Support After Abortion operates within the pillars of compassion, collaboration, and capacity to end the demand for abortion by healing those impacted by it. Catherine Davis, Founder and President of The Restoration Project and CEO of Support After Abortion Lisa Rowe address three questions that can improve the capacity of the abortion healing movement to reach the 128 million individuals impacted by abortion.
Why are men and women carrying the secret of their abortions for decades?
Although abortion is socially acceptable, it is openly not discussed. Catherine Davis believes that men and women secretly carry their abortion experiences for decades due in part to our culture. Davis shares, “Those who have experienced abortion feel our culture would heap the shame on them, too.” A culture that would shame is also one that lacks compassion. Davis reminds us,
“While we may have compassion for a veteran or the homeless, we lack compassion for those who have experienced abortion.”
Catherine Davis attributes this lack of compassion to the politicization and division on the topic of abortion, stating, “Our culture lacks compassion for those impacted by abortion because they view it through a political lens, not a Biblical one.”
Support After Abortion wants to bring a people-focused, abortion healing message into the Pro-Life movement. Research reveals 50% of those who have experienced an abortion go back to have another. CEO of Support After Abortion, Lisa Rowe, shares, “This statistic shows us how critical healing is.” If an individual has not healed from their abortion, they deepen their pain and grief by adding another layer of trauma. With a rate of 1 million abortions each year, the current methods and practices are not working. Telling people not to get an abortion is not changing things. Support After Abortion wants to normalize the word “abortion” by raising awareness and talking openly and compassionately about the impact of abortion on individuals.
When we shift the focus to healing those impacted by abortion, we can lower the rate of individuals who go back for a second, third, or fourth abortion.
Why is immediate healing necessary?
“If you had cancer, no one would tell you to wait a year before receiving treatment,” states Davis. Just as individuals seek treatment immediately after receiving a cancer diagnosis, the need for healing following an abortion experience is needed immediately. The longer individuals go without healing, the greater the likelihood they’ll experience another abortion. In addition, the longer they go without healing, the more time they have to develop unhealthy and dangerous coping techniques like substance abuse, promiscuity, and overall risky behaviors. Catherine shares that individuals with abortion experiences tend to have higher rates of depression and suicidal thoughts. Connecting individuals as soon as possible with abortion healing opens the door to healing and growth.
Catherine Davis recounts a powerful story of a 17-year-old she met at one of her conferences who was three years removed from her abortion experience. Davis shared that once she had shared her story, it paved the way for the young girl to share hers. The young girl stood before the group of some 350 individuals and courageously shared her abortion experience. After hearing her story, the group joined in prayer for the young girl. It was at this moment that the young girl shared that a burden had been lifted. She felt free of her guilt and shame.
The young girl was so moved that she ran around the church shouting, “I’m FREE!”
The striking display of freedom that followed encouraged some 200 women to come forward that day and receive prayer for their abortion experiences. If the reaction to carrying the shame of her abortion secret for just three years was this dramatic and freeing, can you imagine what it is like for those who have been carrying it for decades? CEO of Support After Abortion, Lisa Rowe and Catherine Davis believe immediate healing is necessary. Lisa shares, “No one deserves to feel trapped and imprisoned.”
How can we think outside the box to reach those who need healing?
The current methods of serving those impacted by abortion aren’t working.Support After Abortion’s consumer research shows that current approaches to stopping abortion is not working and usually misses healing the people impacted by abortion. Because no one is talking about their abortion, it’s difficult to learn who is impacted. Our consumer research shows that 1 in 4 women by the age of 45 will be impacted by abortion. While abortion does seem to be politicized, many Christians are Pro-Life. With that being said, Davis shares, “The church hasn’t been getting out into the world as Jesus commanded. Instead, the church has been waiting for people to come to it.” Herein lies the problem. The same research by Support After Abortion reveals why church outreach, or rather “in-reach,” is ineffective when considering the masses. Research indicates that 90% of individuals want to remain anonymous and prefer a non-faith-based approach to healing. Healing groups held in churches and faith-based programs are effective; however, the vast majority of individuals do not prefer such methods. Support After Abortion wants to be a catalyst for abortion healing within the Pro-Life movement.
Recommendations for Promoting Abortion Healing
There are several ways that Catherine Davis and Lisa Rowe suggest for catering to those impacted by abortion.
- We need individuals paving the way.
We need individuals sharing their stories and talking about their experiences from places of healing. We need individuals who are willing to step outside the church and share publicly with the hopes of reaching the ears of those who need to hear the message. We see time and time again when a healed individual shares their testimony, others are inspired to come forward and receive healing.
- Non-faith-based resources are needed.
Non-faith-based resources are a way to reach individuals and meet them where they are. Support After Abortion has just such a resource with its “Keys to Hope and Healing.”
- Collaboration within the Pro-Life and abortion healing movements is needed.
Support After Abortion aims to connect leaders and equip them with relevant, options-based approaches to serve our communities. Tools such as the Support After Abortion Virtual Conferences and The Support After Abortion program, A Catalyst For Change, have helped leaders improve their capacity to serve.