By Anne Rampa
THE total decriminalisation of abortion in our state is a tragedy and a calamity.
The Queensland Parliament has completely de-humanised unborn human life.
How much worse is the killing going to be now?
We feel so very sad and worried, even grief stricken.
We have failed to protect the innocent.
Society is going down the drain.
But I think one of the problems in our campaign and argument was our failure to grapple with the issue of guilt.
Guilt exists because a terrible crime has taken place when a vulnerable, young human life is murdered in an abortion.
Many people who are on the outside of the pro-life community are under the impression that we are putting 100 per cent of the blame for the transgression of abortion on the mothers involved.
As a therapist I have had an aborted woman give herself the same amount of blame.
The injustice of that imagined judgment can stir in a woman’s heart, mind and soul.
She knows the pressure she was under and how vulnerable she was.
She knows how messed up she was by all that had happened to her before the actual abortion.
She knows how little support and love she had, and how unwelcome her baby was.
She also knows she feels terrible about what has happened to her baby.
The law whitewashed the guilt by decriminalisation.
No one is guilty apparently.
But the guilt is still there under the paint, the smudge is still visible, seeping through, and we are going to have to deal with it if we are to be a whole and healthy society.
We have a God-given conscience and we recognise the pathology in anyone who doesn’t have this.
We call them psychopathic or sociopathic.
They are dangerous to society.
Guilt is good and a sign of health in a person if they have done something wrong.
So who is to blame for an abortion?
This is a case-by-case issue, and there are actually a lot of people involved when an abortion takes place.
This includes all of us Christians, as we are meant to be salt, light and yeast for the society in which we live.
The social milieu in which a woman becomes pregnant is very important to her decision-making.
If we have supported selfishness instead of generosity, if we have been silent on upholding the sanctity of human life, if we have valued the rich over the poor, and the powerful over the vulnerable, if we have not argued for the sacred responsibility of our sexuality, then we are guilty too.
The mother whose baby was aborted may very well not bear the burden of guilt, and maybe she will have very little of it.
This is for her to work out with her therapist or pastor or priest, and for us to work out with God.
A woman in the Catholic Worker movement wrote once about her healing from her abortion.
A big part of that was confessing to an old Irish priest in the sacrament.
He said to her “that was the worst thing you could have done, but that is why we have Jesus … you can be forgiven”.
This priest did a great service to her by acknowledging her guilt and taking it seriously, and then giving her absolution.
The Church is the best equipped to handle guilt, we are experts at it, and this should be talked about and promoted.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a great gift given to His Church by Jesus after His Resurrection.
It is something Catholics used to value and which has fallen largely into disuse.
Let’s come back to it and the Grace it gives, and allow it to build us up again as a holy people at the service of God and the world He loves.