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What Would You Say If a Mother Told You She Wanted an Abortion?

By Sarah Vestrat

As we continue to thank God that abortion is now illegal in many states, our prayers and actions are still desperately needed for women in all states who are considering abortion. If a woman cannot get an abortion in the state where she lives, she may travel to a different state where it is legal, or she may order the abortion pill online to take at home to end her pregnancy. This calls for our continued vigilance and readiness to give hope and help to women in our midst who are experiencing a surprise pregnancy. And in doing so, not only might we save the life of a preborn baby, but we would also help spare a young mother from the detrimental effects abortion would inflict upon her life. 

During my 18 years of serving in two pro-life pregnancy resource clinics, I spoke with hundreds of women who were considering abortion. I would do my best to help them choose life, but if a woman left without a commitment to life, I knew that God would use our time together and my efforts for her spiritual benefit—and mine. And all thanks be to God when a woman considering abortion chose life instead!

Sidewalk Advocates for Life, a national pro-life organization, trains volunteers to reach out with a loving heart to women in front of abortion facilities and encourage them to choose life by offering life-affirming alternatives. Lauren Muzyka, the executive director and founder of Sidewalk Advocates for Life, says in her sidewalk advocate training that speaking with love and sincerity is of utmost importance because “if people do not feel like we love them, they will hear nothing we have to say.”1 

Since its inception in 2014, Sidewalk Advocates for Life has saved thousands of babies nationwide. Only God can give us this gift of love to share with our neighbor. Prayer is vital. His grace will enable us to do good things that we could never do on our own. 

The Research

Understanding why women choose abortion is a first step in helping a mother choose life. Commissioned by the Vitae Foundation (formerly The Caring Foundation), research conducted by the Right Brain People concerning the psychology of pro-abortion women has given the pro-life movement crucial insight. In his article summarizing this study, Paul Swope writes about women who choose abortion: “The sudden intrusion of motherhood is perceived as a complete loss of control over their present and future selves . . . and thereby paralyzes their ability to think more rationally or realistically.”2

The research also notes that these women know, although often subconsciously, that abortion kills a human being, but they view it as a “necessary evil” to preserve their self-identity and future. In other words, a woman’s problems and concerns can overwhelm her to the extent that she believes abortion, while not a good choice, is the choice she must make, given her situation. 

Muzyka uses this Right Brain Research in her sidewalk advocate training. She teaches that to be most effective, the order of topics for the conversation with a woman considering an abortion should be Mom, then Baby, then God to effectively address the woman’s pattern of thinking. Muzyka further explains that since a woman in crisis is consumed with her problems and worries when faced with a surprise pregnancy, if we help her solve the problem(s) causing her to consider abortion, she may then be open to listening to facts about the baby’s development and God’s love for her and her baby. Muzyka states, “The research admonishes us to, first, really connect and empathize with the mother’s situation, not excusing the choice of abortion, but showing how each choice will truly help or harm HER.”3 

When sidewalk counselors compassionately offer real, concrete help and alternatives, plus encourage an outlook regarding how a mom can have her baby and still have the future she desires, many obstacles can be removed that are weighing upon the mom’s decision.

The conversation

So what would you say if your daughter, friend, or coworker told you she wanted to have an abortion? When focusing on “Mom,” it can be helpful to first ask the woman, in a calm, nonjudgmental way, why she wants an abortion. You could ask, “Why do you think ending your pregnancy is what you should do?” Then listen to her response. Based on her answer, acknowledge her concerns, then assure her that she is not alone and that she has other options. 

What follows are some reasons women give for considering abortion and some suggestions for responding.


If she is worried about money, you can let her know that a local, pro-life pregnancy resource center can help her find the assistance she needs to have and care for her baby, which could include financial aid and baby items, such as formula, clothing, and furniture. Many churches and most cities have food pantries to help families save on grocery bills. A little exploration on the Internet can uncover a wealth of resources. 


Sometimes a young woman may think her parents will be angry. You could tell her that this baby is their grandchild, and although they may be upset at first, they love her and will love her baby. But if the extreme happens, and she is forced to move out of her parents’ home, there are maternity homes in most states where she would be welcomed. Point out that this is a temporary situation. She will get through it and be a stronger person. 

If she is in a bad relationship or being pressured by a boyfriend to abort, you could explain that it would be best to remove herself from that situation rather than aborting her baby. Because studies from the Pew Research Center indicate that the typical woman seeking an abortion is unmarried, a young woman needs support to withstand the pressure from those who think she should choose abortion.4

This may be the time in the conversation to share with her some of the harmful effects—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—that abortion can have on women. Some of these effects include an increased risk of breast cancer, infertility, infection, perforation of the uterus, depression, regret, nightmares, self-destructive behavior, low self-esteem, and feeling and/or becoming distant from God.

To read the remainder of this article, visit the Celebrate Life Magazine website at