Obama speaking at Notre Dame has been an absolutely fascinating moment for me and of course, for many others. You can read his speech here. There’s a lot to appreciate here. As mentioned in an earlier post, I respected that Notre Dame invited President Obama. I respect people’s right to disagree and protest. While not the route I would go, I also respected that some students decided to skip their own graduation as if Obama was the creator of abortion. The weekend was filled with people were arrested (like ‘Roe’ of Roe v. Wade), heckling, applause and for some of us, we acknowledged that perhaps there is something to gain from listening to someone who has the opposite view. That spirit can be summed up in Father Jenkins’ introduction.
I find myself wondering about many things in light of all this. First, know that I am pro-life. Second, know that I sympathize with all women who have found themselves to be pregnant and scared. Third, know that it is my conviction that each child deserves the right to be born. Fourth, know that I still respect those who passionately feel otherwise. Fifth, we need to do our part as a Church and a society to come along side the pregnant woman who is struggling with her situation. And this is just the very basic tip of the surface of what we need to do.
When a woman gets pregnant and is either unwed or wed but living at the poverty level, (or any other scenario, young college student, professional working woman, etc.), we have to say more than, “Well you should have thought before ….” or “The right thing is to keep the baby or put the child up for adoption.” I’m not saying the point of that statement is wrong, I’m saying we need to do more. As an adoptive parent, I obviously see the beauty of adoption but I also know that it takes a very special person to go through the pain of putting a baby up. But what about the woman who can’t do that? She wants to keep the baby and if she can’t then, unfortunately abortion becomes her conclusion.
If among our chief goals is fewer abortions then we need to work with people like President Obama and others that we swore off as enemies. For years I believed in the teaching I was given that if we changed the culture, abortion would lose its stronghold. While I believe that is a solid theory, it seems we have to do more until it is proven true because I am no longer content in only saying and believing those words. Thus, I have found myself wondering what would happen if the pro-life energies were focused on working with places like Planned Parenthood. I think I can hear some think “What???”
Here’s what the current situation seems to be to me. A Planned Parenthood opens on one side of the street. It is my perception that PP is interested in performing as many abortions as possible (it is a multi-billion dollar business). Eventually a pro-life clinic opens on the other side and of course they compete against one another. Every pregnant woman that enters their respective doors is urged to abort or keep their baby or put the child up for adoption. And here we are.
What if we converted some of our pro-life clinics into free day cares for those like single working mothers (or whomever) exclusively for those referred by Planned Parenthood? While I am not saying that we should not open pro-life clinics or close all of them, what I am speculating is the need to find ways to work with places such as Planned Parenthood. The donations made it to the former pro-life clinic could go to day care workers, and among them could be mothers and a percentage of PP’s profits could be contributed to these day cares and needy homes. Indeed I too see numerous issues that would have to be resolved and a long line of potential abuses but the idea only serves as a start.
Here’s another. What if we as a Church had “Single Mother Sunday” the week after “Sanctity of Life Sunday” Is this glorifying the wrong person? I suppose it depends what you mean by glorifying but I see this very much in tune with the gospel message itself because no matter how I look at it, I am the wrong person. I am grateful for grace. Is what I suggest that different?
What if for every missionary our church supported, we also supported a needy family? The point wouldn’t be too support fewer missionaries, but to help people get on their feet so they don’t repeat the cycle.
What if our Christian counselors offered free counseling for every woman who had an abortion or for those who struggled with the decision, kept the child and trying to figure out the next step?
I could probably go on but my point to my fellow evangelicals is this – can we not work together to reduce the number of abortions? Most of these suggestions have a financial commitment behind them, but I think they also have a mercy, caring element as well. Would that not change culture? I argue that it would do more than our current strategies.