“She told me she had two abortions a few years ago,” the caller outlined. “I worry about her and want to help her find God’s healing but I have no idea how to bring up that topic in conversation. Can you give me ideas on how to help this dear friend find God’s healing?”
When someone shares their abortion truth, they are typically looking for two opposite things:
- Validation that they did the right thing in choosing abortion
- Godly compassion because they know they made a horrible choice
Seeking outside validation is common immediately after abortion. Typically, there is a period of immediate relief in a woman’s heart. Her choice has been made and now she can go on with her life. This emotion is often temporary as many of life’s triggers can contradict initial feelings of liberation. That is when fear often sets in and validation is sought from others.
“I had an abortion last year,” I outlined to a family member about a year after I allowed the tiny human in my body to be taken from me. “It was the best thing I ever did!”
The look of response on this loved one’s face quickly indicated deep shock and alarm. His verbal reaction and body language revealed deep judgment against me for making such a statement about my abortion.
While I didn’t realize I had been seeking validation, I certainly did not expect rejection. This individual quickly concluded our meeting leaving me alone to ponder what had just happened. Since that time, despite my extensive ministry efforts, my abortion truth stands between us still.
Post-abortive women often spout their abortion truth in the most unlikely moments. This need for validation is intense when the initial relief period passes. Depending on the listener’s perspective, these confessions can be met with compassion, validation or rejection.
Since abortion decisions are often made quickly, most people who chose abortion had no idea of its long-term impact. It may take years for God’s convicting voice to reach the deep part of their souls where abortion memories are hidden. Once they make a poor confession and are received negatively, they can withdraw into themselves and never share this secret again.
Perhaps you reacted well, outlining you would never judge someone for making such a choice in a time of great conflict. Yet after that initial admission, the abortion topic was not verbally addressed again. Every time you see this person, you are reminded of their confession yet do not know how to bring the subject up again.
Here are several things to consider if you are praying about approaching someone who previously told you about their abortion:
Before re-visiting an abortion confession, seek out God’s help to ensure you have forgiven them. Realize that it was only by God’s grace that you did not make a similar choice had you encountered their same set of circumstances.
Ensure your heart is filled with grace and mercy towards them as they will be able to sense your spirit in bringing this truth up again. When you forgive, God builds compassion in your heart. That love can then be reflected in a future conversation revisiting this confession.
Remove Judgment From Your Heart
Maintaining a judgmental attitude towards someone who shared an abortion truth can mean they never discover God’s healing. God has a role for you to play in their lives, based on the following Biblical truth from Romans 12:3-4 – For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Educate Yourself on Abortion Pain
Understanding abortion’s emotional and spiritual impact builds empathy and helps one endure difficult emotional reactions from the potential post-abortive person. Obtain a copy of Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion to understand post-abortive pain. This book will then be ready to give to the post-abortive person when you revisit this topic with them in the future.
Talk to Them About Their Confession
Since media coverage of abortion remains a constant in our society, know that this post-abortive person in your life is reminded daily of their choice. If they confessed to you, they are reminded that you know their truth every time you meet. If you do not bring up this topic, they could draw the conclusion that you don’t care about their pain.
Bringing up their abortion confession isn’t a bad thing because there is a reason they trusted you with this truth in the first place. Begin with a general statement like – “I heard recently that one third of all American women have chosen abortion. I have prayed for you ever since you told me about your choice. Please know that I’m here for you if you’d like to talk about it.”
Don’t Misunderstand Silence
Post-abortive people are often “practiced” at the art of not responding when abortion is discussed. This silence doesn’t imply we aren’t emotionally impacted by your comments or our past abortion. Post-abortive people often respond internally versus externally, working to process these comments privately.
When someone talks to us compassionately, offering God’s love and forgiveness after any sin, a seed of love is sown in our hearts. While we may not be able to talk about it immediately, we know we can approach you when we are more prepared to address this deep emotional truth at a verbal level.
Pray for Them
God knows their pain intimately as well as how He can turn even a past abortion for His good (Romans 8:28). Praying for wounded loved ones is encouraged, particularly when we cannot discuss our pain directly. Intercession will release the burden for their care into God’s hands if they are unable to discuss this with you.
Discover Local Help
Abortion recovery programs are usually offered through local pregnancy centers. Because it is often difficult to make direct contact to address this past choice, Ramah International offers a new abortion recovery healing website that can both educate you on abortion pain and help this loved one find God’s deep healing. Spend some time on this healing website to learn more about how this choice impacts women. Then offer to help them work through the nine healing sessions.
Your role in the life of someone who has confessed an abortion truth is outlined in Luke 1:76-78 – And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven. Thank you for caring for abortion’s wounded hearts!