First off, I am staunchly pro-life. I do not support abortion under any circumstances, even the more grey areas. Right now, I am using my nursing degree solely for the purpose of fighting abortion and supporting moms-to-be in crisis pregnancy situations.
As my blog reader and Facebook feed fill with Planned Parenthood-related articles, I have to say that parts of the pro-life/abolitionist camp are getting some important things wrong. This fight is too important to be making errors like these. It is going down the wrong path to try to shame these women into not having an abortion or to gross them out, and in doing so we will not save one. single. baby.
It is so easy to sit behind a computer screen and fling the names “baby killer”, “murderer”, and “wicked” towards those who are pursuing an abortion. (And these are showing up on blogs I usually like, written by people I usually agree with, written by Christians.)
Yes, abortion kills a baby. Yes, it is murder. Yes, it is wicked. There is no justification for this sin. But you know what?
You and I are wicked, too, and we are in the same boat as those involved in abortion. We need Jesus to save us just as much as the ladies getting abortions and the people performing abortions need Jesus to save them.
I have been asked several times to join a group whose goal is to completely eradicate abortion. But as much as I want to see that goal accomplished, I will not partner with them because in trying to save the life of the baby, they are shaming the mothers seeking abortion.
Newsflash! They are already ashamed. Done. Check. Yeah, I’m sure that somewhere out there are women who are flippant and strident and selfish about abortion. But you need to know that in my pro-life work in two states and three cities, I have yet to meet one of “those” women. The women I meet are broken. They are ashamed, they are sad, they are confused, and they are desperate. They are sometimes the children of Christians who think that an unplanned pregnancy will “ruin” their family’s image. And more often than not, they are financially poor. They feel like they don’t have the resources to raise a child well, and they don’t know how to connect with the resources that assist low-income families.
So while the pro-life/abolitionist camp can be found hurling “wicked murderer” at them, Planned Parenthood is ready to make their problem go away with the gulp of a pill or a quick little procedure. Really, who would you rather listen to? Now, the problems don’t go away, and Planned Parenthood regularly lies to these women and breaks the law, but that’s another blog post or ten.
Can I suggest that we do things differently?
1. Open your wallet. For real. This fight against abortion is fueled by cold, hard cash, and the work done by pregnancy centers is not cheap. We have ultrasound machines that are the complete opposite of free, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. Those machines need paper and gel and a bunch of other supplies. The centers need staff who need salaries. The volunteers need training. The organizations need buildings and utilities and office supplies and resources to share with pregnant women. You want to defund Planned Parenthood? Me too. But in doing so, we need to fund pregnancy centers and free/low-cost medical clinics to ensure that quality gynecologic and obstetric care is available to those who need it, without the “services” of Planned Parenthood.
2. Get involved with your local pregnancy center. Don’t shame-blog. Don’t spend time reading shame-blog posts. Walk into your center and ask for a volunteer application. (Guys, you too!) There are dozens of ways to serve by donating your time. It is more costly time-wise than writing or reading a blog post, but babies are spared and women meet Jesus through the work done in these pregnancy centers.
3. Actively know and love and help women who are considering abortion. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of watching from the sidelines as friends found out that a woman was considering abortion and walked beside her throughout her pregnancy. They got her connected with an adoption agency. They went to prenatal appointments with her. They made sure she had rides to work. They had her into their homes for holidays and celebrations. They supported her after the birth, because placing a child for adoption is no easy task for the mama. This summer, they attended her wedding. Their investment in her wasn’t quick or easy, but their Christ-like love ensured that the baby was born, the mom was cared for, and a couple desiring a child became parents.
4. Become a foster/adoptive parent. If, please dear Jesus, abortion becomes less of an option, there are going to be more babies who need to be adopted and more children who need to be fostered, and some of these kids might not be in the best shape. Let’s be ready for them by getting trained and certified now. It is going to cost your time, your money, and quite possibly your sanity. But as we have received so much from God, let us be ready to give it all in His name.
Church, we need to be the church. We need to model our Savior who went to those involved in sin and loved them right out of it. We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus who met the realest, deepest needs of the broken. Let’s do it, in the name and power of the One who loved us to death and then to life again.
Edited to add: After writing this post, I came across Christians fighting abortion who were labeling anyone who was not protesting outside an abortion clinic as sinful. This is not what I’m trying to do here. I recognize that not all my readers will be hands-on involved in fighting abortion. When I’m at the pregnancy center, I’m not fighting human trafficking or ISIS or hunger or homelessness or a thousand other things. We need Christians involved in fighting such a variety of injustices. Whatever you’re called to do, do it to the glory of God.
Also, I’m not calling out and linking to specific groups or blog posts because that’s not what’s important. Not here to shame-blog, remember? If you’re questioning the pro-life groups you support, just look at how they treat and speak about those involved in the sin of abortion. If it is with gospel-filled grace, great. If not, find another group to support.
What suggestions have I missed? Are you involved in fighting abortion? Do you want some help getting connected? Talk to me!