As pro-lifers we’ve heard the accusation that those who care for the unborn, don’t have the same concern for the women who carry them. It’s a cheap shot at best. A judgment that’s made with little regard for the programs, organizations and ministries that are devoted to helping women facing crisis pregnancies.
At the CareNet Annual banquet last year I witnessed a representative from Regent University give a full four year scholarship to a special young mother. Regent University partners with Care Net Crisis Pregnancy centers to offer these scholarships to help moms achieve their dreams. This is one tangible example among many of people with pro-life values displaying their commitment to care for both the woman and her child.
In the Pregnancy Resource or Crisis Pregnancy field a woman who is seeking an abortion or set on having one is considered to be abortion vulnerable or abortion minded. We are called to show compassion and kindness to these women and their families. The only question is, how can we do that effectively? How do we love the abortion vulnerable woman?
It’s a question I ask myself. I desire to love with no strings attached. As the manager of client services at a PRC I meet a lot of hurting women. Even in the last two weeks while listening to women’s stories I began to weep right along with them. I desire to provide these women with a sense of relief after they walk out our doors. I want them to know there is someone in the world who cares. Although I’m far from an expert in this area, I do have some thoughts on ways we can show love to women contemplating abortion.
We must reach outside of our comfort zones. Many abortion vulnerable women erect walls to protect themselves from the pain of their circumstances. At times they shut off the voices of those closest to them. In some situations they have to do that, because the voices that are dear to them are telling them destructive things. Nevertheless they do want to talk to someone. They are looking for a loving person who will listen and not judge.
Abortion is seen as a personal and private issue in our nation. Therefore we can easily feel like we shouldn’t ‘go there’ or get involved. ‘That’s her choice’ we might think. We don’t want to ‘interfere’ or get in the way. While that sounds like the most loving thing to do, sometimes it’s merely a choice we are making out of fear. We should reach out in love to the woman seeking abortion.
If you’re in a high school and a friend tells you she has an appt. scheduled, take her out to lunch and listen to her heart. If your family member opens up about her fears about having a child, don’t be afraid to ask her questions. I’ve talked with women who look back at their abortion decision with regret. They wanted someone to process the decision with. If they had that person, they could have made a different choice.
We also must love regardless of the outcome. It’s not our job to save a baby’s life. What do I mean by that? Yes, I want all unborn children to live beautiful and hopeful lives. Yet I realize I have little control over that happening. Can I make a difference in a mother’s life? Yes. Can I offer information, resources, and helpful truths that will lead her to make a good decision? Absolutely. Yet what I can not do, is reach into her womb and save her child. If I think I can, I’ll be weighed down with unbelievable pressure. Then every woman I work with will become a target. I will feel victorious if they choose life and depressed if they don’t. Of course we will naturally feel happy if a woman keeps her child and sorrowful if they take that life away. Nevertheless we have to love these women regardless of the outcome they choose. If we don’t we will be loving them with conditions.
I’m just starting out in this journey to learn to love more. I’m grateful that the women I work with are challenging me to grow in this most important area. Abortion vulnerable woman are all around us. May we consider what we can do to make a difference in their lives.