Looking around at the way the world is going can be overwhelming. It is so easy to throw your hands up and say, “I cannot do anything to help this mess.”
That’s what I did for a very long time concerning abortion and the pro-life movement. How am I, a stay-at-home mom of young twins, going to make any difference at all?
Then the answer came to me one morning during my Bible study time. I don’t have to fix it all. I just have to be ready to help where I can.
So that’s where I am now. Taking the first few wobbly steps towards educating and helping people to better understand what abortion really is and how it is impacting our nation. The internet has been a great tool in being a vessel to get God’s and the pro-life message out there, as well as in helping me to understand the ways that I can make a difference. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned so far…
As challenging as it may seem, finding common ground with the women considering having an abortion is essential. It is very easy to meet someone, speak to someone, or read a blog posting from someone who is considering having an abortion and write her off as hopeless. What we really need to remember is that we are all sinners and have to deal with things of the flesh every day. We have to hate the sin and love the sinner, because Jesus has called us to love each other. What do you have in common with this woman?
I am able to connect with most women because I was a fairly young mother and living off an income from my husband that always has us on our toes. I also faced having children in a quantity that I was not planning on. We thought having a baby would be so wonderful, but when we found out we were having twins, my husband and I were both taken back for a second. Were we ready for this? Some women know that their situation is not healthy to raise a child in, so they feel that abortion is their only way out. This is the moment for a strong and supportive voice to step in and let them know that that is not their only choice. It is true that the baby she is carrying might not be meant to live with her; he might be meant for someone else.
The other portion of creating a personal connection with women in this situation would be to think about how different their lives are from yours (I know, I’m flip-flopping!). I was raised in a very comfortable home with a loving mother, father, and siblings. We were conservative and knew some of what God expected from us, though we did not read our Bibles or go to church regularly. A lot of these women who are considering an abortion have not had experiences like this. Some will grow up in houses were abortion is considered the right and necessary thing to do in their situation, some will grow up in houses without a strong family unit to teach them morality and values that most of us are blessed to know from a young age, and some will grow up in fear for their safety and health. Their backgrounds are not reasons for us to discount them as lost, but they are the reasons why we must show them support and hope. These women need to know that their futures can be different from their pasts. Remember that in this fight, guilt is not our strongest weapon; compassion for these women who feel they have no other options is.
Next, educating women on their babies’ development is great, but how can we make it real for them? In a recent discussion with a young woman who was considering abortion at 13 weeks, I spoke to her about how I was able to feel my son moving at around 16 weeks. It was a very strange and exciting sensation, because I knew he was there, but now I could feel that he was there. Getting women to look forward to developments in their babies instead of dreading an unplanned child will help them to see their babies as what they are: miracles! This is a great way to get the lines of communication open as well. Sharing stories of your childhood, pregnancies, and children back and forth will allow you more insight on how this woman got to the decision that she needs to have an abortion. If possible, stay in contact with the woman, because your support and compassion will be an ongoing source of hope to her.
Here’s the part I’ve been nervous about (deep breath): religion! Again, please remember as you read the next section that our greatest weapon is not guilt, but compassion. There are many types of women in many different circumstances who decide to have an abortion every day. We need to keep in mind that judging them is really just building a barrier between us and them. Religion can sometimes be a part of that barrier. During a recent witnessing seminar at our family church, the speaker spoke about working God into the conversation in a streamlined and appropriate manner. Christians know that someone who does not have a personal relationship with God sees biblical truths and ways as foolishness (1 Corinthians 2:14). I have felt that God works through me to open their eyes to the other possibilities as I slowly reveal what I have learned about God’s love and forgiveness. A great passage to keep in mind when you are trying to decide how to discuss your beliefs with a non-believer is “Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). What I hear when I read that is monitor your speech to fit the situation. By no means am I saying to hold a witness to God’s love and power when talking to non-believers, but I am calling attention to where some of our religious predecessors in the pro-life movement have failed before our present generation of Christians. We have to understand what pro-choice people are thinking and what the woman who is going to walk into the abortion clinic is going through in her life. Christians have to understand the world around us so that we can share God in the most fitting manner to the people around us.
Most important, get the message out! I have found that I can make great strides in the pro-life movement by talking to people who are undecided or really have not thought about abortion. There is a large section of the country who feels that the pro-life/pro-choice argument is purely a religious and personal choice debate. It is important to show them the information that we have about the founder and practices of Planned Parenthood, the large amount of money that the U.S. government pays annually to Planned Parenthood, the information about fetal development, and the aftereffects of abortion on the mother. I am sure that there will be a section of information that grips you more than others. Run with it! For me, it’s the large percentage of the population in states like California and New York that are never even born. Really, it’s shocking. Look it up. Sharing this information is imperative to waking our country up to the genocide that is occurring daily.
How do you make a difference? Easy: talking and sharing at every opportunity. Start by encouraging mothers who are considering having an abortion, and be willing to empower the people around you with information so that they can go out and make a difference as well. It’s simple, but so powerful.