The Jericho Plan: Breaking Down the Walls which Prevent Post-Abortion Healing
By David C. Reardon
Acorn Books, 120 pages
David C. Reardon has performed a public service in the writing of his latest book on post-abortion healing. “Public” because although the book is geared primarily to church ministers who have to deal with the often touchy subject of abortion, it is of value to anyone whom the abortion issue touches in some way – which these days (in light of the legacy of millions of North American abortions in the last quarter century) means practically everyone.
Reardon, an expert in post-abortion experience, seeks to stake out what he calls a pro-woman/pro-child position in his approach to post-abortion healing.
In fact, Reardon is convincing enough to cause many a pro-life supporter to engage in some serious soul-searching and, perhaps, reassessment of strategy. It is in his ability to suggest new and possibly ground-breaking ways for the pro-life movement to gain some real ground, apart from the healing he is able to impact to those scarred by abortion experiences, that Reardon gains his triumph here.
“Pro-life members need to learn greater compassion and understanding about why women have abortions and what they go through afterwards,” he admonishes. Abortion supporters, on the other hand, need to learn that abortion is not a simple panacea for problem pregnancies. “It has a profound and last effect on who we are and what we think of ourselves,” he writes.
Reardon offers the startling statistic that surveys of women choosing abortion show 70 per cent of them actually believe it is morally wrong and thus, they are acting against their consciences because of the pressure or circumstances which make them feel they have no other choice.
He suggest it is in this fact that the pro-life movement can make its most effective gains in the struggle against abortion. “When hearts are closed, pounding heads with proofs of the unborn child’s humanity is ineffective…In God’s ordering of creation, it is only the mother who can nurture her unborn child…To help a child, we must help the mother.”
This paragraph contrasts with an abortion debate which has generally pitted the interests of the child and mother against each other. Now, says Reardon, it must be understood that abortion is an act of despair, even among women who have had several. He points to studies which show the commonality of “replacement pregnancies” – about one in three women who have had an abortion try to become pregnant again specifically to replace the child they had through abortion. Repeat abortions, meanwhile, become a form of self-punishment for the original sin.
“Women who abort are not evil haters of life,” Reardon stresses. “They are fallible human beings just like the rest of us, who make difficult, confused and often regrettable decisions every day of our lives.”
He quotes the sentiments of one crisis pregnancy service counsellor who might have spoken for many when she said, “When I began this work, I was mostly concerned about the unborn. But after working with so many young girls who have had abortions, what saddens me most is how abortion destroys their youth and strips away every last shred of their innocence.”
Lest anyone think Reardon harbours pro-abortion sentiments, he makes it clear that his book is written from a clearly Christian, biblical and pro-life perspective. He also does not refrain from taking the pro-abortion camp to task when called for. “We know from the testimony of women who have had abortions that there is a tremendous amount of deceit and manipulation…in abortion clinics.”
Rounding out the book are sample sermons for ministers to use in order to deal with abortion in a manner which will avoid animosity; supportive biblical passages; excerpts from the Pope’s writings on abortion; illustrative testimonies; a list of action steps; and a directory of resources.
In other words, quite a lot of material is packed into this slim, 120-page volume.