In her book, Confronting Christianity, author Rebecca McLaughlin tells of a time when she and her companions were holding a silent protest advocating Pro-Life sentiment. Across the way, an angry group of opponents taunted them, chanting a harrowing slur:
Pro-Life, that’s a lie
You don’t care if women die!
The sentiment is understood, albeit misdirected. None of us know the extent of suffering endured by countless women who have experienced unwanted pregnancy. But pinning this suffering upon Pro-Life advocates misses the mark. It demonstrates a refusal to see the broader context of the Pro-Life position.
I am proud to work for a company that champions community service and charity. My company offers gift-matching for contributions made by its employees to charitable agencies. This is a really good thing. However, my company recently enacted a new guideline which requires charities to take a hard-line position either for or against my company’s ideology. Charities that declare themselves “faith-based” implicate themselves as being contrary to that ideology. As a result, these charities are being cut off from my company’s matching gift offer.
One of those discontinued charities is a Christian non-profit which offers services to women with unwanted pregnancies. This particular group offers services both during and after pregnancy, all of which is free of charge. This includes pregnancy testing, health education, prenatal classes, ultrasounds, life-skills classes, material assistance in the form of food, clothing, diapers, etc., financial aid for continuing education, and mentoring. They also sponsor a resale shop offering low-cost options for clothing, toys, kitchenware, home decor, and more. In many ways, this unassuming group of volunteer caregivers are demonstrating compassion to women in crisis.
With all of this, I find it sad and somewhat ironic that my company chooses not to support this charity. I’m not questioning the rationale. It makes sense to me that my company can decide what to support and what not to support. But in the end, I wonder if my company realizes its awkward position. By holding their ground as an “inclusive” employer, my company has coldly and thoughtlessly declined support to women who are suffering in their greatest hour of need.
In another light, can it really be said that Pro-Lifers don’t care about the women going through unwanted pregnancy? Indeed, the very existence of this Pro-Life non-profit, with its many volunteers and donors, belies the accusation that Pro-Lifers “don’t care if women die”. I will continue to regularly donate funds to this charity even though my company has not seen it worthy of their support. It is a small drop in an ocean of needs. But I am not alone. With the support of hundreds of donors and volunteers, this Pro-Life non-profit has thrived in my home town for many years. With their support, many women dealing with unwanted pregnancies have literally found life-saving help in their time of need.
Abortion is destructive subject no matter which position we take. Lives are at stake on either side, and so it is right that we feel strongly about our respective positions. But rather than deflecting all blame, rather than choosing sides, rather than accusing those on the opposing side, let us consider the responsibility all of us bear. As McLaughlin states, our society has embraced a lifestyle that separates sex from commitment. Is it any wonder we face millions of cases of unwanted pregnancies? It is time to stop hating our opponents and instead direct our energies to help the victims of the culture we have carelessly allowed to exist.