Every year around the globe more than 40 million induced abortions leave behind a swath of pain signifying physical, emotional, and spiritual devastation.1
Many who experience temporary relief from pregnancy termination soon find themselves blindsided by guilt, shame, regret, and self-revulsion. Their lives spiral downward into a deep pit of despair, darkening all remaining days and casting a harrowing shadow on all hopes for a bright eternity.
God's Word talks much about forgiveness, but millions of women are asking … Is forgiveness available for me … after an abortion?
Yes. God offers healing for every human heart – cleansing for those who receive it through the shed blood of Jesus that pays for our sin. God has made a way for us to be right with Him, and with others.
"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
(Psalm 34:18 NIV 2011)
How to Find Forgiveness After An Abortion2
Abortion causes a wound that runs deep into the soul. It may be hours, days, or even years after an abortion before a woman is ready to ask for and find forgiveness. After personally realizing the wrong of abortion and accepting responsibility, follow these steps to find forgiveness.
1. Awaken Painful Memories
Choose to work through all forms of denial by writing out a detailed timeline of events and emotions before, during, and after the abortion.
Recognize your painful feelings surrounding the abortion and then by each hurt listed, write the word "past."
Talk about the experience with a trusted friend or sensitive counselor.
"The purposes of a person's heart are deep waters,
but one who has insight draws them out."
(Proverbs 20:5 NIV 2011)
2. Acknowledge Any Anger
Learn that it is "okay" to express anger.
Determine with whom you are angry and why.
Write (but don't mail) a letter expressing your anger to help you process painful emotions.
"'In your anger do not sin':
Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
and do not give the devil a foothold."
(Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV 2011)
3. Address Issues of Guilt /Shame
Stop self-condemning language.
Stop self-abusive behavior.
"Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.'
And you forgave the guilt of my sin."
(Psalm 32:5 NIV 2011)
4. Accept the Forgiveness of God
Receive God's forgiveness by trusting in Christ's payment of the penalty for your sins and giving Him control of your life.
Realize, when you are forgiven by God, it is also "forgotten." Your forgiveness is final and forever!
Recognize that when you have been forgiven by God, you are a new creation in Christ.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!"
(2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV 2011)
5. Allow Your Heart to Forgive Others
Make a list of those you have not forgiven.
Release all the pain you experienced from each person, placing it into God's hands.
Choose to forgive; it is not a feeling but an act we are commanded to carry out for the benefit of all, including yourself.
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger … along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate … forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you."
(Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV 2011)
6. Acknowledge Your Grief
Recognize the abortion as a loss.
Name your child, realizing that there was a real live baby.
Write out your feelings for your child.
Conduct a short memorial service (that can include a special song, scriptures, poem, prayer, and letter to your baby).
Commit your child into the loving hands of God.
"There is a time for everything … a time to weep
and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance."
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 NIV 2011)
7. Acquire a Ministry
Express compassion to others in similar circumstances.
Advise others who are considering an abortion to choose the baby's life.
Be the light that leads a hopeless heart to Christ.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort
we ourselves receive from God."
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV 2011)
Make no mistake about it, abortion is a grievous sin before God, but His abounding love, grace, and mercy has provided a way, the only way, to receive redemption and experience restoration that charts a course heavenward.
1. Guttmacher Institute, "In Brief: Fact Sheet" (Washington, D.C.: Guttmacher Institute, 2012), http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_IAW.html.
2. Adapted from June Hunt, Abortion: Not a Choice, but a Child, Biblical Counseling Keys Library, (Dallas: Hope for the Heart, 2008).
June Hunt, counselor, author, radio host and founder of the worldwide ministry Hope For The Heart, offers a biblical perspective while coaching people through some of life's most difficult problems. June is the author of How to Forgive . . . When You Don't Feel Like It, © 2007 Harvest House Publishers. Learn more about June and Hope for the Heart by visiting hopefortheheart.org/CP. Here you can connect with June on Facebook and Twitter, listen to her radio broadcasts, or find much-needed resources.Hope for the Heart provides spiritual guidance, heartfelt prayer, multi-media resources, and biblical wise-counseling. Call 1-800-488-HOPE (4673) to visit with a Hope Care Representative, 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. (CST).