Part 3 of 3 of the Abortion Series, originally published in the NRC youth magazine Insight Into in 2008-2009. Reprinted with permission from the authors.
In the first article of this series, Sarah described abortion as the “silent holocaust” and explained what it does to pre-born babies. In the second article, Bruce gave biblical reasons for respecting all life and asked what we do to protect the pre-born. This time, we will take a practical look at how women and men are touched by abortion, and what we are to do about it.
“It hurt my heart so bad. My heart and my body and my spirit were broken in a matter of minutes. I regret what I did so much. I have not smiled truthfully since then.”
These are the words of a young woman who thought an abortion would be better than a baby. As most people in our society, she was made to believe that her pre-born child was not yet human, but soon after the abortion, she intuitively knew that it had been. Another woman explained, “They told us it would be better since we didn’t have money for yet another baby but instead, my husband and I are troubled daily by feelings of guilt and thoughts of the child we could’ve had.” Abortion clearly has negative physical consequences, but also leaves countless women and men with profound pain, guilt and regret.
Sadly, research shows that Christians also have abortions, including some from our churches. A young woman who became pregnant because of a sinful lifestyle wrote, “I had always believed that I was pro-life until the day I was faced with the decision myself. I grew up in a very strict religious family and was truly afraid that telling my parents that I was pregnant would get me disowned. I’m 27, it’s now almost nine years later, and I still cry about it.” In addition, a young man explained that he was so worried about disappointing his parents that he pressured his girlfriend into having an abortion.
These examples show us that abortions happen because we do not follow the Lord and His commandments. When a pregnancy results from premarital intercourse, abortion can be used to cover up sin. When we do not accept that children are a blessing, we may use abortion as an illegitimate way to plan, instead of trust God’s design for our lives. Or when we altogether ignore what God has to say to us, or that He even exists, we will do whatever we think is right. In other words, there is so much pain because we do not let the Lord’s wise decrees be our guide.
Do you wonder what can be done to stop this evil? It is not enough to refrain from having an abortion! James 1 verse 27 tells us that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” That is a combination of doing and being.
First of all, get up. Get out. Do something about the suffering in the lives of those around you. That also applies to all the pain and suffering resulting from abortion. People need to know what abortion does to pre-born babies and their parents and why it is wrong. The second part says be sanctified and keep yourself unstained from the world. In other words, it isn’t enough to just help those in need. Your life needs to be to God’s honour. We need to know Him personally for time and eternity. What a wonder it would be if the Lord would bind that upon our hearts and work true conversion within us.
But what about those who have had an abortion? Our nation is in desperate need of repentance, restoration, and healing. Maybe you know someone who has had an abortion, or maybe you have had one yourself. A young woman wrote, “I couldn’t forgive myself. If not for the forgiveness of Christ, I would still be suffering from alcoholism, depression and undefeatable guilt and mourning.”
Since God cannot leave sin unpunished, we are condemned to these feelings of guilt but especially are condemned to eternal death. There is only one path to true restoration. Not by forgiving yourself, but by the gracious forgiveness of God through Christ, who was the only One to pay the death we owe. And that is the only true foundation of doing and being, of meeting needs and walking in purity.
Finally, we are to show compassion to those who have had abortions and are now struggling with feelings of guilt and depression. Of course, that is not an easy task. It needs much love and wisdom. It needs, above all, the Lord’s help. Without Him we can do nothing. But He is able to bless a simple word, a cup of cold water, or even an arm around the shoulder.