Being Pro-Life Beyond the Ballot Box
In a few days, we will mark the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Fortunately, however, in the decades since, those who are pro-life have continued to fight vigorously for the rights of the unborn. There have been significant pro-life achievements in state legislatures and in the hearts of Americans. The number of abortions has declined, reaching the lowest level since the early 1970s. This is an encouragement to keep pursuing pro-life protections at the state and federal level, and I’m grateful to all those who work tirelessly to do so.
Many social conservatives feel passionately about voting for pro-life candidates and passing pro-life laws, which are good things. I sometimes wonder, however, if this passion and our actions reach beyond the ballot box. How supportive are we of women who do choose life in the midst of difficult circumstances?
Unmarried women who have an unplanned pregnancy often face very hard and emotional times. Some face pressure from boyfriends or others close to them to have an abortion. Some face a future as a single parent with little help or resources. Yet they follow their convictions and choose life in the face of these fears.
Sadly, sometimes they are met with more judgment than compassion. And often from the same conservative voters who are adamantly against abortion. Of course, the ideal scenario is for a child to grow up in a good home with both parents. And while we should strive for that, in this broken world, it is not always reality. Some of these women choose adoption and others choose to raise their babies themselves. A little encouragement in either scenario can go a long way.
It’s easy to impose judgment on these women or voice disappointment. Their “mistakes” are perhaps more visible than ours and may have harder and longer-lasting consequences. But every single one of us could have made better life choices at one time or another (or many times, more likely!). And, in some scenarios, only by the grace of God, have we been spared the full or possible consequences of our decisions.
So, if any women in our lives face an unplanned pregnancy, what an opportunity to show love and grace and to act on our pro-life beliefs. Because, at the end of the day, no matter what the circumstance, a new, lovable life is born and that is a joyous occasion.
This year, as we remember Roe v. Wade, perhaps pro-life voters will not only march on Washington but will also step into individual women’s lives and support them when they need it the most.