Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Pro-Life Vision

I got in a "behind the scenes" discussion with a loved one today about the topic of abortion.  As I wrote to him about my opinion and "if only" dream of what I would personally like to do/ see accomplished to combat abortion, this is it.

Years ago I had an online pro-life ministry to women who had suffered physical/ emotional/ spiritual scarring from their abortions and this was my vision for the full extension of what that ministry could be come.  At the time I called it "Saving Grace Ministries," with the motto of "Saving two lives, one heart at a time." 

All of those aspirations, hopes and visions went to the back burner as being mom to my own three children and caring for our family superseded everything else.  As I typed out about my vision to my loved one, I felt the passion stir in my heart again.  So I felt inclined to post it here on the blog as well as I am very mindful of yesterday's 40th anniversary of the legalization of abortion on demand yesterday.

From our exchange:

My personal opinion and experience has been that the Christian pro-life community (which has diminished GREATLY in the last 15 years, partly because of legal obstacles and partly because of complacency) has gotten the effort to stop abortion completely wrong. Although I am a pro-life voter (when the option remains available) I do not for a moment believe that legislation is the solution to the problem, nor do I have even the slightest notion to try to overturn Roe v. Wade because quite frankly it will NEVER happen. But the truth is that by the time the girl is a the clinic, "rescuing" the baby (and her) is highly unlikely. Although I believe if someone had reached out to me in the proper manner I quite possibly have been "reached," I don't think that is the case for most. And the truth is that that point/ place is too highly emotional for everyone involved. The "pro-lifers" there (when they were) would get too angry and too desperate and actually lash out at the women/ girls there for abortions. That was my personal experience and when I participated in prayer walks and what were supposed to be "silent" protests (I never participated in a rescue attempt) too many Christians could not contain a loving and peaceful demeanor. I HATED when I would see people hold up disgusting signs with aborted "fetuses." As a mother I would be offended if someone put that image in my child's mind when they were "innocently" riding down a street. But I did hold worded signs that spoke against abortion, but never words of accusation or judgment.) Anyway, too many people only focus on the unborn baby when it is in fact the woman/ girl who is in crisis. She is the one who for some reason feels backed into a corner that abortion is her only viable option. It is through counsel and alternatives that you enable her to make other choices. Offering financial support, a place to stay, medical care, childcare, etc. It's the kind of care you provide to a woman who is giving her child up for adoption. When E's birth mom was pregnant we provided her financial support when she couldn't work, we paid medical deductibles, etc. The pro-life mindset needs to be such that we find ways to provide those things for any woman/ girl who decides not to have an abortion, whether adoption or keeping her baby is her decision. I do not mean permanent welfare, but through the process, and until she can get on her own feet and you need to help equip her to actually get on her feet.


Years ago I wrote out an entire vision for a maternity home. What I envisioned was a place for girls/ women in crisis pregnancy. It would be both a live in facility for those who need it as well as a resource for those in process to getting self-sufficient. What I pictured (in addition to Bible studies) would be a place where pregnant women would stay and have their babies and be counseled through the decision to have or give up their child. Part of that process would be that they provide childcare to the women who have had their newborns and are getting either job training or jobs. I think it would be effective in showing the women what is involved in parenting and give them a clearer view than the "I just want someone who'll love me" 16 and pregnant mindset. Taking care of a child is full time, and demanding. They would be learning by experience as they determine what is right for their unborn child. Likewise the new moms would have support as they moved toward being independent and taking care of their children as working moms. As it developed this could also be a place that provided infant/ toddler childcare at an affordable rate (based on what they make) as they are raising their little ones. There would be limitations, you couldn't keep going out and getting pregnant and abuse the opportunity for the reasonable childcare, the hope would be through the religious training (for lack of a better term) they would make different choices about their lifestyle and sexual activity. I could see women who went through such a program coming back as peer counselors to other new girls. It would be a place where adoption would be both explored and encouraged, ideally there would be pro-life lawyers and doctors willing to donate their services, other kinds of pro-lifers could contribute as well, by volunteering or monetary support. It would be "rubber meets the road" pro-life action. You'd have to have a lot of support, I could see Christian women coming in and mentoring young girls, I could see someone who loves to cook coming in and doing that for them, teaching them things like couponing and budgeting, whether that come from a pro-life housewife or a pro-life financial planner. People who say they are pro-life would have ample opportunity to prove that with their actions and their giving.

I realize their are several areas that fall under "pro-life," (I am against euthanasia for the same reason I am against abortion, life is valuable and it is God to give or take away, although I can understand the desire to end suffering.) But my passion is for the women in crisis pregnancies, even more than it is for the unborn child. I have always said that true pro-life ministry is meeting the needs of the mother, and saving the baby is the by-product. The truth is this is a ministry with a lot more loss than victory. Most of the time fear and selfishness will win out, but every life saved (the mother as much as the infant) is an effort worth having made.

I feel like God has really been reigniting a passion that was once strong as I have gone through the process of writing my books. The third in the trilogy will include a lot of this vision as though it has actually happened. But much of this drive has been on the back burner as I have been raising my own kids. I don't know if I could ever see something like this come to fruition outside of my novel because of laws and restrictions and the opposition it would receive, but it is my heart. The truth is abortion is first and foremost a multi-million dollar business and that is a LOT to come up against. But success isn't measured except by the one life at a time that could be changed.

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There is a viable solution to abortion, but it isn't in legislation, it's in true ministry, one on one, meeting needs, touching lives and living what we SAY we believe, and facilitating the process of women and girls in crisis choosing life for their unborn children. Much of this could be done on a smaller scale, through crisis pregnancy centers and opening spare bedrooms/ homes to young women in need.  Scary? Maybe, but Christians are in fact called ot take up their cross, which means bearing a burden. Jesus never said walking in His ways would be easy.


1 comment:

JESSICA RENSHAW said...

Diana, you have just beautifully and thoroughly described a prolife maternity home (for pregnant women, women getting back on their feet after delivery and women who wish to keep and know how to raise their babies) here in Long Beach, California. I had the privilege of helping publicize its beginnings back in the 80s. It's a miracle story from the first time Rebecca Younger and her kids started praying for women as they drove by an abortion clinic on the way to school to inviting pregnant women into their home (sleeping on the couch and floor) to getting 50 local churches of all denominations to help furnish a 3-story Victorian house that was dirt-cheap because it had been trashed. . . I wove the whole amazing true story into my historical novel on abortion, Compelling Interests (under Jessica Shaver Renshaw). It could be a blueprint for what you are suggesting. You can contact Rebecca or Bonnie at New Life Mothers Home in Long Beach.