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Probably the biggest bombshell Supreme Court decisions in the last number of years is the overturning of Roe v. Wade last summer. For pro-life evangelical Christians, this was a welcome victory in a 49-year battle, and there has been much celebration.

Unsurprisingly, there has been some major blowback, including some directed at pro-life evangelicals, accusing them of only caring about birth, and not caring about the mother or the circumstances around the possible abortion.

And while that is undoubtedly true of some, I don’t believe that’s the case for the majority. Most Christians I know care deeply about the mother, and want to help as much as possible.

The question we have to deal with is this: How do we tangibly step into caring for those who would have considered abortion and now can’t because of the law?

First we need to recognize that the decision did not outlaw abortion. The decision gives states the right to determine their own abortion laws.

While this makes abortion very restricted in some states (my own state of South Dakota now only allows abortion if the life of the mother is at stake), it will become even more available in some other states.

Pro-life people rejoiced and celebrated the victory they have fought for since the original decision in January of 1973. On the other hand, the reactions from the pro-choice side have been angry, apocalyptic, and some on the pro-life side have been threatened.

The posts on my own FB page have shown these two reactions. Those rejoicing in the decision are, thankfully, not gloating. Those upset with the decision, however, are posting angry and fearful words and memes about how people need to mind their own business and stay away from their bodies, since they feel abortion should only be a decision the mother should ultimately make.

They say politicians should not be making decisions regarding abortion. However, this whole thing has played out in the political arena – in the state and national legislatures, and in the courts, made up of political appointees and officials elected by the political process.

We are told that people without vaginas should have no say about abortion. But the Supreme Court in 1973 was ALL men. And what about men who are pro-choice? Certainly you wouldn’t silence them, right? And women who are pro-life would want the support of their men as much or more as pro-choice women would want the support of their men.

What about in the case of rape and incest? Why should a woman or young girl be punished by carrying this daily/hourly reminder of a horrible, traumatic incident?

There are no easy answers to these. And the quick pat answers of some in the pro-life camp are less than helpful. In my own experience, I can point to two women I personally know who became pregnant after a date rape, and not only carried the child, but raised them. I’ve read about another woman who was violently raped by a person of another color, with the child being of that same color, being raised in the woman’s family with her husband and other children.

But obviously, I am in no position to say I can relate to the trauma of rape and having to make a decision about the child, who, just as obviously, had no choice in his/her conception.

My only goal in this post is to help Christians show tangible love and understanding to those who disagree and to those who face an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy.

On a broader level, our interactions need to reflect the love, grace, and peace of Jesus. When talking, posting, etc., our speech needs to be gracious, truthful, and loving. It shouldn’t be snarky, sarcastic, condescending, or mean. There is no place for gloating. Also, we are not to respond in kind to those who treat us badly or say untrue things about us or the pro-life movement.

On a more personal level, there are a number of things we can do. But the main thing is that we need to get past words. 1 John 3:18 says –

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

How can Christians tangibly show the love of Jesus to those who disagree and especially to women with unplanned and unwanted pregnancies?

  1. Start with listening.

I hate to break it to you, but chances are slim that you have all the answers to every situation. And unless you are a woman who is facing an unplanned pregnancy, your ability to relate is pretty limited.

As we discussed in the podcast, there are myriads of reasons women seek abortion: economic pressures (especially in poorer areas), family pressure to terminate (including the husband/boyfriend), shame about getting pregnant, rape, incest, or whatever. Don’t assume everyone who looks to abortion is just a cold-hearted meanie-head that is more concerned with her personal freedom than the life of the baby.

Listen to the stories and try to empathize. Even if you aren’t able to convince the woman to keep the baby through birth, you will at least learn the backstory.

  1. Get involved with your local crisis pregnancy center.

Learn what it means to tangibly love someone who is scared or even angry about their pregnancy, and needs loving support in the name of Jesus.

  1. Be willing to materially help someone with the needs associated with pregnancy.

Things like rides to the doctor’s office, picking up groceries, cooking some meals, babysitting the other kids, meals at YOUR house, buying clothes and food for the baby – and toys and such for the other kids who might feel ignored.

  1. Celebrate the life of the baby.

Even if you’re not in favor of how the conception happened, you can still celebrate the new life. Pray for mom and the baby throughout the pregnancy. Encourage and show your love for them.

  1. Get involved in foster care and adoption. 

If there was ever a place in society where we need more Jesus-loving people, it’s the foster care system. You can show the love of Jesus to hurting, traumatized children who are in a world of confusion and pain. Yes, it hurts to give them back, but it’s not about you – it’s about them. Even short-term placements give you the opportunity to be Jesus to these kids, who may never get another real exposure to Him.

My wife and I have fostered dozens of children during our 15 years as foster parents. Some of those kids still connect with us on occasion, and it’s great to hear that their experience in our house was a bright spot for them. In addition, we have adopted 7 kids from foster care, including 5 bi-racial children. Maybe in a future episode/blog post I will tell you the stories of how we came to adopt our kids.

  1. Continue to pray. 

Pray that God would move in the hearts of pro-choice people, the hearts of men to take responsibility for the baby and mother’s welfare, and the abortion industry to focus on care, not termination.

  1. Refuse to respond in anger to those who accuse you of not caring for women.

The vast majority of these folks are deeply concerned about health care for women, even if we don’t see abortion as health care. Their anger is born out of their perception that women will be harmed by new restrictions.

Understanding that will go a long way to help you respond in a caring way, even in deep disagreement.

Folks, we have an unprecedented opportunity to display the love and compassion of Christ to people who believe we have neither. Let’s show them that followers of Christ are compelled to show love in every situation.

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