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A pregnant 12-year-old, abortion and a ‘prayerful response’

COMMENT  |  Wendy Francis 

Wednesday 27 April 2016

When Australian Christian Lobby’s Wendy Francis was approached by The Australian to comment on a news story about a pregnant 12 year girl and whether she should have an abortion, Francis says she needed to ‘prayerfully consider’ her answer. Here, she writes for Eternity about her response, and outlines in further detail her concerns that didn’t make it into The Australian article, published this morning. 

A boy and girl have intercourse and a baby is conceived. Usually this is cause for celebration. But what happens when the boy and girl are both 12? Should the young girl have an abortion? And should there be no due process for that to happen?

Yesterday evening at 6.30pm I was asked to comment on this case by The Australian newspaper. It gave me great pause. They needed an answer quite quickly but I replied that I would need time to consider and would have it to them as soon as possible. I am a grandmother you see. And I have granddaughters and grandsons in that age bracket. So I’m there. I get it. It’s real. We live in a broken world, and one which wallpapers our children’s lives in sexuality.

So, I prayerfully considered my answer. And this is what I wrote.

Hi Sarah, thanks for the opportunity to comment on this difficult question.

Above all, Q must receive love and support. Very few 12 year olds could have the maturity to comprehend the impact a decision like this might have on them in the longer term. The obstetrician treating the young girl recommended abortion because of the potential mental health problems of not terminating being significant and possibly lifelong. This does not take into account the large body of international research which demonstrates that abortion itself carries risks of mental health problems. For between 10-20% of women, the psychological impact of abortion is highly traumatic and affects their ability to function as they used to. With adequate support Q could safely deliver her baby and there are many couples who would be ready and willing to adopt the baby. ACL also have grave concerns in regards to the safety for all women with regards to the use of the chemical RU486. And particularly worrying for a young 12 year old girl, RU 486/PG abortion may lead to other possible complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) from infection, to infertility, and possibly uterine cancer (see here). 

Between April 2006 and June 2012, there were 832 reports of adverse events as a result of taking RU486 provided to the TGA. 

There is also the question as to what responsibility there is to inform the father of the pregnancy. Abortion can have a profound impact on men’s lives. Currently he is unaware.

Please don’t hesitate to ask me for any further information/clarification. My heart goes out to all concerned.


I naturally read with interest the article this morning. I wasn’t misquoted. But my concern on so many levels is missing. I don’t have any bone to pick with The Australian, or with the reporter Sarah Elks. My heart still grieves for the young girl who we have allowed to be poisoned, so that her baby can be poisoned, and I wonder how I can speak more effectively into this world where God has placed me to be salt and light, to bring peace and prosperity, and to shine like stars in the universe.

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