Ann Voskamp is a loving wife to a hard working farmer, mother of 6 and author of the NY Times Bestselling book, “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are”. Ann’s book has helped countless women grow in gratefulness and appreciate the many blessings they take for granted. Ann has a popular blog where she writes about the joys of marriage, struggles of faith and beauty of life. In an April 16th blog post titled, “What Gosnell and the Gospel mean to the Brave”, Ann shares her thoughts on abortion in a letter written to her son. Ann begins by telling him a story:
I had bent over the tiles of the doctor’s office like I might hurl.
Like I might lose everything and the leaves, they’d clung to the rain splattered window.
And it’s not like I saw the doctor spin her chair or saw her lean forward. I just heard the mechanics of her rotation, the spinning of everything.
Just will be forever razed with what she said next, the way she’d said it like you could simply snip off light and not long feel the dark:
“Have you considered an abortion?”
Ann was taken aback by the way the doctor casually asked if she wanted to abort her child.
I had just blown out the candles on my 21st birthday cake. Married 90 days. Starting my third week of my third year of university. Terror can make people feel like all they have is terrible choices.
She shares with her son what she told the doctor and what abortion is really about.
Here me, Son, and remember it every time you hear the word abortion: Abortion isn’t so much about a woman having choice — but a woman feeling like she has no choice.
For one lifelong moment, the atoms of everything split and spun and hung.
And then my heart pounded out words out loud, words my synapses hadn’t even formed: “No — religiously impossible.”
And with three words — you fluttered and unfurled.
I don’t know how to say it — that you received what one million other aborted human beings every single year in the United States don’t get.
You received the gift of inhaling and exhaling and unfolding and being enfolded, and walk through a place like Gosnell‘s and this is the gift we can never get over — all that might not have been. A million families unspoken grief. Your lungs fill even now with the oxygenated impossible.
Ann calls us for us to see life in the right perspective:
Life isn’t a right to do with as we want, but a gift from God for Him to do with as He wills.
She writes about abortionist Kermit Gosnell and the temptation in her heart to turn away from the gory details of his case.
When I read of the blood and the babies and the snipping of necks, I wanted to wish it all away, close my eyes to sin and not bear witness. But in bearing witness, we bear the weight of glory, of God who bears sins and rises, and redemption requires testimony.
Ann goes on to address male promiscuity as one of the problems related to abortion.
And hear me, Son — our voice about women’s abortions lacks authenticity unless we speak of male promiscuity.
Ann believes people of God should love pregnant women and not shame them.
We can shame a woman for getting pregnant and we can shame her for aborting that baby but it’s shame for sin that bullies into further sin and what if instead of shaming, we weren’t ashamed of the Gospel of extravagant Grace?
Ann commissions us to fight for the least of these. She states that when we turn away from loving women and children, we turn from Christ.
For Christ followers, it’s more than being pro-choice and pro-life — it’s about always being pro-the-least-of-these:
The abortion debate is not so much about how we can somehow change the law, but right now change how we love. To have credibility in lobbying for laws against the abortion of babies, we must have the dependability of opening our doors for the welcoming of children.
If the compassion of the world is “We do not unwanted children born into the world,” then the compassion of the Gospel has to be far more powerful. The compassion of Christ-followers needs to literally and practically and sacrificially be: “We do want all the children born into this world.”
If we are truly pro-the-least-of-these: How does each and every Christian live in a way that witnesses to wanting all children, to welcoming all children, to wrapping around all children?
And how do we value the worth of every single woman?
You and I, we have to. Because ultimately this isn’t a debate and we can’t turn away indifferent — When we turn away from vulnerable women and children, we turn away from the venerable Christ.
Ann acknowledges the reality of abortion is hideous and at times we all want to look away. Yet she urges us not to.
And the truth is — We turn away from Gosnell because it’s our high school friends and it’s our sisters, its our daughters and our sons, and our children, our stained hands. It’s our grief of loss and our sins of neglect and our failure as a community. The tender mourning of it is that: Abortion is a sign of failure of community.
You and me together — we won’t turn away.
This is as messy as a bomb on a street corner on and this is as much a national tragedy and this is our collective loss — of women and children and families and men and in standing with those who bear witness, we bear the weight of glory, with the God who bears sins and rises, and redemption requires testimony and we will be the people who do not turn away.
Ann has used her eloquent writing to give an poignant commentary on life, love, and human dignity. Her article should be read again and again, dissected, and discussed by those in the pro-life community. It’s encouraging to know this article has been shared over 25,000 times on Facebook. It contains valuable truths that can help us love the weak and be pro-least-of-these. Thank you Ann for being brave enough to speak out on this issue.