To Women Who Have Chosen Abortion – I Am Sorry

I cannot tell you all of the things that had to happen to bring me to a place of deep sorrow on a night last fall, but I can tell you that my heart was forever changed in a moment.

Growing up in an evangelical Christian home, I have always had a “pro-life” position on the subject of abortion. I remember standing on a busy street corner as a young child with other members of our church holding signs that said, “Choose Life.” I remember wondering why we had to advertise for people to pick life instead of death.

I also remember honking cars, people spitting out of their windows, and profanity. I was little. I remember that I didn’t get to stay very long, but it was long enough. It was long enough to see the anger in the eyes of people who didn’t want someone else’s agenda in their face even if some place in their heart agreed…. Abortion is murder.

Years went by, and my opinions became more concrete. If abortion is murder, then those who choose abortion are heartless selfish murderers with no regard to the value of human life. That last part… that last part is a conclusion that I came to all on my own. The fact that had been presented to me was, “Abortion is murder.” The labeling of the mothers… no… the women who had made the decision to kill their babies was something I determined all by myself. If abortion is murder, then the women who choose it… I think we are all on the same page here.

Somehow a stand against the act had become anger toward the person. I wasn’t even aware of how hardened my heart had become.

It was six months after my son was born that the reality of abortion became more than a vague concept in a world that didn’t directly affect me. It became an undeniable and unavoidable truth that invaded my heart. I was driving down our simple suburban street, and I looked up in the rearview mirror at the reflection of my infant in his car seat. He was sucking on his pacifier and watching brightly colored animals dance from the bar above him.

Overwhelming grief came over me. The thought of precious babies just like my own who laugh with tiny tummy songs and smile with toothless grins not tucked safely in car seats, but in trash cans and zip lock bags and coolers at the hands of their own mothers was more than I could bear. Abortion is real, and while I drove the speed limit with my baby buckled carefully into his car seat, children like mine were dying. Abortion is murder, and the women who choose it shed innocent blood. Surely there is no greater sin.

The turning point and that fateful night came about a year ago. I watched a movie that followed the journey of a young girl who found out that she was not only adopted, but was the product of a failed abortion. I cried through the entire film. A theme of forgiveness was present in the movie, and my heart physically ached.

After the credits, a special feature included an interview with the actress who played the woman who had aborted her baby. This actress said that when the directors approached her for the role, she was overwhelmed. Years before, she had an abortion of her own and only a few people knew about it. She shared in the interview that she felt like the Lord was reminding her of His forgiveness and playing this part helped in her journey towards healing.

I turned off the movie and cried bawled. I wept like someone dear to me had died. My heart was shattered. I wasn’t only sad at the reality of abortion. I was angry. At first, I was angry at her, the actress. The woman who said God forgave her.

Then, I was angry at God. I cried out, “How on earth could you forgive HER God?” I understand that God forgives and loves and restores and sets us back into right relationship with HIM. I understand that there is nothing that could ever separate us from the LOVE of Christ. I understand that while we were yet sinners Christ died for US. Scripture tells me all of this is true. But this?! ABORTION? This surely had to be unforgivable!

I asked God, “How could you forgive her for shedding the innocent blood of her child?!?!”

And God answered me audibly.

“The same way that I can forgive you for shedding the innocent blood of mine.”

I let His words sink into the hardened ground of my heart. Jesus, the innocent lamb, the Savior of the world, our perfect sacrifice who was sent by the Father to redeem us back to God, hadn’t just died for me… he had died BECAUSE of me. It wasn’t just the sins of the world that led Jesus to the cross… it was MY sin… OUR sins. There was nothing that set my sin apart from the women that I had so easily called “murderers.”

After all, there is no bizarre hierarchy of separation from God. There are no levels of sin. The Word says, “For we have ALL sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” The innocent blood of my Savior was spilled for US…. And thankfully that US includes me in my anger and women who have chosen abortion.

I sat there curled up on my bed with my face buried in my pillow and cried deeper. Tears welled up from a place of sadness and anger and transformed into a stream of repentance, and as they fell that night, they washed away years of judgment and bitterness.

Jesus died for her just like Jesus died for me. I had buried the Truth of forgiveness and selfishly reserved it for myself.  I had let anger become a wall between myself and women just like me. It was on that night that Jesus softened my heart and forgave my anger so that I could be the person who turns back and says to the woman who has chosen abortion:

I am sorry. I am so sorry for shame that you have had to carry alone. I am sorry that I… that the Church… has not done a better job of pursuing you in your pain. That we have shunned and rejected and thought of the babies and not the women – you. Because the truth is…

God loves you. He isn’t mad at you. There isn’t anything you could ever do that would cause Him to stop loving you, because there wasn’t anything that you could do to earn His love. It is free. It is the scandal of a God full of grace that pursues a sinner with nothing to gain for Himself but a relationship with them – you – me. He wants to heal the places of shame that creep up in your heart. He wants you to come to Him and find peace and restoration and forgiveness.

He wants to set you free from years of secrets, from hidden burdens, and from crippling shame that says you will never be able to walk in the forgiveness that is available to you. The greatest lie of the enemy of our souls is that God doesn’t love us. It is a lie as old as time itself, and it is nothing more than that – a lie.

I pray that you would feel the presence of God captivate the places of grief in your heart. I pray that you would find a peace that is unshakeable and a joy that you never thought attainable. He loves you He loves you He loves you – and so do I.

This afternoon I took my children out into a nearby field and took photos of them. It was more than just so we could have new photos on our wall… I wanted to capture them being “little.” Little enough to be unaware of a “choice…” Little enough to be pure from hostilities and anger that would take the place of love. So little that their precious hearts are still soft and freely giving of His love. So, tonight, I pray that we (The body of Christ) would be made little again like these. I pray that we would not be hoarders of His goodness and collectors of His grace, but instead we would freely give as we have freely received.  Because the greatest Truth of salvation is that it is for all of US.

 

 

 

Thank you for hearing my heart of love in this post. As we move together away from judgement and towards healing, I would love to hear from you. However, due to the highly sensitive and debatable nature of this subject, I have turned off all comments. If you would like resources for further support after abortion, I would love to put you in contact with those who can help you. Please feel free to use the contact form above for further information.

Comments

  • Aileen says:

    Hi!

    I am really thankful that I have come across your blog. This topic is really sensitive to me as I once aborted my baby. It was about 6 years ago that I got pregnant. I was only 23, afraid of what my family would do to me once they know of my situation. I was scared, so scared that I thought of abortion. No one knows this except me and my boyfriend. I know God can forgive me but I’m sure I’ll be bearing this sin forever in me. I really am shameful of what I’ve done. I’ve always ask the Lord to forgive and heal me deeply for until now I couldn’t forgive myself of that incident. There comes a time that I would just cry alone thinking if I could undo the past. I’m now 28, still single but always looking forward that He would bless me soon another angel. Thanks for your article. It somehow helped me feel better today. Continue to inspire and share God’s words.

    God bless you!

  • Angela says:

    This post struck a deep, deep cord. Thank you.

  • Brittney says:

    So well put. I was put in a terrible situation at 19 and chose abortion. Was homeless and pressured by family and the father of the baby to abort. I had made the decision to keep the baby but my decision was swayed by the fear of being alone and inadequate. Now I know, I wasnt alone, Jesus had my back, I should have never let anyone make that decision for me! Now its 8 years later and I am still mourning for what I did. I know God forgives me and he has now blessed me with beautiful daughter but its something I regret every day of my life. Thabk you for this post, its beautiful how you explain coming to realize how everyone deserves forgiveness

  • Debbie says:

    You are very right. “Judge not lest you be judged.” An equal sin. Thank God for His unconditional love for us and his forgiveness! I think all are guilty of judgement. Proud of the ones who admit it and soften their hearts to God’s ultimate message. “Love each other just as I have loved you.” Thank you for posting this!

  • Sarah says:

    It’s too often that We The Church mistake ourselves as gatekeepers of His Grace. If you play by our rules then you will be granted forgiveness, forgetting that we ourselves became beneficiaries of His Grace while we were still sinners and therefore still sinning. We find Grace, then turn around and begin to attempt to earn it.To rid ourselves of the need for it. It is in these self denials that we expose our little understanding of His Grace.
    We are not keepers of the Dam that control the levies and flow of water, we are the rivers streams and sometimes just the trickles of water from a never ending well of living life-giving water that does not limit itself.

  • Anniebeth foster says:

    Thank you!

  • […] tender and personal story offering hope after miscarriage, or allowing her heart to remain open to those grieving a child lost to elective abortion. She is also a passionate and eloquent advocate for the beautiful option of […]

  • Cindy says:

    Thank you

  • Mary says:

    I think those suffering the pain of abortion decisions in their lives–women who’ve had them, men who’ve encouraged wives/girlfriends to have them, parents who have encouraged or forced their daughters to abort, etc.–would find great healing from Rachel’s Vineyard retreats. This program has helped many, many people find forgiveness and peace. http://rachelsvineyard.org/

  • Ashley says:

    Wow! This story brought tears to my eyes. I have never thought of it this way and loved everything about. You are so so right, it is a constant struggle of feeling like you could never be forgiven for something like this, but God loves us all even in our mistakes just like you have said. Thank you for this article!!

  • Mrs. Dehmer says:

    Thank you <3

  • Katherine says:

    Hello!
    This may sound like a strange perspective: but my personal experience, of being a single mother, of defying the father of my child and not having an abortion, of living each day with the knowledge that someone didn’t want your baby and wanted you to kill it. It is its own form of regret, of sorrow, to live with the constant reminder of those things and to choose joy every day. My son is full of magic and grace, but the repercussions of becoming pregnant are just as real as the regret of choosing to have an abortion.

    I was raised in an evangelical christian home and identify as humanist, secular, “not christian” because of the associations with hatred and judgement I saw were part of “being a good christian” growing up. I love this post and I hope that people especially recognize the truth that “all sins are equal”. If you can choose to go to war and kill another human, how is killing a human in your body any different? If you vote for politicians that advocate for a competitive society that fosters environments of conflict, it is not different than an environment where abortions are available. If all sins are equal, then we are equally called to end all killing, all suffering.

    Thank you for letting me contribute my perspective – I appreciate having a voice :)

  • Shari Rigby says:

    HI,

    Thank you so much for writing your blog post! So transparently written. I am the woman that played the birth mom in October Baby and I know that the Lord used this film, the story, the testimony…for His name’s sake! I thank you for being a voice of many that feel as you did and your words mean so much to those that have had an abortion but truly, I believe your words were for the women who have not. :)

    Be Bless Sweet Sister in Christ!
    Shari

  • Kira says:

    Great read, thank you!!

  • […] laced with love and kindness too. Reading her posts have challenged how I viewed Miscarriage, Abortion, and the new USA Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage -> seriously that post is phenomenal. […]

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