Shame should not be a part of the pro-life dialogue

By Meagan Harkey

On our campus there are almost 3,000 wooden crosses which represent the number of abortions that occur every day in the United States. This is a memorial that has been placed on this campus for the last three years. Why is this year causing such a disturbance? Why is this year causing so much pain?

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The reason is because of the word shame. The overwhelming response of our student body is to not take a stance on whether they are pro-choice or pro-life but instead to defend the dignity of the women who have had an abortion. I absolutely agree that the dignity of those women should be defended as well as the children they bear. They should not have to carry shame with them when they walk on campus. They should not have to carry shame with them in their relationships and future families.

A woman who has had an abortion should never be disrespected in such a way that she feels shame. But the crosses on the lawn do not create shame. Shame results from the hurt that is carried by a woman after such a difficult process.

We have heard that this display acted as a trigger for many women on campus. It breaks my heart to think some of you felt ashamed or had wounds re-opened by this display. I am sorry that you have had to walk around with that pain. Part of this memorial is meant to draw attention to that feeling of pain and to let you know that you are not alone.

If you have had an abortion you should not feel ashamed. Shame is neither constructive nor healing. Instead we invite you to use this time to accept what has happened, grieve for your loss, and find healing so that you do not carry this pain with you.

Whether you have stood as pro-life or pro-choice or neither, abortion is still a difficult process for any woman. This fact is ignored by so many people. You deserve help from medical professionals in your recovery from abortion. Whether you regret your abortion or not it still affects you and that does not mean you are weak, or broken, or unloved—because you are loved.

If this memorial affected you, I would encourage you to reach out for assistance. Come and speak with Mustangs for Life or seek professional help from Birth Choice Dallas or Uptown Women’s Center, which both specialize in post-abortion counseling.

An abortion causes the end of a human life and it is a natural response to feel remorse or even pain from this, however the guilt and shame that so many women have expressed can be turned to healing.

Watch Mustangs for Life’s video here.

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