Over the past couple days I’ve seen several comments on various social media sites about Planned Parenthood, the Pro-Life movement, and snide remarks about how Christians should respond to the outrage. I usually try to stay out of politics and the general -storm that surrounds controversial topics like these, but there are times when you must take a stand and let others know where you stand on the issue.
This post is designed to start (or continue) discussions about sensitive topics. This is not an argument where there is a right or wrong side, nor just two sides. If you are interested in continuing this conversation, please do so, but please be respectful. Now that that is over with, let us continue.
When I was in High School, I took part in the Pro-Life rally in Washington, D.C. On multiple occasions, I wore shirts that stated “Pray to end Abortion” and “Some choices are wrong.” As a Catholic, I was raised to respect and cherish all life, especially those still in the womb.
My faith tells me that every creation, every individual, is a blessing. I believe that life begins in the womb. I believe that all life must be cherished. I believe that the act abortion is the death of a life, a child.
But here’s the thing: I also believe that it is not my right to force my beliefs onto someone else. I know there are people who believe differently than I do. I have friends who see the world in a way that I never could. And they have shown me that this is not my choice. It is theirs.
You see, I, as a male, will never be pregnant. I will never have that opportunity to bring life into the world (please, don’t argue this. I know science may say otherwise in a couple of years). That being said, I will never have to face the choice of bringing a child into this world or letting it go. My only opportunity will be to love and support those beautiful women in whatever choice they make.
As a follower of Christ, I am called to love and fight for those around me. I am called to support, not to judge.
My place is beside them. I do not have to agree with them. I do not have to understand. But I am to love to my fullest.
Sometimes loving someone means accepting their decision and holding their hand anyways. Sometimes love is walking them past the shouting crowds. Sometimes love is sitting and listening, not trying to talk them out of a choice, but giving them the safe space to process the choice. Sometimes love is putting aside your own opinions and supporting them. And sometimes it is keeping your mouth shut.
Lately I’ve been asked by a number of individuals what I thought about Planned Parenthood and the current protests against it (aka: do I support defunding the organization). Well, it’s not a hard choice for me.
If it were not for Planned Parenthood, several of my friends would not have the necessary care and support to have given birth to beautiful children. If it were not for their screenings, a good friend would not have known that she had breast cancer that was caught early enough before it became hazardous to her health. If it were not for their services, many of my friends would not be able to afford preventative medicine.
You see, I support Planned Parenthood. I support them because they have shown love where many people have not.
We say that we are pro-life or pro-choice, but I think it goes much farther than that. The usual argument has nothing to do with being pro-life, it is about being anti-abortion. Or anti-choice. We want people to see the world the same way we do. We want them to act like us, believe the same things as we do, and make the same choices we would. This is not being pro-life.
Pro-life is more than being pro-birth, but making sure everyone around us has the chance to live to their fullest. It is more than a stance against abortion and the death penalty, but a conscience effort to live and give others the chance to do the same.
A friend of mine made a comment that was a bit facetious about Christians protesting Planned Parenthood and it made me start thinking; is that how people view Christians these days? What happened to the love we are called to share?
I believe that love can conquer all.
Do I believe that abortion is wrong? Sure. But that will not stop me from loving to the fullest. Nothing will.
This is my stance on the issue. Yes, I believe it to be wrong, but why should my beliefs be forced upon those around me.
Just some thoughts…