Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Am: Pro Life AND Pro Choice

Generally, I refrain from defining myself, from quickly ascribing to one particular social label or another. It's not that I'm not proud to stand up for what I believe. It's just that I believe that it's these labels that are and continue to cause many of the social problems we face here in the United States of Dichotomies America. So while you may think I'm a walking contradiction, I think I just make a whole lot of sense.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that my Facebook news feed was flooded this week by articles from both camps regarding the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation's decision to stop providing funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings. I didn't participate in the discussion, but watched it unfold. And in the process, I realized that while I am pro life I am also pro choice. And I also realized that to be both is the most authentic position one can have.

You see, in order to be the "land of the free" we have to have freedom. The way I see it, you can't say that you're a right-winged, republican who believes in the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion and yet be anti-choice. It just does not make sense. Because if you are against a woman's freedom to choose the outcome for her unborn child, then freedom must really just be an illusion. Because what you're really saying then is that everyone should be a right-winged, republican, who speaks "freely" about your platform and who "freely" practices your religion and who chooses life for her unborn child. It simply makes no sense.

As a mother, I chose life for my child. I desired a child more than anything. And I discovered heartbreaking loss when my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. But I didn't let this loss define me. Because I knew that my Father loved me and wanted to bless me with a child. And I didn't want to miss out on this blessing. And now that I have my son, I have realized that truly the greatest gift is not even my child (don't get me wrong--he's AMAZING), but the unimaginable, unexplainable and unconditionally abundant love that I have for him. So if I chose to abort him, I would have missed out on this truly awesome gift. But HE (my loving Father) would still love me. Because He loves me unconditionally.

And if you're a parent, then you know that you can't force your kids to receive your love. Because they're too cool. Because they perceive your actions as punishment or unfairness rather than love and concern. For one reason or another. It doesn't matter. You can't force someone to take the gift you're trying to give. So why is it any different when a woman chooses an abortion? Yes, there is an amazing gift as well as many many blessings awaiting her. But she doesn't have to choose to receive them. Because then she wouldn't be free. And then America really wouldn't be the land of the free. It would all be a farce.

But what if she doesn't know about this gift? About the many blessings she's choosing to forgo? And what if you were there to tell her? Like it or not, Planned Parenthood has become a place of refuge in moments of crisis. It's not going anywhere. So there's no point in fighting. But what if you were the face who lovingly welcomed a scared teenager into your facility? What if you were the one who got to sit down with her and tell her how much she is loved? To tell her that she's beautiful and to tell her that she doesn't need to be afraid. It's going to be okay. What if you could tell her that God still loves her, no matter what choice she makes. And that there is an amazing gift of love waiting for her. One she can't yet fathom. No first-time parent can. And what if you could honestly tell her that no matter what her choice, she should not feel guilt, shame or condemnation. Whatever her choice, what if you were the one loving her through it?

So you see, that while I am for life I am also for choice. Because I believe in freedom. Real freedom. And that involves the freedom to choose.


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