All souls become holy only through God's mercy

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With The Lord there is Mercy and Fullness of Redemption.” Psalm 130

“The lies, they just lie!” These words were echoed by both a former nurse who worked in abortion clinic and a resident anesthesiologist who was told he must participate in the procedure or he would not complete his residency. Although their stories were different, the theme of the lies of the abortion industry was common.

The nurse worked in a clinic for six months in the early 1970s and the physician was in residency during the mid-1980s. Based on the recent reports exposing Planned Parenthood’s lies, things have not changed much.

The physician stated that the hospital wouldn’t even call the procedure what it was. It was listed on the surgery schedule as just a D&C (dilation and curettage) or as a D&C for a failed spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) when there was, in fact, no miscarriage at all. It calls forth the question, “If the procedure is so helpful and no big deal, why would they lie about what it was?”

Due to the purposeful misnaming of the procedure, the physician was asked to provide anesthesia for (what he thought was) a simple D&C. It quickly became apparent that this was a healthy pregnancy and he was participating in an abortion. He was horrified to see infant parts being suctioned into a jar. Following this experience, he informed his instructors that he would never participate again, EVEN if it meant failing to become an anesthesiologist. Although he was not practicing any faith at that time, he stated that he “just knew it was morally wrong!” Years later he became a convert to the Catholic Faith.

The nurse’s story was quite different. She was a practicing Catholic at that time, although she admits that she was not in-line with the Church’s teaching on contraception, which she believes led to a watering down of her understanding and acceptance of abortion. She desperately needed a job and a friend told her about an opening for nurses at the abortion clinic.

She vividly recalls her response when her interviewers questioned her ability to work there as a Catholic, “The mother is my patient,” she answered them. She failed to see the irony in the fact that motherhood was what was being taken from these women.

She was a compassionate woman and she truly believed what she was told: these women would die in back-alley offices if the clinic didn’t safely provide the abortions. She also believed her patients would be poor women who couldn’t afford the strain of one more mouth to feed. Then three things happened that forced her to see this procedure for what it was and confront the lies she had believed.

Part of her job was to comfort the women during the procedure and afterwards. She would hold their hands and assure them it would be over soon and they would be okay. One day, a fourteen year-old victim of incest was brought in. Everyone knew it was the case, and yet they performed the abortion and sent her back. It ate away at the conscience of the nurse.

A second incident occurred when a women in her twenties, quite wealthy, came in for an abortion. She told the nurse that she and her husband were about to travel to Europe and that the pregnancy was inconvenient. Her blasé attitude tugged at the nurse’s moral sense.

Her final wake-up call came during an abortion procedure. Up until that time, she had only assisted with first trimester abortions (that was the unspoken norm). She went in to the room and heard the surgeon swear under his breath, “They keep sending them in later and later. I have to go in with the forceps.” She watched as he brought out tiny, dismembered limbs. In His great mercy, God removed the veil from her eyes and her heart. Through the grace of God, she had already put in her notice, due to her own medical issues. She rushed from the clinic and asked God for forgiveness through the sacrament of Confession. She has since become a strong defender of life and pro-life advocate!

The lies have not changed. The truth of how illicit abortion is has not changed. God’s mercy and His willingness to forgive all sins around abortion has not changed. In this declared Year of Mercy, we should pray for an end to abortion, but we must not forget to have compassion for the abortion workers, so that their eyes too will be opened and the truth will be revealed to them.

All souls require the mercy of God to become holy.

Copyright 2015 Mary Lou Rosien


About Author

Mary Lou Rosien is a Catholic, wife, mother to seven plus a foster son, RCIA Coordinator and writer/speaker. She is a former columnist for and a current contributor to In between making Friday cookies and laundry, she has written two books: Managing Stress with the Help of Your Catholic Faith (OSV), Catholic Family Boot Camp (Bezalel Books).

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