In our efforts to fight abortion, we should be careful not to paint all women who have abortions with a broad brush. They are neither all callous hard-hearted women, nor are they all poor distraught women who agonize over their decisions. I have spent countless hours praying outside abortion clinics and offering life-affirming alternatives to women considering abortion. I have witnessed all types of women of all ages going in and out of the clinics. I have seen some laughing about it, and I have observed others weeping inconsolably after their decision. And unfortunately, I have also seen many women come back repeatedly for multiple abortions.
One college student exited the clinic after her abortion and exclaimed, “Now I can look good in my bathing suit this summer!”
But another young woman came out of the clinic and said with tears in her eyes, “I can’t kill my baby. Thank you for helping me change my mind.” About a year later this same woman stopped by the clinic to show me her beautiful baby boy. “My baby has changed my life,”
she said. “You were right. God has provided for me, and I don’t know what would have happened to me if I had gone through with the abortion. My son is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.”
I have also seen girls dragged into the abortion clinics against their wills, forced by their parents, husbands, or boyfriends to have an unwanted abortion. One woman was crying out to us as she was being forced into the clinic by her abusive husband, “Please help me! I don’t want them to kill my baby!”
But the clinic employees never ask these poor women if the abortion is really their own decision. It’s merely a business for them, and the more customers the better. There were times when I called the police to report that someone was being forced to have an abortion against their will. But by the time the police arrived, the abortion was completed and the poor girl was so heavily anesthetized that she couldn’t articulate what happened to her. Sadly, it’s another $500 for the abortion clinic, another innocent baby violently killed, and another poor girl’s life indelibly scarred. As is the case with all abortions, the only people who had any “choice” in the matter were the oppressors, not the oppressed.
So, we need to dispel these myths and stereotypes about women who have abortions. Every woman who contemplates or has an abortion is a unique individual with a unique set of circumstances. Each instance of abortion is different, and each is equally tragic. Abortion always affects the fate of at least two lives, killing the unborn child and scarring the mind, body, and soul of the mother. Therefore, all these women need our prayers, our love, and our life-affirming help.
I support any and all nonviolent means to deter and stop abortion. But our Pro-Life strategies should be carefully examined before implemented. There are four different factors that I think we should consider when cultivating our Pro-Life activism.
1) Will the strategy save a human life now, today?
2) Will the strategy help bring an end to legalized abortion?
3) Will the strategy help to cultivate a Pro-Life consciousness in our nation and in our world?
4) Will the strategy adhere to the principles of the Christian Gospel?
The most effective Pro-Life strategies will do all four of these things. I believe that God has given His children the creativity and inspiration to come up with Pro-Life tactics that will save lives immediately. And I believe He has also given us the wisdom to change hearts and minds so that abortion is no longer seen as a “solution.” If we adhere to the principles of the Gospel - fighting darkness and death with light and love - then we will bring hope to both mother and child, and we will see a shift in the collective consciousness of our nation and our world.
May the prayers and intercession of the most holy Theotokos be with us.
“Lord have mercy.”