Pro-life? Pro-choice? How about pro-love.
The following text is the introduction to Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Pro-Love: 44 days of reflection for finding a third way in the abortion debate. I'm sharing it today given the recent news about new Texas restrictions on abortion and the subsequent SCOTUS decision. The only way we can change the way people think and legislate about abortion is if we change the way we discuss it. This book can help.
I’ve had two abortions. The first was while I was in high school, and the second was a year or two after I graduated. Those experiences made me pro-life, and my view of abortion used to be resolute and concrete. The issue was as black and white as a barcode. But in recent years the demarcation between dark and light has blurred. Part of the blurring came from a conversation my spouse and I had with a hospital chaplain. Here’s what he said:
A soul stood at the gates of heaven, describing their life and hoping to be let in. They explained how they’d spent week after week picketing in front of abortion clinics, hoping to save the lives of unborn children. Jesus replied to them “Well done, my good and faithful servant! Come in and share my joy.” And in they went. Then along came another soul, who explained how they accompanied a broken-hearted, desperate young woman to an abortion clinic so she wouldn’t have to go alone. Jesus replied to them “Well done, my good and faithful servant! Come in and share my joy.” And in they went.
The parable rocked me.
While it aligned with the kind of deeply compassionate evaluation I believe God applies to us, my adamant pro-life stance made it hard to know how to process what I heard. That conversation, coupled with the politics which have been unfolding over the past few years, prompted this book.
No matter how loudly either side screams about abortion being a black and white issue, it isn’t. So let’s be honest with ourselves, no matter which side of the hill you are willing to die on. Let’s be honest with each other, which requires listening and processing before responding. Let’s be honest about the complexity which saturates the issue of life’s origins and women’s autonomy.
Here are the questions I’d like you to consider as you work your way through this devotional:
Can we reach a stage where we have mercy on the women who don’t think they can or should give birth?
Can we have mercy at the same time for the growing child in her womb?
Can we have mercy on the healthcare professionals who believe with all sincerity that they are doing good in the world by providing abortion services?
Can we attain the goal of viewing each of these groups through the eyes of Christ, our loving mediator and judge, who weighs our hearts and minds before rendering a judgment?
I wrote this book to try to figure out what I thought about the issue of abortion. I don’t have many answers, but I do know that we should try to say yes to each of these questions.