The secret shame of abortion in the church

When Jackie emailed her church about the Abortion Restoration Group, she used a pseudonym and created a new email address to hide her true identity.

A On that day, 11 years after her abortion, and after sharing her story with dozens of women, Jackie asked me not to use her real name to tell her story. She still hasn't told her daughter that she had an abortion.

According to her it is "a shameful secret".

It is difficult to discuss abortion with the people who have performed it. Pro-choice and pro-abortion activists attribute this to old patterns in our societies that abortion is wrong and something wrong. They try to remove this shame by defending abortion, saying that unborn babies are not real people and that abortion is an opportunity.

However in the church we face the challenge of respecting the sanctity of life while caring for women who are overcome and overwhelmed by the shame of having an abortion. Our response is not to deny the sin and death that are inherent in abortion. Rather, we focus on the healing that can be found in fellowship around Jesus who redeemed us all from sin.

The Guttmacher Institute claims that 200 abortions are performed by Christians each year. Ministries working with these people agree that the majority of these women will never reveal their secret. During dozens of interviews with women who had abortions, I heard each one tell me how much they regretted this gesture. Deeply traumatized emotionally and spiritually these women remain bound by fear and guilt until they find a place to speak and begin a path of restoration.

Jackie, who after years of silence decided to share in a catering group, equates the silence of women over their abortions to a thorn in the flesh.

“Until you talk about it,” she said, “the healing can't really begin. It just continues to smolder ”.

Ministry officials working with abortive women say churches are not ready to deal with the issue. Rutledge says that after giving his testimony in a mega-church, the women were very aggressive towards him. After she asked if a sharing group could be set up on this topic the leaders told her:

“None of the women in the church have had an abortion and even if they have, they certainly don't want to talk about it. "

These reservations are unfounded in the face of the desperate need of these women after their abortion. Kruezer says she suffered for 15 years from fear, anxiety and nightmares until she could speak and receive prayer.

“They prayed for me and through them I experienced the mercy of God. Silence is a powerful weapon of the enemy. It is in silence that the church remains hidden and that lies flourish… lies that justify killing unborn children, lies that say abortions don't hurt people. "

One day, in her church, Jackie heard the testimony of a woman who had aborted 4 times. This woman looked like any other woman today and led an important ministry to women who had abortions. It released something in her.

Jackie had an abortion 9 years earlier. After her divorce, desperate, she found herself pregnant after the one night story and she found herself terrified.

“I found myself in this dark and devastated place. I can't even believe I was that terrified person to death. I grew up in a family in which no one had children outside of marriage. I couldn't imagine telling them I was pregnant. "

A year after her abortion Jackie came closer to the Lord, but she was silent about it for years. After hearing this testimony in her church she found the strength to join a group and talk about this:

“I don't know why but part of the healing is just being able to talk about it and feeling safe doing it. "

We cannot wash away sin, but our churches must be places in which these things can be shared without judgment and in safety. We cannot ignore those who live with these sufferings and must share with them that the blood of Jesus covers all sins, even theirs.

Julie roys

source: Christianity Today

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