Let me make this point abundantly clear right off the bat....I am pro-life. I would not have always said that....in high school and as a young Christian, I would firmly tell you that a woman's body is her own and no one can tell her what to do with it! Later it became, well it's not a decision I would choose, but if it works for you....I assume that it is with age, learning, and prayer that is apparent (to me) that abortion is NOT God's will for any woman at any time under any circumstance. (We can talk more about it if you want) Throughout scripture, verse after verse point to the truth that God creates every person.
1 Ti 4:4
Feel free to add more to the list....
So, anyhow....Thursday morning I'm driving home from church and as I approach a very large and busy intersection, I notice some people holding signs. I thought to myself "Oooooh, I wonder if Walgreen's is having a sale? I wonder what the specia.....what the? What is that? Is that a? OH *%&#! Look away! Quick! Oh crap, it's too late! For crying out loud they're everywhere!" I realized too late that the people were protesters of Planned Parenthood and were holding huge (and by huge I mean 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide) posters of aborted babies (it pains me to even type those words!) and the words "Abortion is Murder!"! Admittedly I have never seen pictures like this. It was gruesome and disgusting. There were about 4 people on every corner of a 16 million way intersection and I'm stuck at the longest red light in the history of traffic! I wanted to roll down my window and yell "Hey! I'm pro-Life! Can you put your hurling accusations and underlying contempt for women down just until I get through the light? Please and thank you." When I got home, I was telling Jay about it, when all of a sudden I burst into tears. This is not typical behavior for me, to say the least. I could probably count for you on one hand the times I have burst in to tears and still have a couple of fingers left over.
I am heartbroken for those tiny babies who didn't get a chance at life. I am heart broken for the woman who already feels guilty about the abortion she had and now has to have it shoved in her face. I am heartbroken for the woman who feels like there is nowhere to turn to. I'm angry that I had to have these pictures seared into my brain! I'm angry that the people (mostly men I might add) are just standing there almost expressionless as if it's no big deal to be standing on the warring side of a thrown gauntlet.
Jay did a great job comforting me. (even if he said "No" when I asked him to go ask the people to put their signs down) He then pointed out that point of the signs was... "If it saves even one baby, isn't it worth your being upset now?" (Which is an unfair question to begin with. The question should be: How do we best love/serve/reach out to women in the name of Christ?) I immediately said "NO!".....but of course...IF it is an effective strategy. And so that is my question. Does this method of "in your face" protesting really work? I want numbers, people! Do clinics and hospitals see a decline in appointments for the procedure after protesters descend on a neighborhood? Do doctor's offices see an increase in pre-natal appointments? How many doctors have had this conversation? "Well Doctor, I was really contemplating an abortion since this wasn't a planned pregnancy, I'm single, don't have any insurance, not a whole lotta money, not really sure if I can handle the burden financially, emotionally, or spiritually...even if I decided to give the baby up for adoption. But then, some strangers standing on a corner were yelling at me and accusing me of being a criminal...so that totally changed my mind." Seriously?
We agreed that there had to be so many better ways to get the point across. How about building relationships with the woman around us? How about earning the right to be heard about sensitive topics like this? How about reaching out to girls and young women before they get to this decision point? How about teaching them how valuable they are to God? How about teaching responsibility and that sometimes the quick and easy solutions are not so quick or easy?
I think any of these choices would speak volumes to the hearts of both Christian and non Christian woman. Anybody else?
I just don't think protesting in such a way is an effective way to get people to change their hearts or minds. So, thank you for the nightmares, anti-Planned Parenthood protesters! Now go love somebody!