Tags: Dr | Laura | guilt

You Made an Awful Choice, Now, Move Past the Guilt

Tuesday, 17 Jun 2008 07:36 AM

By Dr. Laura

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According to a Reuter’s health report, half of the American women who would rather not get pregnant will have an unplanned pregnancy each year. This is not because they are poor and uneducated and don’t know about condoms. They simply don’t bother to use any form of contraceptive.

Last month, the National Center for Health Statistics reported there were almost 6.4 million pregnancies in 2004. Forty-five percent were to women who were not married. And there were 1.22 million abortions.

Casual “wasting” of human beings is a horrible state of affairs for a population imagining itself civilized.

I took a recent call from “Jennifer,” which demonstrated this mentality, and the inevitable terrible consequences. She told me that she’s had an issue for the past two years.

“This sounds horrible; I’m just … I’m embarrassed still. I had an abortion two years ago. My boyfriend at the time is now my husband.”

I asked her why she had an abortion after a year and a half of dating. She replied that she already had a three-year-old daughter from a prior “relationship” and aborted “just because.”

“You didn’t know about birth control? You’d already had an unintended pregnancy, so why were you having sex with no birth control?”

“I was being stupid. I didn’t really care at the time.”

This is the situation with many young women these days since abortion became birth control and feminism took away the special nature of a woman and her intimacy with a man willing to commit to her and be obligated to their lives together.

The problem is that real women feel terrible pain after killing their in-utero children. And that was the point of Jennifer’s call. After being irresponsible about contraception, sexual intimacy and abortion, she now was married and the mother of two little girls, and suffering over her decision to abort.

“I don’t know what to do. I obsess over it still … every day. I go online. I look at pictures (of aborted babies) just to make myself feel worse. I don’t know why I do this. But it’s like I’m obsessed with this whole thing and I can’t let it go.”

“Okay, Jennifer, let me put it to you bluntly.”


“You did a horribly irresponsible and disgusting thing.”


“And you should feel guilt forever for what you’ve done. You were frivolous with a human life to suit yourself. You didn’t want to stop and use a condom because you didn’t want to lose your boyfriend. So what you did was horrendous. You cannot change it. Forcing yourself to suffer over it doesn’t ever change it - the baby is still dead.”

I’m sure every reader is now aghast at what seems like cruelty - and I understand your reaction. I had it too as I heard myself talk! However, you must see that what I depicted was the truth - and the first part of repentance is dealing with the truth and taking responsibility for it. Step two is where the compassion comes in.

“Jennifer, you have two children and you owe them. And there’s something you can do about them - while there is nothing you can do about the abortion. So, spending any time punishing yourself takes away from how good a mother you can be to them. It’s selfish of you to obsess about suffering. Use that energy to be a very good mother.”

She asked, “So, just try to forget about it completely? Like it never happened?”

I answered, “You can’t and shouldn’t forget about it. But you have a family to take care of. To spend your time punishing yourself in the hopes you can get over the guilt is self-serving. Now you have to serve your family - not your guilt, your family. Take all the guilt energy and put it into doing your best to raise these girls to do better. That’s the only way I can see you making up for this.”

Happily, she said, “All right. Thank you so much, Dr. Laura.”

Too many people in reasonable positions of leadership (parents, teachers, clergy) avoid calling for appropriate guilt for inappropriate behaviors. However, in our politically correct environment, nothing is deemed wrong! With that philosophy we can never exonerate true, righteous guilt, and help guide folks to a better path.

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