Hey Freebies, happy Friday!
As a woman, an educator, and, more importantly, a follower of Christ, I'd be remiss if I didn't speak on the historical overturning of Roe v. Wade and this pro-life vs. pro-choice debacle.
I'll start by saying I've been in prayer about what to say, my approach, how to speak, and my intentions for speaking. Sis, I understand this is a SUPER sensitive subject for many reasons. So, please bear with me and only keep reading if you're willing to engage with a mature, open heart and mind.
First, I have to let you know that I have some traditional AND new age views as an older millennial black woman. My mama and aunties were raised with an old-school perspective, so I was.
And some of today's bra-burning liberal behaviors and ideologies would have them clutching their pearls or grabbing the nearest broom to "beat some tail," as my grandma would say.
Things are just different and constantly evolving in a more scandalous direction, but that's what culture does, right? I remember teaching at a high school on the southside of Chicago part-time while in my master's program nearly 13 years ago. I'd hear phrases like, "If I get popped (pregnant), I'll just go over to the chop shop and get it taken care of."
Yes, you read right, and as terrifying as it is reading that, imagine me at 25 hearing it while trying not to cringe as they confided in me. Many of these girls didn't know or consider that quick trips to the "chop shop" and abortions were not a substitution for being responsible or a get out of jail free from accountability.
They had no clue that, from slavery to now, Black people's population growth rate had been cut in half and is consistently decreasing. These ladies didn't know that disproportionately black women are the lead consumers of abortion services, thus reducing our race even more. I doubt they considered that God does not make mistakes either, and when a woman becomes pregnant, it is because He blessed her womb and allowed it.
Sitting with some of these young ladies often left me wondering where they learned to see human life so cavalier and apathetically at 15 and 16.
Modesty, discretion, and being "ladylike" appeared to be things of the past. The days of mama, grandma, and auntie collectively raising babies if there was a teen pregnancy are dying...literally. Think about it; I heard that casual "chop shop" phrase 13 years ago. You can only imagine what's being said and happening today.
Nowadays, women are more empowered, holding the cards and priding themselves in having complete autonomy over their bodies.
At least they were up until a week ago.
So for a woman like myself in culture yet committed to being Christ-like (in 2022), I desire to spread love, empathy, hope, and possible solutions for what we do now.
Writing this blog, I'm also mindful of how my influence can positively or negatively impact an individual. That said, I don't take it lightly, but I also must give the disclaimer that I am just a woman, I'm no expert, and I'm flawed in my humanity. As a human, I have my own thoughts and opinions (I'm entitled to them) but am also committed to surrendering them to what God thinks and what He would be please with me saying. So, let's set the intention here.
This blog explores some of my thoughts on Roe v. Wade and abortion while highlighting the dangers associated with generalizing, i.e., picking a side. Lastly, I hope to offer some points to ponder and hope-filled solutions/ideas for the next steps.
Let's jump in; I believe one can simultaneously have pro-life and pro-choice beliefs, but not according to misnomers associated with these terms (I'll share a couple in a sec).
Furthermore, I think pro-life and pro-choice terms are oversimplified.
I believe culture, politics, hate, and divisiveness keep people divided and reluctant to hear each other's hearts. Choosing a "side" often leaves one group believing harsh misconceptions about the other. And the reality is that associating one subject with these terms (pro-life vs. pro-choice) is irresponsible. If I can be honest, both the pro-life and pro-choice sides have tricky complexed motives and agendas.
Sadly, being forced to choose a side in many ways reduces the opportunity to connect, communicate, and respectfully empathize with each other.
Society has programmed people to believe that we are enemies when we don't share the same opinion or belief, thus creating walls and minimal opportunity to meet each other. Additionally, one may not agree with "every" aspect/misconception associated with the side they're presented.
Personally, I'm a seek understanding type of gal who hates generalizations and misconceptions. That said, understanding and definitions matter to me. And, even more than all of this, I am not God! It is not my place to judge, dictate or mandate a ruling over someone else's body, free will, or decision over their body.
I believe God gave you and me free will because He loves us enough not to control our decision-making. Love is not controlling.
According to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Although God gave us free will, I believe He desires us to choose life, his loving gifts, and live in a manner that demonstrates appreciation for life and others. However, again this is all a choice He gave, not a force.
At the same time, for the believer and follower of Jesus, the word tells us our bodies are not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19). And while I appreciate having choices, I am utterly uncomfortable terminating babies. I do not support the killing of any human life.
And as a believer, I am responsible for demonstrating extreme compassion for women in these difficult situations and even for those misguided teens proudly referring to abortion as the "chop shop" and a solution for birth control. Whether rape, incest, unprepared, undesired, or women having to choose between losing their life or child, I can only imagine how difficult these decisions are, even if the woman is ignorant of the long-term ramifications.
I am not God, and it is not my place to judge or decide anything on anyone's behalf.
Here are a few political culture misconceptions from both sides:
"Pro-Life is synonymous with anti-abortion."
"Pro-choice is pro-murder."
"Pro-lifers don't care about pregnant women."
"Pro-choice is pro-woman."
"Abortion-minded women don't want their babies."
Do you see how limiting these definitions/misconceptions and picking a "side" can be? Personally, I can't agree with any of these, and they are hurtful and dangerous.
According to Webster:
Pro-life (adj): opposed to abortion.
Pro-choice (adj): favoring the legalization of abortion.
Statment according to Planned Parenthood, a leader in the abortion industry:
"Generally, people who identify as pro-choice believe that everyone has the basic human right to decide when and whether to have children. When you say you're pro-choice, you're telling people that you believe it's okay for them to have the ability to choose abortion as an option for an unplanned pregnancy — even if you wouldn't choose abortion for yourself."
God does not make mistakes by allowing a woman to become pregnant. What He does is intentional. Additionally, I can't help but think of the "Massacre of the Innocent" in the bible.
Matthew 2:16-18 describes where Herod the Great, a king in biblical times, ordered the execution of all babies two years old and younger. He called the massacre because Jesus was born during that time, and hoped to kill him. He knew how powerful Jesus' life and potential would be.
We know the enemy's desire is always to kill and snuff out potential. And because we live in a fallen and backward world, sex before marriage is the norm. So, I'm left wondering if more people were married and got pregnant, would there be fewer abortions. Like the massacre, I think about all the aborted potential and who those babies could have grown into.
But whatever the reason, this is where we are today, and we all have our own life choices and future choices to make, and just because abortion isn't for me doesn't mean I can't empathize with a woman who is scared, one who made poor decisions, was taken advantage of, made terrible mistakes, or who has had one.
It's hard to speak about anyone's situation from the outside perspective, and we can't hold anyone to our standards.
However, the risk associated with sex doesn't change; most of us know how this goes; you can either get pregnant or contract a disease. This is a headscratcher for me (those willfully engaging in sexual acts knowing the risk but taking no preventive measures). It's not only essential to be responsible but also important to be accountable.
What may come of Roe v. Wade (good & bad):
Help increase the black population
Produce more sexually responsible people
Give more babies a fighting chance to be great and live out their God-given purpose
Unfortunately may lead to dangerous illegal home abortion practices
Potentially impact the woman's vote in elections
Cause women to travel out of the country for abortions
Well, the court has decided, and now it's up to the states. So, where do we go from here? What next?
I am all for protesting, especially when done responsibly. Showing emotion and exercising your rights and voice are noteworthy. But truthfully, the next step is to decide how you individually plan to move forward. Even if you're not directly impacted, you can still do something.
Consider doing the following:
Stop being judgmental
Educate yourselves on the laws in your state
Pray for pregnant women and women who may find themselves considering abortion
Talk to your daughters, nieces, sons, nephews, etc
Decide how you can support pregnant women and these babies
Start a nonprofit to serve needs in these areas
Pray about or consider adoption
Educate younger people about the consequences of sex (earlier)
Advocate for marriage
Share your personal stories
Be a soundboard, friend, or accountability to others
Pray, pray, and pray
Ps. I'll finish up last week's forgiveness blog next week.
Until next time,
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