We were only about five minutes into downtown outreach when I saw a woman walking by who was reading a Created Equal flier she had received a moment earlier. I took the opportunity to ask her what she thought about what she was reading.
Her answer, though sadly not uncommon, caught me off guard. “I’ve had two abortions,” she replied. When I expressed my sympathy and asked her how she was doing, she simply stated, “Oh, it was a long time ago” and walked out of earshot.
No more than five minutes later, I handed to another woman who looked to be in her fifties (a brochure) and asked what she thought about abortion.
“Oh, I’m against abortion. I was forced into having an abortion by my mom when I was fifteen, and it still haunts me every day.”
I responded like I did to the previous post-abortive woman, and she thanked me for my sympathy and encouraged us to continue fighting for preborn children. She then said she had to get to an appointment and left to wait at the crosswalk.
But as I watched her stand there, I felt God tugging at my heart, urging me to make sure she knew about what would heal her from her abortion. I knew I had to try to reach this woman, since I couldn’t reach the last. I approached her again and said I wanted her to know that if she still felt guilt from her abortion, she could find healing in God’s love and forgiveness. She responded that she did indeed “know Jesus” and thanked me warmly.
While both post-abortive women were in very similar situations, their responses to me were quite different. Both of them had been hurt badly by abortion, and though it happened a long time ago (both women were likely in their fifties), their abortions clearly still strongly affected their lives. So what caused the difference? The second woman had received healing from Jesus Christ, while I strongly doubt that this was the case with the first. God’s life-changing love and forgiveness are freely offered to all—it is up to each individual to accept or reject it.
-Lisbeth Nelson, Intern.