Maternity is Forever: Hope and Healing After Abortion

Video 8

Woman Portrait 1920x1080


Abortion can lead to a deep sense of loss and to profound emotional, spiritual, psychological, and relational pain. Explore how abortion affects the heart of a woman and how to accompany her on the journey of healing.

Scripture for Reflection

“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal.” (Jeremiah 30:17)

“He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19)

Reflection Questions 

  1. Was there a word, phrase, or idea that resonated with me? That was new to me?
  2. Imagine Jesus standing before you, looking at you with kindness and the gaze of profound love. No matter what you have done or not done in your life, he looks at you like this. Allow yourself to meet his gaze. 
  3. Are there wounds, sins, or memories from the past that I want to bring to Jesus? Is there something that is weighing on my heart that I want to be free from? Invite Jesus into those places. He will not force himself; he awaits your invitation. He wants to forgive, heal, and make all things new.
  4. There is no sin or darkness greater than the mercy of Jesus Christ. How is the Lord inviting me to be healed by his love? Can I allow myself to believe in his infinite mercy, which is always being offered to me?
  5. Have I or someone I know experienced the wound of abortion? Am I open to walking towards healing? Am I open to speaking with someone about this? Am I open to allowing the Lord to love me and restore me?
  6. How is the Lord calling me to be a witness and an instrument of grace and healing in my family? My communities? The world?
  7. Is there a fruit from my prayer that I would like to share with others? (Please know that this set of questions is potentially more difficult to share, and it is fine to share as little or much as you feel comfortable with.)

Discussion Questions

  1. Is there a fruit from your prayer that you would like to share with others? (Please know that this set of reflection questions are potentially more difficult to share, and it is fine to share as little or much as you feel comfortable with.)
  2. How is the approach to the experience of abortion in this video different from the way the world often approaches abortion? In particular, what struck you?
  3. Sister Mariae Agnus Dei says that, regarding the discussion of abortion, “we always want to speak from a place of mercy, not judgment. … Judgmental statements can be very harmful to someone who may be suffering from fear of rejection or self-condemnation. We want to invite people to encounter the face of mercy in the Church, not drive them away.” How might you be tempted to judge women who have experienced the wound of abortion? Why is it important to be so sensitive to the reality of the wound left by abortion? How does acknowledging the truth of the wound of abortion with mercy create a culture of healing?
  4. How and why is our language about abortion so important? 
  5. Sister Mariae Agnus Dei says that “no matter what choice a woman makes regarding her pregnancy, whether she chooses to parent, places for adoption, or suffers an abortion – maternity is forever. It is not just a reality in this world but it is a reality in eternal life.” How can understanding maternity as eternal bring hope?
  6. Sister Maeve Nativitas says, “We must also never push someone to seek help with her journey of healing. We may see someone we love suffering, but it often takes decades before a woman is ready to face a past abortion. We want to be a compassionate, listening ear, and let her know that help is available, but to be gentle and let God work in his timing.” Why is it so important to give someone the space to move at their own pace on the journey of healing?
  7. In Crossing the Threshold of Hope, St. John Paul II acknowledges the deep pain that abortion leaves, and speaks about the importance of “radical solidarity” with a woman who has suffered after abortion and says it is “not right to leave her alone.” What are new ways to respond to the call to this solidarity, and to “pick up the pieces lest they be lost” (John 6:12)? 
  8. It is also important to recognize that men suffer deeply after the experience of abortion. How can we help create a culture in which both women and men are given the space to grieve past abortions, to encounter the mercy of Jesus Christ, and to be welcomed into a journey of healing?


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