Eric doesn’t do the Facebook thing too much. I, unfortunately, am doing that silly Thing all the time. Oh, yes, I’m one of the millions who click back every 5 seconds to check in with whatever new debate is going on, look at pictures of your babies, read stupid 10-Reasons-Your-Closet-Isn’t-Working listicles, and mostly just fill my brain with mundane mush. More recently, however, I have been proudly NOT partaking in one of my former favorite Facebook pastimes:
Truthfully, I’m not even reading many posted articles or long status-rants about the Hot Button Issues anymore. You know why? I just realized it’s not really making my life any happier. I think Eric’s onto something good by simply not partaking at all.
So, I told him, “Everyone’s arguing about abortion lately. I’ve stayed out of it.”
“Oh, the abortion argument’s back in? I missed that one.” He joked.
“I’m staying out of it.”
“Really?” He asked, knowingly…
He knows me well! He knew EVENTUALLY, the desire in me to speak up about an issue concerning women, birth and Christianity would eventually well up. He was correct. (Dang). A Facebook post couldn’t completely contain my complex thoughts on the topic, but I’m officially partaking in this one. So, here I am weighing in. Should I? Is it the best idea? I’m not so sure. Here I go anyway.
I grew up pretty dang liberal. Hold on – that might be an understatement. Listen, I seriously thought Conservative Christianity didn’t actually exist outside of the Bible Belt and Fox News. I remember watching Jon Stewart before I had any clue what he was talking about. I cried MANY happy tears listening to Barack Obama’s first speeches and watching the “Same Love” video. I’ve voted Democrat in local, state and national elections. My mom is a Democratic Selectwoman, my dad grew up in Europe. I went to a liberal arts college in Massachusetts that is famous for its rowdy protests and where Republicans are more of a minority than vegans.
For most of my life, I had been pro-choice for the same reasons I eat Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast sandwiches. I was never really certain it was the best, but… it’s what’s available. It’s on every corner and who am I to say whether or not they’re real eggs…
(I have to say, I’m pretty impressed by that analogy).
When I stepped into a relationship with Jesus, He didn’t seem to ask me to leave my “liberal agenda” behind. No, I didn’t think God would necessarily want me to get an abortion if I got pregnant, and He probably doesn’t love it. But I also wasn’t really experiencing Jesus to be this pushy guy who tells people what to do. So I stayed out of it. A lot of the people around me, especially in college, seemed pretty sure about abortion, and I think that was just the stance I figured I’d take. I didn’t really consider or think about whether or not a fetus (especially before a certain point in pregnancy) was really a life.
My thoughts and views on abortion have grown and changed over time. Now, I’m fully willing to accept that an embryo or a fetus is some form of life, or creative energy at least, and the earliest bit of creation inside of a woman’s body is a really tremendous and remarkable thing. It makes me incredibly sad to hear of miscarriages, even very early in a pregnancy. I wrestle with the thought of an early-term abortion and wonder about the life that was being created. I am certainly sad considering later-term abortions, and feel fearful for the pain that it could cause the fetus. I am so in awe of all the insane stuff that happens from conception to birth that I don’t take that for granted any more.
Do I wish abortion didn’t exist?? Heck yeah.
Do I think it’s a good idea to OUTLAW abortion? No. Taking away the regulations from abortion means people are gonna do it anyway, and die of complications and shotty equipment and facilities.
I’m not gonna defend Planned Parenthood here. I never watched the videos that surfaced, and I won’t. I do absolutely believe that doctors or professionals that offer and administer abortions can potentially be callous and cold, or they can even be bad people. Certainly! Just like you and me can be pretty awful to each other too! It’s the worst!
All I’m saying is that outlawing abortion is unsafe for women.
Let’s talk about the bigger issue at hand. Here is my point, and it is what I believe wholeheartedly about this issue, and why I’m here weighing in:
We cannot be simply pro-life and anti-abortion without seeing and caring about the reasons why abortion exists.
Abortion doesn’t come from nowhere. It’s not malicious, callous people killing their babies. Nor is it all malicious, callous doctors killing babies. This procedure has been birthed out of societies that do not care well enough for their women and children.
Let me say that again.
ABORTION is a PRODUCT of a society in which both men & women are NOT WELL-EDUCATED in the areas of REPRODUCTION, SEX, BIRTH CONTROL, and PARENTING, and are not being given RESOURCES for FINANCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, EMOTIONAL, RELATIONAL or PARENTAL success.
A middle school girl needs to be taught about contraception, thus reducing her chance of getting pregnant DRAMATICALLY.
A middle school boy needs to be taught about contraception, thus reducing HIS chance of getting someone pregnant DRAMATICALLY.
Teens AND adults MUST be given FREE ACCESS to all forms of contraception and PLENTY of sex education, thus reducing their chances greatly of getting pregnant.
Teens AND adults MUST have access to safe environments to discuss sex, its consequences (both physical & emotional) and parenting.
Pregnant women, and their families, MUST be given advice on adoption and the chance to decide NOT to raise children.
We must END RAPE and sexual violence/assault/harrassment.
In order to stop rape (and unwanted pregnancy resulting from rape), we must educate our children on EMPATHY and PERSONAL BOUNDARIES, give them safe home environments, and END rape culture in the media.
We must provide families & women FINANCIAL SUPPORT in the form of: affordable HEALTH CARE and PAID MATERNITY LEAVES and free/inexpensive CHILDCARE.
DON’T YOU SEE HOW MUCH WORK THERE IS LEFT TO DO????????
And do you know what almost makes me cry with rage?
Many people who are “pro-life” are against helping those most likely to turn to abortion. Many people who want these babies to be born are missing the fact that many will be born into dire circumstances. Unsupportive families, financial desperation, abuse, neglect. Some will simply be born to men and women who weren’t at all ready to have children. Many people can share photos of fetuses being aborted on Facebook, but deny that sexual education in teens can greatly reduce their chance at having to deal with pregnancy or abortion at all. I don’t get it!
How can we be “pro-life” and not pro-Abundant Life? The road to Abundant Life is much narrower, we know this. I see so many wonderful Christians in outrage over dying fetuses, but calling those who are nearly starving, supporting children on welfare “leaches of the system”. If we want these babies to be born, we need to work harder at ensuring they’ll be born into better circumstances.
I always said I’d know what I would do.
But what if I was raped? I wouldn’t know what to do.
What if I was 15 and poor? I wouldn’t know what to do.
What if my parents were abusive and I knew I would be horribly beaten if I told them? I wouldn’t know what to do.
What if I was working 3 jobs to feed my 4 kids and would lose my job if I was out for 2 weeks to give birth? Or even take a day off to tend to my swollen feet and constant nausea. I wouldn’t know what to do.
What if I had no health insurance, and no way to get any? I wouldn’t know what to do.
I’m sad that abortion is an option. I am. I wish it wasn’t. I wish everyone had such amazing access to birth control that NO ONE got pregnant until they were ready. I wish everyone had such incredible job security and maternity leave that it really wouldn’t matter if they got pregnant. I wish there weren’t rapists. I wish Kingdom would just Come already.
But when Jesus was here, He brought the Kingdom to those he encountered. He loved those who he saw in front of Him. So, can’t we take a break from posting about fetuses, and go out and do some good to prevent those babies from dying in the first place?
I think that may be all the weighing in I have on this one. If you want to weigh in, please do so on the comments below. Disrespectful or unhelpful comments will be deleted.