Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion

A book review by Steven Ertelt, Executive Director of Women and Children First

Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion
by Sydna Masse, Joan Phillips
c. 1998, Chariot Victor Publishing, Paperback, 144 p.
To Order: http://www.prolife.org/rvw/books.html

The hot topic these days in the pro-life community is "post-abortion healing." And for good reason. According to Planned Parenthood's research department some 43 percent of women will have had an abortion by the time they reach 45 years of age. And who better to help women find hope and healing than two who have experienced the tragedy of abortion themselves.

Synda Masse and Joan Phillips, the authors of Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion, are leading the charge to provide women with spiritual renewal following abortion. Their recently-published book is an excellent guide for women seeking to accept forgiveness and reconcile with God.

Masse and Phillips have written Her Choice to Heal in a workbook style that combines helpful advice and choice Biblical passages with writing spaces where a woman can reflect on her own abortion situation and what she's read.

Speaking about women beginning to come to grips with their abortion, they write, "For months and even years, the only apparent truth is that she made the right decision for that time in her life." Yet women eventually find themselves with overwhelming feelings of denial, anger and tremendous guilt. Her Choice to Heal addresses each of these feelings in various chapters.

Masse and Phillips are intimately familiar with abortion decisions. Both are former leaders of the Crisis Pregnancy outreach of Focus on the Family and have previously suffered from abortion's lasting effects.

Despite attending a "private Christian college," Sydna Masse found herself pregnant. She faced a dilemma that seems to typify the desperate situation young women find themselves in -- one that compels them to feel they have no other choice besides abortion.

Her boyfriend threatened to "turn my whole world upside down" if she chose to carry the pregnancy to term. He threatened to divulge her pregnancy and refuse any support for her and her child, to reveal the pregnancy to her mother (who would likely not support her), and to get Sydna kicked out of school. "You'll be on your own! It doesn't look like you have much choice." Sydna chose abortion and began "drowning my feelings with drugs and promiscuity" -- a lifestyle she would unfortunately "continue for many years."

Joan Phillips' story shocks even readers most familiar with tragic abortion experiences. Following a high school romance that turned into a domestic abuse nightmare, Joan made an appointment for an abortion after gathering her two sons and leaving her husband. But no one heard the "silent screams" she cried during the abortion.

Phillips soon begins a sordid affair with a married man. This produced two abortions but millions of heartaches. By day she became a "supermom" to her kids; by night she'd "smoked pot until I couldn't see, cry for no reason until the tears were gone, and wonder what was wrong with me."

This book is not just for those who have a personal abortion experience or know someone who does. Every pro-life activist needs to purchase Her Choice to Heal for the outstanding explanation, in layman's terms, of post-abortion syndrome. We all should have a working understanding of the types of emotional and psychological torment women who have had abortions face. After sharing their personal stories, the authors outline just that in the first chapter.

Joy comes in the mourning. Her Choice to Heal isn't simply a plunge into the roller coaster world of post-abortion emotions. In the final chapters, Sydna finishes her personal story by touching on her newfound Christian life and husband, her work at Focus, and her goal to produce enough "courage to face my emotions and release them" and to "release my long lost baby as well."

The authors define their mission well.

"As two of those who have experienced first-hand the lasting effects of abortion, we believe that Post-Abortion Syndrome does, indeed, exist, but that it can be overcome. To the woman who is struggling, we would like to extend you our compassion -- as well as a supporting arm to guide you along the way to healing through the pages of this book. You are in our prayers as you begin your journey toward peace."

Sydna Masse and Joan Phillips have presented a masterpiece to millions of post-abortive women desperately seeking God's forgiving touch. The brilliant combination of personal testimony, dry facts and Biblical wisdom provides women with a solace many thought they might never find. The book's interactive nature, fostered by the inclusion of "Healing Place" writing spaces for reflection, dramatically enhances women's ability to understand the message and apply it to their own situations.

I encourage you to purchase Her Choice to Heal. If you have had an abortion experience, know someone who has, or simply want to better understand how abortion hurts women and how to help, Her Choice to Heal is a must-read.

We have provided you with an easy way to purchase this book. Simply point your web browser to http://www.prolife.org/rvw/books.html and Her Choice to Heal is the first selection in our post-abortion book listings. The book sells for $7.99, a 20% discount from the cover price. Click on the link to the book and you're ready to order. If you have questions, email ertelt@prolife.org.

Sydna Masse now serves as President and Founder of Ramah International, a post-abortion organization. You can visit Ramah's website at: http://www3.n-gate.com/ramah. Ramah International also offers Her Choice to Heal at a discount for multiple copies. For more information, write to Sydna at "sydna@aol.com" or contact her at Ramah International, PO Box 173, Ramah, CO 80832, 719-573-7707.

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