I read in the paper today that according to a study done by the Guttmacher Institute, the number of abortions in the United States has fallen to its lowest level since 1973. 1973 was a big year. On January 22, 1973 in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy extended to a woman's decision to have an abortion. Remember?
Wikipedia states that “Roe v. Wade prompted a national debate that continues today about issues including whether, and to what extent, abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional abjudication, and what the role should be of religious and moral views in the political sphere.” You bet the debate continues.
While I volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center, I only encountered one woman who appeared cavalier about her potential decision. She came in with a male friend and when he asked her what she would do if she were pregnant, she reached down and ripped out a section from her fishnet tights. His reaction to her was shock. Her face was impassive.
But I understood. She had steeled herself behind a hard heart. Or she was trying to. Her stony response covered a soul that she hoped was beyond hurting.
After having an abortion myself, my companion was surprised by my stoicism. He said, “You’re so strong.” I said, “No. I’m hard.”
It happens. In waiting rooms and recovery rooms all over the United States, women weep. Those who are not weeping are steeling themselves against feeling the sorrow of what to them was an agonizing yet ultimately unavoidable choice.
One in six women in America have had an abortion and many of those women have had multiple ones. They are standing next to you in the grocery stores, sitting next to you in church, and staring back at you in the mirror. Women of faith have the same amount of abortions as women who profess no faith and they are haunted by shame and regret in immeasurable waves.
Abortion brings destruction to every life it touches. Yes, to the unborn fetus never to know the light of day. Yes, to the woman who forsakes her unborn child and yes, to the men, to the friends, and to the children who surround her.
It’s a devastating choice made in painful, pressure filled moments that wreaks havoc on our souls and on our nation and is not outside the reach of Jesus.
Mercy, beloved one.
God understands. He is for you. No sin is outside the reach of the blood of Jesus. No wound too deep for him to heal. No regret too defining for the love of God to remove.
But let us not be silent here. Let us not look the other way or abandon women in the throws of heart wrenching decisions and loss. And let us not continue to lie.
Abortion is a painful choice. A difficult choice. A gut wrenching choice. An agonizing choice. And the wrong choice.
Death begets death. Life begets life. Let us come alongside those of us who are embarrassed or hurting or terrified or ashamed and feeling beyond alone to the point that they believe there is no other option available to them.
Let us bring healing and life and restoration to the women beside us who still live under the weight of guilt and shame over their previous abortion(s) and have not been able to receive Christ’s forgiveness nor the grace to forgive themselves.
Life and death are around us every single day. Let’s offer life. Let’s speak words of hope. Let’s do what we can to support those around us who are hurting and bring Jesus. And let’s pray that the number continues to fall.