The response to the Women’s March on Washington has been overwhelming. Mostly positive and empowering, but as to be expected, there has also been some backlash. Many of these negative reactions to the March are missing the nuances that exists for most of us on all the issues the March was representing. As human beings, we are complex people capable of holding two opposing thoughts that don’t necessarily cancel each other out.
The post below was shared on Facebook by Meryl Lee here in North Carolina and beautifully captures this sentiment perfectly. Give it a read:
“I am a Christian who marched yesterday. One reason I am proud to have marched in the protest is because of that fact, not in spite of it.
I believe life begins at conception and I want to see more women choose life. I grew up in the church and was told that voting Republican meant saving babies. Then I studied the CDC statistics for myself and learned that abortion rates decline at the same rate or faster when a Democrat is in office. So that got me thinking… can we really call it the pro-life party if it doesn’t save more babies than the pro-choice party? Something isn’t working.
Make no mistake, it breaks my heart that millions of women choose abortion… and you know what? Many of their hearts are broken, too. Do you believe anyone actually wants to see abortion increase? I don’t think so.
God says they will know we are Christians by our love, but we can’t get close enough to love these women when we’re standing on the sidelines and calling them murderers instead of what God calls them: His beloved.
Because even if they wanted the abortion, it wasn’t easy for them. What they needed was someone to embrace them while they felt that fear and pain, while they weighed their options – but our arms weren’t available…we were too busy with our picket signs. How many babies would have been saved if the pro-life party was known for offering a listening ear to the scared pregnant woman, instead of for pushing legislation and protests outside of the abortion clinics?
I marched because many of the women who choose abortion are living in poverty, struggling with addiction or facing the realities of being a single parent. They walk into the clinic because they have no idea how they are going to provide for the child growing in their belly. Neither does the pro-life party. Instead, the party cuts the very programs that would help her. She can barely afford to feed herself, much less a child. But she should just work harder, right? What should she do when she racks up thousands in medical bills after she goes into labor because she can’t afford insurance? The pro-life party doesn’t answer that, either. How can she work without paid maternity leave, or without affordable childcare? The answer is that she can’t. How many babies would have been saved if the pro-life party was known for fighting to help these women instead of lobbying to cut the programs that do?
I marched because many of the woman who are considering abortions are women of color, hispanic or immigrants. If saving babies is the goal, then we should be walking with them hand in hand, listening to their fears and lending them our time/love to make it easier for them to choose life. Instead, the pro-life party is building a wall to keep their husbands in Mexico, telling them to go back to their country, to learn English. How many babies would have been saved if the pro-life party was known for supporting minorities or if we learned Spanish and got to know immigrant families instead being known for fighting for the right to fly the confederate flag?
And what about before they get pregnant? Fewer unwanted pregnancies mean fewer abortions. Why do we fight to make it harder for women to get/afford birth control? Why are we fighting against sex-ed and shaming women who get pregnant out of wedlock? How many babies would have been saved if the pro-life party was known for working to reduce unwanted pregnancies instead of the making it harder for women to have access to the services/meds/information they need?
Neither political party fits the bill for being fully pro-life, because we can’t save babies through politics alone. What good is voting pro-life if we aren’t actually saving babies and are alienating and hurting these women in the process?
We have to earn their trust and respect, really work for it. Listen to their stories and understand their pain. Support efforts that make them feel less fearful about bringing a baby into this world. Are you doing that with your current approach? Is it hurting or hindering? The numbers matter – Christians are not saving babies through politics, but we are greatly damaging our witness and hurting people with out current approach. What can we change?
When I get to heaven, God isn’t going to ask me if I’m a Republican, he’s going to ask what I did to fight for his children – all of them. Is the end-goal of Christianity to win victories for the Republican party and force people into compliance? Because Jesus told us to be fishers of men and I can’t find the word Republican or Democrat in the Bible.
These women are not murderers, they are actual human beings facing a scary situation. They are women who are loved by God and who feel they are out of options. How many babies would have been saved if the pro-life party wasn’t the one taking their options away?
I marched because I am not interested in forcing everyone to believe what I believe or making people “follow the rules.” But I am interested in showing genuine love and helping to shoulder the burdens of my fellow man. At the end of the day, isn’t that what God did for us? He gave us free will and won us over with His love.”