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How to Talk to Your Young Children About Abortion

How to Talk to Your Young Children About Abortion

The word “abortion” is a regular part of my vocabulary. I’ve worked for my local pregnancy center for six years, spoken in front of crowds about abortion, given presentations on how to defend the pro-life position, and written many articles on the topic.

But the first time my 4-year-old looked me in the eye and asked me what abortion was, I froze. How could I even begin to explain such a horrible reality to my son?

His questions were inevitable. Our family has made a point to create a culture of life and an awareness of the needs of women in unplanned pregnancies. (I talk more about this in last month’s article, The Most Dangerous Place. You can check that out here!) When the questions come, what is the best way to speak to young children about abortion in a way that is both honest and protective of their hearts?

Through much prayer and discussion with peers, my husband and I have established a way to speak in our home that tells the truth about abortion, but also keeps things age appropriate. Here are three questions we’ve gotten from our son, and how we responded. Maybe some of our replies will be helpful for you.

Question #1: What is abortion?

Answer: You know how babies start out in their mommies’ tummies? Well, abortion hurts the babies inside of mommies. Some moms and dads are nervous and scared about being parents, so they think abortion will help them not be afraid. But hurting babies is not God’s plan–God loves those babies and their moms and dads. That’s why we pray for these moms and dads, and that’s why Mommy works at the pregnancy center, so we can help them take care of their babies and be brave parents.

Question #2: Why are those mommies going into that abortion place?

Answer: Many of those women are afraid about being mommies. The abortion place tells them that abortion will solve their problem, but that is a lie. The abortion center does not protect mommies or babies–instead, they hurt babies. That’s why we are here, so we can pray for them. God loves those babies and their moms and dads, and made them special, just like He made you. The pregnancy center knows these women are scared, and that’s why they’re here, too–to offer help and support, without hurting babies or mommies.

Question #3: Is abortion bad?

Answer: Yes, abortion is evil. It is sin, and it makes God very sad. That’s why we pray for moms and dads who are thinking about abortion and try to give them the chance to make a better choice. The Bible says that everyone has sinned and needs forgiveness. The great news is that when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, He paid the price for sin so that we could be with him. Because of Jesus, we can be forgiven; He offers that same forgiveness to anyone who has had an abortion.

Our son is at an age where he doesn’t fully grasp the concept of death yet. So for now, we limit our descriptions of abortion to “hurting babies” rather than describing the actual violent deaths of unborn children. Death is still very abstract to him; intentionally inflicting pain, however, is something he can wrap his mind around.

Communicating abortion in this way along with practicing the habits I shared in my previous article helps him understand four crucial truths:

  1. Abortion is wrong
  2. Abortion grieves God
  3. Abortion demands a response from us
  4. Jesus provides forgiveness, healing, and freedom for anyone who has chosen abortion

We as parents have our children for a short time. During that time, our role is to teach, guide, and equip them so that when they step out into the world on their own, they can do so standing on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.

So, yes, talk to your children about abortion. But also talk about how Christ’s work on the cross is greater than abortion. And talk about the truth that one day, death and sin will be no more, and there will be no more mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).

If we can empower our children to shine light into the dark and dangerous places of the world, then we need not fear that the world will overcome them. Instead, we can entrust them to Christ, who has already overcome the world.

By: Mary Holloman works for Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center in North Carolina and is passionate about advocating for women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. She is the host of The Empowered Advocate podcast, which exists to empower listeners to advocate for both women and unborn children. When not working, she loves spending time with her husband and two sweet children. You can follow more of her work at www.maryholloman.com.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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