By JENNY STIGLER
When most of us hear the word abortion, we think of the loss of a child’s life. We advocate for the child but may not realize the woman is hurt in the process as well. Often, the woman who chose the abortion is isolated by shame and left alone to live in the trauma of her choice.
I’m Jenny, and as the Abortion Recovery Coordinator at the CPC Metro, I know this trauma personally because I once believed the lie that all my problems would go away when I made the choice to have an abortion. I spent the next six years having a heart full of anger, hate, guilt and shame. My heart was hard and closed off so that I could not feel the pain I had buried inside. My abortion left me with more than just empty arms. It left me with a soul wound that desperately needed healing. These feelings are not just my own. They are common for women who experience abortion.
Lorin also found it hard to recover from her abortion. Like many women, Lorin believed that abortion would be the best choice, but what she did not know was that she would carry the burden of her choice alone. “I believed the lie that it was the best thing for everyone involved, but it left me with nothing but a deeper well of emptiness and despair in my heart.” It was the secret that she took home with her from the abortion clinic. She felt shame about her decision, and grief quickly took hold of her life, but there wasn’t anyone to help her through it.
As a married couple, Ron and Tina share a similar experience with their abortion. They didn’t feel like they were provided resources for other options, so they chose an abortion without realizing the long-term consequences. The grief from their abortion damaged their marriage. Tina says, “That was a seed, and we saw it later in life. We experienced a lot of different issues in our marriage, and I didn’t know the problems it caused.”
At the CPC Metro, we want to see women and men spared from the harm of abortion by offering pregnancy resources and support, but we also want to offer recovery for those who have been hurt by abortion in their pasts, through a program designed just for them. I didn’t think I would ever live without shame, regret, anger and despair about my abortion until I attended a weekend retreat specifically for abortion healing. It was there that I received the healing God intended for me. I have joy now because of God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. This is the healing that all women who have suffered from an abortion must find to be free again.
Lorin said it was only when she went through a healing ministry that she was able to “forgive herself and find hope.” Tina and Ron knew they were suffering and found help through the CPC Metro’s Abortion Recovery Ministry. Tina states, “I’m just grateful that the Lord showed us the avenue to receive the healing.”
With people like Lorin, Tina and Ron in mind, the CPC Metro will launch an expanded Abortion Recovery Program this year that will meet the post-abortive woman exactly where she is. We will offer one-on-one, virtual, and in-person sessions, group settings, and weekend retreats. Whether this is your first attempt at the healing process or you have previously attended another program, you are welcome. I know this program works because without it, Lorin, Tina and I would still be living in our turmoil instead of in freedom from our pasts. We needed someone to show us grace and provide a way for us to experience the redemptive healing of Christ.
All services offered in this program are at no cost to any participant. All information obtained is confidential.
Jenny Stigler is the Abortion Recovery Coordinator at the Center for Pregnancy Choices Metro Area, located in Jackson. She lives in Florence with her husband, Cameron, and their three children, Presleigh, Hendrix and Maverick. Jenny and her family attend Hickory Ridge Baptist Church in Florence.