Question: "How can a woman experience healing and recovery after an abortion?"

Sad to say, having an abortion and regretting it later is an all-too-common experience. While what has been done cannot be undone, women can experience healing and recovery after an abortion. The God of all comfort and healing is more than able to ease the sorrow and pain of an abortion and can restore women to life and joy.

Although children are always a blessing, they do not always arrive under the most blessed of circumstances. One of the consequences of pre-marital sex is often the conception of an unwanted child. This can be a frightening experience for someone who is not financially, emotionally, or physically prepared for such a responsibility. Many women and teenage girls who decide to seek an abortion are scared, confused, desperate, and extremely vulnerable. In their search for answers, they are fooled into believing that unborn children are expendable "lumps of tissue," not really pre-born human beings. Often this revelation comes later, in the form of post-abortion stress syndrome, guilt, and depression.

There is good news for anyone who has had an abortion, and that is that God offers forgiveness to anyone who asks for it. Romans 3:22 says, "We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done." It is never too late to come to God for healing. There is nothing we can do that is so bad it is unforgivable. God offers this forgiveness, and He also offers peace of mind and heart, if we will only receive it by putting our faith in the Christ, Jesus, allowing Him permanent residence and authority in our lives.

Some women who are already Christians also find themselves in situations where they may decide to have an abortion, perhaps out of fear of how they will be perceived by the Christian community when their choice of having pre-marital sex is profoundly evident. Even if the Christian woman knows how God feels about abortion, she may feel, out of desperation, that she must get rid of the "evidence." This is perhaps, in part, the responsibility of the church, which may not support women in this situation as well as we should. It is important to assure these women that although God does not approve of their actions, He is ready to offer forgiveness and redemption. The same is true for a Christian woman who has had an abortion. Yes, it is wrong, it is the taking of a life, but it is not unforgivable. The Bible says that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1), and so when we ask Him for forgiveness, He freely gives it. This is not because we deserve it, but because this is the loving nature of our Lord.

When a woman realizes the repercussions of having an abortion, she may find it difficult to forgive herself. But God does not want us to live with perpetual guilt; He wants us to learn from our mistakes and use them to His advantage, as well as our own. It will require a lot of prayer, which is simply conversation with God. This and studying the Bible help us get to know God better so that we can trust Him to heal us and be better equipped to do His work. Instead of dwelling on the act, a woman should be encouraged to use her experience to help others. She may first need to go through Christian counseling to help get through the experience, as it can be traumatic. But in the aftermath, if she trusts in the Lord, she will be stronger and more spiritually mature. She will have gone through an experience that God is able to use to strengthen her character and prepare her for ministering to others.