Anti-Woman? Pro-Woman? Many people see efforts to end abortion as a war on women’s rights and women’s health care. Is it?
Abortion is called women’s reproductive right, freedom, or choice. It’s called women’s health care. We can’t, they say, live without it!
Anti-woman? Pro-woman? Outside the prolife community, people see us as pro-baby but anti-woman. They see any calls to continue an unwanted or crisis pregnancy as “compulsory pregnancy” or being “pro-birth.” Causes that favor abortion play the war on women card to stir supporters’ emotions. “Stand with Planned Parenthood. Stand with Women,” is frequently used to garner support for the abortion provider. The “Born Alive Infant Protection Act” is legislation meant to protect babies who live through their abortions. Amazingly, opponents to this proposed legislation said this about their lack of support: “Passing this bill would endanger women’s care.” Almost all of us have heard these lines: “Abortion gives woman equality with men” “Abortion is not our business. It’s should be between the woman and her doctor.” A pro-choice Christian would add, “and God.” Outside the prolife community, people see abortion as a a safety net for women. People oppose calls to ban abortion with, “Do you want to go back to the 1950’s when women died from illegal abortions?”
Anti-woman? Pro-woman? Have we gotten used to the idea that we “must have abortion”?
Effect on Ending Abortion
Prolife workers are widely seen as pro-baby and anti-woman. At least, we care more about baby than mom.Why this perception? I know some of it is because people don’t want to admit that in every pregnancy, at least two lives are involved. I know that virtually all prolife workers value moms as much as babies. This just isn’t clear to those outside the prolife community. Some of that may be because of often inflammotory rhetoric: “abortion mills,” “abortuaries,” “baby-killing Centers,” “murder pills,” and “baby butchers.” Terms like “abortionists,” “pro-death,” “baby-killers,” and other such rhetoric, don’t help. There is truth in each of these terms. But they come off as insensitive, ungracious, judgmental and unloving. People tend to carricaturize pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) as misleading. They label PRCs as deceptive, having their own agendas, and out of touch with women. Acts of violence against abortion facilities, especially Planned Parenthood, have probably contributed most to this perception. The perpetrators of these acts of violence aren’t prolife workers. But people confuse them with prolife workers. Right or wrong, people often know us for what we oppose (abortion). But they may not know what we are for (the sanctity of all life).
Anti-woman? Pro-woman? Perception may be inaccurate but as we must confront it. We need to avoid even the appearance of evil. Women and those who love them, will listen to us. But on one condition. They need to KNOW that we’re as much for them as we are for their babies.
We can’t control the actions of others. We can’t control what they say. We can control only our words and actions. We can do things to avoid the stereotype of prolife people being just “anti-abortion” and “pro-birth.” We can show that we’re for mom’s life as much as we are for baby’s life. We can avoid inflammatory rhetoric. Instead of “abortuaries” or “abortion mills,” call them abortion facilities. Instead of “baby butchers” or “abortionists,” call them “abortion workers.” We can and should always pray for both moms, babies, and their families. God will give us His heart for all involved in crisis. Do you talk to women or abortion workers at abortion facilities? You can show them love and concern for their well-being. Former Planned Parenthood Director, Abby Johnson, says what caused her to become prolife. She witnessed the love and prayers of prolife people for her. She testifies that prolife people outside of her facility would show her love and concern. They let her know that they were praying for her. If we can, we ought to consider volunteering at our local PRC’s. If opportunity arises, consider taking in a pregnant girl or woman in crisis. When we take a stand on abortion, we should acknowledge that women face a difficult situation. And that we want to help her.
Consider signing and/or circulating this woman-friendly, prolife petition.