Abortion Is a Matter of the Heart

“Do you want to take a look?” the ultrasound tech asked me. I barely glanced in the direction of the screen and then turned my face away. Seeing my preborn baby wriggling around in my womb might have provoked a desire to choose life instead of going through with an abortion. My heart was desperately hurting and my mind was made up. Grief from the tragedy of losing my one-year-old daughter at the hands of my former boyfriend seemed to engulf my entire being.

I had entered the abortion clinic with conflicting desires. A part of me believed that I could carry my baby to term and place him for adoption. Another part of me held onto the belief that I couldn’t possibly bear up under the weight of all the heartbreak and mental stress. I needed a good biblical counselor at the time of my crisis. Unfortunately, I didn’t search for one and ended up following through with the abortion.

When coming alongside an abortion-minded woman to give her biblical counsel, it is vital to help her discern the desires in her heart surrounding the pregnancy. That can be a tall order when the person you are trying to care for is in a crisis and already feeling vulnerable. It may be difficult to get her to open up to you so that you can hear what’s in her heart. But her heart is what needs to be reached—and transformed—with God’s Word.

Here are three ways you can care for the abortion-minded woman and point her to the One who knows all about her and her situation—Jesus.

Listen to her story

First, you will need to engage her in conversation, ensuring her that you are genuinely interested in her situation and her unique concerns. Proverbs 20:5 tells us, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” You can ask, “Can you help me understand what’s going on in your life right now? I really just want to hear you and give you a safe space to talk.”

Provide the abortion-minded woman with Christlike care and a safe space. Listen to her story and ask thoughtful questions to try to better understand her and her desires surrounding the pregnancy. What are her fears, challenges, and concerns about continuing the pregnancy? What else is going on in her life? She may share fears that having a baby now will derail her plans to graduate college. Or perhaps, she tells you about the poor medical prognosis the doctor gave for the baby after reading the genetic test results. Maybe she discloses the sexual assault she endured that resulted in this pregnancy. If appropriate, you may want to share with her a time when you were in crisis and struggled to make the right decision. While your situation may be very different, God can use your story to encourage her and give hope.

Walk her through the Word

God’s Word is powerful! It’s living, active, piercing, and discerning of “the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Nothing can transform our lives like the Holy Spirit illumining God’s truth in our hearts. Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” God is faithful to use Scripture to reach all our hearts, including that of the abortion-minded woman you are speaking with.

Walk with her through pertinent Scripture passages like Psalm 139, Isaiah 44:24, and Isaiah 64:8. Notice that I urged you to walk with her—not sprint—through these passages. Give her time to meditate on the words and their meaning. Dialogue with her, asking questions about how these truths apply to her, her baby, and the current crisis.

For example, you could ask her to read Isaiah 44:24 out loud and then ask what stands out to her in this passage about God. She will hopefully see evidence of God being the Creator of all things, including life in the womb. This could lead you to talk about God’s power and to encourage her that if he can make all things, he is certainly powerful enough to walk with her through this unexpected and uncertain time in her life.” A call for her to choose to trust God according to his Word can be a potent way for God to work his will in her heart and mind.

Pray she chooses Jesus, the One who is life

We regularly pray for abortion-minded women to choose life for their babies. That’s a great prayer! But how often are we praying for a mom in crisis to choose Jesus, the One who is Life itself and the Giver of life (Nehemiah 9:6; John 14:6)? If she sees Jesus as her loving, good, and trustworthy Creator who has benevolent authority over her life (and her baby’s life), this lays the groundwork for wholistic transformation in her life—not to mention the life of her baby.

Sometimes a conversation with an abortion-minded woman ends without a firm commitment to choose life for her baby. You may be tempted to keep her talking with you until she makes such a promise. However, we have to trust the Lord to do the work of conviction in her heart, drawing her to himself. Our job is to share gospel hope and love (for her and her baby), to pray, and to trust Jesus with the results.

You may never know what happens to the mom and her pre-born baby after you meet with and talk with her. But you can pray for her to choose Jesus, even if she ends up choosing abortion first.

Additional Help

Pregnancy crises are never easy, as there can be many complexities clouding the heart and mind of the mother, making it difficult for her to see God’s truths clearly (and hold to them firmly). It’s important to be prepared with biblical wisdom, compassion, and sensitivity if you want to walk with her well.

I wrote the minibook Pregnancy Crisis: This Wasn’t the Plan to provide comfort and biblical counsel to the abortion-minded woman. You can read it together with her in a short amount of time and work through some of the questions provided. Then, give it to her as a takeaway for further reflection. If she does choose an abortion, you can offer to read Moving Forward After Abortion: Finding Comfort in God together. In it, I share my own story and point towards gospel-centered hope and help.

Pregnancy Crisis Frontcover

Pregnancy Crisis: This Wasn’t the Plan

You recently received some unexpected news. Maybe you took a pregnancy test hoping it would be negative, but it was positive. Or perhaps you and your spouse or partner were excited about having a baby together, yet a visit to your OB/GYN brought some sobering news—a poor health prognosis for you or your baby. A life-altering choice is ahead of you.

About the author

Camille Cates

Camille Cates is a biblical counselor and a public speaker with a passion for ministering to women in crisis. She has written and spoken extensively on the topics of pregnancy care ministry, post-abortion trauma counseling, sexual abuse, and God’s design for sex and sexuality. She is the author of Moving Forward after Abortion and the minibook Pregnancy Crisis: This Wasn’t the Plan. Camille and her husband, Troy, have three adult children and reside in the metro Cincinnati, OH area.

Add Comment

Recent Posts