I have so tried to avoid the stigma that comes from being “pro-life.” For too long activists have burned the eyes of our culture with photos of unborn fetus’s and have bled eardrums with murder cries and accusations of evil. Like other issues that closed-minded Christians involve themselves in, it has become difficult at best to speak lovingly against abortion. In fact, because of the closed-mindedness of others I admit that I have been afraid to speak my mind on the subject for fear of being labeled and associated with that brand of Christianity that, at its most extreme, has resorted to bombing abortion clinics. Well, I am coming out of the closet (that pun would have worked for the gay rights topic better). It is my belief that there is something terribly wrong with abortion. But, just because I believe this doesn’t mean I am ready to cry murder or even start a conversation about “fire and brimstone.”
Abortion isn’t just about the child or the fetus (call him/her whatever you will) it’s also about mothers, it’s about fathers, it’s about families. There is a connection between a woman and her child even before she gives birth and when that connection is broken there is damage at the deepest spiritual levels and that damage spills over into other relationships. There is no such thing as a personal or isolated relationship. I am aware that for many, this point has been argued before and over-argued. What about the woman’s rights? Should the government decide what a woman does with her body? What about in rape cases? Because of questions like these I admit that the argument is much more complicated for most “pro-life” advocates to approach.
How can the church speak out on a subject that’s got such a stigma attached to it? How can the church talk about it in such a way that is sensitive to women yet recognizes the spiritual a psychological issues, not least the life inside the woman? IF we really want to begin this conversation with our culture we have to be ready for hard work. We have to start by reconciling and cleaning up the mess that’s been made by the Christian “right.”
I think that there are many like me. There are many of us who really care. We’re not just pushing a political agenda or trying to tell others what to do—expecting people to live by our moral standards. We actually do care about women’s rights, and our conviction flows from compassion rather than from a moral-superiority complex. My plea is that more of us will enter the conversation wherever we are subversively, quietly even, starting with the people around us. The so-called "Christian right" needs help putting down their swords by which they’ve lived for too long and the Christians who are afraid of the stigma need to come out of the closet and reclaim the conversation in the name of reconciliation, renewal, and restoration.