Righteous Pioneer Women and Their Abortions

I awoke this morning pondering the similarities between a couple a marvelous Latter-day Saint women I have known over the years who I consider to be real pioneers in their generation. Strong, righteous, faithful women who are true leaders and who touch the lives of many people. And these women also share the common feature of a painful past involving, among other things, the tragedy of abortion. It was their decision, and based on what I know, I see no easy way to paint it as anything but a sin. The abortion did not make them stronger or better. It was a terrible setback that caused them much loss, grief, and enduring regret. What did make them stronger and truly liberated women was repentance, turning to the infinite mercies of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to repent and move on with their lives. And how majestically they have moved on.

There are many in our midst who have had or will have an unnecessary elective abortion. May they get the help they need early to consider other alternatives. But when they don’t, let’s recognize that the woman has not sold her soul, but may be on the path to truly finding it (ditto for the men involved). Today’s target of malicious gossip about sexual immorality, abortion, or other sins, may be far closer to God than any of the gossipers, and may be tomorrow’s righteous pioneer woman that future generations will hold up as a role model, perhaps not knowing the grief she had to encounter on the way.

I love chapter 8 of John, where Christ defends the woman taken in adultery. Others wanted to condemn her and even kill her for her terrible sin (notice that the man was left unaccused). Christ, our God and Ultimate Example, gently turned their pointing fingers toward themselves. With majestic love and gentleness, he rescued her, healed her, lifted the condemnation, and sent her on her way. All of us need to ponder His example more thoughtfully and improve our ability to love those in our midst who face unusually heavy burdens of sin and guilt.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

10 thoughts on “Righteous Pioneer Women and Their Abortions

  1. The last few posts have been amazingly moderate and well thought. I applaud you, Jeff. Thank you.
    I remember learning as a missionary that unless we’ve struggled with addiction, we can’t truly understand what an investigator is going through as they begin to live the word of wisdom. The same lesson should go for men when it comes to abortion. It’s ironic that the most vocal and pedantic critics of abortion are the ones without the requisite uterii.

  2. This is a beautiful post. I can’t imagine the heartache of having chosen an abortion, but as a regular sinful person, I know the heartache of choosing sinful behavior. I can’t condemn someone who has done the same, in a different way. (I can vigorously condemn the practice, though. I think abortion should be so astoundingly rare that it is barely a blip on anyone’s radar screen.)

    I think that anyone who has overcome sin in his/her life–little or big–is to be admired and emulated. Thanks for bringing these issues to my mind.

  3. I’m not comfortable with simply equating elective abortion with murder, though it is one of those severe acts that can be described as “like unto it.” And I’d rather not have this become a discussion of the pros and cons of abortion or an analysis of its realative severity as a sin. I’d like to keep the focus on repentance and forgiveness and moving forward.

  4. I’m disturbed by the position taken by Anonymous at 8:38 on November 13. Apparently he/she believes one must possess a uterus in order to criticize the taking of unborn life. Why should all men be excluded from having any concern about the unborn?

  5. Concern is one thing, dogmatic control is quite another.
    When you consider the fact that most abortions are among the poor, less-educated, and single, the last thing such a woman needs is an affluent white guy (i.e. gov’t official) telling her the best choice for her, or worse yet eliminating the choice altogether.
    I guess it’s a “til you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” type of deal for me.
    Have you ever met an inner city youth for whom abortion was the only sane option? Believe it or not, it’s a lesson I learned on my mission. Black and white logic is fine until you experience real life.
    (Feel free to delete this Jeff if it’s too thread derailing in nature).

  6. Have you ever met an inner city youth for whom abortion was the only sane option?

    I don’t believe there are such youths. As far as I know, adoption agencies are available to everyone.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

  7. As a teenage girl who listened to the feminists, I bought into the ‘it’s only a blob of cells’ propaganda. It was only while on the table I realized I was having my baby killed. Also, NO ONE at the clinic EVER offered any ‘choice’, only abortion and it was strongly encouraged. I was heartsick immediately after and in the ‘recovery’ room was told by two women, one on her 3rd and the other on her 4th abortion, that I had made the right ‘choice.’I conceived as a result of date-rape… but ‘my child’ didn’t do anything to deserve being killed. It was the wrong ‘choice.’

    I am now a 47 year-old woman who is childless. It is the one thing I have done in my life that I know I will never ‘recover’ from. I still have tears in my eyes as I type this.

    The good news is that I have since joined the church and I know I am forgiven… and I have forgiven myself as well. But some scars are there for as long as we live in mortality. I believe if I had seen untrasound pictures, I would not have made that choice. There are many wounded women who the feminists want nothing to do with. Fortunately because of the atonement of Christ I am forgiven. I know I can’t change it, but it doesn’t stop me from wishing I could.

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