The modern Western world has imposed upon us a dichotomy. Despite the world’s claims to be open-minded, we women of faith find ourselves shunted into one of two camps: intelligent and secular, or religious fools.
The frustration we face stems from our confusion as to why we have to pick one. There are few areas of controversy that insist on this division as much as that of abortion.
We find ourselves reading and hearing that we must either fight for the rights of our fellow women to do whatever they want with their own bodies because this is the age of tolerance, or that we are anti-feminist fools fighting for the rights of blobs of tissue which aren’t people (according to a nebulous science in which no one seems able to define when life begins).
How then are we to respond to those whose emotions are wound tightly into the rights of women while still boldly defending the innocent but inconvenient lives they “remove”? And how do we respond, on the other hand, to those who ache with the pain of what they realize was a horrible mistake?
Perhaps it behooves us to begin with the latter. We feel as rational Christian women that we are stuck between a rock and a hard place, but consider the woman who regrets her abortion and is stuck between the radical pro-choice camp that wants her to move on, and the judgmental Christian one that calls her a murderer.
We, the intelligent and grace-filled, are the perfect candidates to bridge the gap between truth and compassion. We rationally believe that the unborn are human beings, beloved by God. But we also believe that the ones who aborted them are too.
It is not that men cannot do this. Rather we as Christian women can uniquely lean on truth as well as an arguably greater capacity for empathy and comfort for those who need it. We are the ideal front line of defense for both the unborn and the mother, because we love both the same.
We also have the element of surprise on our side. For we are the unexpected oddity that emerges outside of those two camps we are expected to fall in. So why do we allow ourselves on social media or in our places of work or leisure or school to be shunted into one or the other?
Intelligent, rational, compassionate women of grace, let us cease to be driven by our assumptions and emotions, and instead be driven by truth and mercy. There are many in need of what we can offer, if only we are prepared to stop acting like the rest of the world: to cease with the name-calling, to cease being dazzled by the emotional opinions of others, to cease being so obsessed with being right that we forget about the human suffering from which the defensiveness stems.
Women want to fight for their rights to do what they want because society often does (and this is an objective truth–how can we deny it?) marginalize them, blame them, put unrealistic expectations on them. We may think we speak for an even greater cause–that of the lives of the innocent unborn who are unable to make their own choices, but how can we think that? God loves the marginalized woman as much as he loves her unborn child. It is of course important to speak for the voiceless. But bear in mind that in some cases (and only some), the mother didn’t have a voice either.
It is a tall order: love both, fight for both. Especially when we, as I have stated, are thrust into one or the other camp. But Christ is in our camp, (or perhaps it is better to say we are in his) and he fights for both, through us. This is enough for us. Let us begin to act like we know it is.