On June 24th the United States Supreme Court voted in favor to overturn the federal right to an abortion. This doesn’t mean that abortion is now illegal in our country, but instead that each state will be able to decide for itself how to handle it. In some states, abortion has already become illegal as a result of this decision (those are known as trigger states). More changes may come to individual state abortion laws after the elections in November.
Since the opinion was leaked this past May, we’ve seen protests and gatherings both in favor of and vehemently against the overturning of Roe. We’ve also seen many memes and re-posts attempting to dissuade either side. This isn’t a football game where we simply choose one team over the other – lies are abundant, hearts are in pain, and lives have been lost. No doubt this topic can bring out the best and the worst in people.
But how can we heal our sisters and our country going forward? Some people say it’s politics while others ignore it as if it will go away quietly. The truth? It’s not a Republican or Democrat issue, it’s a moral issue. Abortion is not a right, and it’s not healthcare.
Just because someone is pro-life, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t been directly affected by abortion…
Some may think those in favor of Roe being overturned have never experienced the dilemma of abortion or any of the circumstances that might bring it about, so how can they understand? Well that’s not so. Generally, 1 out of every 4 women have had at least 1 abortion. We know the gut-wrenching that comes with making that choice. Once we believed that it was just a clump of cells, and after it’s done we can just move on and get back to our normal lives. Years later, if we were fortunate to be able to, we had families, some in spite of physical complications that arose because of past abortions. At one time in your life, you weren’t ready to be a mother, but now when you look at your children you realize that being pregnant is what makes you a mother, so you wonder what that aborted baby might have looked like and who they may have become. Some of us later find ourselves at church, with a fear of being “found out”, so we do our best to keep our secret a secret. Perhaps you were always part of a church, and maybe you don’t feel the struggle of a past of abortion and don’t see what all the fuss is about. Or, maybe your stance is that you might never choose abortion again but you’re certainly not going to take that right from another woman.
Where do you find yourself?
There’s a Facebook post being shared many times over known as “I Am Pro-Susan.” No doubt someone poured their heart into creating difficult and tragic circumstances that could sway a reader to rethink their position if they were pro-life and/or no exceptions.
However, God is the author of life, and Psalm 139:13-14 tells us:
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
God created it. He gives it to us, and it’s just not ours to take.
And if He gave it to us, wouldn’t it be fair to say that he has a purpose for it as well? Are we not only robbing God of His creation while robbing ourselves of the blessings of motherhood and grace?
What if instead of being “pro-Susan”, we look at pregnancy not as a bad situation that requires a remedy, but instead we see it as an opportunity to allow God to make beauty from ashes? What would it look like if we changed some of the outcomes? What if the ones like “Susan” not only knowingly chose abortion, but unknowingly chose a lifetime of shame and regret too, and we saw the sad remains of the destruction abortion leaves behind? What if? What if for some, their faith and trust in God resulted in an abundance of blessing instead of a burden of guilt and pain?
I am pro-Cecily, who later in life learned that she was actually a surviving twin of an aborted sibling after her mother chose to terminate the pregnancy unaware that she was pregnant with twins.
I am pro-Kathy, whose mother was raped at 11 years old but chose life instead of abortion. After overcoming many years of struggle and poverty, Kathy recently ran again for United States Senate in Pennsylvania. God had a purpose for her life, even if the way it came to be wasn’t what anyone would consider “ideal”.
I am pro-Mariah, who had multiple abortions. At 25 weeks pregnant with her first child, she was diagnosed with an “incompetent cervix” that causes pre-term labor.. For her next 3 pregnancies, a cerclage was required – a “purse string” around the cervix, placed by the end of the first trimester to keep the cervix closed to help carry the baby as close to full-term as possible.
I am pro-Penny, who chose to have an abortion before it was legal, but carried the guilt and shame of it for over 50 years of her life. Though she now lives in forgiveness and is healed, she looks at the her latest family photo with her children and grandchildren and realizes that she is missing an entire branch of family because of that abortion.
I am pro-Cindy, who after multiple “reproductive health” options, finds that she will never be able to have children later in life.
I am pro-Diane, who chose abortion while in college because she thought it would ruin her chances of finishing school. Later in life, she regrets her abortion and realizes that that baby wasn’t a burden on her life but instead a beautiful gift. She is thankful to have found redemption in Christ.
I am pro-Jenny, who over 30 years ago survived an abortion of saline injections, and now travels the world to speak out against it.
I am pro-Sandy, who thought she was too young to be a mom at 16, but in years later as a mom to her daughter and son, she wonders what her aborted child might look like and in what ways would they have been like their siblings.
I am pro-Jessica, whose heart is broken every time she hears women shouting ‘abortion without demand’ while her and her husband struggle with infertility.
I am pro-Gabby, who made the decision to stay pure in her relationship to her boyfriend, honoring their faith in God and commitment by abstaining from sex until they marry.
I am pro-Melissa, who found herself pregnant and alone at 17 but decided to continue the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption, so it could have a better chance at life than she thought she could offer it. Perhaps one day, she will get to be face to face with that child, and all they will see is love.
But for the grace of God, every one our stories could be different. In Christ, we are not condemned. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, and there isn’t anyplace that too hard for Jesus. There is only compassion, love, and healing.
If you’re looking for direction, healing, help, or just a shoulder, I would be blessed to share your burden and be there for you. firstname.lastname@example.org