From both sides of the aisle, assumptions have been flung back and forth. For the sake of dialogue, for the sake of the healing of our country and the healing of the church, we must put all assumptions aside.
So let’s start this conversation from square one, with a blank slate. For the sake of dialogue and healing, let’s assume that I am not a monster who advocates for the murder of children. For the sake of dialogue and healing, I will assume that you are not an ignorant racist who cannot look past your own self interest. We, as followers of Christ, are united under the Kingdom of Heaven, and I refuse to believe these assumptions are true about you or about myself.
I am pro-life. I am pro-life because I am anti-abortion. I value, in the deepest and most intimate places inside my heart, that every life is a gift from God, that we are all created in His image, and that he has knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. Because of this deep and intimate belief, I am pro-life.
I am pro-life for the young mother with nowhere to turn, I am pro-immigrant and pro-refugee, I am pro-woman, I am pro-people of color, I am pro-people with disabilities, I am pro-sexual assault victims, I am pro-LGBQT communities, and I am pro-life for the unborn child without a voice to advocate for itself. Because of all of these things, I am, from a political standpoint, pro-choice.
I support Planned Parenthood because I support access to women’s healthcare. I do not classify abortion as healthcare. I, just like you, believe that abortion is absolutely heartbreaking and is the absolute last answer to any young mother’s circumstances. I am thankful that it is illegal for my tax dollars to be spent on abortion. I hope, in those same deepest and most intimate places of my heart, that no woman ever chooses that ending the life of her child is the right thing to do.
That’s why I am thankful that today, January 23rd, 2017, abortion rates are at an all time low. I am thankful for Planned Parenthood, and for the expansion of healthcare, because the expansion of these organizations has made these abortion rates possible. Because of Planned Parenthood, women have access to birth control and sex education.
Because I am pro-life, I cannot be a single issue voter. If I vote solely on the heartbreak I feel towards abortion, then I would be shutting the door in the face of every other population I am called to love. In a perfect world, Jesus would come to earth and run for office, and we could all get behind him and join a campaign team together. However, Jesus is not one of our political candidates. Neither candidate we voted for on November 8th aligned with our Gospel beliefs. So we must be willing to look deeper than any one issue.
Criminalizing abortion will not solve our country’s problem with abortion, just like criminalizing drugs did not solve our country’s problems with drugs. Not only with this criminalization be counter productive and completely unrealistic, but it would only serve to further marginalize already marginalized populations, and as followers of Christ, these are the very populations that we are called to protect.
I wish that there wasn’t an aisle between us, and in heaven there won’t be. But in the midst of a political season, and now a new presidency, that has left so many of us hurt, angered, scared, and scarred, let’s tear down walls and begin to build bridges. Let’s facilitate conversations that assume the best about each other and that seek loving answers to incredibly difficult and nuanced questions.
What would it look like if we came together? If we, as women, as strong women advocating for each other and for our children, were able to look past assumptions and have conversations? We might start to look a little bit more like the Kingdom of God.