I grew up in a middle class home; my parents still tell me that they’ll step in to help me, should my situation be dire.I have a dozen people on my speed dial for my physical and emotional needs. People have my back. At any point of my life, an unexpected pregnancy would be celebrated within my immediate family and my support system. There would be questions, sure, but my people would keep showing up.
I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck, but never once worried about putting food on my table. As an adult, I’ve lived in the tension of expensive health insurance, self-paying for doctors appointments and being unsure where the money would come from if I was in an emergency accident.
I’ve spent the last 5+ years of my life wrestling with the ethical complexities of adoption and the heartbreak of infertility, but fortunately, I haven’t personally walked either road.
I’ve been in difficult situations – relational and vocational – but I have never had to choose between my life or someone else’s.
I’m fiercely pro-life, but I’m also so very concerned that we’re posting statuses on Facebook demonizing women who are impossible situations choosing between their life and the life of their unborn baby.
The statistics would say, you’ve got a friend who has had an abortion. Let’s be careful that in speaking up for the unborn, which I believe we should be doing, we don’t tell our friends that what they’ve done is unforgivable. I’ll stand up and say, I’m the biggest sinner of any room I’m in, and Jesus still saved me. He didn’t shame me into repentance; that’s not His way, and it shouldn’t be mine either.
Our words matter, but so do our actions, so here are a few ideas to be pro-life during this confusing time:
- Support an adoptive family financially or physically. Offer to bring them a meal or donate money to a family who is starting their adoption journey. We want adoption to be one of the answers, so let’s stand behind the families who adopt.
- Affirm the decisions of women who create a birth plan for their children. Let’s not say, “She gave up her child,” but in maintaining a pro-life ethic, let’s say, “She chose life for her child.”
- If you have a friend who had an abortion, reach out to her and remind her that she is not a decision that she made. Shame has a way of tricking us into believing that we are bad and that a single decision defines us.
- Donate money to organizations that counsel women through these situations. What if faith-based organizations were so well-funded and provided such top-notch services that Planned Parenthood was put out of business?
- Volunteer with programs that support single moms. Women who consider abortions are in difficult positions, usually lacking support systems with many physical needs. Show up during her pregnancy, in the first years of the child’s life and then in years to come. We don’t get to stop being pro-life once the baby is born. We must stand behind women who choose life AND choose to parent their children.
I believe with my whole-heart that we can remain fiercely pro-life without sacrificing compassion towards women who find themselves in desperate situations. It may just be the Jesus way.