Does God Forgive Abortion?

“The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy.”

~ Saint Faustina’s Diary


Abortion is one of the foremost causes of suffering in the world, and one of the least acknowledged. The child in the womb suffers in silence, and the mother carries grief, shame, and guilt. A cruel irony of abortion is that the number of people involved is at least two, but enduring silence often follows. A human life ceases to exist where mere minutes and seconds before a distinct person was forming in the womb.

Yet this darkest and most senseless of crimes is always forgiven by God for those seeking mercy.

silhouette of a woman praying to God


“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”

~ Jeremiah 1:5


Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

Abortion sows confusion and agony, inflicting indelible scars on women. It is a direct violation of the fifth commandment, “thou shall not kill.” The particular cruelty of abortion towards innocent children and mothers surpasses all other infringements on the dignity of human life. It is an act of defilement, deformation, and tearing apart, literally and figuratively. And the consequences of abortion are felt in the mother’s womb and in the farthest fringes of society. No one remains untouched by abortion.


“Is not God more ready to pardon than we to offend?”

Saint Catherine of Siena


The path to healing and forgiveness begins differently for many women. Many struggle to accept God’s forgiveness and mercy. Acknowledging the reality of abortion is a fundamental step on the path to healing. Feelings of guilt, frustration, and anger are expected in the face of immeasurable loss. Yet humility and gentleness are required to overcome these stumbling blocks on the path to forgiveness. A sincere acknowledgement of God’s love and mercy will – over time –  overcome feelings of unworthiness.

In 1995, Pope Saint John Paul II offered words of comfort, understanding, and hope in Evangelium Vitae. He spoke directly to women who have had an abortion: “But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope….The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child.”

When becoming discouraged, turn to God who offers peace and forgiveness.


“For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Matthew 11:30


Divine Mercy image - Jesus, I trust in You

The heavy burden of abortion cannot be set aside; it must be recognized and brought before God. His forgiveness offers the opportunity to transform suffering into a commitment to life, which bears fruit over time. Mothers who have experienced the loss of a child to abortion will value life all the more. These women have the opportunity to be steadfast pro-life advocates in their daily lives.

Pope St. John Paul II was acutely aware of the unique role women recovering from abortion have in the world: “You can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.”3 Defending life looks different for each person. We are all called to carry out this task, but post-abortive women have a particularly great capacity to value and promote life in ways unique to their experiences and circumstances.


Final Thoughts

The path towards experiencing forgiveness is unique to each woman. Yet the role of God is indispensable. Acknowledging the reality of abortion and experiencing profound and enduring peace in God are inextricably linked. Picking up the cross after abortion allows women to transform a source of profound sorrow and regret into a means of gratitude, service towards others, and lasting peace.


Resources for Recovering from Abortion

The path to recovery does not have to be taken alone. There are several organizations helping women confront and move past the trauma of abortion:

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  1. Carmen Beatriz Arriola-Bernal on July 5, 2021 at 6:31 PM

    My husband Jaime Bernal (RIP) and I worked faithfully with Father Marx and Albin Rhomberg in the 8O’s and 90’s; Now my ProLife mission is prayer. Thank you for your work and your sacrifices. I’m now almost 81 years old but still give lectures when asked, in Spanish and English. In the 90’s we founded a Catholic university and high schools (5 campuses) along the Baja Peninsula for the purpose of educating the youth in ProLife. May God bless your work and educational endeavors..
    Carmen Bernal

  2. Jonathan on November 5, 2022 at 3:01 PM

    I can’t wrap my brain around how a Holy and Righteous God can act so much like George Gascon and let a woman who has selfishly murdered a child she should have protected because the baby is denied justice and it’s life apparently isn’t worth it to God to enact justice upon the woman who deserves condemnation more than any other sinner. It is the vilest of sin and deserves nothing less than an eternity in the lake of fire not forgiveness. Makes me question God’s commitment to justice.

    • HLI Staff on November 11, 2022 at 12:17 PM

      Dear Jonathan,

      Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.” (John 8:2-11)

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