By Matt Barber
“There stood a girl – we’ll call her Lisa – with tears streaming down her face. I hadn’t seen her for months. ’My mom thought it was right for me to tell you,’ she said, ‘that I had an abortion and the kid was yours.’ “
I write these words chiefly to women and girls who have had an abortion. Still, it is my humble hope and honest prayer that anyone weighing this life-versus-death choice might also read them with an open mind and a hearing heart. I share these truths in love. Some of you already know them. Others deny them.
Yet truths they remain.
It is through obedience to Christ and in the authority of His Spirit that I write you this letter. It may be difficult to read, but I pray you will read it. First, let us dispense with the oft-asserted notion that, lest one is a woman – more particularly, lest one has faced an unwanted pregnancy – one has nothing to say about abortion.
Abortion profoundly impacts us all. When you became pregnant, the child growing within you was, without exception, one of two sexes – male or female. Abortion affects men, women, boys and girls of every race, color and creed.
Before we were born we all, to varying degrees, lived under some threat that “choice” might kill us.
Aren’t you glad your mother chose not to kill you? I am.
Know this about your choice: Yes, you are still a mother. Yes, you have killed your child. And yes, there is forgiveness, love, redemption and healing available through Christ Jesus alone. These are hard truths.
Your inner voice was right. You have indeed committed a sin most grave. Those “pro-choice” flowers you were sold, though alluring, were, as you suspected, too good to be true. Instead, you purchased a bouquet of lies awash in the foul stench of death. You were told that for a few hundred dollars you could buy freedom, only to be bound by a horrible thing that, in this life, cannot be undone.
But with eternal life, it can be undone. Your blood-covered hands can be washed clean by the blood-covered hands of Christ the Savior. You need only ask, receive and believe. Abortion kills God’s children and hurts women and men alike. Your child has an earthly father, too, regardless of whether he took responsibility.
Abortion makes men fathers of dead sons and daughters.
I’m the father of five beautiful children, three of whom are with me and two of whom are in heaven. My wife and I lost our first child together in miscarriage; but long before that, my first child died at the hands of an abortionist. As a teenager, I was not living as God intends. On a sunny fall day when I was 15 I heard a knock at our Gunnison, Colo., home. With a full house, it was I, by chance (or not), who answered the door.
There stood a girl – we’ll call her Lisa – with tears streaming down her face. I hadn’t seen her for months. She hadn’t been in school. As a volley of muffled cheers came from the living room in celebration of a John Elway touchdown, I opened my mouth to speak. Lisa interrupted me.
“My mom thought it was right for me to tell you,” she said, “that I had an abortion and the kid was yours.”
Her mom sat in the car behind her glaring at me. I’ll never forget the expression on her face. It was a jarring blend of contempt, anger and pain. Lisa turned and walked away. I said nothing. I wish I could say I felt shame, but, mostly, I was just relieved that my parents didn’t know.
I never saw Lisa again. She moved away shortly thereafter. It was many years later that God showed me the magnitude of that day. I had sinned against Lisa. I had mistreated one of His precious daughters. From it, a child was conceived, and, due at least in part to my negligence and callous treatment of Lisa, that child died.
A sin that led to a precious life was compounded by sins that led to a tragic death.
I mourn the loss of my first child. I can’t know for sure, but I’ve always envisioned a girl. Today, she’d be about 27. Perhaps I’d be a grandfather by now. I’ve never been able to find Lisa, but I wish I could. I’d ask her to forgive me for the horrible way I treated her. If she didn’t already know, I’d tell her of Christ’s love for both of us and our child in heaven. I’d tell her that forgiveness, redemption and salvation are available to all who ask and believe upon Jesus.
Please know that I don’t write this letter to hurt you. Know that I don’t judge you. How could I?
I hurt with you.
The enemy of the world is a liar. He is wicked beyond comprehension. You were lied to. Satan loves death. In the context of abortion, he deceptively calls it “choice.” But it’s only death. There is no freedom in death, except for those whose names are written in the Book of Life. God is good beyond comprehension. He wants to write your name in the book of life. Jesus promised: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Of both you and your lost child God says this: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. …” (Jeremiah 1:5) Come to Jesus and He will comfort you. Come to Jesus and He will forgive you. Come to Jesus and He will use for good that which was intended for evil. Even your abortion.
Come to know Christ, and one day, in that place where sin is dead and life eternal, the baby you never knew – that child who knows you, loves you and has already forgiven you – will rush to your arms and say to you: “Mommy, I’ve been waiting for you. Welcome home.”
Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action.