In defence of those who've had an abortion
Updated: May 5, 2022
I recently posted on Facebook an open letter to those who are positive about the new abortion legislation in New York. You can see it in my previous post. I deleted the post from Facebook. Why did I leave it here? I hope that by being open here I can at least show my thought process and the fact that I don't think that what I wrote was incorrect or anything that I don't actually believe. That said, I think it was still right to delete it.
Abortion cuts close to the quick for me due to it being the reason for the quiet eugenics in our society against disability. It leads to the majority of those who are deemed disabled before they are born being terminated. As the father of a disabled child, it seems like society deems her as less valuable than those who are able. When I see legislation regarding vague terms like 'health' being used as qualifiers for abortion up to birth, I react instinctively. The downside is that the easiest response to lax legislation is to light up social media with opinion, and often, rage. And many have done just that, including me. I was feeling affirmed.
The issue with spouting off on Facebook is it is a great echo chamber and those that agree will say so, those that don't agree might be brave and a conversation or argument arises. Generally, those most affected by the argument or those who have experienced the effects of abortion will be watching from the sidelines.
I have several friends who have first hand experience counselling women who have undergone abortions, who faced the decision and managed to avoid abortion or whose 'choice' was abortion or death for both baby and/or mother. This is not a choice but a brutal part of a life in a world that is broken. I believe there is hope in this broken world as I've written about before and I hope that anyone reading my last post will read this.
I don't want to be that guy that yells from the sidelines through social media and condemns those who've done wrong. I do want to see change in the way society views the unborn but I also want women (and the men who are involved in or even pressuring the decision) to know that even if they have had to make such a decision in the past, that they can find acceptance and peace now. Both are available whether they think they need it or not. By the age of 45, 1 in 3 women will have had an abortion. Many will regret it for the rest of their life (google "abortion regret" to see for yourself if need be). Christians should be the people where you can find peace and a family that welcomes you because you are loved by the one who is love. If Jesus can say to a woman outcast by society and the religious elite by what was deemed a sin, 'I do not condemn you, go and sin no more' then I can say no more than that.
Christians are often known by what we disagree with and I think the world does know that most of us think abortion is wrong. I fluctuate between how helpful I think posting on Facebook is or not, it is good for opening up discussion, but often loses nuance and healthy conversation. The danger with social media, and our culture, is that if you say an action is wrong, the assumption is that you are 'hating' those who have committed said action. This is false and again, Christians are at the forefront of caring for women and children at all stages of life, but that isn't easily shown in the noise of social media. As Christians we seek to love both mother and child. Whilst proclaiming the wrongfulness of the NY law it is very easy to be misunderstood and inadvertently condemning women.
If anyone who reads this who has had an abortion, no matter your reasons, I hope that you can know that there is a place where you can find forgiveness and peace rather than judgement. I would hope that would be any church but I know that in a broken world, the church gets it wrong too.
For those wanting to campaign and see that the law protects the mums facing pressured and often desperate decisions as well as the life in the womb, maybe join me in supporting groups like CARE and #BothLivesMatter. Look for the charities that care for both lives and lobby the government to protect and support both.