By Deborah Hollifield, PPL Executive Director
One of the most common pro-abortion tactics is to project dark and dire futures for both mother and child: “Abortion is preferable to a life in foster care.” “Abortion is safer than pregnancy and childbirth.” “Your boyfriend will leave you.” “You’ll never be able to finish your education.” “He’ll just grow up to be a criminal.” “Having a rapist’s child will just traumatize you a second time.” “You can’t afford another mouth to feed.” At a time when a woman is most vulnerable, fearing the future and acting under duress, the Enemy commands an army of foot soldiers: callous boyfriends, anxious and embarrassed grandmothers, angry grandfathers, busybody friends, unsympathetic employers and a well-organized front from Planned Parenthood, all of whom advance, surround, pressure and “advise.”
None of these speculations is remotely certain, and most often are simply untrue. Sometimes all that is necessary to change an abortion-minded woman’s mind is a moment of clarity sparked by hearing her baby’s heartbeat or seeing her child’s ultrasound image. Other times, it may be a word of encouragement from a friend or a promise of guidance and support from a pregnancy care caseworker; or the tangible support of a few months of rent and an outfitted nursery from a local church.
Scripture records the experiences of a large sisterhood of women dealing with the demands of pregnancy and the complications of motherhood: From Eve, who lost one son to murder and another to exile, yet became “the mother of all the living,” to Mary, the scandalized mother of Jesus, these women did not know the details of the destinies of their own lives and the lives of their preborn children – even when an angel from God told them explicitly. Women like Sarah, Leah, Hannah and Elizabeth dealt with infertility; Hagar and Zilpah were surrogates; Rebekah suffered a difficult pregnancy with warring twins; Rachel died from childbirth on the road to Bethlehem; Ruth was twice-widowed and childless before birthing Obed to Boaz, “a man of standing”; Jepthah’s mother bore Gilead’s illegitimate child; and Hosea’s wife, Gomer, bore the children of her adulterous affairs; Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba were shamefully exploited by the men in their lives, yet Matthew includes their names among the ancestors of the Savior of the world.
These stories are all stories of hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). All of these women – those who were married with protectors and those who were alone and undefended - were accompanied by God in their uncertainty and trials. Some, whose children, because of the circumstances of birth, would have been expected to meet sorry ends, saw their children grow up to be rulers of nations and leaders of men. God provided for them all – even the reprobate children some bore.
No one needs to be pregnant to be taught and encouraged by the circumstances and faith of this sisterhood. We, who struggle with our own fears and uncertainties, are living out our futures with the promise of the same hope and provision extended to them by the same God who is familiar with all our ways (Psalm 139:3). In our own times of crisis, we can have peace.
In the weeks to come, pray for those women and children – born and yet unborn – living among us, and wrestling with their own difficult circumstances; and whose lives hang in the balance. Pray for those who will rise to encourage and help them. Pray for the ways it could be you who steps up.