She could be a woman in your church. She could be the girl next door to you in your dorm. She could be your daughter or your best friend. Chances are you know a girl or woman who has experienced a crisis pregnancy. In fact, by age 45, over 1/3 of American women will have had an abortion. But what you may not know is the inner turmoil raging within her: the shame, the guilt, the panic, the feeling that her whole world is collapsing. She’s afraid of what you’ll think, what her parents will say, and she thinks that if she goes through with the pregnancy her dreams will die and her whole life will come to an end.
She feels completely alone, and in order to preserve herself, her family’s reputation, or the goals she set for herself, she feels like she has no other choice. The only choice she’s been told that will cure all her problems is an abortion. She’s been told it’s her body, her choice, and nothing, not even a baby, should get in the way. She’s been told “Serious, long-term emotional problems after abortion are about as uncommon as they are after giving birth.” She’s been told an abortion is the perfect solution to her “problem.” Whether married, single, teen-age, middle-age, Christian, or atheist, over 1 million women each year choose this solution.
But the banners, the picketing, the yelling at her on the way to the abortion clinic are not the solutions to ending abortions. Those methods only communicate to her that you don’t care about her and her crisis, you only care about this thing growing inside of her that is causing the problem. She may know in her heart that abortion is wrong, but her situation seems so dire that the fear boiling inside of her wins over all other religious or moral beliefs.
The only way life is going to win over death is for us, as believers in Christ, to begin acting like the God we serve, not through showing her graphic images, guilt-tripping her, telling her she’s a murderer, or even picketing at an abortion clinic. The only way you can help a girl or woman going through a crisis situation is by loving her and helping her know the truth and hope found in Christ.
Cover Her With Love & Mercy
Many of the reasons the pro-life movement is not successful is because the only emotion conveyed by pro-life activists is judgment on the woman. A woman with an unplanned pregnancy needs to know you’re listening to her problems and you care about helping her through them. She needs to know you love her. She needs to feel the same mercy and grace Christ showed you when He died for your sins on a cross (Rom. 5; Eph.2; 2 Tim.1:9). Because not only did God knit together the baby in her womb, but He also knit her together. (Jer. 1:5) She is a creation of God, loved by Him, and a marvelous workmanship of our God. (Ps. 139:13-16)
We’re all sinners; but as believers in Christ, we’re here to show the love of Christ to those in the darkest situations. Christ came to save the sinners, you and me, not the righteous (Mk.2:17). Our Father has been so merciful to us, so how much more should we be to her? (Lk. 6:36) Cover her with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12) rather than judgment, your agenda, or guilt. Believe me, she’s already feeling those things, but what she needs is Christ’s love shown through His children.
Cover Her With Support
Even before a girl becomes pregnant she needs to know you would love and support her through an unplanned pregnancy. She needs to know she could come to you if she found herself pregnant. The fact is most girls won’t tell their parents if they become pregnant and most won’t tell their parents they had an abortion. The Guttmacher Institute even reported that 40% of minors having an abortion didn’t tell either of their parents about it.
Can you imagine how alone and hurting those girls feel after going through such a huge physical, emotional and spiritual ordeal? She feels utterly alone – certain that if her pregnancy was made public, her church, her parents and her friends wouldn’t love her anymore, but would shun her, or worse.
As a community of believers, saved by God’s grace, we must bear one another’s burdens, we must ache for these girls and the consequences they’re experiencing, not curse them for their sin (Gal. 6:1-2). Can you imagine the impact and the healing that might take place if the Church was known for these things, rather than yelling at abortion clinics, with graphic, horrific signs and judgmental condemnation?
As I’ve been working at a pregnancy center, it’s been amazing to see the girls come in feeling completely lost, full of fear and helplessness. But after listening to their problems (they have more than just an unplanned pregnancy) and showing them the different options available and help to raise the baby, it amazing the relief that can wash over their face. These girls truly believed their life would end if they have this baby, but it doesn’t have to; and they need to know that. They literally need you to show them there’s hope, there’s life, and there can be joy after having their child. They have options and they need you to lovingly help them see those options.
Cover Her With Prayer
After you’ve shown her all the love, support, and mercy you can, then all you can do is pray. The choice of life or death for her child is ultimately her choice to make and that’s where prayer comes in. Pray that she sees hope in life, hope in Christ, and that she’s burdened for the life within her. Pray for her parents to love and support her. Pray the father of the baby chooses life too. Pray, pray, pray (Rom.12:12; Eph.6:18; Col. 1:9; 1 Tim.2:1). If you’ve helped her all that you can, then the rest is up to God. He’s the only One who can intervene and change her heart. Pray that her heart is softened to His beckoning for life to win.
Don’t Abandon Her… Even If She Chooses Abortion
If the woman or girl you know decides to choose life then support her, help her through the pregnancy, help her with the child she decided to save. Validate the choice she made because it was still a hard choice for her to make.
But if she doesn’t choose to save the life within her, she still needs your help. She needs your love, your support and your prayers. She made a decision that will affect her physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the rest of her life. And she will need godly guidance and support as she heals. Satan will try to attack her with lies and she will need people around her who can speak the truth and love of Christ into her life.
If you’ve found yourself with an unplanned pregnancy, know that Christ offers you more grace, love, and forgiveness than the shame you might be feeling. He offers you hope, peace, and a way through. He wants you to come to Him with your problems and comfort you with His love. You are a creation of God and He loves you.
Christ offers hope for the lost and His children should offer hope for the lost too (Ps.43:5;146:5; Rom. 15:4,13). There are many ways in which we, as the body of Christ, can give hope to those in a crisis. Crisis Pregnancy Centers are great ways to help girls in need and they always need volunteers to help equip girls and women to make positive life choices and support them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If you can’t give your time, pray for these centers and those facing unplanned pregnancies because both are constantly under attack. Another great way is by donating baby items to centers or other community non-profits that help new mothers and their children. Maybe your church can figure out a way to help through donating to a Pregnancy Center or by starting a ministry to help pregnant women in ways that meet their and their new child’s needs.
The issue of abortion and unplanned pregnancies will never go away, but it can be diminished through the work of the Lord and through His children showing the love of Christ to those in need. She’s a creation of God, too, so love her as a fellow creation of God.