No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it (1 Cor. 10:13).
The scope of this promise is stunning. No matter what we may face, our circumstances are not unique. Rather, they are common. Furthermore, there is no temptation to which we must succumb, for which God will not provide a way out. God will always provide a way of escape, a way to deal with that which, left to ourselves, we would not be able to handle.
Abortion is a temptation. It is tempting because abortion promises to be a way of escape. In fact, it often appears to be the only way of escape. When Planned Parenthood argues that abortion is safer than childbirth, or that abortion is “a relatively benign procedure in terms of emotional effect,”* it argues that abortion is a way of escape. It is a lie—abortion has all kinds of effects both physically and emotionally—but it is nonetheless a great temptation for a woman who finds herself in a fearful and uncertain place.
Women don’t undergo abortion because (contrary to popular pro-choice myth) they are making wise and empowered decisions. In fact, many women undergo abortion precisely because they don’t really believe that 1 Corinthians 10:13 is true, sometimes because they don’t know the One behind the promise. And therefore abortion seems to be the only option. Our call, therefore, is to make plain this promise—and this God—to those for whom the future seems fearful or hopeless.
How do we make that plain? In word and in deed. In a word that gently calls a mother (and, hopefully, a father) to believe that the Lord has not cast her off in her situation, but loves her and is willing and able to make a better way for both her and her baby, and even the others with whom she is concerned. A word which assures her that, under God, this situation is not more than she can handle. A word which helps her to see that, in the end, abortion is no escape. And in deed? By being available so that she does not handle it alone, doing whatever we can to help make things work for her. A church should be ready in a moment (meaning that we are prepared beforehand) to assist with many of the obstacles that seem so insurmountable: transportation, financial assistance, a home, childcare, adoption, and the like as needed. And, sometimes most importantly, Christian community that is genuinely glad to have her fellowship. This is what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). God does not intend for women in difficulty to walk alone.