity was offered hope, forgiveness, redemption, and ultimately, eternal salvation.
While Kelowna Right to Life whole-heartedly condemns the act of abortion as wrong, we want to offer hope and healing for those who have been involved in a past abortion. May the peace of Christ be with everyone this Christmas season and beyond.