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My turn

Abortion and the church

By Michael Ferris

On any given Sunday as you look across the congregation of any church in America, the statistical reality is that one out of every three women sitting in our church pews has had at least one abortion, the consequences of which have left 73 percent of them emotionally and spiritually wounded.

When a woman has an abortion not only does her unborn child die, part of herself dies as well. And so does a part of her relationship with God. Even though she knows in her head that God can and will forgive her, she may still have trouble walking in forgiveness and finding the emotional and spiritual healing she needs to be fully freed from her past.

It is not uncommon for a woman who has aborted her child to experience a profound shattering of her sense of self, her understanding of who she thought she was. Some studies suggest that as many as 95 percent of women surveyed who had abortions said they had to compromise their convictions in order to go through with their abortion. These were women who were both pro-choice and pro-life. Many of these women advocated against abortion at all costs, then suddenly found themselves in a crisis pregnancy. In their desperate situation they made the decision they vowed never to make, and ended the life of a child given to them by God. Many of these women profess themselves as Christians and Jesus as Lord. Now, every Sunday, they carry with them to church a secret, a secret that is so big and burdensome it prevents them from developing the depth of a relationship with God that they so desire. They believe that this sin, more than any other in their life, separates them from God.

They feel as if their life and their Christian experience are a façade. They struggle with confronting the reality of who they are compared to who they thought they were, and who in Christ they so desire to be. They do not feel they have a right to receive anything from the Lord, especially forgiveness and healing for their emotional wounds. They carry the burden and weight of their past sin as if it were some kind of penance, a judgment from God for the choice they made. And for those women who now desire to bear children and find they can’t, the lie the devil has sold them is that their inability to conceive children is God’s punishment for their decision to abort the life of a child God once tried to give them and they destroyed.

This line of thinking is what the Bible calls a vain imagining; it is erroneous thinking. It is a lie from the enemy of our soul to get us to believe that we are not worthy of forgiveness and healing. It establishes a stronghold in one’s life that restricts the ability to go deeper with God. Like any pollutant, this lie contaminates every area of life and relationship. The Bible is very clear with what we are to do with vain imaginings. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV) we are instructed to cast down every imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. As ministers of God’s grace and agents of healing, it is our charge, our responsibility, to lead those God has entrusted into our care who suffer from the pain of a past abortion into what 2 Corinthians 10:5 calls the knowledge of God. The knowledge of God for those who have been wounded by abortion is that forgiveness and healing are available as they yield their lives to Christ.

Michael Ferris, Ph.D., is founder of A Choice To Heal, a ministry for postabortive healing. For more information, visit

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