Healing the wounds of post abortion trauma
Abortion and Its Pain (Second and Revised Edition)
by Anne R. Lastman
(Freedom Books, 2013, 258pp, $24.95. Available from Freedom Publishing, ISBN: 978-0-646-47601-8)
The strength and goodness of a nation is indicated by its care and protection of the most vulnerable in our society – the unborn, persons with disabilities, the young, women, the elderly and the poor.
In a society in which around 100,000 babies die annually in the womb of their mothers through abortion, there is much we can improve on as a nation. The most vulnerable die in a most inhumane, terrible way; and there is much collateral damage!
Abortion not only ruptures the life of the innocent baby but also the integrity and dignity of individuals and the relationships of those involved in the decision, i.e., the baby's family members, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, as well as other relatives and friends.
Redeeming Grief, newly available in a second, revised edition with a Foreword by Archbishop Hickey, recognises this ongoing silent agony of those involved, especially of the women (mothers-to-be) and the men (fathers-to-be). The grief is silent and unacknowledged for, at the time of the death, the life is belittled – disregarded as bunch of cells – as nothing significant. There are many voices echoing this chorus, voices of people close to the couple and the couple themselves.
Then, the reality of grief comes crashing in on women and men and the voices are now silent for the grief is witnessing to the death of a person, a baby, a grief which not only needs to be acknowledged but also healed. Now, there is only silence and isolation for the suffering ones.
Essential to that healing is the redeeming of guilt which is present in decisions which led to the death of an innocent, vulnerable human being.
Anne Lastman is well qualified to speak of these realities which she experienced in her own life and has seen lived out in more than 1,500 people, mainly women, whom she has counselled since 1996.
Redeeming Grief offers a light of hope amid the darkness of despair. Here the reality of the post abortion trauma suffering is not only acknowledged but healing is offered. With her commitment to Christ as a Catholic, Anne Lastman describes the forgiveness of God which is life-giving for many of those she sees who had been living a destructive life of self-hatred.
Redeeming Grief not only expresses and reveals the silent grief of abortion with insights into the spiritual and psychological effects of abortion on women and men but identifies the healing which comes through the redemptive love of God, Jesus Christ – the price has been paid in the blood of the Lamb, the eternal Priest and Victim, no more needs to be shed!
This book invites all who read it to consider and work for not only the protection of the vulnerable in the womb but also the protection of vulnerable people, especially women, and some very young women, who suffer in silence following the deaths of their babies.
Fr Paul Crotty is Parish Priest of All Saints Church, Port Augusta, SA.