The God Who Sees Women

"Instead of seeing dichotomies— pro-woman or pro-baby, pro-choice or pro-life—we can see a truly difficult situation with hope. Real hope. Lasting hope. For we know that God found us when we were lost and confused and gave us love and purpose and life."    

Read part 1, part 3, and part 4.

I work at a pregnancy clinic, and almost every day a new woman walks in hurting, broken, confused, and scared. And, yet again, I hear them say: “I didn’t think I had a choice. Why didn't anybody tell me?" These are women who are struggling to come to terms with abortions they had, recently or very long ago. This response from hurting women highlights one of the bigger ironies and issues of our modern Pro-Choice world: it does not actually give women a choice.

The claims to be pro-woman are false ones. Rather, women are often treated as unable to make their own choices, mothers of disposable offspring, complications that are easier to just get rid of than care for. I realize some women may choose to get abortions after a long, thoughtful period of consideration, research, and counsel, but this is the minority. Most women are rushed into the decision, never being offered true options. Instead they are greeted by someone who simply says, "We can take care of it, it will be better this way. Trust me, this is the right decision for you." This is disrespectful to women in the boldest of ways. It assumes these women will be overwhelmed and unable to make a good decision if they are given all the information

The Pro-Life side can do this as well, by being pro-baby but not considering the reality of the woman’s situation. How often do we hear of women walking towards abortion clinics while being yelled at through loud speakers, begged to repent (at best) or viciously called murderers (at worst). Since when did pro-baby mean anti-woman? When did it become either/or? The Pro-Life side will beg women to keep their babies no matter what, but a conservative culture can look at them askew when they walk into our churches, bellies growing with life, but no husband on their arm. We require women without resources to keep and raise their children, then we vote down as many social services as we possibly can, making it more and more difficult for these women to get the medical care and financial support that allows them to parent well. We whisper about teenage moms, and watch reality TV shows about them that make us feel better about our life choices. It is in this social context that we demand they bring up their children. We offer lip service, saying there’s help through churches and social programs, but in reality there are few places that will take the time to pour into these women’s lives for the long run. Once the baby is born, what are we doing to help these women raise them in a healthy way, while also pursuing health themselves? We ought not demand women sacrifice everything for their children if we are willing to sacrifice nothing to help them.

This is where being pro-Jesus truly matters most. Instead of seeing dichotomies— pro-woman or pro-baby, pro-choice or pro-life—we can see a truly difficult situation with hope. Real hope. Lasting hope. For we know that God found us when we were lost and confused and gave us love and purpose and life. Just as Jesus reached out to the Samaritan Woman at Jacob’s well, knowing that she was considered to be of a lower caste due to her sex, her race, and her sexual history (John 4). Rather than spurning her, judging her, avoiding her, yelling at her, or offering her empty clichés, Jesus offered her exactly what she needed, living water. He met her where she was and did something his own disciples “marveled at” by talking to a woman. Jesus was pro-woman in a time when that was not a popular stance. He spoke to a broken lost woman even though it was shocking, and reached out to her to help.

This is our example. A loving Christ who came to save the lost.

Almost 60 times the Bible gives us commands for what we, as believers, should do for one another. These are direct commands, ways for us to glorify God and show the world His power through extreme love for his creation. We are to “serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13), to “be kind and compassionate to one another” (Ephesians 4:32), to “in humility consider others better than [our]selves” (Philippians 2:3), to “use whatever gift he has received to serve others” (I Peter 4:10), and to “love one another” over and over and over again (John 13:34-35, John 15:12, John 15:17, Romans 13:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, 1 Peter 4:8, 1 John 3:11, 3:23, 4:7, 4:11-12, II John 5).

For the women in our midst who are asking themselves the question of what to do with this child growing in their womb, we should be offering them this love. We should listen to their stories, meet them where they are, and offer them the true hope that comes through Christ. We should tell them that they have blessed life growing in them, and we should go the next step and offer them physical support, helping them find resources, giving them the ability to make a truly informed decision. We should reach out to them no matter what they decide, offering help to those who choose to parent, give their child up for adoption, or abort. For they all need the love of Jesus. We can walk through the struggles of parenting, sleepless nights with a newborn, struggles with MediCal and housing for a new mom and dad. We can support the birth mother with counseling and encouragement, resources and legal help. And we can let the abortive parent know we will be there for them if they need us afterward, if they experience the grief and loss so many women do, whether the next week or the next decade.

So, rather than focusing on whether we should support women or children, we should love them both with the inexhaustible love of Christ; a practical, hope-filled love.

[1] For additional unplanned pregnancy resources, please visit Claris Health Pregnancy Clinics