Post-Abortion Counseling (Pt 1)

I can honestly say Post-Abortion Counseling has been the most challenging to date in my studies - the subject matter is a tough one. Abortion is the ugly underbelly of our culture and it was difficult to willingly immerse myself in studying about it daily.

The course I took opened my eyes to the enormity of the number of women who have had abortions.  It has caused me to silently reflect as I look around our church congregation on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, wondering how many of the women I see are suffering the kind of emotional and spiritual torture I have been learning about. I had always thought high school girls from public schools were more likely to get abortions.  

I learned differently.

My studies caused me to examine my own thoughts, beliefs, and even prejudices I had toward women who have abortions.  I did some deep soul searching as I worked through the lectures and reading material, taking to heart my instructor’s warning about how what I really think and how I internally respond (if it is negative) will come through to a post-abortive woman, despite any shine I try to put on it. 

Here are some facts:  While heart disease kills over 750,000 people per year, since January 1973 over a million people a year have died from abortion. There are no restrictions on when an abortion is performed- it is legal until the baby breathes air. Abortion is the most common elective procedure performed in the United States. Did you know that 43% of women under 45 have had an abortion? By age 45, 4 in 10 women have had an abortion. This translates to 1 in 6 women in the Evangelical Christian Church have had one. The majority of abortions are among college-aged women (19-24), and 98% of abortions are performed for non-medical reasons or convenience reasons. 

Abortion has become an “acceptable choice” for Christian women because they have bought into the lies of the world. Christian women are unfortunately just as susceptible to committing fornication as their non-Christian counterparts.Morals and values have been replaced by rights and choices. When a pregnancy results they are terrified of discovery for numerous reasons: parental disappointment and anger, fear of man issues with peers, loss of future hopes and dreams for college or career, and being unsuitable for a good Christian man. 

An abortion can be done with relative secrecy and the woman thinks it is an easy solution to her problem. No one will be wiser and she can move on in her life. Because abortion is becoming more socially acceptable, even in the church, it is more and more likely that a high percentage of those reading this today will have been party to an abortion. 

Its important to know that not all women are “willing” to have an abortion. Many women, including Christians, have abortions under pressure from parents, or others who view it as a quick fix to the problem of unplanned pregnancy. We can understand this out in the world, but what was shocking is that my studies revealed that some Christian parents, including pastors and deacons force abortion on their kids. They are very fearful of their church friends and leadership learning their daughter is pregnant out of wedlock, especially if they are in a position of leadership in the church. The pressure to be “sinless” in graceless or legalistic churches brings many Christians facing an unplanned pregnancy to think they have no other choice than abortion. Sometimes the parents fear the scandal a child being unmarried and pregnant will bring, and possibly the loss of a ministry position (1 Tim 3). A young man may want to attend seminary or Bible College, and knows that if his immorality is exposed the school will not admit him, so he pressures his girlfriend to have the abortion. 

We live in a post-abortion world. As the church we had better figure out how to minister to the women who would not listen to pro-life people on the way into the abortuary but is looking for help after leaving that place. 

Wednesday we will look at the physical and emotional and spiritual consequences of abortion.  If you have had an abortion, this might be difficult for you to read. Please understand I am not condemning you or judging you, we are available to help you.