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Last week, graphic autopsy images were released of a woman dying from a legal abortion. Her mother insisted the photos be made public. The story broke my heart.
As 18-year-old Marla Cardamone lay in her casket prior to viewing, the funeral director suggested to Marla’s mother, Deborah, they close the casket so people would not see Marla’s disfigured face. Deborah Caramone told him to leave the casket open. She hopes to expose the lies of the abortion industry and wants people to understand that abortions are not always ‘safe and legal’. In order to do this, she bravely chose to show her daughter’s bruised and swollen face, caused by abortion-related complications. Marla died at a Pennsylvania hospital, and Deborah Cardamone vowed her daughter would not be forgotten.
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Just a few days earlier, a medical counselor pushed Marla to have an abortion, telling her that the prescription medication she had been taking would cause her baby to be born with severe birth defects. Following Marla’s death, it was determined by doctors that her baby had no abnormalities.
Father Frank Pavone once said that “America will never resist abortion until America sees abortion.”
Thanks in part to advances in technology such as ultrasound imagery, it’s clear and easy to see a growing and moving fetus inside a mother’s womb, which has raised awareness that an unborn child is alive and human and that abortion is murder.
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Americans have tolerated the evil of legalized abortion and have become so desensitized to violence and death that we don’t see eliminating innocent human life as a brutal or selfish act – or at least we don’t speak up about it enough. God have mercy on our hardened hearts.
I recently had a head-spinning conversation with a young woman about defining life. She was so disconnected with the Bible, reality, and science that she insisted that if she became pregnant, whatever it was growing inside her was not technically alive unless she was at a point in her life where she was ready and wanted to have a baby. Apparently, this is called ‘reproductive justice.’
On this 40-year anniversary of Roe V. Wade when approximately 57 million babies have been legally prevented from being born – thanks to un-elected federal judges enforcing immorality on all Americans in 1973 – Planned Parenthood receives $542 million a year from U.S. taxpayers. Some states are trying to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, but this barely puts a dent in their $1 billion annual budget. Regardless, abortion on demand remains the law of the land.
You may have heard the numbers: 1 in every 9 women who visit Planned Parenthood ends up having an abortion, which results in one every 94 seconds. (In all abortion clinics nationwide, there is an abortion every 26 seconds.)
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A new Marist poll shows that 83% of Americans favor significant restrictions on abortion. Nineteen states enacted 43 restrictions on abortion services last year, and even more restrictions were enacted in 2011. However, restricting the murder of the unborn is not enough. Even reversing Roe v. Wade wouldn’t stop the evil of man. Our culture is too far gone, and only God through Jesus Christ can change human hearts. We need to reach people with the message that every single life is a divine gift and has value.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about America’s Culture of Death: the dark history of the abortion, birth control, and eugenics movement in America pioneered by Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger. It’s important to understand her warped worldview along with her atheist, feminist, and elitist mindset that justified population control in order to successfully engage in the present battle for life and morality.
Sadly, we seldom hear an extremely important part of this discussion in the pro-choice media or anywhere: the trauma of abortions often cause years of emotional pain, torment, and anguish. This is both deceptive and problematic.
Many young women who tell others about their abortion try to act normal and hide the fact that they are in physical or emotional pain. Many experience severe trauma soon after receiving an abortion. These are some of the verifiable symptoms a woman may experience:
- Alcohol or drug use to distract from the pain, anger, anxiety (probably non-specific or in form of panic attack), and abusive relationships (believing she doesn’t deserve anything better).
- Denial/repression (the “pushing down” of intolerable emotions), depression, deterioration of self-worth/self-image, disruption in relationships (increasing inability to be intimate or social with friends and family).
- Eating disorders, feelings of helplessness or powerlessness, flashbacks, grief, guilt, having unprotected sex or increased sexual activity as self-punishment.
- Nightmares about a baby crying, death, or the same nightmare over and over; preoccupation with the abortion procedure or thoughts of babies.
- Regret, remorse, sadness to the point of inability to handle basic responsibilities, self-destructive behavior, and suicidal thoughts or attempts.
If you have had an abortion, here are a few questions to consider: What were you like before your abortion, and have you changed? Would you now advise your best friend or sister not to have an abortion if she were considering it? Did you have an abortion in spite of believing it was wrong at the time? Do you experience explosive emotions, or do you shut down? If you were a Christian before having an abortion, has your relationship with God changed?
In a study of post-abortion patients only 8 weeks after their abortion, researchers found that 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor.
According to Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University, “Women who have had an abortion have an 81% higher risk of subsequent mental health problems compared to women who have not had an abortion. Also, women who aborted have a 138% (another study showed 160%) higher risk of mental health problems compared to women who have given birth.”
A New Zealand study that tracked women for more than three decades discovered that 42% of women who aborted experienced major depression. There is accurate information available; but the media, Hollywood, government, and the abortion industry rarely address this issue.
Tragically, ignoring or denying these truths only increase chances that there will be more cases similar to Marla Cardamone’s.
In 2012, the mother of a 24-year-old woman who died after an abortion filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Illinois. Tonya Reaves died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital July 20 after she began to hemorrhage at a Planned Parenthood clinic. They waited for over five hours before sending her to the hospital. The Autopsy stated that Miss Reaves suffered from an incomplete abortion. The story got little coverage.
Several years earlier, 25-year-old Diana Lopez was 19 weeks pregnant when she went to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Los Angeles for an abortion. Before the day was over, Ms. Lopez – just like Ms. Reaves – had bled to death from a botched abortion.
Another 18-year-old, Holly Patterson, entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Hayward, California seeking a chemical abortion. She died seven days later (September 17) as a result of an incomplete abortion causing a severe bacterial infection. A Women’s Enews correspondent reported:
Holly had taken RU-486, an abortion drug that has been used by more than 1 million women worldwide and is widely viewed as a safe alternative to surgical abortion. But Holly died tragically of a massive infection after taking the drug protocol.
In July 2011, the FDA reported 2,207 adverse events in the U.S. after women used the RU-486 regimen. Among those were 14 deaths, 612 hospitalizations, 339 blood transfusions, and 256 infections (including 48 “severe infections”).
Tragically, many so-called ‘counselors’ at abortion clinics downplay mental and physical health risks the majority of the time in order to sell customers abortions, not to mention the fact that the procedure will violently end a child’s life. My heart goes out to those who believe the godless lie that this “procedure” is justified under the labels of choice and privacy.
In our sexually permissive and progressive culture, it’s no wonder young women are sexually active; and those who have had abortions need our prayers, not our judgment. Being a product of American culture, post-abortive women, especially religious women, are most likely suffering enough for their sin. At that point, they first need God’s forgiveness and then need to learn how to forgive themselves.
The promotion of biblical principles and abstinence education in churches, schools, and society is vital in order to affect positive change. Stop messing around, yes. Use protection, yes. Limit abortions, yes. Vote for pro-life candidates, yes. Stop funding Planned Parenthood with our tax dollars, yes! But we also need to remember the power of prayer; the Word of God; and true, caring Christianity. People may not respond to debates, laws, or rules; but they most always – eventually – respond to unconditional love. Let’s keep speaking the truth and fighting for life.
“Christ died that we might live. Abortion kills so that someone might live differently.” -John Piper
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.