With the Supreme Court hearing a case about abortion these past few weeks, my first thoughts were filled with dread. Not because of the verdict, but because of the debate. I have friends on both sides of the issue. Both make logical arguments from their own points of view. Their opinions, like all of us, are shaped by a worldview. We all see the world from a certain vantage point: our own.
For so long I’ve kept silent because my voice just felt like it would add to the noise. I come to this debate with biases, but my opinion is just as important as everyone else’s. It might not be an opinion you’ve thought about. We read stories from women who have had abortions and regretted them or didn’t regret them. Doctors constantly weigh-in, and even they don’t agree. Politicians, pastors, and parents all tell their opinions. Today, maybe you can listen to an adoptive mother’s opinion on abortion to see a different perspective.
Background of an Adoptive Mother
I grew up in a conservative, slightly fundamental evangelical church. During the “Right to Life'' movement in the 1990s, I stood with my family and church members along a highway in our town. We encouraged people to be pro-life with signs. I was nine when I stood on the side of the road and held a sign. I was a little older when I was shown a video at church describing what an abortion looked like. That night I cried thinking about all of the babies who had died and would continue to die.
Abortion would filter in and out of the news as I grew to be a teenager and into college. I was challenged and stood my ground when those at my secular college would challenge my beliefs. Stubbornness can be a good quality. Because of my personality, abortion was pretty black and white during that time. I don’t like grey issues, but to me, abortion was never grey. Life began in the womb, the end. Terminating a pregnancy at any stage was wrong.
I married a doctor who agreed that life began in the womb. But he challenged me to ponder that we cannot know the exact moment life begins. Conception? Implantation? Heartbeat? Those are grey issues. So, I researched and prayed. In the end, there is no answer to that question. Only God knows when life begins. The more I studied my Bible, the more I realized life was precious, even in the womb. The Bible might not specifically say when life begins, but the Bible is clear on life. Life in the womb is precious (Psalm 139:13-16, Job 33:4, Psalm 119:73, Isaiah 44:24).
Before my husband and I adopted our children, we read lots of books. One of those books challenged our thoughts on abortion. The author asked us, “If you truly believe abortion is wrong, what is the answer?” The truth is women will always find themselves pregnant. There will be mothers who are not ready to be mothers. That will never change. Abortion or not, we live in a sinful world where bad things happen. So how should we respond when a woman comes to us and says, “I am pregnant, but I can’t raise this baby.” The author provided this answer: we need to offer adoption.
Pro-Life Means Pro-Adoption
Being in the adoption world for over eight years now, I’ve realized adoption is not “the” answer to abortion, but adoption is one answer. Adoption is not ideal, nor what God would ultimately want, but adoption is a beautiful example of redemption. God can take something so horrible and create something so beautiful out of it. Adoption is not for every family. In fact, I’ve had families ask me about adoption and I’ve cringed because I knew they would not be a good fit for this task.
But if I am anti-abortion, I need to be pro-adoption. Is adoption hard? You bet. Is adoption messy? Yes. But is adoption worth it? Absolutely.
When I look at my two children who are adopted, I see two mothers who chose life. Mothers who would not be able to raise their children but decided to give them life. It is over-dramatized in our social media society, but the gift of life is truly a beautiful thing. Yes, there is loss, but there is also beauty, love, and redemption work. That is evident every single day.
How to Step Up and Support
One of the reasons my husband and I were able to adopt was because the Church rallied around us. Our family, friends, and church members supported us through the process, and after we brought our children home. They listened as we shared our struggles. They cared for us as we walked through unknown doctor’s appointments. They watched our other kids while we attended therapy. The Church can step up and demonstrate what pro-life really means.
Once the baby is born, we must not forget the baby, nor must we forget the mother. My newsfeed is filled with faces of adopted children. So many of my friends and even my sister are seeing the same thing I saw eight years ago. I have one friend who has adopted two beautiful children from women who couldn’t raise them. I have a friend who has seven children in her home right now, three of them foster babies. One friend has adopted one child from foster care and currently has another in her home. My own sister has had her heart broken again and again from foster care. But she still says yes to little boys and girls who need a home.
Maybe we volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center. Not everyone can be on the front lines, but I can guarantee God is calling all of us to support those who are already there. When was the last time you baked a meal for a friend who is fostering? What if you invited an adoptive mother over for coffee and let her child play in your home? Is God calling you to step into adoption or foster care?
Adoption and foster care prove what we preach. We can say we are “pro-life” all we want, but if we are not stepping up and supporting foster care and adoption, our words are in vain. James 2:14-20 says faith without works is dead. We prove our faith, our belief, and our trust in a God who loves the unborn when we step into uncomfortable places and bring life to both mothers and babies.
What it Means to Be Pro-Life
From an adoptive mother’s perspective, being pro-life means more than just holding a sign on the side of a road. I will never be pro-abortion. Killing an innocent child is not the answer. Yes, women have rights, but they also have choices other than abortion. They have the ability to give life and a way to help that child grow. Instead of standing beside these women as they choose abortion, what if we stood beside these women and offered hope and another way?
Becoming a mother solidified my thoughts of life being precious. But when I became an adoptive mother, I realized another truth. The answer to the abortion crisis isn’t legislation banning abortions, but a society that protects life at all costs. Pro-life is so much more than banning abortions.
Laws may not protect the innocent; only the everyday actions of Christians showing the love of God to the least of these will keep babies alive. What are we doing, Church, to protect the innocent? Laws do not hold the answer. Only love. Love the mother. Love the family fostering. Love the adoptive child. Love the family and love God. Pro-life means we support mothers, pray for families, and step into difficult situations to help these children.
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Sarah E. Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor. Sarah is the wife of Jason and mother of five. She and her family serve as full-time missionaries in Honduras. Her passion is to encourage women to start today with a Bible reading and prayer habit. Sarah is the author of several self-published Bible study resources for women. She shares tools and encouragement for Bible and prayer study on her blog: sarahefrazer.com.