This is such a sensitive topic and in no way do I dare to do it justice in one blog post- not even two or three, however, I will say this: Those of us who call ourselves “pro-lifers” really need to evaluate what it means. (Note: I have thoughts about immigration and how it affects refugees, but that is not covered in this post)
For much of my adult life, I held this belief that being pro-life meant talking about the issue with other people and casting my vote for pro-life people/issues. I really, really believed that. Then I read James 2:14-26 and would you know it? I was wrong (this rarely happens).
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
About 2 years ago I went on this quest to expand my horizons and that included questioning my long held beliefs and seeing that if I could analyze many vantage points, I would still reach the same conclusion. Good news, I did! Phew! Even better news, I have now a deeper compassion for controversial and sensitive topics because I see from the view of the other side and let me tell you, some of these stories have moved me, they’ve rocked me, and they’ve challenged me as a Christian.
For those of us who follow Christ and are pro-life, let me encourage you with some of the practical ways I see we can live out our faith and belief. Note: This is not saying that many of us aren’t already doing these things already. In fact, many of you are already doing these things and more and therefore I thank you for living out your faith! Once I recognized my own complacency, I sought out practical ways to live my faith. Here are a few that I found:
1. Volunteer or Give
With absolutely zero statistics to back this up, I feel that the aftercare is the most crucial point after a woman has decided to keep her baby. I’ve had kids with the full support of my family and it’s hard, I can only begin to imagine what it would be like without support. The hormones! The sleep deprivation! And much more emotional weight than I may ever understand!
Consider volunteering at a women’s center that provides parenting classes, clothing, shelter, etc. for single moms or low-income moms. If you don’t have time, consider a donation. Ideally, do both if you can.
2. Adopt or Foster
Again, I don’t have the facts but the economist in me believes there’s a high correlation between kids up for adoption or fostering that come from these types of situations where maybe abortion was once considered. Even if this is not the case, these children are here and it’s our duty to care for the widows and orphans.
If you are not called to adopt or foster. Peace. There are other ways yet to help these moms and children.
3. Respite Care
Many don’t know about this option and up until about 4 months ago, neither did I. Respite care is care you offer to adoptive or foster parents to give them a chance to regroup. Adoptive and foster children have a higher likelihood of behavioral issues due trauma/attachment issues/etc. therefore, these parents who willingly love these children do so at a high emotional toll.
It takes a village to raise a child. Be that village.
4. Involve Yourself With These Kids
I get it. Life is busy and sometimes you’re barely staying afloat as it is so why the heck is this crazy woman who just started a blog last week making me feel guilty about not doing these things. No guilt! Simply involving these kids and their families into your routine may be all you need to do for this season of life. Have playdates, make them a meal, offer to clean their house, whatever!
Still too much? What about sending them an encouraging note or pray for them. Surely no gesture is too small.
I’ve had to re-evaluate my stance and what was merely pro-birth is now pro-life.