The Abortion Minded Woman
Many people who know me, and then hear me speak about issues of abortion, and the women who are facing that decision, often comment how serious I am when I discuss these issues, which is very different from my normal personality. I tend to be a bit silly most of the time, however when discussing these issues, ESPECIALLY the care of women in crisis I am very serious. I have realized that life is way too short to be serious about most things, but there are SOME things that we should be very serious about. I am very SERIOUS about my faith, how much I love my family and this country. I am also passionately serious about how a woman facing an expected pregnancy should be viewed and treated.
So let’s talk about who this woman is– and why we on the pro-life side maybe need to do a little soul searching on how we view her, and how we speak ABOUT her.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this statement, “Well if she would just…”
WE need to stop doing that!
The reason is, her life very rarely is what we imagine it is.
So who is she? This woman, facing a pregnancy where abortion is definitely an option in her mind? She is 16, and nobody ever told her that she can say no. Her life and influences have taught her that she has no voice. She also has been taught that at 16 she should be having sex and there is something actually wrong with her if she doesn’t. Or possibly because of past abuse, she thinks sex is the only thing she has to offer that is of any value. — She is 21, and the man who said he loved her, quickly changed his mind when that pregnancy test came up positive. –She is married, and she didn’t know that he was done with the marriage until she told him she was pregnant. –She is married, and this baby came awfully quickly after the last baby, and they are barely making it and don’t know what to do.
The common thread through all of these women, is that they feel desperate and alone. When humans feel backed into a corner they will do ANYTHING to get out of that situation, EVEN if it means damaging themselves. In nine years of being in this movement I have RARELY met a woman considering abortion who was thinking only of herself.
Not long ago, right in the middle of COVID, we met with a young woman who discovered she was pregnant. She was in a shared living situation, as was the father of the baby. She told us that she could not have this baby because of what would do to her family and his. This young woman NEVER mentioned herself, or what she wanted. Her concern was for everyone around her. She’s not selfish, she’s not uncaring, SHE is desperate.
I often hear people make a statement that I don’t know why she doesn’t just give the baby up for adoption.
So let’s start with that statement. “Give Up”.
In the world I am in, we say ”place”. Think about what giving up sounds like, but when we say place, it has a completely different feeling. She is placing her child. Does that make it easy? Absolutely not! This is not a decision that she will make that will not have a huge impact on her and how people see her. Think about it for a moment. How do we view women who place their children for adoption? We applaud those who adopt children from other countries. Oh, you saved that baby, rarely thinking about the mother and what SHE was going through. However, in this country, how do you see the woman who places her child? Do we applaud her? Do we come alongside and comfort her? Or do we condemn her? Do we secretly view her as someone who basically left their child on the corner?? Do we add to her guilt and shame?
Not long ago, we had a young woman come to the clinic. I don’t take patients very often but we were short staffed that day, so I did the psycho/social part of her intake. This young woman was actually on her way to an abortion clinic, however a fire broke out and she ended up in ours. She and I talked about what her options were. What did parenting look like for her? What did abortion look like for her? And what did adoption look like in her life? Her eyes lit up when I mentioned adoption. During ultrasound they discovered she was actually farther along than she thought. They came and got me and told me she wanted to hear more about adoption. She and I sat down and I told her about the adoption agency we refer to.
Let me be clear, we do not contract with ANY adoption agency. We provide the information to different agencies just like any other resource. It would be unethical for us to do otherwise. So she and I talked about adoption and I provided her with the information of who to contact.
Toward the end, she looked at me with the saddest eyes I have ever seen. She said, “Do you think I’m a horrible person for placing my baby for adoption?” I looked at her and told her that I thought she was the most selfless person I had ever met. She was worried that her family was going to judge her. I told her they needed to handle their own business before bothering with hers.
But do you see how this woman was feeling about placing her baby for adoption? She felt judgement and condemnation already.
Do we wonder why having an abortion seems like an easier solution?
One time, I was speaking with a pastor and he asked me, so if Roe is overturned what do we do with all the unwanted babies? I said, unwanted? Or feeling like they don’t have the resources to care for?
It is not a natural inclination for women to kill their children, but we need to ask ourselves if we have created a society where she feels that having an abortion is the most merciful thing she can do. Have we created a society that either tells a woman you cannot succeed in life if you have children OR if you have a child, you are selfish if you place them for adoption, OR, if you have a child and are struggling to take care of that child, don’t come to us to help you, you should have not gotten pregnant in the first place. Trust me when I tell you, she is feeling all of these things!
So back to the conversation I was having with the Pastor. I told him most women want to have their children but her deciding to have that child at all can hinge on if she thinks she can afford diapers and formula, and also feed herself. So I told him, look at pregnancy medical clinics as triage. We get her stabilized. We provide her with what she needs right now. A pregnancy test, an ultrasound, parenting classes that also provide diapers, clothing, etc. So that takes care of the first few years, but what about the rest of raising that child? I told him, look if churches would come alongside her AND her child in a real way, and commit to walking with her for the duration. Not try to fix her life, not try to find her a husband to fix her life, not remind her that she is alone with a child, but walk BESIDE her, even when it gets messy we would solve 75% of the abortion issue, and then the remaining 25% of people who actually should not be raising children, because those are out there too, then for the remaining 25% put REAL money into foster care and adoption reform in this country.
I know some of you are thinking, “How can you say this? You don’t know!”
I actually do know. See, I was a single mom. My son’s father left when I was six months pregnant. The first three years of his life were some of the hardest I’ve even known. I was alone, desperate, tired, and broke. I wasn’t uneducated, I certainly had work experience, I had been working since I was 15 years old, but unforeseen circumstances led me to having very limited resources. When my son was three I started attending a church, there I met a woman who is still my friend today. She didn’t judge me for my circumstances, she didn’t try to fix my life, she was just my friend who walked with me through the good times and the messy times. I am probably still a Christian today because of her.
Gosh people, if we, who say we are pro-life did that?? What an AMAZING impact could we make on the world!
So finally, let’s not dehumanize the woman, to humanize the baby. BOTH are humans and deserve love, respect, dignity, and care.
For more engaging videos regarding protecting life at all stages – especially before birth – check out more episodes of Life Grounded!
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