THE CHURCH HAS THE ANSWER TO THE ABORTION PROBLEM
The church has a serious abortion problem. There are people who love Jesus who are terminating their pregnancies. Plus, they know that they are playing a role in ending the life of someone made in the image of God and that will intensify their guilt after the fact. That guilt can severely damage their relationship with God because people often feel unworthy to pray when they are dealing with major sin issues.
Abortion is not just a secular problem; it happens frighteningly often in our churches. The best research I’ve seen on this is from a demographically balanced survey that CareNet did of 1,038 post-abortive women in 2015. According to that survey, 36% of women were attending a Christian church once a month or more at the time of their first abortion.
These statistics force us to ask, “Why are so many Christian women having abortions?” I think it is often because a Christian woman who becomes pregnant out of wedlock faces far greater social consequences than an atheist woman does.
When a Christian woman gets pregnant, she’s not only terrified of how this will affect her life and what will happen if her parents find out, but she’s also probably worried about what will happen if her pastor or youth pastor finds out.
And this is key: Many churches would handle this situation better than a woman would assume! Many churches don’t shame or kick women out if they get pregnant out of wedlock. I think many churches would rise to the challenge and do a great job of supporting this woman, but she doesn’t know that if she hasn’t seen the church deal with this issue publicly before.
Even though some churches would respond to an unplanned pregnancy well, the women don’t know that, so out of fear they abort.
Aren’t you condoning sin?
As I began sharing this idea with others, one of the common responses I regularly heard is that pastors often come down hard on the issue of unwed pregnancy so as not to condone premarital sex, or perhaps in some cases, to avoid even the appearance of condoning premarital sex.
Pastors, please hear me on this.
I’m not saying that you should publicly approve of the way she got pregnant. I’m saying you should publicly celebrate the life in her womb, and that her sin issue should be addressed in private, in the context of relationship. That may be with you, that may be with a different pastor or elder, or it may be with the leader of her discipleship or small group.
Unlike some other pro-life church activities, this change would need to come from the top down. It would need to be the pastor taking initiative to talk to the church body about what will happen in the future if someone in the church gets pregnant out of wedlock.
Regardless of how often, this is what pastors should make clear to the church:
At the Pregnancy Resource Center, you will receive non-judgmental support and encouragement. We are here to provide free services, but also to sit, listen, talk, cry and help you figure out your next steps.