Ask yourself one question. What do you hope to accomplish by flashing photos of infant corpses?
I know that among those of my friends who are pro-life, this is always meant as a statement against the horrors of abortion. Look!At!The!Dead!Baby! these pictures say. This is what abortion does! It kills babies!
From the outside of the echo chamber I tell you this. It has the exact opposite effect. Women who are vacillating about having an abortion often no longer see Christians and the Pro Life camp as an understanding, safe alternative.
How did Christ welcome you? With open arms, the shepherd rejoicing at the return of his sheep. And until you opened the door, all he did was stand and knock. A gentle knock. He did not hammer down the door screaming “Hell IS COMING FOR YOU UNLESS YOU OPEN THIS DOOR RIGHT NOW, YOUNG LADY!!!”
So what makes us think we know better than Christ? What makes us think that we will save the lives of babies when we are abusing women into making the choice we want them to make?
Women choose abortion because they are in dire circumstances and they want the problem to go away. If we want women to make a different choice we do better to persuade them with kindness, with love and with help. The things Jesus told us to do. Instead we’re standing outside clinics with visual stones, throwing gruesome pictures in the faces of those who are already in grim and gruesome circumstance.
We are so sure of how right we are that we don’t stop to consider the wrongness of our actions.
People defend these pictures by claiming that they are thinking of the unborn babies. What they don’t seem to get–what doesn’t sink in–is that 14, 15, 19, 34 years ago that woman making the decision was an unborn baby. The Abortion conflict has got much of the Pro-Life camp thinking that these Born Babies Turned Women are the enemy. The enemy isn’t poverty, grief, hopelessness and despair. The enemy is a woman. A woman who should be punished.
That isn’t how Christ works, folks. That isn’t how Grace works.
I’m bringing this up because there was yet another dead baby in my Facebook feed today. The caption says that we “need to remember all the babies who are murdered by abortion”.
I promise you right now that there is at least one woman seeing that picture who had a painful miscarriage. And there is at least one woman seeing that picture who has had an abortion.
In my years of being a pro-life, pro-woman advocate I have heard from dozens of women in conservative churches who come to me and admit that for one reason or another they had an abortion when they were younger. And every time something condemning comes up–gruesome pictures, angry words–they feel attacked. Attacked by people who should be supporting them in Grace, loving them and lifting them up.
Let’s take a quick look at Psalm 103, and then let’s think of other ways we can fight abortion. Ways that are more in line with that God who does not remember our transgressions but loves us without fail.
1Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.