Year of Youth 2018

Dorothy Day is the Perfect Role Model for Post-Abortion Women

Last edited 7th September 2015

Dorothy Day is the Perfect Role Model for Post-Abortion Women

As a 21 year old, Dorothy Day had a dalliance with another journalist, and became pregnant as a result. The fellow pressurised her to have an abortion, and in September 1919, 86 years ago this month, Day made a decision that she would bitterly regret for the rest of her life. She had an illegal abortion. Afterwards, Day was weighted down with a guilt-fuelled depression. Reflecting on Day’s distress, it calls to mind Pope Francis’ words last week, when he described post-abortion women as bearing, ‘the scar of this agonising and painful decision’.

Pope Francis has made provisions for all priests during the Year of Mercy to absolve the sin of abortion. Our Pope has not minced his words in decrying, ‘the tragedy of abortion’ and in being clear that the opportunity for confession is open to women with ‘a sincere heart’. Dorothy Day was one such woman who showed great remorse after her abortion, and went on to live a holy and saintly life. Dorothy Day has been given the title Servant of God, and as we approach the Year of Mercy, we must invoke Dorothy Day’s intercession for women who intend to confess the sin of abortion.


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