Monday, February 12, 2024

What I Know Regarding Roe (or in a tough Political climate, a tough conversation about abortion bans)



    What do I mean by that? I mean Everyone wishes all Pregnancies were planned. That all babies were wanted and loved. That women were never raped or sexually exploited. That children were never neglected, abused or worse. That there was no such thing as Sex Trafficking or Incest. But that is unfortunately not the world in which we live. All of those things, and worse, exist. And I see it, working at a Family Law Firm and volunteering with Dress for Success, an organization that helps women get back on their feet. I see women and children who have been abused by their partner or the system, or by both.  
    No one, and I mean no one, not the most liberal person you could possibly think of, when it comes to abortion, is sitting around thinking "you know what the world needs more of . . ." or "man, what I'd really like to see more of in this country . . ." No. Everyone wishes there were never a need to have an abortion. But sometimes, whether we like it or not, whether we agree with it or not, it is necessary. 


    Genesis 2:7 "Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." One of my favorite passages is Psalm 139 where we are told that God knit us together in our mother's womb. That we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Which I believe whole heartedly, but as we see in Genesis, God formed Adam first, and then breathed life into him, making him a living being. First Breath = Life. 
    Also, you can freeze embryos for years, even for decades, to be used later. You can't freeze a baby. Because only one of those is a living, breathing being.  

    Now obviously the word 'Abortion' wasn't invented yet, so the word itself isn't in the Bible, but it does describe it pretty well. But before we dive into that, let's look at what the Bible says about the life of the mother vs. the life of an unborn child. Some states are banning all abortions even to the point of the mother losing her life. But in Exodus 21:22-25 it says if two men are fighting and injure an unborn baby, a fine should be paid to the woman's husband, suggesting that the fetus is property, not a person. (Not my thoughts, just telling you what the Bible says) But if the fighting men harm the pregnant woman, even accidentally, they are to be put to death. Suggesting higher value is placed on the mother's life, than that of her unborn child. 
    And Numbers 5:20-31 tells us that if a man thinks his wife has cheated on him, he is to call the Priest, the Priest will come and give the wife a drink, and if she has been unfaithful the drink will cause her pain and make her womb to open and cause her to miscarry the baby. That is an Abortion. Right there in the Bible. 

    No one should have their choice taken away from them. America is the Land of the Free! Not being allowed to make your own choices in life is not having freedom, Slavery, plain and simple. And we fought hard to end slavery! And a woman's choice of when and how to become a mother should be made by her, her family and her doctors. Not by a room full of middle-aged white politicians jockeying for positions, or for control. 
    As we watch what is happening in our world today, I have some questions I ask you to ponder in your own mind and heart. Ask yourself this: should all those Israeli (and American) women that were raped by Hamas, should they have lived, then be forced to carry, labor and deliver their terrorists children? How would you feel being forced to do that after living through hell? You might think well, the rape isn't the baby's fault! No, it isn't. But I would also add to that that it isn't the Woman's fault either! 
    And a girl too young to consent to having sex, who's body isn't even fully developed yet, it should be up to her, her parents and doctors. Not Law makers intent on criminalizing these women and girls making the most difficult decision of their lifetime, and the doctors just trying to help them, instead of the men who are causing these pregnancies with no regard for the women or the children! Men's bodies are never regulated or controlled by the Government. Why is that? 

    For the girl who has been sex trafficked, or has a horrible home life, or even the sex worker, having a baby could save her life and put her on a different and much better path in life. But having that choice taken away from her and forced into abortion after abortion so she can continue turning tricks for her trafficker is definitely slavery. Choice = Freedom. No one should take another's Choice away from them! You and I make choices every day. And whether or not we agree with someone else's choice, doesn't give us the right to make them for them. Or to force them into what we think is right. If you believe the Bible, then you know that God willingly gave us Free Will. Who are we to take it away from someone else? We should not be playing God! Only God is God, and He chose to give us Free Will! 


    Many people say they are Pro-Life, but what they actually mean is that they are Anti-Abortion. Because as soon as the baby is born, they stop caring about that child. We cannot require women, no matter the circumstance, to have a baby, and not have programs up and running to support them. For example, a drug addict who has no money, so let's say she does sexual favors for her supply and ends up pregnant. The abortion bans in many states force her to have that child. The same people advocating to take her choices away, knowing she was a drug addict in the first place, also want to force her to be drug tested before giving her Food Stamps, Access. Wic, etc. Now taking away her only resources to feed the baby you just forced her into having. We have to do better! Is having countless women and children living in the streets really pro-life? What kind of life is that? 
    Now of course, Adoption is an absolutely wonderful answer to this problem. But as we all know, many of these girls and women in these difficult and sometimes impossible situations do not, nor are they equipped to, make such an unselfish, rational and loving decision like doing what is best for their unborn child. Nor, in many cases, would their abuser/controller allow them to. Many times, their Situation, Poverty, Addiction, Abuse, etc. leave them with no way out. And the thought of having another human being to take care of in these impossible circumstances is overbearing! They see no way out. They have no way out! If we could help them, educate them, provide resources to them, it could be a very different story. But we don't want to do that. 


    If, like me you consider yourself a Christian, we are put here on this earth for two purposes: to Love God and to Love People. That is it! That is our mandate. In Matthew 22: 36-40 Jesus was tested with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Carlos Whittaker says, "We should not stand on issues, we should walk with people." I love that so much! (If you're not following him, you need to be! He's one of the best Worship Leaders, Speakers and Authors out there! He's funny and real!) These girls and women don't need our judgement. Or our condemnation. They don't need unloving people standing outside their clinics hurling hatred and insults at them. Telling them God hates them! Because He absolutely does not! God is Love! And anyone who loves God must also love people. (I John 4) What they need is the most beautiful word in the English language: Grace. Unmerited Favor. Just like we've been given. Do not stand on the issues but walk with people. Love them. That is what you are called to do. 


    Here's just a little background of my journey to becoming a Mother. I'll try to keep a long story short! A couple years after getting married we decided we wanted to have a baby. And according to plan, we got pregnant and had a bouncing baby boy! A baby boy that never slept through the night till he was well over a year old. Who had colic, and too much energy, that he could only get out by screaming constantly. And in nursing him, I found out that I am prone to Mastitis (breast infections) And in the months I nursed my baby, I had four of them. Even ending up in the hospital with a 104 temperature. And in the middle of all that, when he was just 7 months old, I found out I was pregnant again. I cried for weeks. I honestly thought I will never sleep again! I started having severe abdominal pain and ended up in the ER. Then put right into the hospital for emergency Gal Blader surgery, while I was pregnant. I was scared to death. I thought I'm going to lose my baby because I was unhappy about being pregnant again so soon. Then my second son was born, just 16 months after the first. He was Healthy. Thank God. And to my amazement he slept solidly through the night from about 7 weeks on! 
    A few years later we decided we wanted to try again for a girl. Baby boys are so precious, and I would have been happy, of course, to have another one, but I really wanted a girl too. As a boy mom, I could name all the Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers and every Dinosaur to ever walk the earth. But I grew up loving Barbies and all the girly things and wanted to be able to share that with my daughter. But as we were ready to start trying, I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. I had to have Surgery and Radiation and then I would be on Thyroid medication for the rest of my life. And my doctors advised us that I should wait a full year after radiation to get pregnant. Then as the year was up, we started to second guess our decision. Kyle would be in first grade and Zach in Kindergarten. With both boys in school all day, did we really want to get back into diapers, etc. Um, not really! We loved our life, were more than happy with two kids. Decision made. Then we found out we were already pregnant. And guess what? "You're having Twins!" 
    Now having two kids so close together was good practice for having twins. But when you have one baby and two parents you can take turns. There were nights with our first baby, when John would wake up in the middle of the night alone in bed and come out to the living room to find me with baby in my arms, walking, bouncing, singing. Kyle and I both crying! And say, "I have a few hours till I have to be at work, let me take him, you go get a little sleep." With twins, no one sleeps! That first year is extremely hard! After that it's so much fun though. Each of our kids had a playmate. 
    I like to joke that I had one planned pregnancy, but I have four kids! And what's more than that, what I also had, was the fact that I was in a loving relationship. A Marriage of equal partners. And had a wonderful support system surrounding me! Made up of my big Family, many friends and the Churches we were a part of! When I, who loves to work, took a part time job during tax season when my boys were little, my mom and my sister would watch my boys at no cost to us. My sister-in-law was even my labor and delivery nurse when my girls were born! As Youth Pastors, I would walk into Church, and there were numerous students just begging to hold my Twin baby girls. Or that would stop by the house to help me get my four ready and out the door. People bringing us groceries and other necessities. The list of help we received is endless. And I know I am Blessed and privileged! And how loved we are! But I also know it's not like that for everyone. I cannot think of a more difficult job in the entire world than being a single parent. It was, at times, tough for me, even with all I had going for me. I can't imagine trying to do it all completely alone, or even worse, with someone doing more harm than good to me and my child. 
    My point here is that we don't know what someone else is going through. Or why they make the decisions they do. Nor is it our business. For us to judge them when they are at their worst is wrong. And we do not want to go back to how it was before Roe v. Wade. Rewatch Dirty Dancing to remind yourself in an easy to digest way, what it would have been like for women who found themselves in an impossible situation with no family to help them. Pregnant, abandoned by the father without a second glance. Having to work to support yourself and couldn't take time off to have a baby, even if they wanted to go with Adoption. No Insurance. In no position to take care of a child. Women lost their life trying to end a pregnancy and find a way out of a horrible situation. How is that pro-life? It isn't. Pro-Choice is Pro-Life!