Pro-life, Pro-choice… Or?May 23, 2019
Taking a political stand is not going to help
As I once again comment on the most recent abortion laws, I am all the more convinced that taking a political stand is not going to bring needed help and change for women and children. That is why ProGrace doesn’t identify as either Pro-life or Pro-choice. It feels a bit crazy, but I am writing about these new laws because friends are telling me they are confused and ambivalent – and don’t have a way to process their thoughts about this new legislation.
Here is the most neutral article I could find that outlines the key details in the Alabama, Georgia and Missouri laws.
People seem to be talking most about the Alabama law, because it prohibits all abortions unless the child has a “lethal anomaly” and would die shortly after birth, or if an abortion is needed to “prevent serious health risk” to the woman.
I believe that God creates and values all life.
I believe that God creates and values all life and that abortion was never His plan or His best for women or children. At the same time, I understand and empathize with the reasons many women believe it’s their only option.
I dream of the day when we have created a culture where no woman feels her only choice is between abortion and overwhelming struggle as a mom. It’s why I do what I do with ProGrace. I am hard-pressed to see how the Alabama, Georgia or Missouri laws are moving us closer to this culture.
As I’ve reflected on these laws, I also can’t help thinking about the recent New York state law (which I wrote about here).
As different as the intentions and outcomes of the laws are, here are places they are similar:
- Both the pro-life and pro-choice laws pit the needs of the woman against the needs of the child.
- None of these laws make provision for meeting the needs or honoring rights of the “other person” in the pregnancy. They are all one-sided, protecting either the rights of the woman or the rights of the child. By God’s design we know it is impossible to help one while bypassing the other and that is why so many of us as Christians are uncomfortable with all of them, even if we agree with certain provisions or intentions behind the laws.
- None of the laws have any provision to help women who don’t want to have an abortion, but feel it’s their only option
We know that *75% of women choose abortion because they lack emotional support and practical resources. What if pro-life and pro-choice politicians could work together to pass legislation to increase emotional and practical support for women facing unintended pregnancy? Including mandatory paid maternity leave, preventing pregnancy discrimination in school and career, offering help with childcare, etc…
The reason that kind of common ground legislation is so rare is that politicians are afraid to give an inch to work with the other “side.” And when that happens, we elevate a political agenda over helping the very people impacted by these laws. And we squander the time, resources and energy we could be using to create helpful solutions for both women and children.
Both laws are in response to either a fear or hope that Roe vs. Wade will be overturned
This is a deeply political agenda that each party has made a huge part of their platform. How much of this is done to “rally the troops” to vote for them, and how much is done with true compassion for the women and children impacted? I’m grateful for our lawmakers and don’t want to judge them. At the same time, do politicians on either side make the time to listen to women’s stories and try to find common ground solutions that would help them? Or do they spend their energy and political power trying to either protect or overturn Roe vs. Wade?
I believe God’s solution to the abortion issue will come through His Church.
Now you can see why I don’t work in politics. I believe God’s solution to the abortion issue will come through His Church. And that’s why I do my best to inspire and equip Christian leaders to change their churches, making them safe places to have new conversations about abortion and provide the support women need to see hope for an unintended pregnancy.
If we can create communities where women and children can thrive, during and after unintended pregnancy, we can see a greater shift in abortion than any of the above laws will provide.
*75% of women who have abortions state that their reason for doing so is that they lack emotional support and practical resources (Finer LB, Reasons US Women Have Abortions, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2005)
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