The Woman Sitting Next to You: The Hidden Pain of Abortion

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I grew up in the church. My dad was even my pastor for twenty plus years. I’ve been to church over 1,000 times in my life. For those of you who have had my experience or have been going to church for even a short period of time, you know you don’t always truly know the person sitting in the seat next to you, behind you, or across the crowded room from you. There’s no way you could possibly know the hundreds of people who flood through the same sanctuary doors as you every Sunday. And I think that is okay—but what if you could know just a little bit more about some of them?

The Hidden Pain

It wasn’t until I started working at Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center that my eyes opened to the pain that many women in my church were dealing with—pain that many Christians are unaware of.

Consider these three things you may not know about the women sitting next to you at church:

  1. 4 out of 10 women were attending church when they had their first abortion1
  2. 70% of women who had an abortion indicated their religious preference is Christian2
  3. 1 in 4 women will have an abortion by age 453

 

Why We Exist

“The whole purpose of pregnancy centers is to save babies.” When I hear someone say this, my heart breaks a little. While I understand the motives and intentions are pure, let me explain why I need to challenge the thinking behind these words.

Before writing this blog post, I wrote the words “The Gravity of Abortion” on a piece of paper. I filled the small page with words that came to mind, words like: hurting, ashamed, alone, overwhelmed. These are all words describing the emotional turmoil experienced by the women who choose abortion.

Yes, being involved with the abortion issue absolutely means that we fight to protect unborn life. But it also means that we love and advocate for the mothers. We love both. They’re both victims of our culture. It means we meet women where they are—and the reality is, many of them are in our churches.

Empowered to Serve

As the Client Services Director at GPCC, it is my passion, my goal, and ultimately my job, to serve our clients and put them first in everything we do. My desire is that you, my fellow church member, would help me in this cause and come to understand this isn’t an “outside of the church” issue. Rather, it’s a “she’s sitting right next to you needing love and support” issue.

I know for myself, I used to think of abortion as something I couldn’t do anything about. It was too daunting and overwhelming to take on. However, there is something you can do, and Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center exists to give you the opportunity. We’re making a difference every day, and you need only to walk through the door and get involved.

Lysa Terkeurst says in her book, The Best Yes, “The lives we live determine how we spend our souls. So, this isn’t just about finding time. This is about honoring God with the time we have.”

A Challenge

Usually at the start of a new year we reflect back on the previous year and then look forward in anticipation of what’s to come and the goals we have. As you do, I would challenge you to evaluate how you’re spending your time. Ask yourself, how are you using your time to empower women to face their unplanned pregnancies without fear?

The women sitting in your Sunday school classes, community groups, and church pews need you. They need you to be a their advocate and talk through all of their options. They need you to raise the funds necessary to receive free services. They need you to connect them to mentors at your church and do life with them. They need you to walk them through healing after an abortion with love and compassion.

The Sanctity of Human Life

This month is Sanctity of Human Life month. The phrase “sanctity of human life” refers to the idea that human life is sacred and holy and precious. This month, I reflect not only on fighting for the precious lives of the unborn, but also on fighting for women to receive the holistic care they need so they can be empowered to choose life. Will you join me?

 

Deanna Jewell is our faithful Client Services Director. When she’s not at the center, she’s hanging out with her twelve nieces and nephews, or serving at her local church, Mercy Hill.

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  1. http://lifewayresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Care-Net-Final-Presentation-Report-Revised.pdf
  2. http://lifewayresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Care-Net-Final-Presentation-Report-Revised.pdf
  3. https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states
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