Analysis

Christian author says past porn addiction drove him to pressure ex-girlfriend into abortion

porn addiction

Popular Christian author and speaker Stephen Arterburn says his past addiction to pornography led him to dehumanize women and, by extension, preborn children. Those actions eventually drove him to pressure an ex-girlfriend into an abortion after an unintended pregnancy. Now, filled with remorse, Arterburn is speaking out.

Arterburn, author of multiple books including the wildly popular “Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation,” recently spoke at a virtual conference hosted by Promise Keepers, an organization dedicated to forming Christian men. In his speech, Arterburn talked about how many men who consider themselves Christian frequently use pornography, and how it affected his own life.

“On any given Sunday, of us men that are sitting in church, more of us have looked at pornography than have opened God’s word to look at his truth,” he said. His experience with porn started when he was a child, when he saw photos of pin-ups on the walls of his grandfather’s office. This, he said, led him to objectify women.

 

After graduating high school, Arterburn attended Baylor University, where he got a young woman pregnant, then paid for her to have an abortion. “You see, when you objectify women and some woman gets pregnant, well, it’s just an object. It’s not a person,” he said. “And so I just moved, did what I thought you needed to do to get rid of it. But it wasn’t an object. It was my baby.” He spoke about this experience at the Baylor University chapel later without mentioning her by name, but the girl in question was unhappy with how he described the story, reminding him that he had not just paid for the abortion but had put intense pressure on her to abort.

Arterburn eventually began to feel shame and guilt over his abortion. He finally admitted the truth: that he pushed her to have the abortion, and told her if she kept the baby, he wouldn’t be there for her. “I had been a coward,” he said, adding, “Did you know that you can’t be fully right with God unless you’ve made it right with the people that you’ve hurt?”

READ: BBC shines light on men’s abortion regret: ‘I’ve thought about it every day for 32 years’

Fight the New Drug (FTND), a non-religious, non-legislative non-profit organization dedicated to exposing the harmful effects of the porn industry, explains that studies have found that using pornography can change and rewire a person’s brain. It also affects the brain the same way a drug does. Pornography changes a person’s relationship for the worse, and this supports Arterburn’s own story.

Violent abuse is also extremely common in the porn industry. Porn dehumanizes people — often women, but men as well. Once someone has fallen into the trap of dehumanizing others, it’s not a stretch to extend that dehumanization to more human beings.

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