Article  Human Dignity  Life  Marriage and Family  Religious Liberty  Abortion

Addressing the guilt of abortion with grace and truth

Editor’s Note: Visit the ERLC’s page for the current Planned Parenthood videos.

Millions of women and men, both in society and in our churches, are suffering under the guilt of abortion. The heavy emotional burden of abortion isn’t limited to those who’ve had one. A schoolteacher in her forties said, “Advising my daughter to have an abortion led me into a long, suicidal siege. I’m not over it yet.” (Another group of people affected are those who work in abortion clinics. Check out this article, “Mugged by Ultrasound,” about why so many abortion workers have become pro-life. Wow.)

I encourage you to read through the following perspectives from Diane Meyer, a close friend of ours. In fact, she’s like a third daughter to me and Nanci. She lived with us when our daughters were small, and she was a young unwed mother. We had the joy of seeing her come to Christ and helped her place a baby for adoption.  (Just this last year she was reunited with her 33-year-old son, and it was our privilege to be there with Diane’s family and the adoptive parents.)

Over the years, we’ve seen Diane honor Christ and serve the needy, with a great heart for women damaged by abortion (She, Dan Franklin and I spoke together about abortion to our church several years ago; video is available on our site.) I can’t express how deeply my wife and I respect Diane. She’s a courageous and insightful voice who deserves to be heard. She has helped countless women, including those she’s worked with in prisons, come to terms with their abortions and seek forgiveness and healing in Christ.

Diane’s thoughts that follow remind us that as we continue to speak out about abortion, we should do so in a spirit of grace and truth, always pointing to the hope and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ. Christ died for the sins of all of us; and his forgiveness is freely available to all: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Here is what Diane says:

Diane’s perspective

Because of the mountain of blogs, posts, statuses and tweets on social media concerning the Planned Parenthood videos, I hesitated before adding my own voice. But then I remembered that I am a witness, and it is my job to speak the truth.I am encouraged by these videos being released because it is good that, however horrible, this truth is coming out and is being discussed. It is being seen.

The really difficult part for us to stomach is not so much the profit being enjoyed by Planned Parenthood but rather the simple truth that there are baby body parts to harvest because there is a baby’s body.

Along with many thousands of other women, I don’t need to watch these Planned Parenthood videos (in fact, I cannot) because I’m a firsthand witness to what happens at abortions. I have my own unwanted videos that play in my head. There is no unseeing that, there is no unhearing that and there is no unknowing that. I am a witness to the truth. Not “my” truth. THE truth.

These videos are so enflaming because they are making us actually see what is happening.

The truth of these videos may make women who have chosen abortion, or had abortion chosen for them, lash out in self-righteous indignation and bitter anger. They cannot face this truth because it would mean that they ended the life of their own child. Or they may howl in pain and despair because how are they supposed to live, supposed to go on, supposed to breathe at all, knowing what they did? We are missing our babies.

You have an opportunity to be [like] Jesus here. Cry with us as we miss our children. Show grace. Show love. Be kind. Be gentle. I want to gather all these women up and hug them until they don’t hurt anymore.

Please convince me, convince all of us, we are wrong. Show us that Planned Parenthood is not actually harvesting children’s body parts; that [they are] just unorganized, unrecognizable blobs of tissue. Don’t just tell us; prove to us that we didn’t really kill our children. Show us evidence that they could feel no pain during the violent procedure that took their lives. Tell us that the parts weren’t taken for profit. Convince us mothers that we’ve not experienced great loss and that we should not grieve for our children.

I wish you could do that. But you can’t, nor can anyone else. Because I am a witness to the truth. So how am supposed to live with myself? I can’t. I don’t. It is only because of Jesus Christ who forgives me for even this, and it is he that lives in me. Can you imagine that God that would come live in me? Amazing grace is what that is. He redeemed me from shame and sin and death, and he calls me his own. And I, who am more unworthy than most, will proclaim this unbelievable, preposterous truth until the very end. Praise God.

God’s forgiveness and community help

As Diane shares, because of Christ’s work on the cross on our behalf, God freely offers us forgiveness, for abortion and every other sin. Here are just a few of those offers:

He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. . . . As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. (Ps. 103:10, 12–13)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1)

If you or someone you know has had an abortion, there are Bible studies designed for women, and others for men, offering compassionate help and healing. Many online resources can help you find the support group you need. Those in the Portland, Oregon area can learn more at Portland Heart. For those in other areas, see Silent No More, Heartbeat International’s Abortion Recovery Ministries or Hope After Abortion to connect with a post-abortion healing group in your area.

This article originally appeared here

Related Content

Promoting a Culture of Life

Life Policy, Part 1 of 5

A Series on Pursuing Good: Discerning Well-Crafted Policy An election year can quickly become about...

Read More
Pastor's Role in Politics

Pastor Roundtable: What Is a Pastor’s Role in Politics?

Helping your church apply faith to the public square

The pressure during an election year is high for everyone, especially pastors. The last...

Read More

Freed from Political Tribes

Independent, Part 4 of 4

No Perfect Party Prudence & Principles for Stewarding Our Vote Political parties have become...

Read More
American Solidarity Party

“Of Two Evils, Choose Neither”

American Solidarity Party, Part 3 of 4

No Perfect Party Prudence & Principles for Stewarding Our Vote Political parties have become...

Read More
democratic party

Engaging with Charity

Democratic Party, Part 2 of 4

No Perfect Party Prudence & Principles for Stewarding Our Vote Political parties have become...

Read More
republican party

Keeping the Proper Perspective

Republican Party, Part 1 of 4

No Perfect Party Prudence & Principles for Stewarding Our Vote Political parties have become...

Read More