Dear sisters who have had an abortion

You’ve been on my heart lately.

The abortion discussion has been reignited because two recent videos showed Planned Parenthood doctors casually, yet graphically, discussing how to perform abortions so organs and tissue can be “donated” for research. Then one of the doctors discussed “specimen” prices and joked, “I want a Lamborghini.”

As I listened, I kept thinking that over seven in ten U.S. women who have had an abortion claim to have a religious affiliation and 25 percent attend religious services at least once a month. Please know that I am praying for you sisters in Christ, just as I am praying for those who don’t yet know him.

I have heard that for some, the fear of judgment leads them to think that privately living with the guilt of an abortion might be easier than telling their Christian families. As I speak up to defend the unborn, I don’t want to put a burden back on you that Jesus already took away. I don’t want you to think that you should carry guilt for your whole life when Jesus has said, “It is finished.” And I’m sorry if the fear of current judgment for past sins leads you to think you can’t share your story.

This past weekend, one woman took the brave step and shared her story with her congregation. Though today she’s married and has three children, over 30 years ago, at age 15, she had an abortion. In her mid-20s, she became a Christian. “I asked for forgiveness and he gave it to me. It is amazing to know that God forgives you. I felt so freed from my past sins,” she says. Still, telling her story publicly for only the second time made her nervous. “I prayed to the Lord to help me decide if I should talk about this in such a large crowd with many family members and friends there. He gave me a peace about it, but I can't say it was easy. My children now know, my nieces, my brother-in-law, my father, and so on. I feel forgiven by God, but perhaps I still worry about what others think. I am working on that.”

The reason she made herself vulnerable, though, is so that God can use her to reach out to others. “Some of us who have been through this trauma need to ask God what we can do to help. Take a first step. Tell someone. Tell your Bible study group what God has done for you,” she says. “God may put someone in your life who needs to hear from you.”

She’s right. People need to hear from you. Consider telling your story so that those who are judgmental might be more compassionate. Tell your story so that someone who is scared and lonely might know there is a better option. Tell your story so that God and his grace gets the glory.

As Jesus told one man he delivered, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”

The rest of us will do the same.

Linda Buxa is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker. 

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