Dave and Ellen had their first child before their first anniversary, three children in their first five years of marriage and now have seven. They've had their ups and downs, financial and medical, but for the most part are the picture of the happy American family. Two of the boys were baseball stars in high school, the three oldest kids all went to college and have great job outlooks. The younger ones excel in school and are involved in activities like band and sports. And Dave and Ellen have led a life of sacrifice for their children, giving up vacations and free time to make sure the kids get to see all that life has to offer. As well, they have relied on a deep Catholic faith, thankful for all the blessings God has showered on them.
Bill and Rita are childless. They have worked together in their own small business, have traveled, and enjoy nights out with friends and family. They've had their share of struggles. Rita has had breast tumors removed three times and is being monitored for pre-cancerous growths. Bill has high blood pressure, liver damage and precancerous growth in his throat, the result of smoking and drinking. Bill once confided to his good friend a dark secret.
When Bill and Rita were dating, Rita became pregnant on two occasions. They weren't married, had little income, no place to live and hadn't been together long enough to make a lifelong commitment. They decided in each case to have an abortion. No immediate complications were noticed and both went about their lives, eventually getting married, buying a home, and sharing their lives together. They tried to have children but to no avail. They sought fertility help but Rita had internal scarring that prevented pregnancy.
Abortion has many known complications. Among them an increased risk of breast cancer and infertility. Other complications include internal bleeding, subsequent premature births or miscarriages, and depression. There is devastation for the male involved as well. With hopes of a family dashed, reckless behavior can result. Alcoholism and its ravages thwart a career and destroy health.
Bill has cirrhosis, a permanent damage to the liver that will get worse if he doesn't stop drinking. Rita also drinks and smokes and together they seem to have a death pact. I wish I could do something for them but I sincerely believe the "choices" they made early in life sealed their fate.
"Choose life" doesn't only apply to the immediate pregnancy you may be faced with. It is a way to fulfill Christ's promise to you, "I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly."
There are resources for women who have remorse of guilt about abortion, and for the physical and psychological damage it has left too. Project Rachel is one of the better ones.