A letter to a woman considering abortion

Dear Friend,

I was thinking of you today.

I was wondering how you are feeling.

Maybe you’re frightened. Maybe you feel as if your world has been turned upside-down. Maybe you think no one understands. Maybe you’re worried about money or becoming a mother or just getting through tomorrow.

Maybe you’re afraid that if you give birth to your child, your family won’t support you, or your friends won’t understand. Maybe the man who played a role in this child’s life isn’t involved—or won’t be in a way that gives you any hope for your future.

Maybe you believe you have only one choice.

Maybe you’ve never felt so alone.

I can’t pretend to know your situation. But I’ve been thinking about you. And I just wanted to share a few thoughts with you:

You’re not alone. There are people who can help you at the Gabriel Network, which offers assistance to expectant mothers, and at crisis pregnancy centers everywhere in the United States (here’s a list of the ones in Maryland).

Abortion isn’t a quick, easy solution. It comes with its own problems. You may suffer physically and psychologically for years. That’s why there’s a ministry to serve people who have suffered from the trauma of abortion called Rachel’s Vineyard.

Every child is a blessing. Even when a child is not planned or prepared for, every child brings an amazing opportunity. You have the chance to welcome a new life—a child who could transform the world in ways we can only imagine. I hope and pray that you will find the support and strength you need to greet this little one with joy and hope.

Adoption is an amazing option. As wonderful as it would be to live in a world where children are only born to mothers who are ready and able to raise them, that’s not reality. And that’s where placing a child for adoption can be a positive choice. If you decide that you want to give your child life, but you don’t feel you can raise your child, please don’t let anyone tell you you’re “giving up your child.” Giving birth to your child and placing that baby for adoption is an act of love. Many adoptions in the United States are open adoptions, where you can receive updates and maybe even have some in-person contact with your child. That would be entirely your decision. So many couples are waiting, aching, yearning to be parents, and they would be ready to treasure this child you helped create. As an adoptive mother of two sons, I can tell you I could never love a child more than I love my sons. And I can tell you that our family prays for the women who conceived and carried and gave birth to our boys every single day. Those women have my deepest love and admiration.

Jesus loves both you and your child. At difficult times, it’s hard to understand God. And I can’t explain why He chose to place a child in your womb. Still, I do know that especially in those moments, He is there, and He loves you. He created you, and He created this child within you. Maybe that will be comforting one day even if it isn’t right now.

You and your child are in my prayers—but you’re not just in mine. Countless others are also praying for you and your baby. You see, the feast day of a really amazing woman, St. Gianna Beretta Molla, is April 28, so people around the world are making a novena, nine days of prayer, asking St. Gianna to watch out for mothers and their babies who are in utero. If prayer can move mountains and change hearts, it can certainly help give you the courage, strength, and peace you need for this unexpected journey. And that is what I hope you find.

May God bless you and your child.

Yours in Prayer,


(Baby Foot photo via Flickr, Danny Cain)

Linking up for Worth Revisiting Wednesday with Theology is a Verb and Reconciled to You.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.