You’re Not Alone: Healing Through God’s Grace After Abortion is one of those books that people are going to latch onto if only to grasp the message and try to share it, or they are going to want to throw it into a bonfire. This is a touchy-touchy subject matter and it’s a book I’m slightly hesitant to share about. Face it: to be Pro-Life is to be wildly unpopular. Yet I am and I won’t try to deny it. That said, I had no intentions of ever really reading or reviewing a book specifically about abortion because, well, as Nancy DeMoss has said, it’s not fun being politically incorrect. It just isn’t.
However, a few months back I read and reviewed the book Broken Into Beautiful in which Gwen Smith told her journey of having had an abortion and walking through the recovery and forgiveness involved in that. Some of you just left these touching and amazing comments that gave me pause and I wondered exactly how many of our readers are living lives craving such forgiveness.
You can read the Amazon.com review comments to find out that this book talks about a subject matter that really needs to be addressed, whether you are pro-life or pro-choice. To author Jennifer O’Neill (who had an abortion herself and shares her story – along with others – in this book) it is not an issue of politics but rather an issue of pain. She writes about her anguish, fear, physical ailments and anxieties post-abortion. Then she opened the floor up and allowed other women to share their stories. There is a lot of regret in this world and this book broke my heart.
O’Neil quotes some statistics from the Alan Guttmacher Institute which states that 43% of all women (in America) who have reached the age of 45 have had an abortion. Folks, that’s getting awfully close to half of us women having gone through this procedure. If it’s a subject matter and experience that affects almost half of the female population in our country, I think it falls into the category of “worthy conversation.” (I.e., it should be ok to talk about and not be taboo.) Is there a potential for disagreement over the issue of abortion in this country? Yes, by golly. Should their be disagreement over the need to help people who have suffered as a result of an abortion? No, I think there should be some solidarity in that. There should be comfort, not judgment, offered to the woman who has undergone an abortion. There should be support for boyfriends, husbands, grandparents, siblings, etc. and this book tries to hit all of those age ranges and stations in life. O’Neill said that she asked her publisher which demographic she should try to target and she came to the conclusion that abortion affects such a wide variety and percentage of the population that she couldn’t really focus on one particular person – although it is typically the mother of the unborn that carries the most guilt in the matter. O’Neill does her best to guide people past the guilt and towards healing and restoration. I find it hard to fault her for that.
This book is informative, easy to read, well laid-out and thought-out. Of course, she since has experienced it, the ability to connect with others who share the same hurt is exponentially larger. It is a needed and necessary book for both sides of the political coin and both sides of the church aisle. There are many people hurting as a result of an abortion and as O’Neill says – we need to quit trying to claim the higher moral ground when it comes to arguing about the subject politically and focus on the wounded.
I think she’s right.
Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.
I recently had a debate with someone on my Live Journal about this, and what I realized is that we simply don’t have the same starting point. (I was talking about the question of when life begins, and she was talking about the question of a woman’s rights to make decisions with her body.) I was more than a bit frustrated: if we can’t even agree on where we begin the discussion, how do we begin it at all?
Carrie, Reading to Know says
Thank you so much for reviewing this book. There are some great organizations for women who are experiencing the emotional aftermath of an abortion.
Silent No More
There is also a national help line:
After Abortion National Help line
I think it’s really important for more women to talk about this subject so it isn’t something taboo. Thank you for reviewing it.