Sunday, January 13, 2019

What are you going to do about abortion this year?

My entire life, I've fought against abortion in some way. I have dim memories from my childhood of holding an electric candle, standing outside of a building in prayer; I presume it was some kind of pro-life vigil outside of a clinic. Long before I knew what abortion was, I'd join my prayers with others who would pray "for an end to abortion." At some point, I learned what abortion is-a procedure that ends the life of an unborn child. In middle school, I participated in a pro-life speech contest, and, I chose to speak about abortion. In high school and college, I was in pro-life clubs, occasionally prayed at the abortion clinic, and attended the March for Life. I even did a little bit of volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center. These are all great ways to pray for an end to abortion-but I did these all in the past.

I recently read Abby Johnson's book, Unplanned, and it felt like a slap to my face. As Johnson recounts her journey from being a director of Planned Parenthood to her work in the pro-life movement, I started to ask myself, What am I doing? Right here, right now, what am I actively doing to serve and help women and to fight against the monstrous killer of abortion? 


I do pray for an end to abortion...when I think of it. 
I do work towards building a culture of life...when it's convenient. 
And I do...make excuses for myself. 

"I have young kids!" 
"If I want to join the group that prays at the clinic, I have to drive across town!"
"I have so many other things on my schedule!"
"We're a one-car family, so it's just not convenient!"

It's easy to make excuses, and they can make me feel a whole lot more comfortable with inaction. But, the fact is, it's been about 3 1/2 years since I've prayed in front of a clinic. Surely, at some point in the time since then, I could have cleared just an hour or two of my schedule and gone back. Inconvenient? Definitely. However, if we're going to empower and encourage women to continue undergoing the inconveniences and discomforts of pregnancy instead of procuring an abortion, I think I should be able to accept the inconvenience of driving out to pray at the clinic when I don't feel like it. It's necessary and important to-while at home-pray for an end to abortion. But, I was not called to be a cloistered nun. I need to go forth, like the Apostles at Pentecost, and bring my prayer to the streets. 

This year is fresh, untrodden, waiting to be experienced. As I look at the empty boxes on the calendar, I've been asking myself how I will fill them. And, as I think about all of the children who have died since Roe v. Wade (over 60,000,000 as of a few years ago), I ask myself what I will do about abortion this year. 

I don't have the kind of life now that is conducive to spending hours on Saturday mornings in front of the abortion clinic in quiet prayer. Yet, I can still carve out time to go pray. I don't know when exactly I'll do this, or how often. But, I can go back to pray at the clinic a few times this year, and God can take the those prayers and sacrifices and do wonders with them. 

Life begins at conception. I can't imagine how challenging it would be to experience an unintended pregnancy, especially if a woman is alone with no support-but all of her circumstances still do not negate the fact that she is a mother, that a little human life is being nourished in her womb. So let's do something to support her.

What are we going to do this year to help pregnant women? 
What are we going to do to help their children survive and thrive throughout their lives? 
And what are we going to do to fight abortion? 

~~Please pray for all of those headed to Washington D.C. this week for the March for Life! 


  1. So good to be thinking about this, AnneMarie. I've been back outside a clinic only twice I think since graduating nearly 3 years ago. I used to get up at something like 4am on Saturdays in college to drive an hour to pray at one, and have really felt guilty about stepping back from that. I mean, we're all called in different ways in different seasons. I've been wanting to do more, but haven't really figured out what that looks like. Thanks for the reminder to just do something. I certainly have the time if I would make it more of a priority to actually go out and do more than keeping it in my private prayers. And I think it's powerful when moms get out there with their kids too! Great goal to have for the year.

  2. My church has an adoption and foster care ministry. We have a social worker who leads it. They have support groups for families who have adopted and for parents who foster kids. They also do things like train and get families certified to provide respite care for foster families and assist families as they navigate the process of adoption. I recently signed up to volunteer with this ministry.
    I think focusing on foster care and adoption is a critical aspect of preventing abortion. A lot of moms thinking about abortion may not want to have one, but if they don't feel like they have the ability (practically or financially) to have and care for a child, they may choose to have an abortion. If more of us, as Christians, were stepping up and fostering or adopting, then maybe some more of these women would choose life for their babies. It won't stop all abortions, but I believe it would stop some.
    Hopefully I'll be making a difference by helping with this ministry.

    1. Shannon, that ministry sounds amazing! I think it's awesome that you are going to volunteer with it-I'm sure God will bless many people through your work. I absolutely agree with you on the foster care and adoption side of things. Yes, there are ministries out there (like the one at your church) which do a good job, but if those types of ministries were even more prominent and common across the country, then women who are unexpectedly pregnant may feel more hopeful and encouraged.