Article

Abortion, Weeping, and Hope

Aug 3, 2015

I grew up believing strongly that every person should have equal rights–every person living and walking was made with the potential to do great things and contribute to society. If you were to label me, perhaps you’d say I was feminist, pro-choice and politically liberal. Like much of America, I believed that a woman had a right to determine what was best for her body. I believed wholeheartedly that I was also pro-women. No one, I thought, should be allowed to control the outcome of an unwanted pregnancy except for the mother. The male partner didn’t have rights to voice an opinion either. I actually don’t believe I thought the baby was a baby. In other words, I adopted the idea that he or she was a fetus of cells that weren’t fully developed and therefore disposable. There wasn’t anything in my mind that would have convinced me otherwise.
But God.

Something radical happened to all of my perceived notions of rights when God captured my heart with his gospel. Nothing was the same. As my heart was being transformed, so was my worldview. As I opened the Word I discovered that what I thought was a bunch of cells in a petri dish was actually the created work of God knitting and molding into a mothers’ womb (Psalm 139:13). God wasn’t creating a specimen. Rather he was creating a human—a man or woman made in His image.
Miscarriages proved to drive home this point as I continued to grow in Christ. I got it. I understood that my loss was real. I mourned the deaths of those babies because I knew that children were a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward (Psalm 127:3). And now that I have two busy and joy-filled children, I understand the joy of a human being that has been born (John 16:21). Oh what joy!

Lately, as the topic of abortion has reentered the public square with great ferocity, I’ve found myself weeping, without words, and unsure where to begin as I think about discussing the topic with my neighbors, I find myself weeping.

Here’s the thing, I know many (many) women who’ve made this choice, the choice to abort their baby. I want them to know that I am indeed pro-women. Not that I affirm their choice but rather that I believe in a God who hates sin and sent his son to die on the cross for our sins. I believe in a God who says, if we confess our sin he’s faithful to forgive us and purify us (1 John 1:9). I believe that all of Romans 8 applies to me and to her and to anyone who has trusted in the Lord.

You, my friend, my sister, are not condemned. That is how I am pro-woman. I want her to know that truth in God’s Word—all of it—and know the love found in Jesus.

Weep with Hope

There is an appropriate time for everything and now is an appropriate time for weeping (Ecclesiastes 3:4). We weep for those babies who lost their lives. We weep for the doctor, nurses, and staff who performed the procedures. We weep with the hundreds of thousands of mothers who are now weeping because of their decision to abort (some of which are near and dear to my heart). We weep with you, mothers. We don’t chastise you; we pray that your next decision would abstinence or life and swift repentance if it has been delayed.

But we don’t mourn as those without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We can weep with hope knowing that God sent his son Jesus as a propitiation for our sins and he will return vindicating his righteousness. He will make all things new. And we hope in that future grace because we know that his word is true. And though we are restless and ready for his return, we thank God that he is patient not wanting anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9).

Trillia Newbell

Trillia Newbell is the author of  Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts (2016),  Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves (2015) and United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity (2014). Her writings on issues... Read More