A Ministry of Care by Dr. Daniel G. Bagby

Pastoral Care Guidance for Deacons, Stephen Ministers, and the Congregation of River Road Church, Baptist

Abortion, Miscarriage, and Pastoral Care

Theological presuppositions (questions—and how they are answered—shape individual responses):

  1. Is every impregnation (sperm meets ovum) willed by God?
  2. Does life begin at conception?
  3. Is an action to prevent fertilization an interference in God’s will for life?

My Own personal theological assumptions:

  1. God has given human beings the power to exercise their own will.
  2. God’s will is not always done on earth.
  3. Every human being has been given the equipment to participate in creating life (unless physiologically impaired).
  4. Not every human being has been called to be a parent.
  5. Not every fertilization is God’s will.
  6. Life does not begin at fertilization.
  7. Life does begin prior to viability (mystery).
  8. The safety and preservation of a mother’s life is a priority.

Practical Care:

  1. Almost everyone in a church dialogue setting on abortion bases their position on moral issues—and believes in the sanctity of life.
  2. Every impregnation, miscarriage, abortion, birth, and adoption are identity   modifying events.
  3. Every experience of fertilization introduces the reality of loss.
  4. Privacy and prayerful evaluation are family issues.
  5. Reflection and reassessment are cyclical (recurring).
  6. Dialogue should include both parties.
  7. Interpretation of sin should include perspective (nothing is unforgivable).