“When I became a parent, I felt like I was truly living. I had a purpose, where before I didn’t,” singer Adele confessed in an early 2016 Vogue magazine article.
Upon discovering motherhood at 27 years of age, this very successful woman simply stated the truth – she was enjoying life with her child! There is nothing unusual about that, is there? After all, pregnancy and childbirth is an intensely spiritual time in a woman’s life.
Sadly, some abortion advocates were upset that Adele expressed her parenting experience as one that enhanced her as a woman. Perhaps those disgruntled with Adele’s motherhood perspective may have made the choice to terminate pregnancies in the past?
A mother’s heart is genetically designed to protect her young at all costs. Abortion can short-circuit that basic motherly instinct, leading to feelings of guilt and shame. Emotional distancing from present and future children can also occur.
Could there be a biological reason for the emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual pain that can result after abortion? The mysteries of pregnancy and childbirth are constantly being researched. A recent study of the International Journal of Epidemiology outlines a phenomenon known as microchimerism.
Simply explained, during pregnancy, the mother and child exchange small quantities of cells. The ongoing cellular presence of this child in the mother’s body later in life is called microchimerism. The report also outlined that microchimerism has a substantially positive impact on a woman’s health later in life – even in fighting cancer!
This cellular situation was stumbled upon when researchers discovered male DNA in a woman who had never given birth. In questioning this woman after the Y chromosomes were discovered in her brain, they learned she had aborted a child. They theorized that her aborted child must have been a boy and that some of his DNA remained in her body.
Simply put, cells of unborn children remain in the bodies of their mothers – whether they are aborted or brought to birth. In my post-abortive heart, the scientific concept of microchimerism explained why I could not forget the child I surrendered during an abortion in my teen years. We maintained a biological connection at the cellular level.
I was Adele’s age when I finally got pregnant after my abortion. This pregnancy came after a long battle with infertility which left me feeling “punished” for my abortion. My OB/GYN discovered my Fallopian tubes were blocked and was able to clear them. Ten days later, my positive pregnancy test filled my heart with joy.
Sixteen weeks into the pregnancy, I felt a great stab of pain in my abdomen. I ran to the bathroom and discovered I was hemorrhaging. The sight of blood took me to my knees in a quick confession to God – my first since my abortion experience. I asked him to forgive me for my past abortion decision and help my unborn child.
I then experienced the peace of God that is outlined in 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
At the doctor’s office fifteen minutes later, we heard my unborn child’s heart beating. I uttered a quick praise to God for hearing my prayer. My physician outlined that my placenta had likely detached from my womb. Quietly, he remarked, “The uterus can be weakened by a surgical abortion. Sometimes that means the endometrial lining cannot maintain another pregnancy.”
My physician then led me into an ultrasound room to verify the situation. The ultrasound screen began God’s purifying process in my heart. I saw my completely formed unborn son at 16 weeks gestation. He was alive, kicking his legs, and sucking his thumb—yet I could not feel him! Immediately my mental concept of my abortion was shattered. I had not aborted a blob of tissue, but a tiny human.
At that point, my head began to realize that my aborted child would never leave my motherly heart. Over my first three years of motherhood, God would help me remember that child, name him (Jesse) and grieve him formally through an abortion recovery program. God’s peace resolved my abortion pain.
A difficult consequence of abortion is the emotional impact on a mother’s ability to bond with present or future children. Living children are simply a reminder of the lost souls these mother’s aborted. This can result in the mother distancing themselves at an emotional level, or even abandoning her living children, believing their abortion choice disqualifies them to be a parent.
Motherhood does not necessarily end any depression that might be associated with a past abortion. Every pregnancy produces a unique human being that can never be duplicated. God used impending motherhood to adjust my understanding and begin to heal my soul so that I could become a better mother.
If you are considering pregnancy after abortion, or simply struggling after choice, God’s hope of healing is available to you. Children are a gift from God. Because abortion is a permanent choice, I will never hold Jesse this side of heaven. My heart is comforted in knowing he is still with me at a cellular level through the scientific concept of microchimerism.