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. My frame was not hidden from you when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unborn body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be -Psalm 139: 13-16
A couple weeks ago my heart was hurting like it never had before. As I went to sleep, I could barely pray and was on the verge of tears. I was so distraught; I didn’t have the energy to open my bible to soothe my soul. If it weren’t for my sleeping pills I probably wouldn’t have gotten much sleep. This time though my depression had nothing to do with my mental illness. It was about the attitude toward abortion in our country. Now, I realize this is an extremely sensitive topic. My goal though is not to shame anybody for their actions or beliefs. Rather I want to offer a fuller explanation why Christians believe the way they do. I hope that no matter what side you are on, it can fuel compassionate conversations and help us to better understand each other.
For those of you who are not Christians or maybe don’t even believe in God, I can understand why you may believe the way you do. Before I became a Christian abortion didn’t really bother me. I wouldn’t say I heavily supported it, but I believed that women should have that right if they wanted one. I was agnostic about God and wasn’t sure if conception began in the womb. I for sure, didn’t believe that God had a plan for my life, no less before I was even born. However, this is exactly what the Bible tells us.
Before the universe was even created, God had you in mind. He wanted us to live and have the fullest life possible. Even though God knew we would ultimately betray him, He created us so that he could love us. He is so in love with us that he knows when we sit and when we rise and knows all our thoughts (Psalm 139: 2). If we were to count the number of times he thinks of us, “they would outnumber the grains of sand” (Psalm 139:18). In case you were wondering, it’s estimated that there are about 7.5 x 1018 grains of sand on earth. That’s almost 334,000,000 times more than the number of seconds in an average life.
I could go on and on about how much God loves us. However, if you don’t believe in God or any of the things, we should take special note at what science says. Some of the world’s most prominent scientists and physicians have testified to a U.S. Senate committee that human life begins at conception. Even people like Ashley Montague, a geneticist and professor at Harvard and Rutgers, who is unsympathetic to the prolife cause, affirmed unequivocally, “The basic fact is simple: life begins not at birth, but conception.” (http://naapc.org/why-life-begins-at-conception/). Sadly, we are killing human beings at an alarming rate. According to the World Health Organization, every year there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions, which corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.
Another thing that should be aware of, is the psychological damage women can experience after abortions. In a study of medical records of 56,741 California Medicaid patients revealed that women who had abortions were 160 percent more likely than delivering women to be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following abortion or delivery (http://afterabortion.org/2011/abortion-risks-a-list-of-major-psychological-complications-related-to-abortion/).
Now, I realize the unintended pregnancies can be incredibly scary or inconvenient. I cannot empathize or fully understand what it feels like because I have never been in that position. No matter the situation though, while it may be incredibly painful and won’t make sense for a while or until heaven comes, God has a wonderful plan for every single pregnancy and baby born for those who trust in him. And it will all work out for good.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”-Jeremiah 29:11
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28
Last year I had the pleasure of hearing an awesome story from the director of a shelter/ministry building in the inner city of Columbus where I went to volunteer. His parents were very poor, were alcoholics and addicted to drugs. His mom got her tubes tied but somehow ended up pregnant. She was about to abort him but somehow the procedure fell through.
Growing up his parents resented him and abused him because he was born. His mom had been sexually abused by his father and hated having a kid who reminded her of him. His father as well didn’t want a child. He got into drugs at a young age and started going down a pretty dark path. However, in quite a miraculous way, he accepted Christ. He then started this organization and has helped hundreds of people in the city by providing them food and childcare classes and goods. He started a church there and ministers to so many people in need of God’s love and healing.
With all of this though, I firmly believe that we cannot be pro-life without taking active measures to educate and provide resources to help women with their pregnancies, especially those who have insufficient means or support to do so. Admittedly, I am not sure the best or most efficient way to do this. I don’t know if the nation quite knows the best way to do this either. Nonetheless, we cannot neglect mothers. Christians are called to be pro-life, not pro-birth. It is incredibly important to offer appropriate healthcare and support to the women who need it.
Our country is so divided right now, and this issue is always up for debate. It can be a very emotional topic. At the very least, I hope we can all respect each other. We must try to restrain from judgement, whatever side you are on. Christians don’t get a free pass and I’ll be the first one to admit that judgement is one of the sins I struggle with the most. We must listen to people’s stories and struggles. We must gracefully love people where they are at, even if they disagree with us.