This is Part 1 of a two part (see Part 2 here) post tied to the Sanctity of Human Life week. For some, this was marked by the March for Life in Washington, DC yesterday. This post is inspired by this thoughtful story from Michelle Pirraglia, a “survivor” of abortion, on Patheos (HT: Rob Martin). To be fair, I’m not sure I would use that label. Her parents doctor recommended that her mother, an MS patient, have an abortion, but her parents never considered it, let alone actual attempt it. The concerns of the doctor were for the health of the mother, and were medically reasonable, I suppose. Thankfully, her parents valued her life enough to take the risk, and carry her to term, and give birth to a wonderful daughter who is thankful to them for their choice, and one who would go on to tell their story (she starts the article with her story). I really thought the article was an interesting read, and found these two paragraphs near the end to be especially thought provoking.
How often have we heard the rally cry “My body, my choice” from supporters of abortion? While these women are saying, “This is my body, to do with what I want,” Jesus says, “This is my body which will be given up for you.” Think about that contrast.
Using abortion as a response to poverty, rape, or medical illnesses is simply answering one evil or injustice with another evil and injustice. It doesn’t negate the problem, even if it temporarily relieves an illness, and causes more problems than what proponents believe it “solves,” beginning with the loss of an innocent life. What is needed is true compassion and real assistance, both for the woman and the child. I say this having known women who have suffered the effects of having an abortion, and as someone who has tried to back up my pro-life words with actions.
My challenge would be to extend this self-sacrifice in ways that Ms. Pirraglia does not address in her column, except towards the end of this section. That is, how do we as “Pro-Life” Christians interact with women who are contemplating abortion, women who have had an abortion (repentant or not) and those who are proponents of abortions. Do we show God’s love? Are we willing to sacrifice of ourselves? The many pro-life Christian pregnancy centers are certainly putting legs to their faith with their care for women contemplating abortion, and post-abortion care as well. If you are involved in that directly or indirectly, good for you. I can’t help but feel, however, that most of us find it easy to be pro-life in word, but would be hard pressed to show how we have done anything to make a real difference in helping the unborn.
For us, foster care and adoption is one way we have chosen to help. Being willing to take in children whose parents can’t or won’t be able to care for them helps to remove at least one barrier from women who use that as an excuse to abort. What about young women who have no place to go because their parents would kick them out for being pregnant? They sure could use a Christian home that would show them love, support, parenting skills, and safety while they carry their child, and possibly continued support either at home or as they find their own place to ehlp them care for their child or process the decision to give the child up for adoption. Caring pregnancy centers sometimes match volunteeers with women needing this kind of sacrificial love.
Can’t do that? What about all the old baby furniture, toys, and clothes? If you aren’t passing all of that on to friends, or planning to reuse it yourself, why not donate it to an agency that can redistribute it to parents-to-be that need to know that they aren’t all alone, and that others can help where they may not have the money to provide all the immediate needs of a newborn. Foster/adoption agencies can use that kind of stuff as well. (Though they generally prefer new clothes, etc.)
Next: Sanctity of Life Part 2