by Steven Ertelt
March 12, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A Christian bookstore chain has released nationally a post-abortion Bible study that has been used for years to help women find hope and healing after an abortion. With approximately one-third of all American women having an abortion in their lifetime, the study is a significant resource for those looking to heal after the painful experience.
The Alan Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research arm, shows a significant number of women who have abortions are Christians.
Post-abortion ministry leader and Bible study author Pat Layton says, sadly, that millions of women suffer in silent shame in their churches.
She says they worry about the rejection or ridicule they may face for sharing their abortion decision with their pastors or church members.
Layton says some women tuck an abortion away for many, many years the secret of abortion is that every woman still thinks she is the only one.
Layton is the author of Surrendering the Secret: Healing the Heartbreak of Abortion, a Bible study written years ago but one that Lifeway Christian stores distributed nationally starting in January.
I wrote it after becoming a Christian and realizing the church had very little knowledge on how to deal with abortion and its effect on women, Layton says.
She hopes it will help women through the healing process and she’s encouraged Lifeway is making it available to more women who are victims of abortion.
I am most encouraged by LifeWay publishing this study. Most women will do the study on their own for a while," Layton said. "It is written to be a self study but it is better in a small group. In a small group they minister to each other.
The post-abortion Bible study involves a 20-30 minute video introduction that supports the lesson for that week.
Layton said church leaders still struggle on how to help women after an abortion and even post-abortive women often wait for years before stopping forward into ministry leadership roles.
She said pastors need more instruction and training on how abortions cause a myriad of social problems for church members, including broken marriages, poverty issues, relationship issues, infidelity and promiscuity.
There are many things [pastors] deal with in the church that are caused by post-abortion trauma, she said. It is one of those things that should be out there and not denied. The reason most pastors dont address the issue is because they dont know how.
That’s why Layton thinks the study will also help church leaders and pastors in addition to women who directly confront their own abortions.
She says it enables women to deal with a deeply painful and self-condemning issue in the context of the grace and forgiveness of God and affords men the opportunity to understand the grief women deal with.
Layton plans a future study helping men address post-abortion issues.