How to Respond to Increased Fear in Abortion-Determined Women During the Pandemic
Abortion statistics are hard to find, but anecdotal evidence from abortion providers seems to indicate that abortions increased dramatically during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is also what we observed as sidewalk counselors outside the busiest abortion center in the Southeast. Additionally, the interactions with women decreased. If women could be persuaded to talk with us, many reported that uncertainty and fear of COVID – as well as job loss and significant life-changes – were fueling the abortion.
The issues the women raise are significant and daunting. Some of those issues include: loss of employment, need to be home with children to school them, decreased ability to secure supplies and basic needs with so many restrictions on shopping (as well as less money to cover those needs), fear of giving birth in the hospital and contracting COVID, and so many vital pregnancy resource centers closing during the pandemic. Fewer women were able to see their unborn child on an ultrasound. This invaluable tool in promoting a choice for life is provided in very few areas during the pandemic.
However, the abortion centers were all open and vigorously advertising their services.
Women who might not otherwise consider abortion appeared to be coming in greater numbers. Additionally, those women seemed to feel greater conflict over the choice which has been linked with greater post-abortive struggles.
Given all this, sidewalk counselors need to be aware of the increased fears and unique concerns raised by the pandemic, or really any local/national/world disaster. The specific fears raised by the serious disasters we are facing currently can (and should) be addressed through biblical counsel. God’s word is relevant no matter what we face, and that must be communicated to the abortion minded women.
Uncertainty of the future is a constant
“Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1 NASB)
No one knows what tomorrow may bring. No one has EVER known what tomorrow may bring. None of us are promised tomorrow. God perfectly illustrates this truth in how He provided for His people as they wandered 40 years in the desert. He sent them manna from Heaven each day to feed them; however, He very specifically warned them to only gather enough for one day. They had to trust He would provide the following day’s needs. If they disobeyed Him and tried to gather more manna than they needed for the day, it went bad and was filled with maggots. He could not be clearer. Trust and obey me today. If tomorrow comes, trust me and obey me again.
No Matter What the Future Holds, We are to Obey God
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’ But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:13-17 NASB)
These verses show us several important principles in dealing with an uncertain future. We cannot know what tomorrow will bring. Plans that involve a belief that we are in control will almost always disappoint. Those who make such plans display a lack of understanding of the fragility of humans and the power of God. We are a wisp. Our will should never override God’s will. Such boastful plans show an arrogance and pride that we should not have. And finally, our behavior in the midst of the inevitable uncertain future should be to obey and trust God. We are to do the right thing today despite not knowing what tomorrow will bring.
God Does Not Call Us to a Spirit of Fear in the Midst of Calamity
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalms 23:4 NASB)
This wonderful psalm reminds us that even when we are facing insurmountable valleys of struggle and even death … we are not to fear evil. God is with us and we can trust in His protection, wisdom and plan. The truth that He is the one in control should be our comfort if we have submitted our lives to Him. He has promised He will never leave us or forsake us. He knows everything. Covid-19 is no surprise to Him.
Take Control of What We CAN Be Certain
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1 NASB)
We can be certain that if a mother aborts her child, that child will be dead. The child will never have the opportunity to live the life that God created for him or her. Current situations and feelings may fluctuate within the hour. No one knows what disasters or unforeseen events will do to carefully crafted human plans. But we do know that God says, “Thou shall not murder.” We do know the unborn baby is alive and created by God in His image. We do know abortion destroys the life of that unborn child. We do know God hates the shedding of innocent blood. We do know what He would have a mother do who is carrying a child in her womb. Protect and nurture that baby trusting God with the future.
The things of which we are certain, we need to act upon as God would have us act. We are to be Holy as God is Holy and to fear God alone. That which is uncertain, such as the future, we need to place in God’s hands.
A Faith That is Only Trusted When Things Go Well is Not Sustaining Faith
“Then Saul said to David, ‘You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.’ But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.’ And David said, ‘The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and may the LORD be with you.'” (1 Samuel 17:33-37 NASB)
The great heroes of the Bible, such as David, trusted God in the little things. God gradually prepared them through greater challenges so that when significant challenges arose, they were ready. David, who tended sheep, first protected them from small enemies, then larger enemies. Eventually, when facing a real giant, David trusted God would (as always) protect and guide Him.
Following God Despite Fear Brings Great Reward
“After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.'” (Genesis 15:1 NASB)
Abraham had plenty to fear. God told him to leave his home to travel to an unknown land, and that he would father many nations though he was old and his wife apparently infertile. Then, down the road, when that amazing miracle child was born, Abraham was told to take Isaac up the mountain and sacrifice him to God!
The short passage from Genesis 15:1 is chock full of wisdom for us in the face of fear. First, God does admonish us DO NOT FEAR; however, He does not end with that statement but tells us WHY we should not fear. God Himself will be our shield. A shield is used to deflect weapons used against us. It is to protect us. And with God’s command and protection, He reminds us of the result: a GREAT reward.
When we go where God commands us, obey despite our fear, trusting in His provision and protection, our reward will be great. It was true for Abraham, and it is true for us, and it is true for every abortion minded woman. Even in the midst of covid. Even in the midst of job loss. Even in the midst of a terrifying future.
Fear not. Our reward will be great. Follow and trust God.