Press "Enter" to skip to content

From Advocate to Abolitionist:

An Orthodox Christian’s Perspective on Abortion

by Brittany Witcoff

The leading cause of death in the United States – let alone the world – is not heart disease, lung cancer, alcoholism, or gun violence; it is the myriad methods of destruction of life in a mother’s womb collectively known as abortion. As I type this article nearly 100 babies are murdered before their first breath every hour in the US. That’s 286,034 souls lost since 2022 began and this number continues to increase. [1] That makes abortion a more violent killer than all wars fought throughout humanity’s history…combined. To paint this statistical atrocity with an even broader stroke, more than 73 million abortions are performed worldwide each year – this is likely an underestimate, however, as such a number has been reported by the WHO.[2]

Before I proceed further, allow me to share additional US mortality statistics in an effort to fully grasp the immense gravity of our nation’s most highly politicized and legalized form of murder. According to the American Cancer Society, “609,360 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States, including approximately 350 deaths per day from lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death.”[3] While comparing mortality rates is hugely black pilling, it is incredibly relevant that I illustrate the sheer vastness of the number of lives lost to abortion. No other form of death will ever compare. This article comes with an alarm to rouse lukewarm followers of Christ out of an abhorrent stasis, yet my aim is also to arm all, and particularly Orthodox, Christians with the necessary objective facts that will incite more ascetic zeal and intercessory prayer.

In the Divine Liturgy, the prayers for the living are constantly offered before the Lord. So what of the 100 babies killed every hour of every day in the US? Christ along with His Mother, the Ever-Virgin Mary, receive with open arms those children that our fallible and broken natures rejected on earth. Every time a woman is deceived into killing her own baby, the Theotokos (Greek for God-bearer) welcomes the child into Heaven instead. For any woman reading this who has painfully endured the sin of abortion, know that your repentance is what Christ desires and that no act of evil – especially abortion – will be rejected by He Who loves mankind. The post-modern age has scourged the image of God in a person before he or she draws in his or her first breath, but this indelible mark remains and is what makes us uniquely human. Every soul was made by our glorious Creator and Holy Scripture heavily emphasizes this precious gift of life. I write this article in an effort to examine not just the obvious evils of abortion, but to reveal where God’s grace can overcome darkness with His Uncreated Light.

While many celebrate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the horrific aftermath of this landmark court decision, there are countless more women – myself included – who mourn for their sins that resulted in the murder of an innocent child. The prevailing research today indicates that, regardless of the Luciferian claim that abortion is all about the mother’s health and well-being, nearly 96.5% of all abortions occur due to social and financial reasons. [4] Lies such as “abortion is healthcare,” “my body, my choice,” and “believe all women” are demonic perversions of what God’s view of the human person is. The hellscape of feminism, from its earliest beginnings, has always been at odds with the Commandments of Christ…yet renewal is an intrinsic consequence of following Truth Himself.

When I was 24 years old I panicked at my local Planned Parenthood clinic, sobbing about the decision I was about to make permanent. The nurse practitioner inched a box of tissues toward me in a seemingly compassionate manner. I was beyond my first trimester by a couple of weeks so swallowing a pill (which is similar to chemotherapy drugs) was not considered an option as a means of murder. Rather than forcing my body to miscarry, I was a prime candidate for a surgical procedure known as “dilation & curettage.” In other words, a woman’s cervix is artificially dilated in order to vacuum out the developing baby after he or she is violently scraped out.

But I, like every woman I know who experienced the deliberate death of their unborn baby, have suffered immensely as a result of this decision. According to research, Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS) is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). [5] The Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) identifies the PTSD diagnostic criteria and they explicitly qualify PAS as one of its forms. Presenting symptoms range from suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, avoidance of traumatic stimuli (pregnancies, anniversaries, etc.), dissociation, alcohol & drug use, and numbness. These are a fraction of the prevalent concerns facing women every day. As we discussed earlier, approximately 100 women every hour undergo abortion – is it any wonder why the dynamics among men and women are so tragically severed?

The good news is that Christ has redeemed our fallen nature and healing is indeed achievable. While I am not a licensed mental health professional, I can confidently assert through my graduate-level training that no amount of psychotherapy can fully heal the human soul and body. The Orthodox Church has provided a depthless well of mysteries that are available for my renewal and restoration. And this past week is an especially joyous time for Orthodox Christians as we celebrate the fulfilled promises of Christ in the wake of Pascha. Bright Week, also known as Renewal Week, is a time to celebrate the abolition of death because Christ is risen from His 3-day burial. St. Paul the Apostle says it best, “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). Let all of us sinners remember what Christ has achieved for us!

 Nearly a decade later I am still in the throes of navigating the process of healing from the decision I made a decade ago. Thanks to my husband’s headship and my holy union with both him and the hospital that is the Orthodox Church, I have come a long way from my former life of sin. The priests I’ve had as spiritual fathers have helped guide and direct my path toward healing, and my family and friends have been nothing but supportive. Perhaps the best summary of abortion, a practice of human sacrifice akin to that practiced by ancient pagans, comes from St. John Chrysostom in his 24th Homily on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans:

“Why then dost thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with His laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? … For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine. Hence too come idolatries, since many, with a view to become acceptable, devise incantations, and libations, and love potions, and countless other plans. Yet still after such great unseemliness, after slaughters, after idolatries, the thing [fornication] seems to belong to things indifferent, aye, and to many that have wives, too.”

May we be ever more vigilant about the devastating effects of abortion and offer support to the men and women affected by this egregious sin. The Orthodox Church provides practical remedies for the ailing soul and body through the holy, life-giving mysteries of Christ. I pray for the end of this evil institution and for the intercessions of the Theotokos on behalf of all women… especially those in need of healing from the worst mistake they’ve ever made.

Brittany Witcoff is an Orthodox Christian and the wife of Gab News contributor Michael Witcoff, also known to the internet as Brother Augustine.