Abortion hurts women in a profound way

abortion hurts women

By Maggie DeWitte, Executive Director Pulse Life Advocates

Since Roe v. Wade, abortion has taken the lives of over 65 million of our preborn brothers and sisters.  But also, in the wake of that tragedy, it has wounded 65 million women and countless men, siblings, grandparents and other family members.  Abortion hurts women in a profound way, and it has contributed to a society of walking wounded; women hurting and in need of healing from their abortion decision.

We need only talk to those involved in post-abortive counseling to understand the deep physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual pain these women endure because of their abortion decision.

A women chooses abortion for a variety of reasons.  But more times than not, she feels she has no other option.  She doesn’t have the support of her family, is lied to by the abortion industry that this is a quick fix with no consequences.

In many instances she is pressured by the father of the baby.

SHE is a victim of abortion.

SHE needs our compassion and support.

SHE needs help and healing.

Pulse Life Advocates has been a leader in the pro-life movement for over 50 years.  Each and every day is spent trying to create a culture of life.  It’s to save babies AND save mothers.  We love them both!

The pro-life movement is pro-woman.  As such, we will not support any legislation that would criminalize women.

We need to advance laws that protect unborn children and do not harm women, which is why Pulse Life Advocates withdrew support for HF2256 upon learning that it criminalizes women.

[Pulse supports women before and after a baby is born. Mark your calendar for our April 14th WOMEN OF WORTH Music Event and help us help even more babies and their moms.]


  1. Mary Jobst on February 15, 2024 at 11:05 pm

    Hi Maggie,
    This is what I wrote to Steve Holt today:
    Hi Steve Holt, Iowa House of Representatives,
    I understand your arguments that from a practical, strategic perspective that this bill, if passed at this point in time,it would be immediately challenged,blocked in the courts and likely undermine other pro-life efforts taking place.

    Sadly, we live in a time where all people of child bearing age have been educated and indoctrinated to believe the lie that human persons growing and developing in their mother’s wombs are not really the same as those of us who have been born. This lie has resulted in the majority of people rationalizing that intentionally killing them is not the same as killing you or me. Many people will draw the line that abortion should not be lawful based upon some arbitrary criteria ( detectable heartbeat, looks like a baby, current viability, 20 wks gestation, third trimester, etc).

    What cannot be honestly argued against is that this bill recognizes the scientific fact that at the moment of conception a new human person begins their life here on this earth, temporarily residing in the womb. This bill finally protects that tiny person’s, (commonly known by the biological names zygote, embryo, and fetus), God given unalienable right to life that our founding fathers articulated in our Declaration of Independence.

    This debate about the right of the preborn to life reminds me of the civil rights movement against the evil of discrimination against people based on skin color. I vividly remember Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech.

    I have a dream too…that one day our little “sisters and brothers” who are at the beginning of this life journey will not be judged as subhuman because they are temporarily residing, growing, and developing in the womb. I have a Dream that one day the idea of intentionally killing human persons in the womb will be as unthinkable and abhorrent as intentionally killing born persons.

    There is another bill that would require public schools to educate children on the science that human life does begin a conception. It is a start at teaching truth. I hope you will consider advancing that bill.

  2. Lincoln Larsen on February 16, 2024 at 8:28 am

    Dear Pulse Life Advocates,

    With all due respect for your work, and with an acknowledgement of your good intentions, let me offer a loving criticism. Unfortunately, the pro-life establishment is compromised and inconsistent on the second victim narrative. The vast majority of aborting women are not coerced victims. Yes, they have been lied to and are often scared and pressured. But it’s called the pro-choice movement for a reason – these women make the choice to kill their babies. To kill a stranger is wrong – how much worse to kill your own helpless child?

    What I’m advocating for is consistency. We agree that human life – both inside the womb as out – is equally valuable. Since this is true, the laws that protect humans should be equally applied. Those with the same inherent value deserve the same legal protections. Consistency requires we acknowledge both men and women are capable of grave evil, and both must be held to account.

    Has the pro-abortion lobby sown great confusion in our culture? Undoubtedly. But inconsistent pro-life laws that give mothers special murder rights only perpetuate and further entrench the pro-choice rhetoric and dehumanization of preborn babies. By granting women legal immunity, we are signaling to confused women (and men) that we don’t really believe murder of the unborn humans is morally equivalent to murder of born humans. Either it is murder, or it is justified. You can’t have it both ways.

    Perhaps an analogy would help: would you erase punishments for murder and grant blanket immunity to those raised in a cannibalistic culture where it was deemed acceptable? Would you give gang violence a pass because many of the perpetrators are raised in fatherless homes and are victims of violence themselves? No.

    While pro-choicers spin this by saying we’re punishing mothers, the reality is that it’s about protecting the innocent. When a woman willingly takes a pill to kill her baby, she becomes the abortionist, and as you know, this is increasingly the preferred means of abortion. HF 2256 does not criminalize mothers, but the act of murder.

    The Bible is clear that God condemns partiality (Leviticus 19:15, James 2:1) – which is the sin of showing unfair favor to one group/class over another. And while we must continue to show mothers God’s grace in the gospel, we also know God has instituted human governments to “punish those who do evil” (1 Peter 2:14).

    Please know that all of this is offered in the spirit of love, not arrogant divisiveness. I am praying you see the inconsistency, and advocate for what is logically and morally sound.

    Pastor Lincoln Larsen

    • Maggie DeWitte on February 16, 2024 at 3:21 pm

      Hi Pastor Lincoln,
      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us on this blog post. The issue of criminalizing women who had an abortion is a tough issue. You are right in that she has taken the life of her unborn child. But where we differ is who should be held accountable for taking that life. I am in favor of criminalizing the abortion doctor and the abortion industry who have sold that woman a bill of goods regarding her abortion decision. Why not put the doctors who have performed this abortion or prescribed these pills behind bars and take away their medical license? They know full well what they are doing.

      Over the years I have worked in the life movement, I have counseled with many women who have had an abortion; some of which have become my dearest friends. Many have gone on to get the hope and healing they needed and have used this horrible decision to do better in their lives and the lives of others. They have started post-abortive ministry programs and offered counseling and retreats to help other women who have an abortion and their lives have been ruined because of it. In all my years, the common theme from women who have had an abortion is that they were lied to by the abortion clinic. That they didn’t know they had options.

      That is why the life movement has to be more than just passing laws. It has to be about changing hearts and minds and that means getting out and educating in the schools and churches every single day on this life issue. And that is what Pulse has been trying to do since 1972. 50 years of federal abortion law is a lot of years of brainwashing that we must undo in our society. We have to reach these women before they step one foot into the abortion clinic. Lets do better for these women and families!

  3. Maggie DeWitte on February 16, 2024 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Mary,
    Thank you so much for commenting on our blog post. I appreciate your comments very much! I agree with you 100% that all life needs to be protected from the moment of fertilization. That we should have equal protection under the law for all of our pre-born brothers and sisters. Pulse has that exact mission- to educate on the sanctity of human life from fertilization to natural death. Almost every session since I have been director, we have advocated a Life at Conception bill. That is the gold standard and even if/when the heartbeat bill is able to be enforced, we will continue to push for a Life at Conception law in Iowa. The particular bill HF2256 that we are referencing in our blog post has a section of the bill that we cannot support and that is the criminalization of women who have an abortion. As I articulated in my post, I do see these women as victims who have been deceived by the abortion industry and they need our help and our support. I am going to continue to advocate for both the baby and the mother. Thanks again for your comments!

  4. Lindsay Maher on February 17, 2024 at 11:00 am

    Why not have this conversation? Many times bills are introduced to do just that, start the conversation so that the best legislation can be brought forward. Do we believe abortion is murder? If so how does that translate into law? How does that get implemented? If we think just punishing men who intentionally induce abortion or doctors who prescribe or perform the abortion is the correct way forward then we aren’t actually fighting for all the unborn. Why is a woman who throws away a newborn baby in the dumpster different than the one who attempts (on her own without a doctor) to induce an abortion?

    This is a discussion this community needs to have if we truly want to end abortion and protect the unborn.

    • Pulse Life Advocates on February 20, 2024 at 11:18 am

      Lindsay, we are having this conversation. That is the purpose of this blog, which is why we appreciate you weighing in with your perspective. Thanks for responding to our post.

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