Recently, a video of a young woman’s abortion procedure has received a lot of attention. This woman said that she wanted to share her story with others and prove that abortion could be a “positive experience.” The video follows her into the procedure and focuses on her face most of the time. She smiles, giggles, and hums during the procedure, continually pointing out how lucky she is and how much support she has. “You guys are my heroes,” she tells the doctors. All the while upbeat music is playing in the background.
The last few seconds of the video she talks about the experience:
“I don’t feel like a bad person. I don’t feel sad. I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a baby. I can make a life. I knew that what I was gonna do was right, because it was right for me and no one else.”
This young woman has received a ton of feedback – both positive and negative. When I saw the video and read her story, the question that kept popping into my mind was, “What is the biblical response to this situation?” Apparently Emily Letts has received lots of hate mail and even death threats from people claiming that what she did was wrong. Others have responded very positively, arguing that Emily is right in stating that no one should feel guilty for having an abortion. It was right for her, and she shouldn’t have to feel any remorse.
This story has caused varying emotional responses to rise in people. But the thing about emotions is that they can’t always be trusted. Feelings are subjective and can be relative. In situations like this, we need to know what is true, regardless of feeling. So I went to God’s Word and this is what I found:
1. Sin leads us to suppress the Truth. Romans 1:18: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” In other words, certain truths are self-evident. God has revealed himself to us in a variety of ways – one of those being through the miracle of life. We are made in his image.
This verse also says that, because of sin, men tend to suppress these self-evident truths. (Suppress: to withhold, to put an end to, to do away with). So it is possible for man to silence truth or pretend it does not exist for the sake of continuing in a desirable path that is not honoring to God (that’s a nice way of saying ‘sin’).
2. We are without excuse. Proverbs 24:11-12: “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ dos not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?”
The thing about abortion is that people aren’t really claiming ignorance anymore. Not too many people are saying, “But I didn’t KNOW that it was a life. I didn’t realize.” The unsettling thing about this video is that this woman acknowledged that there was a life inside of her. In fact, she says that she is “in awe” of the fact that she was able to get pregnant. So her claim isn’t so much ignorance as it is convenience. “What’s right for me.”
This verse – and many others throughout the Bible, including the above passage in Romans – are very clear: we are without excuse. We can blame our actions on convenience, ignorance, ‘what’s right for me,’ our upbringing, and a thousand other things. But it ultimately comes to the same thing – we have no excuses before God.
3. God will not be mocked. This young woman’s argument is that abortion should be a guilt-free thing. You shouldn’t feel bad for doing what’s right for you at any given time. In moments like these, it can be tempting to follow that logic. We might think, hmm…well, she doesn’t feel bad or guilty…and it doesn’t look like she’s suffering any negative consequences…so what’s the big deal?
God doesn’t leave sin unpunished forever. The fact of the matter is that one day we will all stand before God and have to give an account for everything we’ve done (2 Cor 5:10; Rom 14:12; 1 Cor 3:10-15). Those who stand covered by the righteousness of Christ will experience the forgiveness of those sins and will enter into an eternity with Christ. The same cannot be said for those who do not know God. God is patient with us (2 Pet 3:9,10) – we don’t always experience consequences of what we do immediately. But His word promises that we will experience them – either in this life or the next. It is not for us to decide what is right or wrong – that is God’s role. He is God and we are not.
4. Where sin runs deep, His grace is more. I’ll end by saying what this post is not: it is not a verbal attack on a woman or an attack on anyone who has ever had an abortion. It is not an attempt to change people’s minds on the issue of abortion – God is the only one who can change minds and hearts. Rather, it is the expression of a desire that truth be known: that life is precious and should be guarded, not belittled and devalued for the sake of convenience or ‘choice.’
The Bible calls sin ‘sin’ and doesn’t apologize for it. Sin is ugly and is something God hates. But the Bible doesn’t just call us out for our sin – it offers a solution in the form of Jesus Christ. The book of Romans says that “where sin increased, grace increased all the more…” (5:20). In other words, nothing we do, no matter how great or small, will ever be ‘too much’ for God. He has overcome the power of sin through Christ’s death on the cross. Nothing can separate us from that. He can heal the deepest wounds and make beautiful things out of our ugliness.
My heart hurts for those who have felt the pain of a past abortion. Rather than trying to suppress, bury, or deny the guilt, my prayer is that those affected by ANY past sin – no matter what it is – would lay it at the feet of Christ, accept His forgiveness, and begin pursuing a life that is pleasing to Him. Christ alone can remove our guilt and give us freedom.
I have never experienced an abortion, but I have known the pain of sin – and I know, with all my heart, that Christ can make all things new.
2 Corinthians 7:10: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret…”
God our Healer, He has overcome.