When it comes to abortion, people need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed 

By Dave Andrusko

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Like many people, I have sites I go to for inspiration and wisdom. I went to one today that carried one of Dr. Samuel Johnson’s most famous aphorisms: “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” The other came from author Leighton Ford, who observed, “God loves us the way we are, but too much to leave us that way.”

You could combine them and go in a hundred different directions. But to me, they say several things.

First and foremost that in their heart almost everyone knows it’s wrong to take the lives of unborn babies. They don’t have to be instructed—taught—this. They have to be reminded of what their conscience is already telling them.

In another less obvious sense, however, they do have to be taught. Not the lesson that it is egregiously wrong for the powerful to take the lives of the innocent powerless. Rather they have to be taught that we can rationalize our way into and out of almost anything, including that somehow abortion is “good” for the baby and “empowering” to the mother.

I have mulled what Ford wrote countless times in the context of abortion. For me his sage advice is particularly helpful when ministering to women who have aborted.

They need to know that God does love them, in spite of what has happened, what they have done and to whom. But what too often happens is that post-aborted women are weighed down with unresolved guilt and shame or, going the other direction, they boast (as we reported a woman saying more than once), “I had an abortion last year and it was the best decision of my life.”

God loves these women “too much to leave them that way.”

We need to love them, even when—especially when—they say things that, with rare exceptions, they really don’t mean deep down.

They don’t? How can I possibly say that?

Because if you carefully read the accounts in which women boast about their abortions, or excuse away their abortions, or justify their abortions, most (not all) of the time, it is clear they are trying to muffle the sounds of regret and remorse.

If they weren’t, they would not respond as furiously as they do when you allude to this deep well of hurt.

Abortion is brutal, ugly, and cruel. You and I know that. At some level, so, too, do almost all aborted women.

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