The idea of public birth control started back in 1916 with Margaret Sanger. Her work began a string of such establishments that all eventually led to the development of Planned Parenthood of America, Inc. in 1942. While birth control was the original intent, the end result was the legalization of abortion in 1973. This was touted as a great stride for women's rights by some and a travesty against God by others.
While many women and teenage girls have had legal abortions since then, there are often issues of guilt and sorrow associated with it. There are studies that show up to 55 percent of women feel negatively about it afterward. In one study, 10 percent of these women had serious psychiatric complications afterward (abortionfacts.com).
I have met women who said they had no regrets at all. Others who didn't initially feel bad about having an abortion often later in their lives became very upset over it. They said they were suddenly struck with a terrible emptiness and regret for their decision. Others felt horrible immediately after the procedure, saying they had never really wanted to have it done, but felt pressured to do so by parents, friends or boyfriends. Sometimes it's just the idea of rejection from those who are closest that plays on the mind and pushes women into making such a decision. It is often hardest on these girls and women in particular, as they never would have chosen to do it without perceived mental pressures.
People who have abortions come from all walks of life. Some consider themselves Christian, and often they are the very women who are most tormented by their decision. They continually question how they could have done such a thing. They are sure God will never forgive them and they often cannot forgive themselves.
First it is important to understand that abortion is a sin. God deeply values all life. He even knows when a sparrow falls to the ground (Matthew 10:29). His creation is important to Him, which should be no surprise. Many argue that a fetus is not a person, but Jeremiah 1:5 suggests that God considers the unborn as nothing less than people from the start. He states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” You cannot “know” someone if they are not already an individual. Obviously we are known by God at conception.
God is forgiving
The apostle John clearly states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, English Standard Version throughout). Does that mean we can simply confess and be done with it? Compare what James said: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:7-9).
God wants us to truly regret our sins. That means we must come to Him humbly, sincerely ask His forgiveness and change our ways. He is always ready to gladly forgive us and erase it from His memory if we ask Him to, because He loves us. He says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25). Then later He states, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).
Sometimes a sin is hard for us to relinquish even when God has. Once we are forgiven we must forgive ourselves. Imagine a chalkboard with your sins written on it. Then God comes and erases it and says it is gone from His memory. Then imagine we write it on the board again and God erases it again, only to have us write it once more. We cannot keep rehashing it and repeatedly trying to seek forgiveness. Accept God's forgiveness and move on. You cannot change what has happened, but you can choose to never let it happen again. As long as you don't repeat the sin, there is no need to keep bringing it up again.
So can God forgive abortion? Yes, He can. And He will for the truly repentant.