Since The Abortion Survivor Network (www.theabortionsurvivors.com) got up and running in late March, I am pleased to share that beautiful and amazing things have been happening! Not only are individuals being educated about the prevalence of abortion survivors and the effects of abortion in our lives, but more and more survivors are realizing that they are not alone.
In the past two months, I have heard from 10 abortion survivors from across the U.S. and even Australia. This has been such an amazing blessing for me, to hear from other survivors, to hear from them what it means to have a group of fellow survivors to turn to for support, and to feel acknowledged in a world that doesn’t often think about lives like ours.
Although every survivor and their experience is unique, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the similarities that I’ve found within all of our lives to give you a glimpse into what it’s like in the life of an abortion survivor.
1) No matter whether we were adopted or raised by the parent(s) who attempted to abort us, we all experienced general feelings of being unloved or unworthy over the years, that we couldn’t always understand. Sadly, a number of the survivors who were raised by their mother who had the abortion have suffered immense physical and psychological abuse. And no, I don’t believe this points to the fact that abortion is a “preventative” for child abuse. I do believe, however, that it reflects the magnitude of a mother’s feelings after having attempted an abortion and living with that reminder everyday.
2) This is actually connected to #1 above….all survivors, but particularly those who were raised by their parent who had the abortion, have ultimately come to a better understanding of not only their personal selves, but their parent(s) and other family members. As one survivor so aptly put it, when she found out the truth later in life about being a survivor, it helped her to love her mother more, because she could finally understand why she treated her the way that she had. It made sense to her now, it wasn’t personal, it stemmed from the abortion years ago.
One of the greatest blessings for me has been to hear from other survivors that they are finding courage and strength to be who they are, no matter what they do with their role as a survivor. I know that not all survivors are called to speak publicly about their experience, not all are writers, etc. But no matter what we are called to do with our lives, we have been blessed with life and we need not be ashamed of who we are or embarassed about what happened to us.
3) We often feel alone. Most survivors live their lives thinking that they are alone in their experience. What a difficult thing it’s been for survivors to find someone who they can relate to, someone who can support them on their journey. I can still remember how deeply alone I felt for the first four years after finding out the truth about my life. It wasn’t until I found out about Gianna Jessen when I was 19 years old and had begun the search process for my biological family and medical records, that the heavy veil of loneliness began to lift for me. Knowing that there was even one person like me out there in the world made all the difference for me.
And now, 15 years later, I have that opportunity to be that one person for someone else, along with the other abortion survivors who are sharing their stories on The Abortion Survivors Network. I am continuing to compile the testimonies of the survivors that I’m having contact with, and will keep the site updated regularly. If you haven’t had a chance to visit the site yet, I encourage you to do so. The “Get Informed” page with information about failed abortions will certainly educate you and the “Testimonies” and “Abortion Survivors” pages will inspire you.
I have great hopes, and I believe the Lord has great plans, for The Abortion Survivor Network. This is just the beginning of what will be accomplished and the good that will come from it. I look forward to keeping all of you updated on the Network. Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Weekend!