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What Being Pro-Life Means to Me

I remember her like it was yesterday. We sat across from each other in a small room, she on the sofa and myself in a chair. It was about 6:00 p.m. when she walked in, an hour before the office closed for the day. It had been a long day. I was tired. At the time, I was in charge of coordinating the fundraising events for a small, crisis pregnancy center, and the workload could be overwhelming. But this was the one night a week that I volunteered downstairs. It was my opportunity to remember why my fundraising efforts were important.

She had also just come from work. She was dressed in a professional pant-suit. I gave her the instructions for the pregnancy test, and once that was taken care of, she sat down and explained her situation to me.

She was in her early twenties. She had been dating someone pretty seriously for about six months. She was hoping they would get married. But she recently took a pregnancy test that showed a positive result. When she told her boyfriend, he told her to get rid of it. She explained to me that his family is really involved in his church. They go to a small, church from a conservative denomination called the CRC. “Have you heard of it?” she asked. I nodded my head.

He said that his family would freak out, that this would ruin his parents’ reputation in their church and community. He told her to go somewhere to “get it taken care of.” And so she sat before me, wanting to confirm that she was pregnant so that she could obtain information about how to get an abortion.

It did not take long for the results to register. She was pregnant. We estimated that she was about 14 weeks along, so I started sharing the facts with her. I told her about the procedures available as matter-of-factly as I could. My purpose as a pregnancy counselor was never to scare or traumatize anyone, but to share the details that women needed to know to make a decision. As I described the procedures to her, I could see tears welling up in her eyes.

She didn’t want to do this, she said. But she knew that choosing to keep this baby would mean the end of her relationship with this man she loved, and it would mean raising a child on her own. She had moved to town for her job last year. She had no family here, only a few friends. “How can I raise a child on my own?” she wondered out loud. I had no easy answers for her.

That is the issue with abortion. There are no easy answers. It is not simple. And there are multiple lives at stake.

I spoke with her for over an hour, well past “closing time”, but when we walked out of that room, she knew what she had to do. She was going to keep her baby. I referred her to a couple of doctors. I told her some places where she could get help. I even recommended some churches.

I still think about her. When I remember, I pray for her and her child. And I pray for all of the women faced with the difficult decision to have a child or abort their child. I pray for the women and men struggling with a past abortion. I pray for the children whose lives were lost before they had the opportunity to see God’s beautiful world. Being pro-life means different things to different people, but here is what being pro-life means to me.

Being pro-life means affirming healthy sexuality by modeling it in my life and teaching it to my children and all of those within my sphere of influence.

Being pro-life means grieving with those who mourn the loss of a preborn child whether by miscarriage or stillbirth or abortion.

Being pro-life means lamenting the ways that preborn bodies are disregarded and misused by abortion service providers.

Being pro-life means supporting ministries that come alongside women and men who have chosen abortion to show them the healing and restoration that we have in Christ.

Being pro-life means sharing how abortion practices in the United States have targeted African American communities and speaking up against these practices.

Being pro-life means offering assistance to women who choose to raise their children in spite of the obstacles set before them.

Being pro-life means advocating and voting for laws that empower women by increasing access to birth control and education, which decrease the demand for abortion.

Being pro-life does not mean...

...hurling hateful words at women seeking to end a pregnancy in abortion

...or shooting abortion doctors or blowing up abortion clinics

...or making underhanded videos that demonize other people made in God’s image

...or working to undermine women’s rights.

Being pro-life means accepting the invitation that Christ extends to us, an invitation to receive unwarranted mercy and overwhelming grace, and extending that invitation to others. We extend it when we raise money to support the life-saving programs of crisis pregnancy centers. We extend it when we choose to love women who have chosen abortion rather than judging them. We extend it when we advocate and vote for laws that give women vulnerable to abortion access to education.

Because when we choose to extend our hands in grace, God will work.

Editor's note: We are planning a series on "What Being Pro-Life Means to Me". Keep watching Do Justice for the launch of the series!


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