So. I'm wandering past the TV the other day and a very busy looking commercial caught my eye. In it, two identical men were whirling around, Matrix style, appearing to be fighting each other. Every punch thrown by the one guy was countered immediately by the other one. I quickly figured out it was one person fighting himself and the reason they were so evenly matched was because the 'two' fighters knew the exact punch that was coming beforehand. Neither fighter 'won' but eventually the two stopped fighting and they merged back into one person again. The tagline for the commercial was "Moral Injury" and the text referenced a mental health website for assistance. This commercial caught my attention for two reasons: one, it was a brilliant use of simple imagery to convey a complex idea and two, it touched upon a infrequently discussed issue in the abortion healing arena that has been bothering me for some time now: how do we better acknowledge, accept and help heal the morally injured post-abortive woman and man?
It wasn't clear that the man in the commercial was a veteran. But, the term "moral injury" in modern vernacular tends to point to the phenomenon soldiers face when they are forced to countermand their prevailing moral code through action or inaction because of an order given by an authority or oath they've sworn to uphold. The injury produces a schism in the psyche of the individual that is traumatic; deep seated feelings of shame, guilt and self-doubt take over the ability to function effectively.
Now, imagine a little girl growing up believing in the parable of the good Samaritan taught to her at church: one who goes out of their way to help another person in dire need. She's seen it modelled countless times by family members and her community and she understands it is the 'right thing to do.' That same little girl later becomes an army medic and is tasked with taking care of the wounded in her platoon. One day, she finds herself in a far away village in Afghanistan working to patch up a wounded soldier hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) when she notices a young child severely injured by the same IED. She is told by her commanding officer that she cannot "waste" medical supplies on civilians and must leave the