Home | Counseling | Life Debate | Contact Us
Life on the Line
Life Debate


Can I Be Forgiven for Having an Abortion?
by Ron and Cindy Sutton

Some wounds cut so deep that only one thing can begin the healing process: receiving forgiveness. Countless women cry out, "I didn't believe what they told me at the clinic. I knew better. I knew it was a baby-not lifeless tissue-in my womb, but I went through with it anyway. Even if God can forgive me, how will I ever forgive myself?"

Many others try to bury the pain: but they can't. The wound cuts too deeply--to the very core of a woman's being. Living in denial never helps; it may temporarily dull the pain but it can't take it away. Pretending not to know, denying what you do know, will ultimately only intensify the emotional trauma. The pain must be honestly acknowledged, brought to the surface, and released in order for the wound to be healed.

Abortion is contrary to all that is sacred to womanhood and true femininity. There is nothing this side of heaven that compares to the wonder of conception, the development of life in the sanctuary of the womb, and the miracle of birth. It is a woman's nature to give life. Abortion violates her most intimate instincts.

Some women say that the aftermath of abortion is worse than that of rape. In fact, in many ways abortion is akin to rape: abortion is a brutal assault on innocent life, on a woman's body, and on the dignity of womanhood. But in the case of abortion the victim consents to the "rape" and even pays the "rapist" for the assault. (I will draw parallels between rapists and abortionists in a future pamphlet. You may conclude that the comparison is faulty because a woman consents to abortion. But don't forget the other victims of abortion: not one unborn baby has ever consented to an abortion.)

Something sacred, something precious, is taken from a woman in both rape and abortion. In one case it Is taken by force; in the other, by consent. Because consent is involved, true healing can only begin when the wrong is acknowledged and forgiveness is sought. That's why pretense and denial are so devastating: forgiveness can only be experienced by those who honestly admit they need it.

Have mercy upon me, 0 God according to Thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me" (Psalm 51, The Bible KJV)

The preceding verses are a portion of King David's repentance and confession for committing adultery with Bathsheba, and for arranging the murder of her faithful husband, Uriah. Several passages in Psalms record the deep sense of guilt and grief David experienced after his sin. He suffered physically and emotionally until he confessed his sin.

At first he tried to bury it-cover it up, but the internal pressure was too intense. Relief came only when he broke the silence and acknowledged his sin.

"When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long .... I acknowledged my sin to Thee and my iniquity I did not hide, I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord; and Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin " (Psalm 32:3,5 The Bible, NAS).

David not only received God's forgiveness; he was able to forgive himself. He knew that the mistakes of the past could not be erased. All he could do was receive forgiveness and get on with his life. The past is over; you can't change it. But you can move away from the pain of the past and face the future with hope if you will do what David did: Repent of your sin, accept God's forgiveness, and forgive yourself

Can God forgive you for having an abortion? Yes. He forgave David for adultery and murder. He can forgive you for having an abortion.

I have shared the story of David's sin, repentance, and confession with many women who thought they couldn't be forgiven. The response of one woman inspired the pamphlet titled "Empty Arms." Upon hearing how God had forgiven and restored David, this woman was able to receive forgiveness and also to forgive herself After praying together, she told me, "This is the first time I have felt peace inside since I had my abortion 15 years ago. Now I can believe God has forgiven me."

God wants to do the same for you. he loves you-cares for you. You matter to God. He wants to help you-to heal you. He wants you to receive mercy and forgiveness through repentance and confession. The Bible says that God actually delights in mercy (Micah 7:18 KJV). He wants to be merciful to you. God loves you. He paid a great price in order to help you.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16)

Your aborted baby has already passed into the hands of a loving and merciful God. You can't bring your baby back: but you can move away from the pain of your past by placing your life in God's hands.

You don't have to fear One who loves you so much. You won't see condemnation in the eyes of the Savior who died on the cross for your sins. He knows your pain and He is willing to share it: if you will let Him. He knows your sin and He is willing to forgive it: if you will acknowledge it and seek His forgiveness.

"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but who so confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13 The Bible, KJV).

Jesus died on the cross that you might be forgiven, healed and restored.

"Surely He hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows...He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4-5 The Bible, KJV)

Do you want to be forgiven? if so, pray the following prayer, or pray in your own words, if you prefer

"God I come before you in the name of Your Son Jesus who died on the cross for my sins. I acknowledge my sin of abortion. I am truly sorry. Please forgive me….

"By Your grace I will never repeat the sin of abortion. With Your help, I will endeavor to influence others to choose life. Now I ask you, Lord, help me to forgive myself. The hurt I have held in place of the baby I once carried, I now release to You. Please heal my heart and help me move away from the pain of my past. Amen."

Once a person sincerely repents, confesses a sin, and asks forgiveness, God not only forgives; He forgets the sin.

"I even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins" (Isaiah 43:25, The Bible, NAS).

You may not be able to completely forget your sin as God does, but you can believe that you are truly forgiven- if you believe what the Bible says.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9 The Bible, KM).