In my desire to be moderate and to listen to all sides of a debate/political issue I had removed myself from the Abortion conversation all together.
My political status on Facebook is listed as “empathy” This annoys people. A friend once told me with his nose up in the air (literally) that that was stupid and I had to pick a side. He was annoyed by my lack of commitment and wanted to peg me as left or right.
There is no middle ground in the Abortion debate. It is absolutely a polarizing topic, because the fundamental argument centers on when life begins, what life means and who God is exactly.
I don’t believe a meaningful conversation can ever be brought about by posting horrific pictures, making obnoxious posters or squabbling on side-walks with polarizing language.
I absolutely believe life begins at conception, but to try and convince people of this who are on the “other side” of the political spectrum seemed frivolous and impossible to me.
If a woman decides she doesn’t want to give birth, she will do whatever possible to make sure that doesn’t happen, even if it means a coat hanger in a closet, a dangerous dose of morning-after pills or a stay in a sketchy clinic south of the border.
My mom once told me that much of parenting and life is picking which battles you want to fight. Abortion was an issue I decided not to fight when I hit high school and befriended people who don’t view life the same way I do, that don’t know the God I know.
This morning I signed on to Facebook and watched a video a friend’s mom posted of the actual procedure of an abortion. The lady was tied up in stirrups and the doctor had his instruments and was performing the act of an abortion. I don’t reccommend watching it, honestly. However, Abortion definitely means something different to me now that I’ve witnessed what goes on on the outside and inside of a womb during the procedure.
Still, I am opposed to the methods in which Christians try to campaign against abortion. When my church use to go to Creation, an outside Christian music festival, the pro-life groups would stand in the merchandise tents and pass out little fetuses to show how big a baby is when a pregnancy is terminated. Highschoolers have no idea how to respond to such publicity, and would often play with the little babies as a joke.
These type of efforts, the graphic pictures and pointed sentences painted on T-shirts do not express love, reconciliation or grace though they may or may not be true.
The debates in political classes.The judgemental conversations. The lack of empathy made me run from this topic at full speed.
I was powerless to help anybody in this issue, and so stayed removed. When two of my friends found out they were pregnant and considered abortion, I was there to listen. One decided she had the support to keep the baby, the other did not. Who knows what I would decide in a similar place.
What is the solution to this heated issue and so many others? If not through political processes, if not on the roadside or picketing in front of a Planned Parenthood Clinic, what is the answer?
Today I discovered yet again, the power of a testimony. The answer lies in people telling their stories from both sides of the issue. The solution lies in humanity being human. In talking and listening to real life stories of one another’s lives.
On this first day of November, I am thankful for the ability to tell stories. No on can take your story from you, and no one can argue with your life. It is always yours.