According to Lifeway Research, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Church, 7 in 10 women who have had an abortion identify themselves as Christian. Additionally, 23% identify themselves as evangelical.
My heart moves toward Christian women who are in pain over their choice to have an abortion. I wouldn’t want them to show up for our next Sanctity of Life Sunday and feel condemned. Nor would I want her to absent herself for fear of same. If that were to happen, her pain would remain a private hell that can never be healed. She would secretly live in condemnation instead of forgiveness.
If you’ve had an abortion, I’m not saying you need to go public about it. You can, if you wish, share it with me privately. I simply want to open a door for you to find healing.
Abortion brings up two convictions that seem to pull in opposite directions, but in actuality they don’t. First, I do believe that abortion is a sin in the great majority of cases. (Abortions due to rape constitute only about 2% of abortions). Abortion is not God’s will and I feel a strong need to advocate for the child involved. Yes, unplanned pregnancy places women in challenging circumstances, and yes the Church needs to help her. And yes it’s unfair that the man involved can evade responsibility. I hate that. But an innocent child’s life is ended by abortion, and I must speak against that.
I also have a conviction that God forgives sin. King David murdered a man to cover his lustful affair with the man’s wife, and God forgave him that sin. What’s more, David suffered a lifelong consequence for that sin, and it tore apart his family and his kingdom for generations. If David had been able to fully deal with his sin and fully accept God’s forgiveness, the damage would have been so much less! The same is true for you if you are a woman who has had an abortion.
I’m aware that many women who have had abortions don’t feel the need for forgiveness. Yet I’m also aware that many women don’t admit the gnawing guilt they feel about their abortion for twenty or thirty years after the abortion. They repress the guilt because their personal philosophy tells them they did nothing wrong. But guilt often has a mind of its own.
If you’ve had an abortion, you are still welcome at our church. You can still be loved and valued by the Lord, and by us. A question I’d like you to consider is this: would it be helpful for you to talk with someone about your abortion?