On the 45th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the New York Reproductive Health Act was signed by Governor Cuomo. Christians throughout New York State and the U.S. are outcrying this issue in a justified fervor, but I wonder about the effectiveness of this approach.
Over this week, I’ve been trying to place myself in the shoes of a young girl who is contemplating abortion. If I found out today that I was pregnant as an unmarried, Christian woman, what would the response be? I would be terrified, ashamed, humiliated, disgusted, and in utter despair before I told another person. Knowing me, I wouldn’t say a word to anyone. I wouldn’t want it to get out. I wouldn’t want people to look at me differently, to call me the vile things I’ve heard myself call other girls, and to be constantly reminded of my failure. Despite my abhorrence of abortion, when I place myself in this situation, I can empathize with the girl who doesn’t want her secret to ever become public. I can understand that many (not all) young women are choosing abortion to hide their shame.
This perspective has caused me to reevaluate how I address abortion. I’ve shared articles that condemn it, I’ve voiced how evil it is, I’ve been a vehement proponent of hatred for it, yet what have I really changed? Have I made myself approachable to someone who has to face this consequence of sin? In our defense of the unborn, I’m afraid we alienate their mothers. When I objectively view Christians from the perspective of this fragile young woman, I can’t see why she would choose to run toward us. We criticize, we condemn, and many offer no solution – no hope. The articles we share, the words we speak, often draw her away from the options that we can offer.
When compared to Planned Parenthood and other like organizations, I can see why many young women are swayed. They offer to keep her secret, they offer her an escape, and at surface level they offer her compassion. I’ve never been, but I imagine that an industry profiting from abortion does not condemn those who get pregnant and regret it. It is indeed a tragedy when those who do evil become more loving to sinners than those who have already been saved from their sin. Those who champion the abortion cause rally people because they claim to offer young women hope, compassion, and freedom. Yet it is false hope, false compassion, and false freedom. How many more people would we rally if we showed the true hope in Jesus, true compassionate love, and true liberty? I wonder if that might be more effective than those dark articles we share.
There are so many ways to help these women, yet most of us are content to share the articles and move on with our lives. We can all donate to the organizations that are committed to helping these women. We can volunteer, we can offer compassion, we can adopt the unwanted children, we can pray with them, and so much more, but it is inconvenient. It is easy for us to criticize from behind a screen, but that is all these women see us do sometimes. Our strongest argument for life is that we do actually care for these women. I think we’d be more effective if we showed them we do.
For more ways to help consider these resources:
- 40 Days for Life
- The Federalist
- Heartbeat International
- National Right to Life Committee
- Susan B. Anthony List