I received two emails of note today. One email sent this video:
"This is a speech that a 12 year old girl gave about abortion. She is wise beyond her years."
Another good friend, who works for a Christian Pregnancy Clinic, had this response and it was so insightful I thought I should share it:
oh boy! I just have to respond b/c I'm engulfed with this issue day in and day out. A newer conviction I've come to realize is that speeches like this are ineffective, or fruitless. This is a flaw in the pro-life movement. To say that abortion is wrong and it takes away the rights of the unborn is stating the obvious (although of course 100% true.) I don't feel like our role as Christians needs to be the one who continues to state this to people; instead, I strongly feel like the role of Christians is to start providing solutions for women facing unplanned pregnancies. Majority of women who choose abortion feel as though she has no other choice. What if we started telling her that she did have another choice? This girl's argument to simply make abortion illegal isn't a solution to this problem. Research shows (from Planned Parenthood) that the top 2 reason women choose abortion are lack of practical resources and lack of emotional support. Until we (Christians specifically) can start providing those 2 specific needs for women facing unplanned pregnancies, abortion will always be a viable option for women. From our research at Caris, in addition to not having practical resources and emotional support, when a women finds out she is unexpectedly pregnant, it is equivalent to telling her she has been diagnosed with a terminal cancer. Trying to convince her that her baby has rights and should therefore live is like speaking another language to her that she cannot understand in the deep state of shock that she is in. However, through in-depth counseling and on-going care, she can come to see that with the support of others who are willing to stand by her, she canindeed choose parenting or adoption. How empowering for her! The other thing that really bugs me about speeches like this is that her argument makes the women, the mother, the enemy in the situation. Like I said, most women don't want to have an abortion, but they feel as though they have no other choice. The women convinces herself that ending the life of her baby is a better option than trying to parent or adopt. She's not thinking logically b/c of the state of shock she is in. She, above everyone else, wants to protect the innocent baby. All this to say, if we want to see the tide of abortion change in our country, there are very practical things we should be doing. My suggestion of the top three are:1) support your local pregnancy clinic! However, ensure that the organization is providing professional, Christian counseling and that women are being treated with dignity and respect at all times (no scare tactics, manipulation, etc.)2) support legislation that enforces counseling before an abortion can be performed. A woman can go to PP right now and not get any counseling before making a life-changing, irreversible decision. That is absurd. Also, I think it would be extremely effective if there was a mandatory waiting time after she finds out she's pregnant and before she makes her decision. 3) Educate Christians to start providing solutions (like 1 & 2). The abortion issue is solvable. Churches should be working with local pregnancies clinics, mentoring these young moms, and building bridges between the pregnant women and the church. And Christians need to be encouraged to start being pro-active rather than just speaking out, protesting, etc... If you're still reading, thanks :) I just can't watch something like that and not share with you what I know about this issue. I swim in these waters ever day! God has not only stirred up a passion in me to help women facing unplanned pregnancies, it's more like a roaring tidal wave! I have talked to countless women who have been in this situation, and trust me, she is not the enemy. She just needs to be empowered and deeply cared for. I seriously could go on, but I won't :) Don't feel like you have to respond! Just my thoughts here...