Evangelist Billy Graham has shared some Biblical advice for women struggling with the pain and regret of having an abortion. In a recently published advice column, the 97-year-old Baptist minister explained to a post-abortive woman that one "unseen" consequence of abortion is overwhelming guilt - however, all hope is not lost.
The woman, J.N., wrote to Graham: "Maybe some women can go through an abortion and never feel guilty, but I'm not one of them. I feel terrible over what I did, and every time I drive by a school playground I'm almost consumed with grief."
Graham responded with compassion and understanding, explaining that while what she did was wrong in God's eyes - but He has not rejected or abandoned her.
"He loves you, just as He loved the child that was growing in your womb (and is now, I am confident, safely in His presence). Furthermore, when Christ died on the cross, all your sins - without exception - were transferred to Him, and He took upon Himself the judgment you deserved. As the Bible says, 'He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins' (1 John 2:2)," he wrote.
The evangelist also encouraged the reader to use her experience to help others in similar situations: "Accept God's gift of forgiveness today, by turning to Christ and by faith inviting Him to come into your life," he wrote. "Then believe that His promise of forgiveness is true, and that someday you will go to be with Him forever. In addition, ask Him to help you reach out to others whose hearts and minds have been scarred, as yours has been."
Since the Supreme Court removed restrictions on abortion in 1973, abortions have risen to an alarming level, and LifeNews notes that abortion is tragically common even among American Christians. 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.
According to The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Graham has always strongly opposed "abortion on demand" and was instrumental in the founding of the ministry of Care Net, one of largest networks of pregnancy centers in North America. Care Net seeks to provide the most accessible and effective abortion alternatives possible
In another "My Answers" column, Graham lamented how the legalization of abortion has wreaked havoc on American culture.
"Life is sacred (even life in the womb), and is a gift from God that we must take very seriously," he wrote. "I know abortion is common today, and I'm afraid this has dulled our senses and caused us to ignore its consequences. But God sees things differently from us, and we turn our backs on Him at our peril. I often think of God's words to Jeremiah: 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart" (Jeremiah 1:5)'."