One in three women in our country will experience an abortion before they reach the age of 45. In the church, it’s one in four. Sixty-five percent of women who have abortions claim a Christian affiliation. For every abortion, as many as 10 people may be affected (partner, family, etc.). Considering the over 55 million abortions since 1973, the number of people suffering from the grief and loss that abortion brings is astronomical.
One of my goals is to make pastors aware of the sheer magnitude of the abortion issue and the affect that it has on their ministry. Not only are women, in their churches, caught in unplanned pregnancies, but others may have had an abortion experience in their past. Remember:
These are fellow Christians in desperate need of hearing the Gospel preached to them so that they can apply it to the sin of abortion and trust that God has forgiven them as He forgives all of us because of Jesus.
The unresolved grief of abortion also leaves women (and men) vulnerable to secondary symptoms such as substance abuse, marital difficulties, promiscuity, and many others. It is important for pastors to understand that a person in their care for counseling with secondary symptoms may have an abortion in their past that is the root cause of their difficulties. But, they probably will not tell their pastor without some prompting and complete assurance that they will not be judged. Pastors need to gently explore any pregnancy losses with compassion and understanding.
Fortunately, there is help available from Lutherans For Life for pastors as they minister to those suffering from the grief and despair of that abortion.
LFL’s Word of Hope was founded in 1991 as an outreach to post-abortive Lutherans in need of healing. Word of Hope receives 300 calls a month from pastors, other congregation staff, concerned relatives and friends, and women and men suffering from the aftermath of abortion.
In the Chicago area women and men are able to meet personally with our executive director, Grace Kern, or Jenny Knox, our director of counseling.
Telephone counseling and referrals are available to women and men around the country as well as internationally. Lutheran deaconesses continue to be trained to recognize and heal individuals within their congregations.
Women healed are able to work with other women in Bible study, offering them compassion as together they discover the forgiveness available to all.
If you know of anyone in need of help, please tell them to contact Word of Hope to begin their walk toward healing and a brighter future. If someone you know is in a crisis pregnancy situation, has had an abortion, or has been hurt by someone, here they will find hope. Grace Kern and Word of Hope can be reached at 888.217.8679 or firstname.lastname@example.org.