“I had two abortions that I completely forgot about until now,” the elderly woman sobbed as I helped her light two candles during a memorial service at one of Ramah’s seminars. “My husband made the decision and I just put those memories away someplace in my heart and forgot about them all these years. Oh, God, please forgive me.”
At over 80 years of age, this dear post-abortive woman was finally making peace with God about a choice she had been unable to stop many years in the past. She had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Her pain was fresh and real, as if these abortions had taken place in the last few days.
Elderly post-abortive people exist all over the world. Many often encounter no obvious regret until nearing the end of their lives. Some have found God’s peace by quietly serving others. Others have lost not only children but grand and great grandchildren as well.
“At my mother’s funeral, my siblings were talking about my mother’s abortion in her youth,” another depressed caller shared with me. “She told them but never told me. Why wouldn’t she tell me?”
I had no answers for this older woman who was so distraught. All I could do is give her permission to grieve a lost sibling she never knew existed and encourage her not to judge her mother for being silent with her on this topic.
Women have their own reasons for not sharing their abortion truth. Many speak about it during trigger moments like births and deaths. Their pain is ignited and they quickly confess to anyone who will listen. Then they wrap up their hearts and go back into silence on the topic once the moment has passed.
In order to discover if a loved one experienced abortion, it’s good to bring up the topic in casual conversation. Speaking compassionately about the common pain of abortion at a spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical level with family can dislodge hidden secrets.
Vocalizing in a general way that you would never judge anyone that had an abortion can set a loved one’s heart at peace to share this truth. More importantly, share with them that there is no sin that God cannot forgive – even abortion.
When such a secret is revealed after someone has already passed away, it’s important to understand the individual’s walk with God. The key often is that those left behind are grieving and another lost family member has been added to that mourning cycle.
In ministry conversations, many women share with me that they are terrified of meeting their children in heaven. My answer is always compassionate.
“God is the only judge in heaven,” I share. “Those who have gone before us have been set free of the emotions of this World. They are at peace. I believe they will welcome us and don’t want us to fear that reunion. God knows our heart. Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?”
Perhaps as many as 43% of this age group has potentially experienced abortion. Post-abortive individuals are at every level of society, especially elderly care units like assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
Seventy years ago, abortion was a very tightly held secret because it revealed the loss of virginity. Unexpected pregnancies held a deeper level of shame in that day and age. Most couples would marry immediately when they discovered an unexpected pregnancy, whether they loved each other or not.
If marriage wasn’t possible, adoption was often the forced choice in resolving any potential family disgrace. Despite the fact that it was not legal, women could still secretly obtain abortions.
Abortion methods and legality may have changed over the years but the impact on the heart is often the same. The elderly may just be better at hiding secrets than a younger generation. Information about the emotional, spiritual, psychological and physical impact of abortion has only been proclaimed in the last few decades.
The elderly often isolate themselves from difficult topics like abortion and simply never hear the message of the hope of God’s healing. Their generation rarely shared their sins in public as well. The shame of an unexpected pregnancy fifty to seventy years ago is far different from today.
As the only Judge in Heaven, God is clear in the Bible that there is no sin that He cannot forgive. Hebrews 10:15-18 reveals, The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
There is only one requirement for a future residence in heaven, which is revealed in John 3:16, 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. If someone has not accepted Christ into their hearts when the pass away, they won’t meet these lost children when they die.
There is no timetable on abortion pain. This choice can be forgotten for decades yet triggered quickly when end of life issues arrive. The death of every loved one reminds us of those we have lost over the years. Grief expands and can overwhelm. It’s more essential than ever that these men and women be reached with the hope of God’s salvation and peace.
Those who have grieved their abortion and found God’s healing are typically excited about meeting their lost children at last. If they are afraid of a future heavenly encounter, it typically means more healing needs to be accomplished.
Hebrews 1:3 reveals the truth about God’s love, The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
This dear soul who was touched during our memorial service had the perfect opportunity to remember her aborted children and ask God for His forgiveness before Alzheimer’s took control of her mind. God’s timing was perfect and we were blessed to be there to help her finally grieve two children that she would soon meet in heaven.
If you have experienced abortion, the Her Choice to Heal abortion recovery program can help you address any conflict that exists in your heart. Our team would be blessed to help you begin to process this pain and/or refer you to a local abortion recovery program for tangible comfort.
For those of you who are actively working in abortion recovery, please prayerfully consider visiting a local assisted living or nursing home and share the truth that there is no sin that God cannot forgive – even abortion. Help these hearts come to a place of forgiving the younger version of themselves that made this choice.