Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Horror of Abortion: and what we can DO about it

[Ed. note: this article is FULL of good links to excellent and informative articles about abortion. Please don't skim over the links-- check them out and take the time to read them, particularly the one with the womens' first-hand accounts of their abortions. --Jess]

Abortion is too horrific an epidemic in our culture for Christians to continue taking a silent, passive role. Some Christians have taken a "stand" for abortion, through voting, protesting, or volunteering. But "some" is not enough. We should ALL be actively involved in fighting against abortion.

We MUST speak out. We must call it what it is. We must speak out against it in our own communities. We must do what is necessary to support those who are in difficult situations (those who are more susceptible to consider abortion in a moment of panic or fear). We must be people who value life, even if it comes in unexpected packages or in ways that we might be tempted to look down upon.

Consider this:

"In order to get an idea of how many deaths [Planned Parenthood] has been responsible for - just pretend that nuclear weapons detonated in and wiped out the entire populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Washington DC combined. (Though you'd still come up on the short side.)"

-Kevin McCullough

Did you catch that? Go back and re-read it slowly, and let it sink in.
Nearly every major city in our nation STILL wouldn't contain enough bodies to represent all of the people who have been killed in this tax-funded genocide called abortion. This doesn't sound like the "safe, legal, and rare" aim that early pro-abortion supporters claimed as their goal. A procedure that has (so far) killed that many people could NEVER be appropriately termed a "rare" occurrence.

Regardless of what the literature says, or what some people might say, everyone knows it's a baby.

It's not because of health reasons. Even in the small percentage of cases where the "health of the baby" is given as a reason for the abortion, more healthy babies are killed than "unhealthy" ones.

It's not because of an innate respect for a baby, as some people claim... that it is much better to take the life of the baby than to give birth to an unwanted child.

First off, abortion providers make a killing, literally. Their profits are enormous, plus they get tax funding on top of their profits. Then, the babies who are killed in these gruesome procedures aren't even "just" disposed of. Their body parts are sold. There's a profit to be made, on top of the original profit they made from dismembering the baby and sucking its parts out to be counted and re-constructed to be sure that all of the baby was "successfully" removed. Finally (as if all of that weren't enough), those bodies and body parts that aren't sold can be used in cosmetics and other commercial endeavors, as well as used for experimentation.

It isn't that the abortion providers are "protecting rights" by offering the kindness of their services- they make a fortune! Their motives are clearly in line with their balance sheets. And this certainly isn't the case of some women exercising a noble "choice" and standing up for her "freedom", as it would be if they were, say, casting a vote for Senator. Most often, these women are scared, unsure of themselves, and uncertain of the morality of their choice.

I believe (and it's confirmed in a majority of the stories that are shared by women who have had abortions) that the reason why most women have abortions is because they just don't see any other way out. Here are some classic situations where an abortion is not only possible, but likely:
  • A teenage girl believes that her deacon dad and Sunday school teacher mom would disown her if she even told them she was pregnant. She pools some money with her boyfriend, stealing it if she has to, goes to Planned Parenthood and "takes care of it".
  • A young college student feels that her educational hopes would be wrecked if she carried the baby to term. She doesn't even bother to tell the father of the baby, and she doesn't give adoption a second glance because of the fear of the moment. She goes, bites back her tears, and, exercising her freedom and liberation, "terminates the pregnancy".
  • A mom of three young children feels overwhelmed that she's pregnant again, and doesn't know anyone who has four children. Her own parents live 800 miles away and her husband works all the time. Abortion seems like the only answer.

Though all are in different specific situations, they're all just looking for a little support and a way out of what they see as an impossible situation. If we, as Christians, were more prominent and intentional about showing love and REAL support to women in these situations, we might not be able to change all of their minds, but we could make a dent in the number of women who turn to Planned Parenthood, rather than the body of Christ, to help their situation.

The truth is, the on-going horror of abortion happens in the dark. Women make decisions based on fear and bad information. They often don't realize that pregnancy resource centers will offer assistance to them if they choose life. They may not know about the developmental stages of their baby. Most abortions happen without full information given to the mother about the procedure, and the baby never has a say in the matter. There are two lives at stake- one, a helpless, innocent child... and the other, who may be a not much more than a child herself. Clearly, when you look at the statistics of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide rates of women who have had abortions, her life will most likely never be the same after she exercises her "right to choose". We need to be people who offer a clear alternative choice to women. So how do we do that?

(1) Find one or two specific ways that you can help. Here's one great article, full of ideas of how to help women in difficult situations like these: 50 Ways to Help Unborn Babies and Their Mothers ~ Randy Alcorn. This last spring, I was able to volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center, and it was such a blessing to me. I would encourage you to find a tangible way to stand up for life.

(2) We need to be educated on the facts about abortion. We need to be able to speak intelligently and compassionately about this difficult issue. We need to look at the hard pictures. We need to feel the horror of it ourselves, if we're going to be motivated to do anything about it.

Honestly, though, I think this last point is the most important one.

(3) We must value life IN EVERY FORM that it comes in:
  • Help support the overwhelmed parents of a young child with disabilities, financially, or with your time. Offer to buy their groceries or bring them a movie and dinner one night so they can have a refreshing night together, as they may not feel comfortable taking "date nights out" with a needy child at home.
  • Help the young mom with three young children in your neighborhood; ask if you can watch her kids one afternoon so she can have an afternoon free.
  • Work out a system to provide nursery care for children with autism or other difficulties, so that the parents can attend church services regularly. Advertise this nursery care- you may be surprised how many beleaguered parents don't come to church because they feel no one would be willing to deal with a child with disabilities.
  • Be the one voice who responds with complete excitement when a young mom with a four-month-old finds out that she's expecting another one.
  • Speak out to your church friends and family to be accepting and loving towards unwed mothers. The fear of judgment and what people might think is absolutely enough to drive some women towards abortion. Let's be people who love sinners in difficult situations, just like Jesus Himself did.
  • Consider adoption or opening your home to foster children. There are SO many children in need of a home, in need of acceptance and love, and in need of Christ's love to be real to them. OH, what an impact you could have in the life of a child who might otherwise become a statistic.

We need to be a peculiar people who clearly values life in every form. These more than 40 million babies who have already been killed (since 1973) are all image-bearers of God Himself. They were created in His image, just as we are. We have a responsibility to treasure these lives that our society does not treasure. We can do it through changing our own attitudes towards those who are most at-risk for abortions: unwed mothers, mothers of multiple children, families with limited finances, and teenagers. Pray for these women. Love them and serve them. Financially support crisis pregnancy centers.

We must foster in our hearts, and in the hearts of the people around us, a deep love for all children, even those who are not seen as valuable by our society: supposedly "unwanted" children, children with disabilities, mixed-race babies, and foster children. Be counter-cultural: love life and love women in difficult situations, and be vocal about it!

Precious Father, enable us to stand up against these cultural strongholds. Strengthen us to DO something about the abortion genocide that is happening in our midst. Help us to love and support women and men in difficult situations, and help us to serve those who feel that their children are unwanted and unloved by society at large. Teach us to "look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Phil 2:4). Give us a heart like Jesus' heart... to love the unlovely, to treasure that which is deemed worthy of death in a garbage can, to value life in every form that it comes in. I ask you to give each person who reads this article a specific action that he/she can take in order to stand against the horror of abortion. I pray all these things in the power of the name of Jesus, Who let all the little children come to Him, valuing each precious child. Amen.


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