Does she want an abortion? Not like she wants a new handbag or chocolate cake. Instead, like a trapped animal that is willing to gnaw off its leg to escape, she is thinking of getting out of her predicament by an act of violence and self-preservation. Seeking an abortion is often born of desperation, desperation that invites her to think an even greater sin is the only answer.
As those who bear the name of Christ and are His ambassadors to the world, we have the opportunity to slow down an emotionally charged decision and shed light on life-giving options. This is our chance to show her the great care and compassion of our loving heavenly Father.
LifeWay Research reported in 2015 that 36 percent of postabortive women attended a Christian church once a month or more. This statistic reminds me of what an abortionist once said after being invited to repent of his evil acts: “I’ll consider coming to church with you when the church stops coming to me.” If our desire is to save babies from abortion, a good place to start is in our churches.
I once received a call from a church secretary asking if we could help a pregnant single member with material needs. I said that we could, sharing that what the mother really needs is for her church family to rally around her and her unborn baby. Slightly embarrassed, the secretary said the pastor had forbidden the ladies in the church from throwing a baby shower, as it would give the impression that the church condoned premarital sex. While we must not condone premarital sex, we absolutely must celebrate the glorious gift of human life. Stories like this one demonstrate why many Christian women feel that they are under more pressure to abort than non-Christian women are. Thankfully, in the end, the church graciously came alongside her emotionally and materially, helping her make the next right decision. Years later, I met this mother and her son, and I still marvel at how her testimony truly reflects the grace of God in her life.
In order to effectively help women who are considering abortion, we must be clothed in the humility of Christ, love, genuineness, and empathy. When we meet people whose circumstances are different from our own—people with big problems that often have no ready or easy fix; people with broken families torn apart by drugs, alcohol, violence, and poverty—it can be easy to feel that we are better than they are and to look down at the choices they have made, forgetting that we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). To love well a woman who is considering abortion, we meet her with the compassion of Christ, knowing that in order to save the baby, we must minister to her heart and pray that in our loving her, she will grow to love her baby.
Abortion devastates everyone it touches—baby, mother, the extended family, and even the church. Those who have had an abortion (including one out of four professing Christians—men and women) often suffer alone. They are in need of a place to take their shame, guilt, and regret. We can extend Christ’s love to the wounded among us—those deciding what to do about a crisis pregnancy and those who have already aborted—with the redeeming forgiveness that awaits them at the cross. Putting love into action is rarely easy. It is messy, often inconvenient, and costly. Yet, it is what we are called to do as servants of Christ. Let us not grow weary in doing good, and let us continue to display the love of Christ.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 1, 2020.