This is from a recent comment by that prolific, caring, and intelligent frequent reader of this site: “visitor.” If you know “visitor” please pass along our thanks.

Is there a sincere Christian who can say that “Lucy’s” account was not settled through the cross?

When are we going to hear a little more concern for the adult women who have had abortion(s)?

The age of accountability? We hear all concern for the babies who have gone on, but is there a fundamentalist who will deny that the souls of babies are in God’s hands?

Yet women are being used by the fundamentalist right for political grandstanding. And the same women, who need healing, are being driven from churches because they have become shaming environments for post-abortion women.

Here’s a slightly fictionalized account (to conceal the victim’s identity from media scrutiny) of fundamentalist abuse of a woman – but the story is true:

She became pregnant from what amounted to an easy rape in her early teens, whereupon her family railroaded her in for an abortion.

So I called a certain pastor to inquire whether his evangelical congregation would be a safe place to bring Lucy for worship, on account of her abortion. Lucy loves the Lord Jesus in a pure way, as much as anyone, every inch the born again Christian any evangelical congregation might welcome. All except for the problem about her abortion, an issue which has become an extremely popular object of U.S. Christian vituperative from the pulpit. I explained to the pastor how Lucy had suffered in an automobile accident as an infant, which rendered her somewhat mentally impaired – permanently in an eerily passive state of distraction.

She became pregnant from what amounted to an easy rape in her early teens, whereupon her family railroaded her in for an abortion. Because of her mental condition, in early adulthood Lucy spent years bouncing in and out of mental institutions and the U.S. medical system under miscellaneous psychological diagnoses. She was administered a constant variety psychotropic drugs which further compromised her mental stability.

When she started going to church, Lucy was unable to resist the pernicious doctrine she heard among certain fundamentalists, who told her that her abortion was unforgivable. Lucy’s response was to engage in suicidal behavior, hospitalization, homelessness, finally finding safe harbor in a good halfway home. While her reading skills are adequate, some of her symptoms mimic schizophrenia – she lacks emotional and mental boundaries. Lucy can not hear anyone fulminating about abortion from the pulpit without taking it personally. In a church setting, she is incapable of sophisticated discernment when her symptoms are at their worst. No one who knows Lucy would risk her misplacement in the wrong congregation again.

Lucy was my litmus test. As a believer who had been through abortion, if a believing community is unsafe for Lucy, it is also unsafe for me.
The pastor went to great lengths to explain to me why his church would be safe for Lucy, saying other women in his midst have been through abortion and could be of support. Lucy’s story, the pastor’s ostensible worst case scenario of causing one of Jesus’ little ones to stumble, seemed to blindside him as well as the secretary who first answered my call. He did almost all the talking. If he was not coining a new species of Christian apologetics towards women as he spoke, it sounded entirely fresh to me. It was good to have the entire evangelical interrogation game play out in third person, on the other side of the court for a change.

Because what I didn’t tell the pastor was that Lucy was my litmus test. As a believer who had been through abortion, if a believing community is unsafe for Lucy, it is also unsafe for me.

Of course, “Lucy” is not her name, and her biography is more harrowing than it now reads, for I would not embarrass my friends or subject them to hurtful media exposure. This is, after all, the United States, where so-called Christians humiliate, revile and kill strangers and fellow believers alike over the now inflammatory issue of abortion. If anyone would be hurt by the telling of her story, let it be anyone but “Lucy.” She has suffered enough. Or is there a sincere Christian who can say that “Lucy’s” account was not settled through the cross?