June 24, 2022, fundamentally changed things in our nation that I never thought that I would see in my lifetime – Roe v. Wade was overturned. I know that many of those with the views I do on abortion were celebrating this event. I also know that many are in great turmoil because they see this as a troubling sign. My stance on abortion has changed over the course of my life from being a pro-choice Conservative to a strongly pro-life Conservative. Some may see that as an odd reality, but I don’t believe it was uncommon. Personally, abortion has never been something that I strongly supported, but as my faith grew and I truly began to walk in my Christ again after walking away from my Christian faith for a period of time. I grew and understood the faith in a great different way. Even with this, for a long time, my desire, partially because I did not believe that I would see Roe v. Wade overturned in my lifetime, was to see how for a time, we could stem the flow of abortions with positive laws to give women an honest choice to know that what they were destroying in the womb was not just a “clump of cells” like was often stated but truly a life at least we could maybe stop some women from choosing to destroy the life in the womb.
Sadly, over the years, we have seen the resistance grow against the old and original line stated when it was spoken of by those that stated they were pro-choice, which was said that abortions need to remain legal so that they may be “rare, but safe.” Unfortunately, we have found that the push has continued to move from “rare but safe” to “on-demand.” Over the last couple of years, we have even heard the arguments that we should allow post-birth abortions, i.e., that an unwanted baby can have his/her life even after they are born.” The greatest argument for this has been based on the language of “body autonomy.” This issue has continued to be raised over and over again. For a long time, we saw the continued annual decline of abortions until 2020, which saw that while many necessary and sometimes lifesaving treatments were postponed while abortions continued and were protected in some states using vital PPE that was unavailable because of it in the hospitals that desperately needed it.
Since this time, we have seen Pregnancy Care Centers fire-bombed and attacked, with no arrests ever made. Yet, we have watched as Pro-Life protesters have been arrested by the FBI sent by the DOJ for breaking an obscure Federal Law quietly passed, being treated as terrorists for peacefully protesting and having any charges that had been filed in local courts dropped because it was found that they were unfounded. A father of seven was arrested in front of his family by the FBI with guns drawn because he pushed away a Planned Parenthood worker that was cursing and yelling at his eleven-year-old child. He had been acquitted by the criminal courts a year prior as charges had been pressed by the worker for physical assault even though he had verbally assaulted a young boy. Yet, we see little of this in our media. The divide continues to grow wider and wider. Women are being told lies that are not refuted to drive them into fear as the TV blares out that if they have a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, they will be unable to receive care.
It saddens me to watch this happen in our beloved country, but there is still hope. As Christians, our calling is not to respond in kind but in love. Our Lord reminds us to love our enemies (Luke 6:35) and even do good to them. This isn’t easy to do, yet vital in our lives. When we fail to respond in vitriolic statements or feel that we must defend everything we hold dear to us, we may find that conversations can arise. We know that there are many broken people in the world, and too often, people only listen to one side, yet when we pause and take a moment, a bigger picture can emerge, and understanding can arise. Notice, I did not say agreement but understanding. So often, we seek agreement, which is the stumbling block and is not always necessary for a relationship. In the conversations that are held, opportunities are also left open for words of comfort, hope, and healing. We can all use healing from past pains, which often drive our responses. The old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is just not true. Words cut deep and cause wounds often left unseen.
The great divide that we see in our nation can only be healed by taking a different path that leads to hope and healing. For those like me, I don’t believe that my views on abortion at this point will change, and there are those on the other side that will say the same, but that does not mean that I cannot find a way to have a relationship with them and gain understanding. In the end, it is not our calling to change the hearts of another but to faithfully point to our Lord Jesus Christ, who desires for us to find peace.