Healing Conversations is a video and booklet created to help pastors and those in the church start conversations on the topic of abortion.
On any given Sunday, if statistics are even slightly accurate, thousands of post-abortive women are sitting in church buildings across Canada. If abortion is not discussed with mercy and compassion, or not discussed at all, these women can feel silenced and disqualified from having a deeper faith journey.
So then, “How can the church speak mercy, forgiveness, healing, and grace to the post-abortive woman, so she can embrace the freedom and love promised to all who trust in Jesus Christ?”
The video “Healing Conversations” is designed to answer that question; to inform and educate on the realities of abortion in Canada, introduce ways the Canadian church can approach this subject.
Of the post-abortive women who attend a Christian church regularly, 73% are not sure if forgiveness applies to them. 57% are not sure if it is safe to talk to a pastor.
Over half of them have never shared about their abortion experience.
It’s time we talk.
[Leanne] I had lost my virginity to rape. I also became very promiscuous. I drank a lot. I even wanted to die because I just didn’t care anymore. I got involved with a guy who was very abusive – it was his child.
I don’t know there was something missing inside me.
I was taught Jesus’ love and learned a lot of bible verses but it just didn’t seem to really hold. I didn’t encounter it.
[Pastor Paul] I think the lord has a way of bringing all of us to the end of our rope or whatever it is. There’s a silly little saying that gets banded about in Christian circles that God will never give you more than you can handle and I think that’s false. I think God consistently gives us more than we can handle. We think we handle a lot but it’s by the Lords strength.
[Leanne] I went to my family to ask for help and my mom said I was on my own – that I had shamed her. I ended up having the abortion and I ended up in the hospital … and I was devastated. And so I didn’t really care about life too much but I know that God was still there no matter what.
[Paul] The lord has a gracious way of putting circumstances into our lives that’s well above us. we don’t know what to do.
Take Israel marching to the Red Sea, Egyptian army behind them, Red sea in front of them;
Why did God take them there? He took them there because he is going to display his glory; display his power.
[Leanne] When I started to go to church again, this lady was sharing about the Crisis Pregnancy Center. Her and I started talking a little bit and for the first time, I felt safe to share my story.
[Paul] All of us have sinned and that’s why as a Pastor you can speak very freely about these things because I’m going to talk about other sins on other days and I am going to offer the same gospel hope. The more that is in the life of the church where we are being honest about sin and being honest about the gospel, the more freely these things are spoken about.
[Dr. Laura Lewis] I think that likely as I felt as a physician, many Pastors know that it’s a hard discussion point and that perhaps some women don’t want to talk about it and so maybe they back off and don’t actually discuss it from the pulpit. In failing to do that, I think it gives the sense to women that it isn’t a subject that is welcome to be discussed in the church.
In order for the church to be a safe place, there needs to be opportunity for the Pastor to speak about abortion but also for people who have gone through this journey and found healing and freedom in Christ to actually share their stories.
[Pastor Paul] If you are a Pastor, you need to assume that there are women in your church who have had an abortion. Statistically speaking, it’s almost inevitable, as sad as that is, and so when you speak about that issue you need to speak in the tone and the compassion that represents that she is sitting right in front of you even if you don’t know who she is.
I think there is a couple of things that churches can do that their church can become a safe place to talk about these things and give hope. One is we need to speak about the issue in a balanced way.
What was super helpful to me was getting involved with our local Pregnancy Care Center and then being able to call up the Director Linda and say, “How do I talk about this? Please teach me; I don’t know how to say these things in a proper way.”
[Leanne] That was where the life came back. That’s where life started to encounter that hope. It was going to be okay.
There’s a lot of women and men and family members who have encountered this that are dying inside. Be a voice. Break the silence. There is help and healing in it.