By Matt Jackson, Contributing Writer
A young woman the age of sixteen finds out that she is pregnant. She feels nervous about the repercussions of being a young mother in today’s world, she feels scared to admit she is pregnant because of the shame that will be thrust upon her and she feels guilty that the possibility of having an abortion has even crossed her mind.
What she wants more than anything is someone she can talk to without being judged or looked down upon. She wants to speak with someone who will have compassion for the difficult situation she has found herself in. Is this young woman more likely to find such compassion from the workers in a Planned Parenthood office, or the Christians who are standing outside of it with signs of protest?
As Christians we must first acknowledge the complexity of the issue, but also spread the message that there is nothing more precious than that of a human life. A woman who is facing the life-altering task of being a single mother does not need to be shamed or bombarded with information about the consequences of premarital sex. She needs to be assured that the life she has inside of her is valuable. Shame does not talk a woman in a vulnerable position out of getting an abortion; however, compassion and support just might.
Across the country one can find billboards that read, “God weeps for the millions of babies that have been aborted.” While I absolutely agree that this statement is true, I believe that statements like those are one of the least effective ways to approach a confused young woman in search of answers. Shameful words do not provide the system of support needed to face an uncertain future. Choosing compassion to approach difficult circumstances such as abortion may not change the law, but it may help to overcome the boundaries the law has set up.
As an article by Rachael Dymski in Relevant magazine recently stated, “women [who are considering an abortion] should be enveloped in grace and offered a strong circle of support. [As Christians] we should be a sanctuary to run to rather than a place for them to hide from.” The Holy Spirit empowers us with the ability to speak truth with grace, love and compassion even in the most difficult circumstances. In doing so we must encourage those who face uncertainty to trust the power of God in overcoming the difficult situations they may face. Supporting women who face an uncertain future as a single mother is a difficult task for the Christian community to take on. However, if we are the same community that advocates for such women to choose life we must be the organized support system they need to make such a life altering decision.
Planned Parenthood is the successful organization it is today because of the system they have set in place to support women who choose not to carry their child. If the pro-life community was organized in such a way to emotionally and financially support these same women, the opportunity for successfully decreasing the abortion rate would greatly improve. While we are to be active in promoting the values that are given to us through the Word of God, we are not accurately doing so if we ignore the details of what must be done in order to truly make a social change. Imagine the difference a supportive and non-disdained Christian community could make. As Christ says is John 8:7, “He who is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her.”