Hurting to Heal: Talking with Parents After Abortion

Question: Is it really wise to use abortion victim photos when those who’ve had abortions will see it?

This is a question our team at Created Equal receives a lot. We know using photos of injustice can change the heart of a society, but does it do more harm than good by hurting those who participated in the injustice in the past? Before reading our thoughts, check out a conversation we had with one mother grieving her abortion.

Video: Mom Who Had Abortion: “Seeing it is a stage of my healing process.”

Brooklyn had an abortion. And she said seeing the pictures was part of her healing process. But how can this be if it hurts to see the pictures?

The answer is that there’s a hidden assumption to this objection—that if something hurts, it must be bad. But surely this isn’t true. Cancer patients suffer greatly with chemotherapy, but this pain is necessary to heal their bodies.

Similarly, Brooklyn and others may feel pain when they see photos of aborted babies, but this pain is not necessarily bad. Indeed, it can be the turning point that forces them to acknowledge the wrong they’ve done and to seek forgiveness from God.

Quick Conversation Tips: How to Reach Parents After Abortion?

  • “How are you doing?”: In the video, when Brooklyn says she had an abortion, our first response is to ask how she is doing today. This invites her to share her feelings. Often people will respond by saying it hurts. We can then acknowledge their pain and give it meaning. They hurt because they did something wrong. But that’s not the end. Next, we…
  • Direct them to healing: After giving meaning to pain, we can direct people to true healing. Say, “Even if I’ve never had an abortion, I’m no better than you. I’ve sinned against the same God. And there’s only one way to forgiveness for both of us: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
  • Connect them to healing ministries: There are many groups equipped to counsel at length those who are grieving. Here’s one great example: Deeper Still.

Have you had conversations with people grieving past abortions? Send us a quick email to share with us how they went!