Lisa Rowe, CEO of Support After Abortion, sits down with the Minority Outreach and Healthy Relationships Director, Toni McFadden, to discuss the importance of compassion and truth to build capacity for abortion healing.
Toni was a senior in highschool when she found out she was pregnant. She confided in her boyfriend and best friend, who offered little support by saying, “You don’t want to keep it do you?”, and “You cannot keep this baby.” Toni, driven by fear, went to Planned Parenthood, where she received little support. During her sonogram the nurse said, “see it’s nothing, just the size of a pea.” Toni states, “Planned Parenthood pretends to care but they are not giving the full truth and education to patients, especially young patients.”
Toni was given RU486, before it was even approved by the FDA. The days and months that followed included hemorrhaging and silently suffering at home. It was after this trauma Toni felt like she began to spiral out of control.
Communicating with Compassion, in churches, to increase Abortion Healing
Toni grew up going to church, but did not have an intimate relationship with the Lord. After her abortion, she ran, but when she could run no longer, she felt as though the Lord met her where she is, and they began a beautiful relationship that led to Toni’s abortion healing. Toni went through an abortion healing program, she began to work for a crisis pregnancy center, and began speaking to teenagers about waiting for marriage to have sex.
She was healing, but still felt as though she had to keep this secret when in church or around other Christians. Toni states, “I felt as though this was the one thing Christians could not forgive, or see past.” Her need to keep this secret from the church was reinforced when Toni walked past a Planned Parenthood and was handed a newspaper that had an aborted baby inside. She remembers thinking, “Are you thinking of the woman impacted by abortion when you hand these out?”
Toni was in the abortion healing process, and had a beautiful relationship with the Lord for three years at this point, but still felt she could not share her story. Until one day, while at the Crisis Pregnancy Center, Toni felt called to open up to a coworker, and fellow Christian. Together they cried, listened and connected with compassion.
Be a Catalyst for Change, and Build Capacity for Change, while Communicating with Compassion
Lisa and Toni both agree that education for teenagers and young adults is imperative to promote healthy relationships and increase abortion healing. Planned Parenthood is in our schools, grooming kids to not trust their parents and come to them instead. If teenagers, or young adults, are in darkness they will seek people to affirm their choices.
When speaking to teenagers, or anyone impacted by abortion, people need to always be thinking about the woman, become relatable and speak with compassionate language. If the “Did you know?” approach is used, then people will pull away because they will feel, in that moment, the agenda matters more than they do. Specifically with teenagers, they need to hear the survival story, and not the perfection story. Telling them the truth that if you have had sex, or had an abortion, you are still worthy, is very impactful and can lead to more abortion healing.
Lisa addresses the importance of remembering that the teenage brain is still developing and we need to be mindful of the left brain and right brain functions. Lisa states, “to access trauma we have to access the right brain, where trauma is stored. The left brain is used for knowledge.” Compassionately reaching out to this right brain, and understanding how they work together will increase the number of teenagers, and young adults, who reach out for abortion healing.
April is Abortion Recovery Month. If you or someone you know has been impacted by abortion, you are not alone. Please contact us or visit our website or contact our Hopeline for help at 844-289-HOPE (4673).
If you would like more information on how to be a catalyst for change within the ProLife movement please visit our Virtual Conference to watch recordings of all of the presentations.