Save the Child by Loving the Mother: Practical Ways to Help

| July 9, 2018

What do the pro-life and pro-choice movements have in common?

Both claim to protect human rights.

Yet the pro-choice movement neglects to recognize the humanity and right to life of unborn children in favor of the mother’s autonomy to make a choice. The beauty of the pro-life perspective is that in its truest form, it supports both the mother and the child.

However, pro-lifers must take care not to neglect the mother in the midst of the fight for the unborn. We must remember that the mother is a child too – a child of God! We must cherish the mother with equal fervor as we seek to support her in the midst of a life-or-death decision. Meeting the mother with love will encourage her to choose life for her child and follows the example Jesus set for us.

When you learn of a woman pregnant outside the bounds of marriage, is your first instinct one of empathy or condemnation?

I will never forget a display of empathy by my mother which challenged my perspective years ago. We saw a young family friend at church, pregnant outside the bounds of marriage. My mom lovingly congratulated her on her pregnancy. Afterwards, being still a child myself and seeing only the right-and-wrong of the situation, I asked her why she had congratulated our friend. My mother responded that now that the decision leading to pregnancy had been made, the young woman had enough people to judge her and just needed to be loved and supported throughout the process.

Remembering how she displayed Christ’s love in that instance has more of an impact on me now than ever before.

It saddens me to the core to see women choosing to end the lives of their children in the womb purely because they lack support or believe they have no options. How true my mother’s words are – while some are so quick to condemn, there is such a greater need for Christ’s love and for coming alongside the women and men involved in unexpected pregnancies. This does not mean backing down on convictions. It simply means following the example of Jesus, who died for that woman just as he died for you.

How many unborn lives would be saved if we responded like Jesus to all those in crisis pregnancy situations?

How many unborn lives would be saved if we responded like Jesus to all those in crisis pregnancy situations?

Pregnant women have been given a gift, regardless of how that gift came about. They should be cherished along with their unborn children. All pregnant women should be celebrated for choosing life for their child. To add to this charge, post-abortive women should certainly also be surrounded by the Christian community in love, in the hopes of pointing them to Christ. I pray we remember in the utmost humility that every single one of us is hopelessly and equally lost apart from Christ.

Jesus changed the heart of Saul, who once murdered Christians, into Paul, perhaps the greatest Christian evangelist in history and writer of multiple books of the Bible. Jesus can most certainly change the heart of the woman who is thinking of having an abortion, the post-abortive woman, and yes, even of the abortionist.

Do you trust the all-consuming grace of Jesus, so powerful that no crime or wrongdoing is unable to be covered, no sinner too far out of reach? Do you believe it is a grace which holds boundless possibility for redemption?

Look for example at the case of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned ardent pro-life advocate. Johnson joined Planned Parenthood out of a desire to help women, but after witnessing how “a 13-week-old baby fought, and ultimately lost, its life at the hand of the abortionist,”1 her eyes were opened. After eight years working at Planned Parenthood, Johnson experienced a “dramatic transformation” and now “travels across the globe sharing her story, educating the public on pro-life issues, advocating for the unborn, and reaching out to abortion clinic staff who still work in the industry.”1 Over 300 individuals have left the abortion industry as a result,1 and Johnson continues working as a stalwart voice in the pro-life movement.

The pro-life community eventually welcomed Abby into their efforts. Extending grace and love freed her to live out her dramatic transformation and save countless lives.

“We’re pro-life because we’re pro-love,”2 reads Johnson’s website. “We believe that love for the human person breaks down every barrier.”3

Love for the person indeed breaks down every barrier.

As we take a stand and fight with all our strength for justice for unborn children, let us not back down one iota in our convictions. However, let us strive to love both the unborn child and the woman with all our hearts, breaking down all barriers to give us a platform from which to save both physical and spiritual lives.

Hopefully, there is a fire lit in your hearts to help these precious women. This love must be put into action, but it is often difficult to know how to live out our convictions. Here are some practical ways you can put love into action and help save lives:

-You can volunteer and/or give to pregnancy resource centers (such as Care Net Pregnancy Centers) who provide services such as free pregnancy tests, options counseling, parenting programs, assistance with material items (diapers, strollers, etc.) job assistance, and more to women in need. See Live Action’s article “10 helpful ways to support a Pregnancy Resource Center” for more information.4

-You can throw a baby shower for a mother who has no one else to celebrate and support her.

-You can love, pray for, and support individuals before, during, and after crisis pregnancy situations, coming alongside them when they need it most and showing them what it truly means to love like Jesus.

I am reminded of a quote by Bob Goff. “Every time I wonder who I should love & for how long I should love them, God continues to whisper to me: Everybody, always.”5

Love the child, love the mother, love “everybody, always.” Love saves lives.

 

  1. “About Abby.” AbbyJohnson.org, http://www.abbyjohnson.org/thanks-for-stopping-by/.
  2. “A new kind of feminism.” AbbyJohnson.org, http://www.abbyjohnson.org/new-page-4/.
  3. “Every Single Life Has Value.” AbbyJohnson.org, http://www.abbyjohnson.org/consistent-life/.
  4. Bennett, Christina Marie. “10 helpful ways to support a Pregnancy Resource Center.” Live Action, 28 Oct. 2013, https://www.liveaction.org/news/10-helpful-ways-to-support-a-pregnancy-resource-center/.
  5. @bobgoff. “’Every time I wonder who I should love & for how long I should love them, God continues to whisper to me: Everybody, always.’” Twitter, 2 Jul. 2018, 10:39 a.m., https://twitter.com/bobgoff/status/1013839515088138241

Photo courtesy of Pixabay under the Creative Commons license