Following our religious convictions, while also supporting education
There is a great deal of controversy around pro-life and pro-choice. Does being pro-life mean you hate women? Why do Christians want women to suffer and think they control their bodies? Well obviously, not all Christians hate women, and an issue this complex can’t be seen as black and white.
This debate can be boiled down to the question: When does life begin? Christians believe life begins at conception. Since we can’t talk about Christianity without the Bible verse most Christians quote regarding conception is Jerimiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”
It’s really important for verses to be discussed in the context they are written. This part of the Bible is about the prominent Christian prophet Jerimiah. He is also called the “weeping prophet” and in this part of his book, he is discussing that he was chosen before he was born to be God’s prophet. Saying specifically in the verse earlier he was known in the womb.
It’s not hard to see why this verse is so important to the issues at hand. It basically explains that, from the Christian perspective, we are human beings and that people have a soul before we are born and while we are developing. From the second we are being formed, God has a hand in our creation.
People are valuable before they are born. By this logic infants still should have basic human rights even before they are born. What about women? Should this mean that women are resigned to the fate of having no reproductive rights? No.
Christianity is a very broad term and there are many branches of Christianity; Protestant, non-denominational and Catholic are different groups with different interpretations of biblical scripture. First, I believe that there is no biblical precedent that says birth control is unholy or qualifies as murder.
If birth-control is murder then we should probably be sending up prayers for all the poor babies that pass away each time a woman has her period. Since, theoretically, taking away the opportunity to be formed is murder. Which obviously would be ridiculous. This thought process also goes against biblical truth by implying that human beings somehow can ruin God’s plan by preventing conception.
All women should have access to free birth control, to family planning and have the right to choose when they would like to be a mother, if ever. Commonly, I hear that women don’t have easy accessibility to birth control, which isn’t true. Organizations like Planned Parenthood do give out free birth control to women who ask for it.
It’s also very important to provide more accurate information about sex to teenagers and young adults to prevent pregnancy to begin with. While I am opposed to sex before marriage as a believer, I also recognize that not everyone is Christian. We don’t live in a society in which everyone will choose to wait. Furthermore, this kind of sex education fails to provide all couples with the education they need to make good choices on which kind of birth control would work for them.
I have yet to meet a Christian that thinks there doesn’t need to be better sex education. School-to-school and district-to-district all seem to have different ideas of what is being taught to children. It’s so bad that some people have conceived because they had no idea what sex was and that is how babies are made. Improving sex education is essential to lowering abortion rates because it isn’t fair to not give couples the information they need, then belittle them for conceiving.
Another argument I hear is “Christians don’t care about what happens to a baby after it is born.” First, this is a very broad generalization of all Christians. There are over 2.4 billion people who identify as Christian and each person is going to have varying amounts of information pertaining to what foster care and adoption look like in practice.
I have done quite a bit of research and have friends who have been in the foster care system. This has drastically changed how I felt about the adoption process. So much in fact that I am majoring in social work and family and child development so I can make an impact in children’s lives. And hopefully, bring the reform that is so desperately needed.
I think education on what the foster care system truly looks like is essential for improving the lives of children everywhere. It’s not that Christians don’t care about children, it’s that society as a whole has not been informed of how dire children’s experiences are in the system. The foster care system needs to experience reform so that the development of children is prioritized.
Finally, I cannot forget to address the problem of sexual assault resulting in a possible pregnancy. Christians disagree on if abortion should be legal in these scenarios. A Catholic friend of mine believes abortion should be legal if there is sexual assault or if the life of the mother is at risk.
I personally think aborting a baby in the event of sexual assault places the focus on the baby instead of the rapist. It doesn’t seem fair for a baby to suffer because of someone else making the deplorable choice of touching someone without their consent.
The best way to prevent this scenario from happening is to encourage women to speak up about their experiences and increase the maximum sentence of sexual assault. It is also vital to make sure that in the event that the perpetrator is identified that they also have no rights to the child. Instead of discouraging women to come forward and covering up for the predator, we should focus on how to protect those who need it most.
I can’t speak for all Christians, and I would never hate or slander a woman who has had an abortion. I still can love others even though I might not agree with their decision. I am lucky enough to have never been in that scenario and can’t say I truly understand what it would be like to be in that position. I will not be seen outside of a clinic protesting and shouting slanders at a woman because hate doesn’t bring people closer to a relationship with God.
I hope that at least some people will have better insight into my choice to be pro-life. Why some Christians specifically choose to be pro-life. It doesn’t come from a place of believing women are lesser beings, but trying to value every life. I feel abortion is immoral. But I also recognize we need to better educate people on conception and help people not be in the position where they have to choose between opportunities or their baby’s life.