I haven’t posted in awhile, and it’s because I haven’t known what to say. I’ve struggled with so many thoughts clouding my mind because it doesn’t seem like we’ve been capable of addressing anything. Why voice my opinion, if it’s just going to be a drop in the sea of American arguments?

Americans seem to constantly be on the tight-rope line of Progress versus Conservation – Some of us push hard to progress medically, scientifically, technologically…but some of us may also not like what progress looks like. It can be hard to find the line between moving forward and holding onto the values that make us who we are, especially when so much of our identity is seemingly based off of those values. I think the biggest issue we run into is turning our values into situations, fighting for those situations instead of working to show our values.

Nobody is “pro-abortion”

The Anti-Abortion and Pro-Abortion argument is one that upsets me, mostly because there aren’t many people that are ‘pro’ abortion. There may be people that want abortion to be legal in a variety of ways, but there are very few non-psychopaths out there that actually want women getting abortions. Starting from the narrative that one side of the discussion is people that care about life and the other side is people that actively want murder to be legal is disingenuous and hurtful to the discussion. Let’s start from a baseline: Nobody wants abortions…so why do people get them?

There’s a huge list of reasons someone may get an abortion, but an overwhelming majority of the time, according to every interview and study ever done on the topic, the woman feels she doesn’t have another option, or at least not one that’s better. Maybe she got pregnant accidentally and doesn’t feel she can care for a baby, maybe she doesn’t have the money for all the healthcare required to have it, maybe rape was involved and it’s a constant reminder of a horrible experience…in almost every case, it’s more complicated than people seem to lay out. If the reason boils down to people feeling like they have no other option…shouldn’t that be something we should provide?

Why aren’t we giving women other options?

What is our goal: To stop abortions, or to prevent women from getting them legally? Those are 2 different goals, and they have to be approached in different ways. If we want to prevent women from getting legal and safe abortions I think legislation is the right path…but if we actually want to stop abortions from taking place we need to look elsewhere. Statistics and research all agree that legislating against abortion doesn’t prevent women from getting them…it just prevents them from doing it safely. When it’s something you can do at home using products you can buy at Target…you can’t legislate it away.

Adoption in this country is often prohibitively expensive for both parties. Most domestic newborn adoptions cost between $20,000 and $40,000. For the average family, that’s far more than they can afford to start a family with. Kids are expensive, but having to shell out that kind of money just to get your foot in the door is often something that families aren’t able to do. Some of those costs are an absolute necessity to make sure everyone is cared for (healthcare costs, legal fees to make sure the relationships all work the way they need to in the future)…but why aren’t they subsidized?

Adoption is also not always a great option for the pregnant woman in these situations, because they don’t tend to have affordable healthcare (having babies is expensive) and pregnancy can take a pretty heavy toll on a person that might not have a strong support group.

If we earnestly care about babies not being aborted and coming into this world to a loving family…shouldn’t we be putting our funding toward helpful adoption practices? Spending money to actively prosecute the people having or performing abortions costs vastly more money and doesn’t actually prevent them. Shouldn’t we be putting our time toward being with women in these situations to let them know we support them? If a big hurdle for a woman going full-term is that they don’t think they have people that can help out…doesn’t the answer seem simple?

Light the Fire

This is where the church should be involved. We’re meant to be the “light in the darkness”, but there’s nothing darker than a woman agonizing over the hardest decision and situation in her life, and we’re not there for her. We’re telling her “your decision matters more than you” and we’re not supporting her if she makes a decision we don’t agree with. Why don’t churches promote adoption programs? Why don’t we help women in need better? Why do we keep saying ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner’ until it’s something we don’t agree with?

I don’t have an answer here. I want to do more, and I want everyone to do more. It angers me to see how hurtful Christians can be toward other people just because we accepted grace just a bit earlier than them.

Have any ideas? Let me know.

I don’t know what to do yet. I want to help women in these situations and I want people to feel cared-for. I want to make it easier for people to adopt, and I want women to know they have options and that one decision isn’t enough to ruin their lives. I want people to stop looking down on the decisions of others without even knowing their circumstances, and I definitely want people to remember how lucky they are for grace anytime they do.

If you have any ideas for how those things can be done, hit me up. Lighting a fire isn’t something only pastors do.