Thousands, maybe even millions, of women sit in American churches each week, hurting silently because of a past abortion.
Abortion is tragically common even among American Christians, despite Christian teachings about the sanctity of life. In 2014, 24 percent of women who had abortions identified as Catholic, 17 percent as mainline Protestant and 13 percent as evangelical Protestant, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
For many years, Susan Chorley, a Baptist minister from Boston, Massachusetts, was one of the women who remained silent about her abortion in church. Chorley shared her story with The Daily Beast this week and urged churches to offer compassion, empathy and healing to women who have abortions.
Unfortunately, Chorley also argued that churches should accept that women’s decisions to have abortions. She never mentioned how that decision destroys the life of an innocent human being in the womb, or how Christianity teaches that killing an innocent human being is wrong.
The Baptist minister said her decision to have an abortion was 'wrenching,' and it left her feeling 'sad' with a sense of 'loss.' Still, she justified her decision to abort her second child 12 years ago.
I was serving in a congregation in New England at the time I realized I was pregnant. I was far away from family and friends. I had always imagined I would have a second child and I knew that it would be a struggle on our family financially as well as add to the stress of our marriage, which was starting to fall apart. I didn’t want to bring a baby into the world that would feel it was a burden—and I prayed to God to help me make the best decision I could in a situation that seemed impossible.
Later, she added:
Faith is so much more than judging right from wrong. Faith is about how we make meaning in our lives, how we understand our God, and how we live our values. Decisions about whether and when to grow one’s family carry the deepest meaning, and religious women make this decision in conversation with God, just as we do every decision."
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