As we enter into another Sanctity of Human Life (SOHL) Sunday, I wanted to offer you a couple of opportunities that might help you better serve those sitting in your pews this week. SOHL week always brings about a great deal of emotions for a host of reasons, but a primary reason, in my experience, is because there are abortion-wounded men and women filling churches all across this country who need to hear that hope and healing is possible even if abortion is in their past. This Sunday is an incredible opportunity to point people to this truth!

If you have been around Care Net for a while, then you know that Abortion Recovery and Care (ARC) is a strategic initiative that we’ve been pouring time, talent, and treasure into. For the past two years we’ve been laying the foundation by revising and updating our flagship abortion recovery study for women, Forgiven and Set Free, and by creating our new men’s abortion recovery study, Reclaiming Fatherhood. Both of these resources have companion Facilitator Guides to aid leaders in guiding participants to the foot of the Cross by way of these Bible studies.

But let me back up and introduce myself: my name is Jill Marquis, and I serve as Care Net’s Director of Abortion Recovery and Care.  ARC’s mission is to lead the way in abortion recovery through resources and programs that connect, equip, and support those seeking healing for themselves and/or providing healing for others. I have the privilege of working with both our Center Services and Church Engagement teams. This means I help our affiliated pregnancy centers and their partner churches develop and grow their abortion recovery ministries.

So why am I telling you all this? 

At Care Net, we strongly believe that abortion recovery should be part of every church’s community care or counseling ministry. The reality is that abortion statistics hold true inside the church. According to the Guttmacher Institute, about one in four women in the U.S. will have an abortion by age 45. On the low end, 25% of the women AND men sitting in our churches have had an abortion in their past. I specifically said “on the low end” because abortion numbers peaked in the late 1980s-early 1990s. If folks are in my age bracket (late 50’s, early 60’s), the numbers are more like 40%. I specifically said women AND men because we don’t get pregnant on our own, and abortion has a profound effect on men that’s largely been ignored.

Again, why am I telling you this?

For us to live the abundant life in Christ promised in John 10:10, we have to deal with what the enemy stole, killed, and destroyed. Namely, we must deal with the decision that led to us aborting our children and the aftermath of that event. If you are like me and had an abortion in your past, then you know the enemy stole your joy in being pregnant, maybe he killed your faith in certain people, and he certainly destroyed parts of your life along with the life of your child. We are the walking wounded in our churches and our injuries have to be tended. We live in a prison of silence and shame and we long to be free.

That’s where Abortion Recovery and Care comes in. 

Many of the resources Care Net develops are meant to be used exclusively by pregnancy centers. ARC is an exception to that. While pregnancy centers have long championed and provided abortion recovery in their organizations, the church should be taking the lead on this. Hear me out. This is a discipleship issue. If the role of the church is to make fully devoted followers of Christ, we have to be healed, and that healing only comes through Jesus. Is your church providing an avenue of healing for something that affects one-quarter of its population?  If the answer is no, we can help you with that. We want to equip you to bind up the brokenhearted and proclaim liberty to the captives!

Earlier, I mentioned our abortion recovery studies, Forgiven and Set Free and Reclaiming Fatherhood. Care Net is thrilled to announce that we are launching our ARC Online Leader Training for both studies! Our first cohorts kick off on January 30th, with three more being offered throughout the year: April 2nd, July 2nd, and October 1st. These six-week courses will be available to pregnancy centers, churches, and individuals. With more than 60 million abortions having taken place since Roe v Wade was passed in 1973, the need for healing is great. The time for healing is now.

You can pre-register for the courses here:

If you’d like more information about abortion recovery or our studies, please email me at jmarquis@care-net.org. You can also learn more about our work by visiting abortionhealing.org.