Will God Forgive Me for Having an Abortion?

womandespairI had an abortion. I was young and naïve. And now it tears me apart on the inside. If I could do it all over again, I would have my child. Now all I have is the heartache that I suffer for what I did. Now I worry that God will punish me and won’t give me other children. Can God forgive me for failing him, myself, and my baby? Will God stay mad at me for taking a life? Please, help. I don’t know if God will forgive me.


Dear M.N.,

We do things in life that turn on a voice in our head that never seems to stop talking. Sometimes that voice is like a scream, sometimes like a whisper, but it’s rarely if ever silent. You’ve heard it. The words you write are painful proof. It’s a voice that has no mercy. When it speaks, it always has the tone of accusation. It won’t let your mistakes die. It shoves them in your face. Again and again and yet again. This voice says, “God won’t forgive you. He will punish you. He’s angry with you. He will always be angry with you.”

Sometimes well-meaning people try to help you silence that voice by telling you what to do. They say that if you do this or that, the voice will go away.

“If you confess your sins, it will go away.” But it doesn’t, does it?
“If you get your life back on track, the voice will be silent.” But it isn’t, is it?
“If you commit your life to God, he will make the voice go away.” But it still accuses.

There are things too big for us to change, voices too loud and too persistent for us to silence. Guilt is one of them. Heartache over what we’ve done. When you’re torn apart on the inside, you can’t do surgery on yourself to repair the damage. You need someone else to do that. You need someone else to make the voice go away.

Let me tell you about another voice. It is a bigger and better voice, a merciful and loving voice of a Father who thinks the world of you. In a voice rich with compassion, he said to his Son, “Jesus, will you go and take care of my daughter’s sin?” And in a voice equally rich with compassion, Jesus said to his Father, “Gladly I will go. I will, in fact, take that sin away from her and not give it back. I will make it not hers, not even hers and mine, but mine only. I will become the one who had the abortion. I will transfer the guilt and regret and heartache she feels onto myself. I will make the voice that accuses her, direct is accusation against me. Once and for all, dear Father, I will become the ocean into which every river of wrong empties itself. No sinner will be left in the world except me. I will be everyone. The guilt, the punishment, the anger, the judgment will all be mine and mine alone. Yes, Father, I will take care of your daughter’s abortion. And once I have, we will not speak of it again. We will not remember it again. It will cease to exist.”

It is not a question of whether God can forgive you, or even if he will forgive you. He already has. When you see a cross, you see the smile of your Father. He’s not mad at you. He’s overjoyed that you’re his daughter. He’s happy that you are part of his family. He talks of you to the angels. “Look at my daughter,” he says. “She is beautiful. She is pure. She is the apple of my eye. She is just the way I want her to be.” All of heaven resounds with angelic voices that sing songs of how dear you are to the Father’s heart, how precious your life is to him, that you are his princess.

Your Father will not punish you for something that he doesn’t even remember. Even if he did remember it, he would remember only that Jesus had the abortion, that Jesus paid the price for that abortion, that Jesus has taken care of everything. You are loved by God more than you will ever realize. His love is the voice that drowns out all other voices. It says, “You are my daughter. I loved you even before I created the world. I chose you in Jesus to be in my family. When I look at you, I do not see even a speck of wrong in you. I see you through the prism of my Son, your Savior. In him you are forgiven and perfect and clean and without shame. In Jesus you are everything I want you to be.”

Your mistakes do not define you. The love of the Father in Jesus Christ defines you. His voice alone speaks truth. It is the truth that nothing can separate you from his love. Now and always you are more precious to him than life itself.

You are free. You are beloved. You are forgiven.

Your brother in Christ,


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christ alone coverWhat we need in our fragmented world, full of hurting people, is the love of Jesus Christ, who InfantPriestfrontcoverwelcomes home sinners with a grace that knows no bounds. My book Christ Alone: Meditations and Sermons, is packed with reflections that go that extra mile of grace. Again and again, they present the Christ who is crucified and risen for you. Please take a moment to check it out here. You may also be interested in my collections of hymns and poetry entitled, The Infant Priest, which you can purchase here. Both books are also available on Amazon, as is my booklet Why Lutherans Sing What They Sing (also on Kindle). Thank you for your prayers and support!


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15 thoughts on “Will God Forgive Me for Having an Abortion?

  1. Just this afternoon, in an adult confirmation class, I was referencing the Scripture verse that “though our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts” — to show how God forgives our utter sinfulness because of His love and mercy. Chad, you have written that verse enfleshed in the issue that so troubles many a person and you have done so delivering God’s love and mercy to the precise point it is needed in our world! Thank you for writing with a heart like Jesus!!

  2. Perfect and perfectly true.

  3. Diana on said:

    Dear Rev. Bird,
    Fist forgive me for my English. I understand that Jesus has paid for our eternal punishment. We can’t clearly tell our wrong do and the result of bad which is from God or our sins since we don’t have a prophet like those people did in old testament. But as a father would punish his child for wrong do for good. Doesn’t our heaven Father would do the same to His child? Help my doubt.

    • Diana,

      The Bible tells us that God is no longer mad at us. He is not angry. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Our Father is pleased with us because of Christ. And in Christ we stand forgiven. It doesn’t matter if the sin is abortion or murder or gossip or anything else, that sin is forgiven. Christ has removed not only the sin but also the punishment that the sin deserved.

      If a woman suffers something bad because of an abortion, we cannot and must not say that God is punishing her for the abortion. That would be saying what God has not told us to say. What we can say is that abortion is sin, Jesus died for that sin, and whoever has had an abortion God will forgive for Jesus’ sake.


  4. Pingback: Abortion and Forgiveness - ajcerda.com

  5. Pingback: Will God Forgive Me for Having an Abortion? | LIBERATE

  6. I had two abortions when I was 20 am now 25 and married crying for a baby will God forgive and bless me with kids really am so scared .i am saved

    • Grace: Christ loves you so much He died and rose again for you. Your sins are forgiven. God does not condemn you; he doesn’t even remember that you had those abortions. Be at peace. You are loved by God.

  7. Amen! There is no sin or failure so ugly and undeserving that God is not willing to forgive.

    • I have had an abortion three weeks ago I feel so lost and empty inside. I asked god to forgive. I know it is wrong for what I did I whish I could take it back. I am so heart broken.

  8. Tiffany on said:

    I have had an abortion and it’s not something I believe in its against every thing I was raised by. I feel terrible and lost. I asked god to forgive me. I still feel depressed and very heartbroken.

    • God will forgive if you accepted Jesus as saviour. Your sin is taken away from you.
      Don’t let the self blaming which the devil want you to believe destroy you.
      Jesus have won, and anytime you have self blaming, pray to Jesus.

    • If you are a Christian, “Christians may feel the accusation of their own heart, that is, their conscience, and when they try to calm their heart, they may hear a voice telling them that they are condemned, that they have no forgiveness of their sins and no grace, that they are not children of God and cannot hope for eternal life. To such people St. John says, “If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart.””

      • “That is to say, our heart is indeed a judge, yet only a local judge. There is a higher Judge, namely God, presiding above our heart. I can say to my troubled heart: “Be still, my heart! Be still, my conscience! I have appealed to another Judge to determine if I am free of my sins. That Judge is the great God, who is greater than you. That is a higher court.” A higher court can always reverse the verdict of a lower court. When we hold fast to the Word, then the higher Judge speaks to us: “Your sins are forgiven.””

  9. Lisa on said:

    Thank you for this wondelful message, I was crying while reading it. I had an abortion just couple of months ago, He is been diagnosed with trisomy 21 and i just can’t believed that i choose to let him go. Now I suffered this feeling of lonelyness, guilt and every bad feeling that i could not imagine, very sad. Sometimes i found myself in tears, so sad. I hope God will forgive me and my son. Thank you so much for this article.

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