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Connecting with Clients by Communicating the What and the Why

April 2003
By: Thomas Glessner and James Dundas
Over the years, pregnancy help counseling centers have struggled to find the right formula to connect with abortion- minded and abortion-vulnerable clients. They have developed and refined various counseling techniques using visual aids and interpersonal skills. Their goal is to reach the hearts of their clients and to help these women choose life.

The key to accomplishing that goal is for the pregnancy counselor to be skilled in communicating the factual details of the abortion procedure (the What) and identifying the reasons the client feels she needs to obtain an abortion (the Why).

Abortion, in its most basic and profound sense, is a spiritual issue. Man is created in the image of God; therefore, abortion is the destruction of His image in the womb of the mother and an indirect attack upon God (Genesis 9:6; James 3: 9). It is a sin issue in that it is a transgression of God's sixth commandment (Exodus 20:13) and a violent rejection of the commandment to love one's neighbor (Mark 12:31) as instructed and modeled for us by our Lord Himself. It is also an issue of truth, for declaring the child to be anything less than what God has declared the child to be is giving false testimony against one's neighbor (Exodus 20:16). Lastly, abortion is a revolt against the Creator King. Anyone who commits abortion has proclaimed himself to be his own god and morally autonomous, determining good and evil (Genesis 3:5) according to the dictates of his own fallen nature.

This making of oneself as god (Exodus 20:3) and the ultimate reference and starting point of all moral and ethical decisions is nothing less than the creation of one's own personal and private religious system. To do so is in direct opposition to the truth that God has revealed in His Word (Judges 17:6; 21:25; Romans 1:19-26).
Scripture is clear
that permanent
change and
renewal can
come only through
the re-creative work
of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, the Bible teaches us that abortion is first a heart issue (Matthew 15:18-20; Mark 7:21-23; Luke 6:43-45; Proverbs 4:23; Jeremiah 17:9-10) and that the client's only lasting hope is to be found in Jesus Christ (I Timothy 1:1; John 14:6; Acts 4:12). The unregenerate heart is truly sinful, deceitful, and in desperate need of change and renewal (Jeremiah 17:9-10; Ezekiel 36:26; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 5:12-19; II Corinthians 5:17). Scripture is clear that permanent change and renewal can come only through the re-creative work of the Holy Spirit in the client's heart as it responds to the Gospel (I Corinthians 15:1-3; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 3:5; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:13-17; James 1:18).

Because of this firm conviction, Hope National has dedicated much of its resources and time to teaching, training, and encouraging pregnancy help centers in the use of biblical counseling for their clients. It is only through counseling, guiding, encouraging, and loving clients biblically that we will see lasting and permanent change in our clients' and their children's lives, both now and for eternity (Romans 10:9-17; II Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:17-18).

The most powerful and important question in the abortion issue is: Why would a woman choose pregnancy termination? Lawrence H. Tribe, who is a leading constitutional lawyer for the pro-abortion movement, states in his book, Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes: "Polling data suggest that if the pro-choice movement is to maintain its momentum, it cannot let the pro-life side shift the debate to why a woman wants any given abortion. The movement's current popular appeal clearly depends on keeping the question focused on who will make the decision."

So, according to Scripture, what are the underlying reasons and motives which cause women to consider terminating a pregnancy, and why do some find it difficult to choose life? Clearly the conflict between one's personal desires and God's commands is at the core of all such struggles (Proverbs 16:2; I Corinthians 4:4-5; Hebrews 4:12). We need to bring to reality Mr. Tribe's fears and openly talk about the Why question! In fact, the spiritual aspects of abortion are being addressed ever more frequently by the pro-abortion movement. They know the fetus is an unborn child, yet they claim the reasons to abort are so overwhelming, private, and spiritual that the child must be sacrificed for the physical, psychological, and spiritual health of the mother. Abortion is oftentimes deceptively presented as the only "loving choice" for both the mother and baby.

In a book chillingly entitled, The Sacrament of Abortion, the author states: "Abortion is a sacred act that is an expression of maternal responsibility and not a failure of maternal love." She further states: "issues of life and death, of love and children are religious or at least spiritual issues" and "the Judeo-Christian values which may have seemed necessary, perhaps even redemptive, some two thousand years ago now appear more and more irresponsible and infinitely more cruel than abortion." She classifies abortion as "a kind of sacrifice" to the goddess Artemis, who the author admits had a reputation for liking bloody sacrifices, including human ones (Acts 19:24-25, 35 NIV).

There is no doubt that from a biblical point of view, and even from an increasingly "spiritual" pro-abortion perspective, the basis of abortion is understood as a spiritual issue. The web site of a well-known abortion provider advertises that his clinic has a program that provides certificates of baptism for some aborted babies. This web site is so well done that unless one knew exactly what abortion is all about, one would think this abortionist is a most compassionate and loving man, caring for even the spiritual well-being of both parents and child! Talk about the devil appearing as an angel of light!

Hope National is a national association of pregnancy centers that are committed to counseling biblically. Hope National offers a biblical counseling manual, entitled "Focus on the Heart" and has a full training program for pregnancy help center volunteers. Call them at 302-424-2166.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Thomas A. Glessner, J.D., is president of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA). Rev. James H. Dundas is the President of Hope National, a biblical counselor, and the pastor of Grace Fellowship Church, Dover, Delaware.

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