The issue of abortion is a thorny one. Passions run high on both sides of the debate. The tensions underscoring this issue continue to make the morality and legality of abortion a matter of fervent national and global debate.
There are understandable emotions and justifications that each side can advance for why abortion is wrong or, on the other hand, why it should be legal and State-supported. Much has been said and written about the sanctity of life, as well as the sanctity of a woman’s body and her right to choose without State interference.
We hear stories of women who have been raped or who have felt unable to support a child either physically, psychologically or given their existing resources. These women have shared how abortions have changed their lives. Some regret it. Some say they believe they made the best decision.
In 2019, 40 million babies were aborted. A figure that is staggering. 40 million lives lost. And 40 million women who will never be the same.
What do we do?
Where does all of this leave Christians? How do we know where to stand on the topic?
Understand that it is an issue Christians cannot ignore. Souls are in jeopardy. God cares about every child aborted. Psalm chapter 139 verse 13 says that God knitted us in our mothers’ wombs. He knew us even before then (Jeremiah chapter 1 verse 5). Every life has a purpose. God has a plan for every life and loves every human being, even those who are killed before birth. Children are a heritage from God (Psalm 127 verse 3). He made humans in his image (Genesis chapter 1 verse 27).
Chances are you know a woman who has made the choice to abort her baby. Or maybe you have struggled with, and made the difficult choice to have an abortion. Many women wrestle with the guilt and shame of this in secret and silence and this has driven a wedge between them and God and has affected their relationship with Him.
Here are some suggestions we can consider doing:
Abortion takes a huge emotional toll on a woman, although the effects may not manifest until 10-15 years later. Ask the senior pastors of your church about establishing a support group for women who have committed abortion to help them deal with the resulting post-traumatic stress disorder. Counsellors need to have the training and compassion to lovingly help women through the aftermath of an abortion.
Don’t harden your heart or think “this isn’t my problem.” Pray for both the aborted babies and the women. A study has shown that babies being aborted feel tremendous pain.
And rather than painting the women as evil, understand that, like all of us, they are affected by sin. This sinful choice doesn’t have to define them. Once they repent and seek God’s forgiveness they can become advocates for the pro-life movement. God requires us to have compassion (Isaiah chapter 49 verse 15) – that is His nature and the heart attitude He wants us to have.
Give your time and resources to pro-life organisations. In Barbados where I live, there is a group called Unborn Justice who helps women who decide to keep their babies. Organisations such as these welcome donations from Christians all over the world. Find out about similar charities in your area or country.
Get political. Let your voice be heard by your government. Governments across the world are facing the crisis of declining birth rates which will mean an aging population in a few years. Population growth is critical to the world economy. It means “more workers to build homes and produce goods, more consumers to buy things and spark innovation, and more citizens to pay taxes and attract trade.” Part of preventing population decline is encouraging women not to abort their babies. The issue of population grown is a controversial one since one has to also consider food security. Planned sustainable development requires policymakers to focus on human resources as well as physical resources.
Be prayerful about what God would have you do. Your actions matter. You can make a difference. Although the issue of abortion is overwhelming, it’s not debilitating. Don’t feel helpless. One life is enough to change the world. And one life that you can save is worth it.
Sharma Taylor is a corporate attorney with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Law from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. She won the 2017 Basil Sellers International Young Writers prize in the Press Service International young writer program, the 2019 Tronson Award (International) and the 2021 Basil Sellers award for International Senior Writers. Every day, she loves experiencing the beautiful surprises that God has stored up for her and longs to keep cultivating a servant-heart.