Abortion: Behind the Headlines

The best way to address abortion is to overwhelm our culture with love.

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Editor's Note: We normally do not include footnotes in our sermons, but Woodruff's endnotes provide some excellent resource material for further study and thinking on this subject.

The Story Behind the Sermon (By Mike Woodruff)

It's been a long time since I've dreaded preaching on a topic as much as I did this one. It's not that I feared the comments of those who disagreed with my position; it's that I feared hurting those who already live with shame and regret. In light of the risk, I worked hard to write a message that could stand up against criticism and to write a message I could preach to the woman who has had an abortion and has felt shamed by the church. (I also asked a number of people to read over a couple early drafts and help me strike the right tone.)

The response was a bit surprising: 1) I was surprised by how much email this sermon generated; 2) I was surprised by how many women who had had abortions (or men who had paid for them) thanked me for speaking out on the topic; 3) I was sobered by how many not only pulled me aside to tell me—confess really—that they had or recommended an abortion, but by how many of them said something like, "Next Tuesday it will be 38 years since the worst decision of my life."

I will not speak on this topic frequently, but I believe it's critical for pastors to take a public stand on this issue, and to do so with the right blend of conviction and grace.


I. The classic Christian position

II. The current reality

III. A pastoral response


Mike Woodruff is pastor of Christ Church Lake Forest in Lake Forest, Illinois, and president of The Christian International Scholarship Foundation.

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Michael Harris

July 23, 2013  12:07pm

Well researched, well documented, and well balanced. The conclusion fit with opening verses. Its a worth resource when considering preaching the topic of Abortion.

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Joel Sarrault

January 16, 2013  12:50pm

An excellent resource. The research and measured tone on this highly sensitive topic are greatly appreciated. For those preachers and congregations who have never (or hardly ever)dealt with this moral issue this sermon will help to provide some solid, biblical approaches as they begin to wade into this necessary discussion. For preachers and congregations who are solidly pro-life this sermon will push their convictions to produce loving actions, instead of just judgmental words.

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John Newson

January 16, 2013  9:58am

Thank you, Pastor Woodruff for a balanced approach. The information shared here is extremely valuable and your transparency is a blessing, too.

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John Barnes

January 15, 2013  8:54am

I appreciate the calm tone of the sermon and the attempt to be balanced. I also appreciate all the research and thought that went into this sermon.

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Kirtes Calvery

January 14, 2013  10:21am

I do not see how the author draws the conclusion he does about Ex. 21:22-23. I think His opinion is totally off the mark. That scripture recognizes the value of the woman over that of the child as clearly indicated in verse 23. To use this verse as the proof that the Bible gives the unborn the same legal rights as an adult is simply not supported by the text. Though I sensed that the author is seeking to be fair in his treatment of this topic I couldn't get past this point which I consider a major detriment to his argument.

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