In the wake of the November 27, 2015 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 explored 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.
Within these surprising findings lies an unsettling symptom of anti-abortion culture, which often shames women who terminate pregnancies. According to the research, 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 have an abortion.
Many agree that the survey’s results are particularly damning of church culture, which fails to find the proper guidance for women facing such a difficult time.
Roughly two thirds of the women surveyed agree that their pastor’s teachings on forgiveness do not apply to women who’ve had abortions. Over half of women believe that their church is out-of-touch when it comes to helping them understand their options when facing an unplanned pregnancy.
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 could be a reason why over half of women who regularly attend church keep their past a secret.