Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Plea for Compassion

I have not yet been at this blog project for a year, but I have already discovered how overwhelming it can be to want your voice to be heard. I do not have a large following, and this means I am fortunate to be able to mostly write for myself. I do not make any ad revenue with my project or see much exposure. That is okay by me. While I was ecstatic to see the Mother Teresa photo I added a quote to have some fun making the rounds on Facebook, I have a little more freedom to write how I feel and about what I want when I am small-time.

The Facebook community is at 144 people as I write this. I am thrilled that so many men and women are interested in what I have to say. I am learning how to ensure that I respond to those that reach out or comment on my posts. I am really nervous that the day will come where I start dealing with trolls that miss the point of dialogue and conversing. Not because I will be unable to respond, but because I am overwhelmed by the ugliness that comes from those interactions.

One particular area that I am vocal about is abortion. I have always found abortion to be the ultimate betrayal of women. It deeply saddens me, and my passion for real support of women and their children has only increased in the years since I became a mother. The thought of growing a child inside of my body for any amount of time and never getting to see them or hold them or hear them laugh is heart wrenching.  I mourn for those that have lost their children in miscarriage, and I mourn for those that have lost their children to abortion.

The more I see on social media about abortion, the more my heart breaks because it is not just those that are extreme in advocating abortion on demand that make me cringe: those that vilify the pro-choice movement and condemn women who have experienced abortion (chosen or forced) and clinic workers that have participated in abortion make me cringe as well.

The reality is the abortion debate is both simple and complex. It either destroys a life or it doesn’t, but the reasons men and women are pro-choice are not so simple, just as the reasons people are pro-life are not simple.

In my last post, I spoke to what I feel the true choice is, and it is not being for or against abortion. It is crucial that those of us in the pro-life movement remember that injustice exists for women in this world. I do not believe that abortion heals this injustice; I believe that it increases it. I also must remind myself that not every person that advocates for choice is advocating for injustice. How do I know this? I know this because of civil discussions with those that see things differently and by supporting women that have been victims and survivors of sexual and physical abuse.  The abortion debate is no different than any other civil rights debate: there are extremists on either side that block the view of those that truly care about the cause, regardless of which side they stand. However, just like every other civil rights debate, there is a right answer. The right answer always is on the side of equality for all human beings.

We do no good when we condemn. We do no good when we furiously type at our keyboards and use a thesaurus to come up with the most hateful and condescending things we can think of to type at those who disagree. I desperately want to be able to articulate my stance in a way that changes perspective, but viewing all pro-choice advocates as selfish people that love abortion is not a way to do this.

If you are pro-life and you are reading this, I urge you to be informed on women’s issues. Specifically, how things like poverty, health care, sexual violence, domestic abuse, early sexualization, and even parenting affect women in our world. Be informed on these issues, because it will give perspective. It will guide you to where the true injustice begins.

If you are pro-choice and reading this, know that not all pro-life advocates condemn. Love and compassion is what truly fuels this movement. Open dialogue is still important and relevant!

We all must being to see the things that we have in common, and look past the smoke and mirrors extremists and the media put in front of us. I am not denying that extremists exist on either side, merely pointing out that it is a continuum of perspectives and it should not be as polarized as it is becoming.

Also, if I may make a suggestion: pray and think before you type. 

1 comment:

  1. Very well stated, my dear friend! I have published it on my own blog (which is kind of like yours, in the sense that it has small readership, no ads, no sponsers, et al - that said, I, too, am astonished where it sometimes goes, and who responds!!!).

    And I even have an illustration to underscore what you talk about, when you say about being well-informed: Back in the late 90s, approx, my then-husband & I were watching the 700 club & were as upset & appalled as the reporter about children in an overseas country who lived, worked, and ate, out of a literal garbage dump! But my question was this: why?! how DID they get THERE?! Within the Christian community, I could not find an answer (except of course to pray, pray, pray! and $upport there rescue attempts!) ... methinks God heard my "enquiring mind" ;) because about six months later, I was at a yard sale ... and there were a stack of Ms. magazines - yes, that's right, Ms. I remember them from the early days but wondered what they were like now (altho I was sure I had a good idea before I opened one!) I was leafing through it and - can it be?! THE SAME GARBAGE DUMP KIDS! I read the accompanying caption - apparently, these were 'scorned children', born to Asian women who had affairs w/ American soldiers stationed briefly in there country! And as Paul Harvey said, that was the rest of the story! ... But now, see, knowing 'the rest of the story', I knew that while immediate rescue was certainly adviseable!, a longer-term plan was needed : one of reeducation of our men going overseas ....


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