by Lisa Atkins, SFLA Northwest Regional Coordinator
Just recently I found out that my best friend had an abortion a month before I met her.
In that moment, everything hit home for me.
I sat there in silence, stunned. I felt like nothing I could say would suffice. No catchy pro-life tag lines would be enough.
It is easy to be pro-life in front of a crowd of strangers that you may or may not see again. It is easy to be pro-life behind the keyboard of a computer. It’s easy to march for life with hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers marching around you. It is also much easier to dialogue with strangers on a college campus about the injustice of abortion, than it was to hear your best friend tell you that she aborted her child at 7 weeks old
For the first time in my experience of being pro-life, I was speechless.
She had dated her boyfriend at the time for two years when she found out she was pregnant. She took multiple pregnancy tests and after a few weeks of not knowing what to do, she told her boyfriend. His response was simple. He told her he wouldn’t stay around if she kept their baby.
But there’s so much support out there for her, right?
My best friend grew up without her dad around and her mom was hardly home. She didn’t want the same life for her child, so she had the abortion.
I continued to listen.
Her boyfriend paid for the abortion, refused to get any closer than the waiting room while she had the abortion, and drove her home. But that’s not all.
Her boyfriend dropped her off at her house and then she never heard from him again.
So there I was, speechless. I wanted to help her. I wanted to give her post abortive resources (there is a list at the end of this post) and offer her hope even though after all of this time I never knew that she needed it.
But how could I ever truly understand what she went through? How could I assume that she was broken and needed to be fixed? How could I help her without ruining our friendship?
I wanted to ask her why after almost two years of being best friends she wanted to tell me now. I wanted to help her deal with the pain and health problems that have come from her abortion, but I didn’t know where to start.
So I continued to sit there and listen. I cannot ever fully understand what she went through or what I could say to her that would be perfect. But I do understand one thing: I understand that what she lacked at the time was an adequate support system and that is exactly what I can provide for her now.
It was hard for me to fathom that my best friend had an abortion. There was a battle going on inside of me to be loving and offer hope while also feeling disappointed. I was fighting the urge to help her understand what she had done, while at the same time knowing that she needs healing and a sincere support system.
I also found that building a relationship with her and being there for her in more ways than I knew over the last two years was the sole ingredient that kept her around as my friend.
Somehow I was able to be the pro-life ambassador that Students for Life of America equipped me to be, and convey the message of life in such a compassionate and loving way that for two years she stuck around.
We live in such a broken and messed up world. We are surrounded by a relativistic society that believes abortion is the best solution we have to give women facing unplanned pregnancies. All pro-life apologetics aside, we must ask a simple question, “What does abortion solve?” Did abortion solve the fact that my friend’s boyfriend told her he wouldn’t stick around if she kept the baby? Did it give her a support system to help her after the abortion? No.
Our culture needs to stop seeing abortion as a solution.
- If a woman is in poverty: Did the abortion take her out of poverty and provide her any financial support?
- If a woman has a drug or alcohol problem: Did having an abortion solve her drug or alcohol problem?
- If a woman doesn’t want her child: Did having the abortion teach that woman to take responsibility for her actions? Did it fix our foster and adoption systems where thousands of children are “unwanted?”
- When my friend had no support system: Did having the abortion help her boyfriend to stick around?
The reality? Our culture sees abortion as a solution to a problem: pregnancy.
Abortion does not solve anything. Our culture justifies the killing of innocent human beings for a quick “fix” to a much deeper problem. We as the Pro-Life generation must not only understand that innocent children are dying and that we are being a voice for them, but we must clearly provide the solutions to the underlying problems that exist in our world today, in order to further create a culture of life.
If abortion isn’t the answer, then what is? We should work backwards to get to the root of the issue that has brought a woman to an abortion facility. What is her situation? Once we actively listen to understand where an abortion-minded woman is coming from, we can then understand what resources we have available to provide for her in order that she is able to choose life.
Abortion minded and post-abortive women need all of the love, support, and hope possible in order for them to make life-affirming decisions.
Where our friends and peers are being targeted by the abortion industry, we must equip ourselves to stand up strong in a loving and compassionate manner to answer the question, “What is the best solution for women?” We MUST stand up stronger than ever before.
As pro-lifers, we are not just a voice for the voiceless; we are the one friend and resource that our peers can go to for resources and support regardless of their situations. It’s time to take action, give it all you’ve got, and rise up to the challenge.
Here are a few resources for post-abortive women:
Rachel’s Vineyard http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/
Project Rachel http://hopeafterabortion.com/