Many women with unplanned pregnancies go silently from the church pew to the abortion clinic, convinced the church would gossip rather than help, a new US study shows.
The study followed religious attitudes and perceptions regarding regular churchgoers’ relationship with women who have had an abortion. Although there are no similar studies or research made in Romania and The Republic of Moldova, the situation is practically very similar here, too.
The 2015 survey The Church and Abortion was commissioned to LifeWay Research by Care Net, a pro-life organization which has developed over 1,100 help centers for women in pregnancy crisis across US.
Here are some of the findings:
- 70% of the women who had an abortion were Christian
- 43% were attending church at least once a month when they had an abortion
- over 40% of women who had an abortion were regular churchgoers
- only 7% of women who are having an abortion discuss their decision with someone from the church
- 76% of women who have had an abortion say their religious community had no influence on their decision
- 65% of the women who have had an abortion consider that churchgoers judge women who are pregnant without being married
- 64% think church attenders would rather gossip about women in pregnancy crisis than help them
- 54% consider the church oversimplifies the decisions that need to be made during pregnancy crisis
- only 51% consider their church is prepared to help them keep the baby
- only 30% consider they receive exact information about the pregnancy crisis from their church
- when confronted with a pregnancy crisis, women say the church rather judges (33%) and condemns (26%) than grant them attention (16%) or even support (14%)
Scott McConnell, vice-president of LifeWay Research, the company having conducted the study, concluded: “For most women with an unwanted pregnancy, if nobody is willing to say, ‘We’re going to help you through this,’ it’s hard to rationally say they should keep the child”.
This study shows that clergy and churchgoers could get much more involved in helping women in pregnancy crisis. Instead of judgement and gossip, these women need love and support for themselves and their babies – two evangelical criteria that Christians too often forget about today, just like the old-time Pharisees.