I used to be “anti-abortion,” but now I’m pro-life.
I used to be anti-abortion because I couldn’t understand how anyone could even contemplate ending the life of a child inside her womb. I became pro-life mere months into my marriage when I found myself staring at two unplanned pink lines.
I became pro-life when I realized it wasn’t about getting rid of a child as much as it is about ridding your life of what seems like a terrifying change. It was the first time I realized that the same God who’s in the business of knitting together babies in their mother’s wombs also intimately knows the hearts of those mothers who let fear overshadow the celebration of life. It was when I realized that I couldn’t call myself pro-life if I wasn’t willing to be pro the lives of hurting mothers just as much as I championed the lives of the unborn.
I became pro-life the day I brought my surprise child into a world that had already diagnosed and labeled him due to a congenital heart defect. The moment that I looked into his eyes and saw nothing but the purest gift from above was the day I unconsciously decided to never again let the words “perfectly healthy” come out of my mouth. Something beautiful happened to me when I realized that my biggest fear was actually my greatest blessing.
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I became pro-life when we chose to adopt children with disabilities, because being pro-life isn’t just about those lives that have brains and bodies that function the same way as mine.
I became pro-life during the countless days I watched my son fight the forces that torment every precious child who does not grow up in the arms of the woman who birthed him – the one whose heartbeat was the first song he ever heard. That’s when I realized that no amount of love could completely heal every wound, particularly wounds that cut so deep. It’s when I realized that although adoption is one part of being pro-life, so is coming alongside and supporting those women who bravely choose life for their child.
Being pro-life is more than a political stand. It’s more than a bumper sticker or a picket sign. It’s more than a prayer and it’s more than a check.
Being pro-life isn’t just about the words we say or the box we check on a ballot. Being pro-life is a way of life. Yes, we fight the darkness that takes the lives of the unborn, but we also need to fight the darkness for their parents – before and after they make their choice. We need to fight the darkness on behalf of orphans who wait for someone to be a vessel of God’s life-giving love. We need to fight the darkness that proclaims worth based on ancestry or status or IQ.
Yes, I used to reserve the term “pro-life” for someone who was anti-abortion, but now I know that being pro-life includes giving hope to those who are hurting. Jesus was pro all lives, and He didn’t need a bumper sticker to prove it. He proved it by His actions. May God help us to follow suit.