BEREAVEMENT LEAVE AFTER AN ABORTION
Life is beautiful. It is a free gift from our Creator, and it is full of infinite possibilities. We can all rejoice at this gift. Anyone who has witnessed a birth can attest to the overwhelming emotions that are present at this moment. Gratitude and awe are mixed with joy and tears, hope and love.
The moment when a loved one dies is also a time of overwhelming emotions. As Christians, we are confident that it is a transition from this life to Eternal Life with God.
But we still grieve the loss; the reality that we will no longer see our loved one in this life brings on intense grief. We travel through stages of grief at different times and in different ways, but that pain is a reality no one can escape.
Bereavement is described by Merriam-Webster as: “the state of being sad because a loved one or friend has recently died.” 
Interestingly, the City of Portland, Oregon, has decided to grant three days of bereavement time for any employee who has procured an abortion. One is not granted bereavement time for an appendix that is removed, or for a tonsillectomy, or for any body part that is removed. Bereavement pay is granted when “ a loved one or friend” has died, recognizing how profoundly that loss of human life is felt.
Anyone who has suffered a miscarriage knows the pain and the grief that accompanies the loss of that precious family member, a family member who is distinct from the mother and made in the image and likeness of God.
We may have had names picked out and bought baby clothes and other baby items. The love we have for our children begins even when they are growing in the womb, and the loss evokes a time of bereavement. This is a natural reaction to the loss of a loved one.
We have also recognized for years that mothers and fathers who have lost their Pre-Born babies through a procured abortion also experience pain and grief as a result of the abortion. The grief manifests itself in different ways, but it is present latently or manifestly. 
The pro-life community offers retreats and grief counseling for post-abortive mothers and fathers. The need to grieve is compounded by feelings of guilt and trauma, so healing and forgiveness are needed and offered. God can heal all wounds.
What is astounding, though, is that the City of Portland, who is no foe of abortion, recognizes that a family member has died by offering bereavement time after an abortion. Words matter. Let us pray this sparks questions and a change of hearts, for how can one recognize this heinous reality and still support it?