Abortion Recovery Class Ministry Leaders FAQs
It seems at every Ramah event, I get asked the same questions over and over again. For this reason I thought it might be good to answer a few of these queries from the perspective that the Lord has provided me over the last 13 years in pregnancy care ministry. I’ve listed these answers in no particular order and would appreciate any input readers may have on these answers!
Is the Bible clear that the soul of aborted babies are in Heaven?
Do I have to be post-abortive to help someone find Christ’s healing after an abortion?
Should potential volunteers be required to go through a post-abortion bible study in order to volunteer/work at a pregnancy center?
Should a pregnant woman be excluded from a post-abortion Bible study?
Does a year have to pass after an abortion in order for someone to attend a class?
Are memorial services a necessary part of the healing process after abortion?
Many believe that since the Bible isn’t clear on the final destination of aborted children, then it’s incorrect to offer women the hope that they will see their children in Heaven. The Lord has given me absolute assurance that my aborted child is in His care. I based this view on several scriptures:
II Samuel 12: 22-23 (NIV) — He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
Ecclesiastes 6:3-6 (NIV) — A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded. Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man-even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. Do not all go to the same place?
Psalms 27:10 (NIV) — Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
Matthew 18:10 (NIV) — See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
Here’s a point to consider — If aborted children aren’t in Heaven, where are they? When asked this question, one post-abortion leader answered, “I don’t know but wouldn’t it be a great deterrent to abortion if women thought their babies were going to Hell?” Her comment sent cold shivers down my back. The Lord knows every heart that He’s created. Like the old hymn, Jesus Loves Me , says, “Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong.”
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
This verse truly shows the Christian purpose from God to preach good news to those who are hurting and grieving. It doesn’t list any requirements for this work except that the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon us. I enjoy welcoming non-post-abortive attendees to our training events by saying, “Never be ashamed of not having an abortion!” This comment is always met with laugher and appreciation because many believe they are disqualified for ministry without this “credential.” Half of all our conference/seminar attendees fit the category of, “Called by God but never experienced abortion.”
I am always sad to discover those post-abortion ministries who discriminate against those who aren’t post-abortive. Consider the comparison of other aspects of life to show the ridiculousness of the theory:
- A veterinarian has never been an animal. Does that mean they can’t help animals?
- Male OB/GYN’s have never experienced childbirth. Are they, therefore, precluded from delivering babies?
- Pastors haven’t experienced all forms of sin. Are they only allowed to counsel about the sins they have experienced?
- Many pregnancy care center advocates were abstinent until marriage. Does this make them ineffective to minister to those who aren’t abstinent?
Everyone is at common ground at the foot of the cross. With the proper training and anointed by God, anyone can be powerful in this ministry. We desperately need the non-post-abortive in this work to be a window to the Christian community that affirms that Christians will love and not judge us for this choice. Your stable influence on our healing process can be a tool that the Lord uses to outline His unconditional love, grace and mercy.
I remember my emotions when I was told that because of my past abortion I was required to attend a bible study before volunteering at our local pregnancy care center. I was belligerent and said, “God’s healed me. I don’t need that!” I hung up and determined that the pregnancy care center wasn’t the place for me to serve. Thankfully the Lord worked through these emotions and hauled my wounded heart into a study. While I started the class kicking and screaming, believing it offered me nothing, God had other ideas. There were areas in my heart that I didn’t know needed addressing – grief, anger, bitterness and forgiving others. The healing power from the Lord during my memorial service was well worth attending the class.
I believe that many people can experience healing when they come to know the Lord. For those of us who were Christians when we chose abortion, rededicating our lives back to God can also bring great restoration. A person’s true healing is difficult for anyone to judge. It could be that healing has begun in one area but not another since we are all essentially a work in progress.
In order to avoid making the post-abortive feel like they are being “picked on” because of this requirement, I want to suggest a new policy that EVERY pregnancy care worker be urged to attend a post-abortion bible study – not as observers but as participants. Everyone has a grief, forgiveness or other sin issue that can be addressed in the study. The process allows many to understand post-abortion pain at a deeper level and should therefore enhance ministry efforts to the abortion minded.
Isaiah 40:1 outlines a commandment, Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. If someone asks for help we need to offer it to them, regardless of their situation. This question about pregnant women attending groups is rooted in the concern that a group could be uncomfortable around children or pregnant women because they are a reminder of their loss. Others see that the stresses of pregnancy could hinder the healing process. I was carrying my third son when I led a post-abortion bible study. I also led a group that included a young, pregnant, post-abortive woman. In both cases the impending births were a source of joy for class participants. The prospect of new life was a joy to everyone involved.
Delaying a recovery class because of pregnancy isn’t recommended because once the baby is born they may not have time to attend a class. In addition, the bonding process the new child can be impacted due to unhealed elements of post-abortion syndrome. It’s essential that we avoid rules that can restrict or alienate clients who are truly seeking healing. If there is any concern, present the situation to each potential group member to verify that everyone is comfortable with the pregnant participant. Should there be any dissention, consider an individual study for the expectant mother.
Ecclesiastes 3:2 relays that, There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. For many years, post-abortion groups excluded individuals until they were at least one year away from their abortion. The initial, temporary relief that comes after the abortion, because the “crisis has past,” made it difficult for many to perceive the abortion as a bad decision. The emotion of denial is very strong initially so leaders suggested they wait a full year before attending a class.
With the advent of ultrasound technology and the RU-486 abortifacent, many women do not experience the same denial process as others did in past years. While they understand that their child is not a “blob of tissue” but a fully formed human being, they still may be pressured to abort. The resulting grief and sorrow can be immediate because they know the truth of what they have lost in the abortion. These individuals can also be at greater risk for suicide. Attending a class as soon as possible could be recommended.
It’s important that we consider the person’s denial level in allowing them to attend no matter how long it’s been since their choice. If a person is expressing remorse over their abortion, and no longer justifying this as the “best choice considering their circumstances,” they should be considered a candidate for a study.
Here’s another point to remember: Working through this pain, with the Lord’s help, before other dysfunctional behaviors start is always beneficial. I can’t imagine what my life would have been had I addressed this pain immediately instead of waiting eleven years. The compounding sins of promiscuity, drug abuse, depression, guilt, blame shifting, etc. could have been reduced or eliminated. In many ways, my healing was impacted more by these sins than my abortion decision. Stopping this syndrome at any point is more beneficial than waiting. If you turn them away because they aren’t a year away from the abortion, they may never return.
Ecclesiastes 7:2 relays that, It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Attending a funeral service is rarely enjoyable but it does serve a purpose in the healing process. Our work is full of pain and without tears to relieve the pressure; many of us can experience burn out and stress – or secondary post-abortion syndrome.
God can heal hearts regardless of our actions. Many veteran post-abortion leaders come to our seminars and are surprised at the emotions they encounter at our memorial services. These services are primarily designed to grieve the children who have been aborted by clients who have visited our centers. Everyone who works with the abortion-minded can benefit from a regular memorial service to grieve the losses we encounter in this ministry.
God encourages me to help people begin to grieve these losses in order to help them realize the power of the mourning process. Often tears provide a new vitality for ministry. The memorial service is a great tool in rejuvenating our forces as well as helping the post-abortive find God’s closure and forgiveness. I always recommend a service after a group as well as a yearly service for our staff and volunteers to grieve our losses. They help us come to a place of humbleness with the Lord and rebuild our hearts for the work ahead.
Sydna Massé compassionately leads you on the difficult journey through denial, anger, and grief, to forgiveness, redemption, and letting go. Her Choice to Heal offers a road map to healing – practical suggestions, resources for help, space to journal, with the encouragement and hope.
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