This blog has been quiet for a while and for a very good reason. I recently gave birth to our sixth child.
This seems to invite a number of responses; some positive and some not so positive. So, in light of that and recent news events, I decided there was no better time to enter the conversation on why I am pro-life. I know, I know. It’s almost a dirty word these days.
The word itself probably evokes deep, very real emotions for many of you. Maybe you have deep convictions about your pro-life stance. Perhaps your blood boils because you equate “pro-life” with a picture of someone who doesn’t care about women’s rights. I would like to clarify that I am very much FOR women. Yet, I am unabashedly pro-life for many reasons.
I’d like to share just 5.
#1 My Faith
You know it; I know it. Let’s just get this one out of the way. My beliefs about most things are shaped by my Christian faith. (If you don’t share my faith, don’t worry, I have other reasons to come. Stay with me here.) I believe that there is one God; Creator, Savior, Author of all life. Since I believe He creates all life, I think it follows that He gets the final word on it. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”(Jeremiah 1:5)
This could really be the one and only reason, because what He says is really all that matters.
But then, I promised you five, didn’t I?
Yeah, I know. You weren’t expecting that one. Science? Yes! As far as I know, based on the science of heredity and reproduction, two humans can only reproduce … humans. I have not seen a single case where two humans reproduced and created anything else. So, if I am for human rights, and stand by the statement that all men (and women) are created equal – I would be hard pressed to find a way to exclude the rights of, well, humans.
If my life matters and I have certain rights because of it, then does my life value less if I grew up in the projects vs. the wealthy part of town? Does it matter less if I travel to another country? Is it only valuable in America, but not once I leave the borders? What determines my value? My circumstances? My location?
“That’s absurd”, you say. Well, I agree. I don’t think my circumstances or my location can determine the value of a human life.
#3 I Have Looked Her in the Eye
Her. Recovering physically from an abortion but not recovering well emotionally. The one with the heartache. The woman who is suddenly less a statistic and now a real, tangible person that I have to look in the eye. And I find myself saying, “I’m so sorry”. If abortion is such a good thing, such a “rescue”, and such a “freedom”, why am I so compelled to answer her tears and grief with “I’m so sorry”?
Why is Post Abortion Syndrome a problem? Why do so many women experience regret, depression, nightmares, thoughts about her aborted child, broken relationships, or so many other problems? No, I am not suggesting every woman experiences every one of these problems after an abortion. But in the safety of a counseling room where there is real freedom to talk without judgement or condemnation, there is real hurt. And if you don’t think abortion is hurting women, I invite you to spend 6 months investing in women who are recovering from the devastating effects.
Or ask someone who counsels women in crisis pregnancies why women have abortions. I spent 11 years doing this very thing and although I long ago lost count of how many women I have counseled, I can tell you the answers resound with a singular bottom line: “I don’t see anyway to overcome _____ (insert hurdle here). I don’t have a choice”, she says. No choice?
That doesn’t sound very empowering, does it? Is that what we have done to a generation of women? Sold them a lie that this “quick fix” is the only solution to the “problem” of fertility, and touted abortion as a “right” and “freedom” when scores of women would tell you that it caused devastation in their hearts and lives. They’d be yelling this louder if they weren’t so often weighed down by secrecy and shame.
#4 This Girl
Me at 15. Such a baby. A BABY.
A baby with some wrong notions about what real love would look like. Who was more than willing to listen to the sweet words of a 19 year old who talked about love and all the things a girl wants to hear, and decided she was ready to venture into a relationship that little 15 year old girls aren’t ready for.
You know what happens next.
“Have an abortion”, they said, “or your life is over”.
“You’ll never graduate high school”, they said. ( I did. )
“You’ll never go to college”, they said. (Proud graduate of Liberty University, thank you very much).
“No good man will want to marry you if you already have a child”. (We celebrate 14 years this year).
Yes, I know. These are all based on my experience. But my point is, “they” didn’t raise my child. “They” would not have had to suffer the consequences of whatever decision I made.
And 18 years later, I can tell you I made the right one.
It was anything but easy. It was hard.
It was an exhausting, rocky road.
It was worth it. <— Understatement of the year.
I shared this story with her permission. She wanted it to be shared, saying “I’m here! And I am happy”! She recently started volunteering at a clinic that offers free services to women facing unplanned pregnancies.
Y’all. Redemption. He redeems every last detail.
#5 This Guy.
The one in the header of the blog.
I hold this story a little closer, feeling a little more protective of it. Partly because he is not 18 yet, and I don’t know what parts of his story he will want to share. Partly because it is another woman’s story, too. So forgive me if I keep it brief and the details vague.
Born and taken directly into foster care. That broken system that people point to when they say that we don’t need more children born to parents who can’t raise them. And the foster care system is busting at the seems while children languish in temporary homes, often moved around more times than a child should have to bear. So, how then, can I say that ALL children deserve to be born even if there are others who are aging out of foster care already?
Well, for the same reason that we don’t look to the abused or neglected child and say that the right way to correct the situation is to kill them. Harsh words, I know. But let’s argue this out, shall we? When a child is mistreated, abused, unwanted, or the parents simply CAN’T provide despite desperately wanting to do so …. we intervene to HELP the child. We don’t see them as the problem.
So, if these babies are humans (see reason #2), then we should advocate and help them, too. We should HELP women who feel overwhelmed, not view the child as a “problem”. If the foster care system is broken (which is undoubtedly is), we look for solutions. (I’m look directly at YOU here, Church).
I have a picture of my son and I, standing with his birth mother the day we met her. I weighed the choice and in the end decided not to share it.
But she could, undoubtedly, serve as reason #6.
As her/my son is raised in a loving home, she has worked hard to overcome some challenges in her life and even go back to school. And when I pray for her, when I hold him or watch him grow, it only deepens my convictions that every life matters. His, hers; every life.
ALL LIVES MATTER.
Comments and genuine questions welcome. Due to the emotional nature of this conversation, comments that are degrading or hurtful to women on EITHER side will be deleted.
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