Below is Facebook post by Meryl Angelicola Lee, who describes herself as a “pro-life Christian” who supported the women’s march in Washington. Her personal essay is heartfelt and poignant. We are sharing the viral post as it exemplifies our goal to educate and find common ground with our family and friends on the right. Give it a read. It has been re-posted in its original form with permission from Meryl.
Jan. 22, 2017—I am a pro-life Christian who participated in a local march in support of the women’s march on washington. One reason I am proud to have marched in the protest is because of that fact, not inspite of it.
I believe life begins at conception and I want to see fewer women choose abortion. I grew up in church and was always told that voting republican meant saving babies and voting democrat meant the opposite. A few years ago, I got curious and decided to study the CDC statistics for myself. What I learned basically blew my mind… abortion rates decline at the same rate or faster when a democrat is in office (chart below, if you want to take a look). So that got me thinking… can we really call it the pro-life party if it doesn’t save more babies than the pro-choice party? Something isn’t working.
Make no mistake, it breaks my heart that millions of women choose abortion… and you know what? Many of their hearts are broken, too. Do you believe anyone actually wants to see abortion increase? I don’t think so.
God says they will know we are Christians by our love, but we can’t get close enough to love these women when we’re standing on the sidelines and calling them murderers instead of what God calls them: His beloved.
Because even if they wanted the abortion and felt relief when it eas over, it wasn’t easy. What they needed was someone to embrace them while they felt that fear and pain, while they weighed their options. But our arms weren’t available…we were too busy with our picket signs. Our arms were crossed and our fingers were pointed while we lectured others about their selfishness and posted pictures of aborted babies on social media. We should have been embracing them. How many babies would have been saved if the pro-life party was known for offering a listening ear to the scared pregnant woman, instead of for pushing legislation and protests outside of the abortion clinics?
I marched because many of the women who choose abortion are living in poverty, struggling with addiction or facing the realities of being a single parent. They walk into the clinic because they have no idea how they are going to provide for the child growing in their belly. Neither does the pro-life party. Instead, the party cuts the very programs that would help her. She can barely afford to feed herself, much less a child. But she should just work harder, right? What should she do when she racks up thousands in medical bills after she goes into labor because she can’t afford insurance? The pro-life party can’t answer that, either. How can she work without paid maternity leave, or without affordable childcare? The answer is that she can’t. How many babies would have been saved if the pro-life party was known for fighting to help these women instead of lobbying to cut the programs that do?
I marched because many of the woman who are considering abortions are women of color, hispanic or immigrants. If saving babies is the goal, then we should be walking with them hand in hand, listening to their fears and lending them our time/love to make it easier for them to choose life. Instead, the pro-life party is building a wall to keep their husbands in mexico, telling them to go back to their country, to learn english. How many babies would have been saved if the pro-life party was known for supporting minorities, or if we learned spanish and got to know immigrant families instead being known for fighting for the right to fly the confederate flag?
And what about before they get pregnant? Fewer unwanted pregnancies mean fewer abortions. Why do we fight to make it harder for women to get/afford birth control? Why are we fighting against sex-ed and shaming women who get pregnant out of wedlock? So many christian women and girls get abortions because they are afraid of the judgement from their church. We have made sex before marriage a scarlet sin for women, but men rarely get judged. How many babies would have been saved if the pro-life party was known for working to reduce unwanted pregnancies and defending unwed mothers, instead of making it harder for women to have access to the services/meds/information they need?
Neither political party fits the bill for being fully pro-life, because we can’t save babies through politics alone. What good is voting pro-life/republican if we aren’t actually saving more babies than democrats and are alienating and hurting these women in the process?
We have to earn their trust and respect, really work for it. Listen to their stories and understand their pain. Support and vote for programs and policies that make them feel less fearful about bringing a baby into this world. Are you doing that with your current approach? Is it helping or hindering? The numbers matter- Christians are not saving more babies than democrats by pushing to make abortion illegal, but we are greatly damaging our witness and hurting people with our current approach. What can we change? It’s time for change.
If we make abortion illegal tomorrow, they will still continue- but they will no longer be safe. We have to fix the underlying problems that lead to abortion first, why is the pro-life party not fixing them? They fight the pro-choice party and block the very things that will prevent unwanted pregnancies so that fewer women even get to a point where they have to make that choice. The biggest solution we can offer them is adoption, which is extremely expensive. Thousands of children will sit in foster care until they are 18 without ever getting adopted. This is not a solution.
When I get to heaven, God isn’t going to ask me if I’m a republican, he’s going to ask what I did to fight for his children- all of them. Is the end-goal of being pro-life to win victories for the republican party and force people into compliance? because I thought it was to protect life and save as many babies as possible. We are not accomplishing this. Jesus told us to be fishers of men and I can’t find the word republican or democrat anywhere in the Bible.
Regardless of your stance on abortion as a sin, these women are not murderers- they are so much more than their decisions. We all are. They are actual human beings facing what is often a scary situation. They are women who are loved by God and who feel they are out of options. How many babies would have been saved if the pro-life party wasn’t the one taking their options away? We should be their biggest champions.
I marched because I am not interested in forcing anyone to believe what I believe or making people “follow the rules.” But I am interested in saving babies, showing genuine love and helping to shoulder the burdens of my fellow (wo)man. That’s what is actually going to change things. At the end of the day, isn’t that what God did for us? He gave us free will and won us over with his love.
I am fully aware this is going to be controversial 🙂 but wanted to share my heart. thanks for hearing me out. #whyImarch
Thank you for making this chart, Josh Small!