Does God Forgive Abortion?

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

Saint Faustina’s Diary

Does God forgive abortion? 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.

does God forgive abortion - woman praying in church

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. (Jer 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 mothers and fathers who have lost their children. 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.

God forgives all the repentant

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

Saint Catherine of Siena

The path to healing and forgiveness begins differently for everyone. 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. And in time, one can learn to forgive oneself.

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

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 and fathers who have experienced the loss of a child to abortion will value life all the more. These men and 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.


What the Bible Says About God’s Forgiveness

The Bible is rife with examples of sinners. But God Himself forgives sinners. Even when one is condemned by the world, God’s goodness reigns.

And the scribes and the Pharisees bring unto him a woman taken in adultery: and they set her in the midst, and said to him: Master, this woman was even now taken in adultery. Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest thou?

And this they said tempting him, that they might accuse him. But Jesus bowing himself down, wrote with his finger on the ground. When therefore they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her…But they hearing this, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest. And Jesus alone remained, and the woman standing in the midst. Then Jesus lifting up himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee?

Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more. (John 8:3-11)

If we seek forgiveness, having repentance for our sins, it is always readily available.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. (1 John 1:9)


Does God Forgive Abortion? How Do We Receive God’s Forgiveness?

It is true that abortion is an excommunicable offense in the Catholic Church. However, this is reversable. Excommunication is not meant to be a punishment, but rather a call for repentance. It does not mean that God’s love for us changes, but only that He is all the more eager to receive us back into His arms. So, how can we have reconciliation?

We must acknowledge our sins and repent. God gave us two ways to receive His forgiveness. If we have not been baptized, we can be baptized to wash away Adam’s original sin and any sins we have committed. If we have already been baptized we can be forgiven by going to confession, even if it’s been years since our last one.

God gives us the graces and the means to do His Will at all times, if only we choose to receive and cooperate with His graces. No matter when the abortion was, and no matter how many abortions there were, God is ready and eager to forgive. He is constantly calling us to repent and receive forgiveness. The greater the suffering, the more God wishes to show His love and goodness. As Pope St. John Paul II exhorted women who’ve had abortions:

But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord.

Prayer is essential in building (or rebuilding) our relationship with God. It is a sure way to get to know God’s Heart and to allow Him into ours. Through prayer, one can come to forgive oneself and experience peace.

pray for abortion forgiveness OL of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn and of HLI, pray for us.


We are Called to Imitate Christ

Not only did Christ forgive sinners in the Bible, but He also set an example for everyone. We are all sinners. We are all called to show this same goodness to others, to avoid judgement and condemnation, and to show compassion. if you have experienced such judgement condemnation, know that God wants better for you. He wants you to have a future of connection, of authentic love and friendship. And He is calling everyone to follow His example.

Men and women who have had abortions deserve compassion, love, and gentleness. They deserve to be treated with dignity. We are called to show Christ to all, especially those who are suffering and are seeking truth, hope, and peace. We are all sinners, and we must show the mercy we wish to receive ourselves.


Is Abortion the “Unforgivable Sin” in the Bible?

The Bible mentions an “unforgiveable sin”:

And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but to him that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven. (Luke 12:10)

Many read this verse and fear they have committed an unforgiveable sin. The reality is the only sin that is unforgiveable is the refusal to repent of one’s sins or a refusal of receiving God’s mercy. Additionally, the Catholic Church gives those who have committed the sin of abortion a way to reconcile with God through confession. Before 2016, only bishops (or priests who received the ability from bishops personally) could forgive abortion in confession given the gravity of the sin. But in 2016, to extend the ability to receive mercy to more people, Pope Francis granted priests the ability to absolve the sin of abortion in confession.

I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father. (Pope Francis, Misericordia et

Couple praying together. Holding rosary in hand.

God is eager to forgive. His Heart is on fire for us. He gives us the opportunities to repent and accept His ready gift of mercy. Like the father of the prodigal son, He runs to us as we are weary and ashamed, seeking His mercy.


Final Thoughts

The path towards experiencing forgiveness is unique for everyone. Yet the role of God is indispensable. Acknowledging the reality of abortion and experiencing profound and enduring peace in God are closely linked. Go to confession, pray, and rest in the peace of God. 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:

To find a prayer for abortion forgiveness, discover Souls and Hearts and their litanies for healing. May God be with you during this journey and give you peace and joy.


This article was originally published in June 2021 by Sofia Infante and was most recently updated in November 2023 by Marisa Cantu.

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Marisa Cantu has an MS in political science and international affairs with a BA in political science and has also studied international studies and French. She has a strong background in nonprofit work, research, writing, and policy proposal and analysis.

In her free time, Marisa enjoys painting, writing, cooking, spending time with her husband and playing with her dog.


  1. 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)

  2. 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

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