When someone admits they are guilty of a crime, or are found guilty by a judge or jury, then they know they are about to be punished. Many of us might think that the punishments do not fit the crime nowadays, and that the criminals get let off much too lightly. But for someone who knows the guilt following an abortion, whether it be immediately afterwards or months or years later, the 'punishment' is never sufficient in their own eyes. Firstly that is because there is no actual punishment for the sin of abortion. A mother knows she has killed her child yet society says that was legal. We have even seen in the news lately mothers being released from long prison sentences that had been imposed when they had been accused of murdering their babies, but where the cases were later found to be accidental cot death and not infanticide. So how does a mother who has killed her baby by abortion, for whatever reason, but ultimately by her choice, accept this? She doesn't.
If society will not punish her, then she will punish herself. This may take various forms, and no two will be identical. The mother may not even realise that her behaviour has anything to do with the abortion experience as she could still be in denial.
- Some may take to drinking or drugs to physically punish their own bodies
- Some may self harm by cutting themselves with razors or knives, or stubbing cigarettes out on their bodies.
- Some may overeat so that nobody could ever love them or want sex with them again.
- Some may stop eating, another way to destroy their body that destroyed their baby.
- Some become violent towards their husband, boyfriend, or family, until they receive the violent response they think they deserve. This either results in the punishment of a broken relationship or staying in a violent relationship so that she can receive further physical punishment for being such a wicked woman who killed her own child.
- Some become so violent towards their children that the children are removed. The mother convinces herself that if she can kill one baby then she could kill others and the punishment is that her children are removed, thus proving the mother correct in her self estimation.
- Some may become withdrawn and not speak to anyone, feeling they are too horrible to be liked and so become unlikable.
- Some try to do 'good works' or just become obsessively busy that they dare not stop as they do not deserve any sort of rest or reward.
- Some may turn to 'religion' to try to compensate for their unspoken past. They may try to barter with God that if they do such and such for Him, maybe He will forgive them.
- Some will turn away from God, disgusted with their own attitudes and lack of self worth. They believe that they are unworthy to even consider that God may forgive them.
- Some turn away from God, accusing Him for not stopping them from going through with the procedure.
- Some blame themselves completely for their actions, refusing to apportion the blame appropriately.
- Some blame everyone else for their actions, subconsciously accusing them for not having stopped her from having the abortion.
- Any form of celebration becomes an endurance as she feels that she does not deserve to be happy. She may avoid such occasions or behave in such a way as not to be invited again.
- Many become depressed to the point that they try to commit suicide.
- Some succeed in committing suicide.
These responses are generalised. Not all women will experience all these responses, nor to the same degree. That doesn't make them any less real. Normally the people around the mother does not realise what is happening and she may be unable to explain it herself. Some people say it is 'pro-lifers' who make the woman feel guilty particularly those with their accusations that she has murdered her child. Whilst these comments are unhelpful, the mother invariably actually feels they are justified and wishes other people would acknowledge this so that she can receive the proper punishment due to her from society. Yet society still insists that what she did was okay.
Please visit our Healing page if you have had an abortion or supported someone who has.
If you have had an abortion and would like to contact us, in confidence,
Grace at United for Life.