culture & community women's issues

What I Wanted to Tell a Young Woman Wanting an Abortion

Yesterday my four year old John, four month old Hannah, and I waited at the doctor’s office for their check up appointments. While we waited to be called, a tall, red-headed woman in her 50s marches out of the exit door and into the waiting room where her husband is sitting.

This woman isn’t happy with the news she’s received. The elderly couple sitting in front of me is looking at her as well. She storms over to her husband and plops down next to him. She’s mouthing off words to him and I can’t help but listen. They’re sitting just a few feet away from us.

“I told you!” she quietly yells. “I knew it and you didn’t listen!”

His eyes grow wide and he looks distraught.

“She’s 20 weeks along. She’s measuring 20 weeks! This must have happened right after her miscarriage. She had talked about how she’s been feeling so bloated!”

My eyes grew wide and I listened intently. Hannah is fussy so I stand up and bounce her around.

The young woman who is most likely her daughter had been pregnant before, I thought.

“She wants to have an abortion but she can’t at 20 weeks! No doctor will allow for that. She’s in there crying and I told her we’d be out here waiting.”

The husband says a bunch of words back but they are muffled and I can’t understand him.

“I told her she has two options. Keep the baby or give it away!” the wife said. “She’s too far along.”

The conversation was getting more heated. I wanted so badly to make my way over to them and offer some counsel and I was just about ready to.

The husband kept shaking his head and looking down at the floor.

“She needs to know she has support all around her,” the wife said. “Alright, Let’s take this outside. We don’t need to be talking about this in here.”

They headed outside and I was still trying to gather all that I was hearing.

Their daughter would eventually make her way out the exit door. I formulated a plan in my head as to the words of encouragement I wanted to to tell this young woman. My heart was racing and everything in the room felt like it was in slow motion.

I imagined what she looked like and if I’d be able to see her baby bump. I waited and watched the door swing open as people walked out and the assistant called in new patients.

I was ready to speak truth into her heart. What if God had placed me there in that exact moment for a reason? Legally she had to keep the baby but she seemed so insistent and you just never know.

A nurse opened the door to the office: “Hannah?” She called out. “Hannah?”

I stood up and picked up our belongings and we headed through the door and down the hallway to our room. Time had run out and I didn’t get to see her. My heart was still racing thinking about what happened.

Most likely the parents of this young woman were okay with an abortion up to a certain point. They were outraged that their daughter was further along than expected. Of course the mom claimed she knew all along.

In addition to the anger and sadness I felt, my heart broke for this family and young woman. I had never witnessed a conversation like that. Obviously I didn’t know the whole story- only what I heard in the dialogue. The opportunity didn’t exist for me to reach out to her and even if it did, there’s no guarantee the young woman would’ve been willing to listen.

But if I had the chance to pull her aside and whisper a few words to her, I would have said:

God knows all about this. And he cares. He really, really does.

If abortions have been in your past, God knows about those too. There is no sin too great for God to forgive. He still loves you and is calling you to do what is best for the baby and for you. And what is best is allowing your unborn baby the chance to live. 

The act of an abortion will not heal or fix any hurt or pain or problems. From women I know personally who’ve had abortions, they’ve said the emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical pain is devastating and something you never forget.

You’re not alone. Other women have been in your shoes and are in the same situation. Even Christian women.

If inconvenience or fear is the reason, God has a way of working out things for the good. Trust him. Go beyond your personal desires and wishes and think about God’s plan for your baby. Think about your baby’s dreams. 

If finances, your career, the responsibility of raising a child on your own are all concerns, don’t allow your fears and worries cast a shadow on the present reality and the joys and blessings that the future could hold. God has a way of providing when we trust him.

If you fear shame among your friends and family and what people will think, don’t live to please other people. Do what is right and true.

There is no feeling in the world like holding your newborn baby for the very first time. The love you’ll have for him is indescribable. You won’t understand it until he is here. Looking into his beautiful eyes, smelling and touching his soft skin, kissing his cheeks, rocking and cuddling him, singing to him, nursing him on your breasts, and watching him grow up to be the man God created him to be brings no greater joy.

When you choose to give your baby life, I promise you there will be challenges and hardships but you’ll be okay. God will give you the strength to endure and carry on. 

If you still feel you cannot handle the responsibility, you can always give your baby up for adoption. There are plenty of wonderful families who can raise your child and give them a loving home. 

Your Creator God, who created you, values and treasures all human life. He loves you so much that he died on the cross and rose again so that you could have life. Remember that He has a way of redeeming and healing the most difficult situations. He turns ashes into beauty if you will only ask him. 

Choose life. I beg you. Choose Life.

Well during the remaining time at the doctor’s office I never ran into the young woman. But God used the experience to teach me a lot. As a woman who follows Jesus Christ, I’ve been encouraged to speak up for the innocent and vulnerable, who cannot speak for themselves. I’ve become more aware of the beauty and life around me and the precious lives of my own children and family and friends. And I will not be silent or negligent to pray for those women at such a crossroad in life.

Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. – Isaiah 49:1

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.  – Psalm 139-13-18

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