How can both sides support women?

I’m always uncertain when it comes to speaking out about current events, but as I gaze into the face of my sweet newborn daughter, it’s unfathomable to me that if she had been born in many other states, she might not be a part of our family. This post is my humble attempt to honor her, her birth mother, and other vulnerable families who find themselves in similar unthinkable situations.

Yesterday was a day of celebration for the pro-life community. But I know for many, it’s also a day of grief. Grief because our culture maintains that women are only as valuable as their ability to not be pregnant. A culture that has systemically undervalued and underserved mothers—especially working mothers, BIPOC mothers, and mothers in other marginalized populations—to the point they believe they have no choice but to abort their baby. A culture that is so set on their partisan politics, they forget the real women who wrestle with the confusing and overwhelming nature of unplanned pregnancies.

I know many critique the pro-life movement for wanting to control women’s bodies, and I’m sure that there are some who fit that anti-woman caricature. Yet that has not been my personal experience. Within my own church, I have witnessed support for foster and adoptive families, single parents, and underserved families. Mountains of diapers and wipes fill our lobby each Christmas to be donated to our local pregnancy resource center.

There are more than 3,000 pregnancy resource centers across our nation (twice the amount of abortion providers) that freely provide parenting classes, transportation to medical appointments, safe housing for women fleeing unsafe situations, maternity and newborn supplies, guidance on applying for government assistance, childcare support, career mentorship, and counseling during and after pregnancy (no matter what the woman chooses). And if a woman chooses not to parent, they support them in making an adoption plan and processing its inherent trauma. Every day, they give women the love, grace, and resources necessary to make the best choices for them and their children’s health and happiness.

While some in the pro-life movement may be only “pro-baby,” the majority of us are actively involved caring for these families—from “womb to tomb.” In a similar way, I know that many in the pro-life community characterize those who are pro-choice as “anti-baby,” while they in fact deeply care about the lives of women with unplanned pregnancies. I truly believe that most people who are pro-choice see the women on the margins and feel compassion. I share that compassion even while I disagree with their proposed solution.

I know today is a tender day for both sides, but I want to invite those who are pro-choice to consider how they can join with us who are truly pro-whole-life. If you’re not already involved within your local community, consider donating diapers and wipes to your local pregnancy resource center. Take foster care classes so you can provide respite care for foster families. Financially support organizations that provide grants for adopting families (half our adoption fees were covered by such grants). Advocate for better resources for vulnerable mothers and families.

When it comes to legislation, maybe once we stop having to fight for the right to life for all, we can start working towards improving the quality of life for the underserved in our communities. I pray all the energy spent in the last fifty years seeking anti-abortion legislation can now be funneled into improved maternal healthcare (especially for BIPOC), paid maternity leave, better access to childcare, and other government systems for vulnerable families.

I know that social media posts will rarely (if ever) change a person’s perspective, and I have no expectations that my meager words will convince anyone to “swap sides.” Yet I do pray that they may encourage us to link arms, especially as Christians. If you are pro-choice, maybe consider reaching out to someone who is pro-life and asking about the work they are doing in their community. If you are pro-life, consider inviting those who are pro-choice to compassionately serve alongside you if they’re not already. While our state and national legislatures debate the future of abortion, let us in the meantime all work together to care for all women and their children.

Even while we may disagree on the legislative and judicial positions on abortion, I pray we can all agree that each woman’s life matters. Every family matters. Every child matters. Whether we celebrated or grieved yesterday, I pray today we can work together for the good of every woman.

2 thoughts on “How can both sides support women?”

  1. Bethany, this is a gorgeous post that feels like a warm cup of tea in this sea of terrible discourse. Thank you for this reminder that there is more work to do.

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