The Truth About Abortion
As children, we ask where babies come from. We marvel at the stages of development, and we never question whether the baby in mommy’s tummy is a real person.
The truth is that God always chooses life, for all of us (John 10:10, Romans 6:23). And nothing surprises God — no circumstance, event, or unplanned pregnancy (Psalm 139:15).
Our imperfect circumstance or timing rests perfectly in God’s hands. God saw us before we were conceived, and Psalm 139 describes how God knits each of us together in the womb. Google an image of a DNA molecule, and it looks like it’s been knitted together. Those DNA strands, which make us unique and give us our gifts and talents, were formed at the time of conception.
For the Woman Considering Abortion
An unplanned pregnancy can leave a woman feeling alone and scared, feeling like things are flying out of control. And often when we’re desperate, we’re willing to rethink everything we’ve ever known.
Studies show that many women facing an unplanned pregnancy feel pressured (by circumstances or by others) into burying their conscience and their knowledge of the truth in favor of what seems like the lesser of two bad options.
Whatever pressures brought you to this decision — financial problems, drug abuse, health concerns, or the fear of raising a child alone — your desperate situation is not beyond God’s reach. God knows who’s destined to carry every child, calling His children to a purpose before they’re even born (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:13-15).
Nothing surprises God — no circumstance, event, or unplanned pregnancy.
You might think your life is over, but God can work through this situation for your good. Whether you raise your child yourself or place your child into an adoptive family, choosing to keep this baby is choosing to see God work miracles in your life and in the lives of others.
This one selfless act of giving life to the child inside you could be what God uses to bring out your very best. What you might perceive as shame or regret, He wants to transform into a gift of grace.
You will not be on this journey alone. And you don’t have to have everything figured out to be a parent.
God is faithful. He tells us, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you” (Isaiah 41:10). God won’t abandon you, and He can be trusted to follow through on His promises (Numbers 23:19, Psalm 9:10, Hebrews 10:23). But it takes guts to take God at His word and let Him have control.
For the Woman who has had an Abortion in the Past
Your abortion does not have to define you. And the regret, shame, grief, and depression you might feel are not forever. Hope, peace, and healing are possible.
Jesus can carry any burden we surrender to Him. If you haven’t asked Jesus into your life, your first step to healing is to start a relationship with Him. Jesus was born into this world to die for all of our sins, including abortion (John 3:16). The only way to find peace and move forward from the trauma of an abortion is to acknowledge what happened, confess it to Jesus, and trust in the forgiveness He made possible by dying for our sin (Colossians 1:13-14).
Maybe you asked Jesus into your life a while ago, but through a series of bad choices, you find yourself feeling as far from God as you’ve ever been. It is never too late to ask God for forgiveness (Isaiah 1:18).
1 John 1:8-9 promises that when we’re heartbroken about our sin, God is generous in His mercy: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
God’s forgiveness is certain and trusting Him will begin the heal- ing process, but working through grief and forgiving ourselves can take time. Praying, reading the Bible, finding good community, and opening up to a counselor can be great tools to help you work through grief and discover the abundant life Jesus wants for you.
Abortion is not the End of your Story
Our mistakes don’t have to define us, and we see proof of that throughout the Bible:
- Mary Magdalene, who was demon-possessed until healed by Jesus, became a devoted follower of Jesus, and was the first person He appeared to after His resurrection (Luke 8:2, Mark 16:9).
- A woman who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years, suffering greatly under the care of many doctors, was completely healed just by pushing through a crowd to touch Jesus’ cloak (Mark 5:24-34).
- Paul, who persecuted Jesus’ followers, met the resurrected Jesus and became one of the most prolific preachers of the Gospel. He also wrote 14 books in the New Testament (Acts 9:1-19).
- A demon-possessed man, living in the tombs, crying and cutting himself, was completely healed after meeting Jesus. When he begged Jesus to let him accompany him, Jesus told him to go share his story (Mark 5:1-20).
Like Mary Magdalene, or the demon-possessed man, we get a fresh start with Jesus, and we get to share that hope with others. What if one of the ways God wants to bring good out of your situation is by allowing you to comfort and encourage others who have been through an abortion or are contemplating one now?
Sometimes, what we consider our greatest mistake is the exact thing that qualifies us to minister to others. When we know the pain of having had an abortion and have experienced the forgiveness and healing Jesus offers, we develop a deeper compassion and love for others who are heartbroken.
Our past failures still fit into God’s good and perfect plan, and our past pain can become tomorrow’s ministry (Romans 8:28).
What to Do when You Know Someone Who’s Considering an Abortion or Who’s Had an Abortion
Many women who have an abortion define their lives from that moment forward as “before the abortion” or “after the abortion,” and almost half will experience a host of negative psychological and physical problems.
The best way Christians can help Jesus rewrite more stories is by making a commitment to show love and mercy when scared people confess sin. The church must be the safest place to bring our secrets and our sin. It’s a hospital for sinners, not a social club for saints (James 5:16).
Extending God’s grace doesn’t mean we condone sin. It simply means we’re pointing others to the Savior we all desperately need (Ephesians 4:32). Extending grace means we show compassion first, just like Jesus did.
Jesus began conversations with an adulteress and a promiscuous pagan by giving them the mercy and respect others wouldn’t (John 4, John 8:1-30). When engaging those struggling with sin, Jesus does not condemn. Instead, He invites the sinner into a relationship.
Like every woman who’s ever had an abortion, we’ve also sinned (Romans 3:23). We ought to have great empathy for any woman carrying the weight of a past abortion and offer hope rather than judgment.
Being Jesus’ representatives on Earth means coming alongside women to offer love and guidance. Our compassion is the vehicle God will use to carry His truth to women considering abortion or recovering from an abortion. And, it could be the very thing that guides her to the cross (Matthew 9:36-38).