In the wake of the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs, the findings of a survey released by LifeWay, a Christian research group, reveal some interesting facts about a seemingly hidden culture within the Christian community.
The survey explores the true relationship of religion and abortion and was co-sponsored by the pregnancy support organization Care Net. These are some of their findings.
- 70 percent of the women they surveyed considered themselves Christians.
- Over 50 percent of the surveyed women who attend church regularly have kept their abortions secret from their church community.
- 40 percent of women surveyed feel that churches are not equipped to help them make decisions about unwanted pregnancies.
While these findings may be surprising, even more surprising is one of the main reasons these women seek abortions. Anti-abortion culture often lays the blame on the women who terminate pregnancies, citing their callousness, promiscuity, and sinful nature. However, it turns out the opposite is true. Roughly a third of women, regardless of their religious beliefs, cite the father of the unborn baby as the most influential person in their decision to terminate their pregnancy.
Many of the results of this survey are particularly damning of church culture, which shames women during these difficult times, rather than offering any guidance.
Roughly two thirds of the women surveyed agree that their pastors’ teachings on forgiveness do not apply to women who have terminated pregnancies. Over half of women believe that their Church is out-of-touch when it comes to helping them make decisions about pregnancy options.
It is interesting to note that this survey was conducted by a Christian organization. Given results like these, many conservatives would say that the study is skewed to make the Christian hard-right look bad, but considering the direction the abortion debate has taken of late, they don’t really need any help in that area.
Regardless of the choices the women in these communities make, they face judgment on all sides, and have to choose between secrecy and being ostracized, in which no ‘right’ decision can be made. This is why over half of women who regularly attend church keep their terminated pregnancy secret and only 7 percent of women say they’ve discussed their options with fellow churchgoers.
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