Yet more evidence of the hurt abortion causes to women. We have to help them find healing.
Earlier this month, LifeSiteNews reported that pro-life ads had started to appear on city buses in Regina. A woman interviewed by the CBC named Shannon Tessier complained about the ads. Listen to what she said. You can clearly distinguish in her words the pain abortion inflicts on women:
It’s right there on city property,” Shannon Tessier told CBC News. “It’s disturbing, it’s disgusting and it shouldn’t be anywhere where someone under the age of, say, 15 or 16 can see it. Obviously if you’ve had an abortion and you see a picture of that anywhere on the back of a bus or something like that, it’s not something that you want to be reminded of that you’ve done.” (Source)
I feel great sympathy for all the women who are suffering because of abortions. I have no idea whether Shannon Tessier has personally had an abortion. That’s not the point. She clearly knows that it causes pain to women, hence her concern that people don’t want to be reminded of it.
Only experiences that are very traumatic would lead someone to never want to be reminded. That gives you an idea of how much distress women suffer through abortion. This is a great tragedy of our age. So many women were told that abortion would liberate them but are now experiencing extreme anguish to the point that they can’t even look at a picture of a fetus. We need to find a way to help these women because society has abandoned them.
Clearly, the point of the bus ads is not to instill guilt among women who’ve had abortions and who regret their mistake. The purpose is to raise awareness and prevent future abortions. As such, I think the ads are very good.
In psychology, there exists a concept called “mental hygiene”, which is similar to physical hygiene in many ways. Physical hygiene leads us to avoid exposure to toxic substances or contagious micro-organisms. Likewise, proper mental hygiene is applied by avoid unnecessary exposure to things that cause us anger, sadness or frustration. This should be applied by everyone to maintain proper mental health. I remember that in 1995, during the last Québec referendum on separation, I used to watch televised debates between separatists and federalists. It used to make my blood boil to hear the stupid demagogy spewed by the separatists. My dad, being a psychologist, advised me to change the channel and watch something else. He said I was practicing poor mental hygiene by unnecessarily exposing myself to that aggravation.
For someone who has experienced a traumatic event, it’s often recommendable that they avoid being reminded of it, but there are some exceptions.
- An occasional reminder can be helpful to avoid repeating the same mistake that led to the first traumatic experience (if it was your fault). In that sense, the reminder can keep you on your guard and make you more vigilant.
- If the reminder helps to stir up compassion for others who have gone through a similar experience, this can also be fruitful. It may compel someone, for example, to volunteer their time to provide support to others in distress.
- The reminder may push someone to stop repressing their feelings and come to terms with them. This is the only path to authentic and long-term healing. If the reminder can prompt someone to take those steps towards recovery and inner peace, then it can be a blessing.
I think these bus ads can play a positive role in these three dimensions for the women in Regina that have had abortions. It is my deepest wish that these women will come to terms with their abortion and find rest for their souls.