Over the past few months, I have been organizing the 40 Days for Life campaign here in Halifax. Church after church, pastor after pastor, I meet with next to no response. I am beginning to think that the problem must be me, they just don't like me. Why is there such disinterest in this pro-life effort here in Halifax?
Many people reassure me that they meet the same thing with anything they try to promote, that there is a general malaise here that is worse than elsewhere.
But the silence in churches about abortion is really hurting women. I have heard that some priests don't wish to preach on the subject for fear of causing further injury to any woman in the congregation who has had an abortion. But today, I heard a woman who had an abortion say that silence is the worst thing they can do. Because when pastors and priests won't mention abortion, the woman who has had one thinks to herself "this really is the worst thing possible. It is so terrible that no one will ever mention it. My sin is really unforgiveable".
So, in trying to protect women from injury, these well-meaning Christian men are actually prolonging the solitary suffering that these women endure.
In the past few weeks, I have come to know of 7 women who have had abortions. And I have only come to know about them because of 40 Days for Life. The planning of this campaign has brought these women out from their silence to dare to admit that they had abortions and they are seeking healing. And these are all women in Christian churches, and their abortions were years ago; they should have been led to some healing before this.
So silence helps no one. It certainly doesn't help the babies who lose their lives, and it doesn't help the women who also suffer the guilt and shame of having aborted their children. I hope that 40 Days for Life brings more light into these dark areas, because it is when the Light shines in the darkness, that healing can really occur. It is when women meet the mercy of God that they can dare to admit their mistake.