Batman and Joker. Superman and Lex Luther. Adversaries who need each other to keep the fight going. One seems incomplete without the other.
When it comes to the pro-life vs. pro-abortion debate, it can sometimes feel very similar. If there were no pro-life people out there, there would be no struggle in our nation, but I bet that debate is one that Batman wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.
There is no more contentious, no more hotly debated war in America today than the issue of abortion. Neither side wants to truly debate. Words are nearly meaningless, as neither side can even agree on simple definitions. Pro-life activists claim a baby is human from conception, while pro-abortion people will allow no such claim. There is only fight, no debate, because there is no middle ground. There is no place to compromise.
There is no place to meet. And so the struggle continues with words racing past each other in a frenzy of anger, bitterness and rage. The words never meet, they only glance past one another on the way to the next unresolvable battle.
The pro-life community must fight this battle, or else we will be left with laws that condone the murder of innocent life. It is definitely a battle worth fighting. But we must also fight in ways where our words can meet. We must find ways to find common ground with pro-abortion people or else we can have no lasting change.
If we outlaw abortion laws but change no minds in the process, the next time the political winds shift away from us the laws will come right back. We must find ways to make fundamental changes in hearts, not just policy. We cannot continue this superhero vs. supervillian march forever.
George W. Bush was either loved or hated. There is very little in between. Conservatives loved him and liberals hated him ferociously. He was a polarizing figure and everyone was entitled to their opinion. Contrast that with Mother Teresa. Have you ever heard anyone say a negative thing about her? I have known of hard-line Protestants who believe the Pope is the antichrist who cannot say a bad thing about Catholicism’s most notable modern-day figure. Why?
Mother Teresa spent decades working with the untouchable poor in India. She laid down her life for the good of others in ways most people never imagine. She labored tirelessly to help those who were some of the least fortunate on earth. She gave selflessly and taught others to do the same. She didn’t speak about giving and loving as someone who had never done it before; what she spoke she lived everyday.
To speak a negative word against Mother Teresa is to immediately judge ourselves in the process. We cannot speak against what we have no intention of doing ourselves.
No More Arguments
Hearts cannot be changed in this debate along lines where definitions of the most basic things are unreconcilable. We need Mother Teresas in the pro-life movement who will radically change and silence the opposition. But what would they look like?
Probably the most salient argument pro-abortion people make is that if so many “unwanted” children were born, they would be born into lives of cyclical poverty, abuse and neglect. They are 100% correct when they say this. The statistics don’t lie. But this is where the pro-life movement should shine.
For far too long, the pro-life movement’s efforts have stopped at ending abortion. it has been a worthy cause, and one we are finally beginning to win. But we will not retain our victory if we do not add to our efforts things that no pro-abortion people can argue against. We need the Mother Teresa ministries.
They are the ones who will work tirelessly to love these “unwanted” children. They will put their money and time and energy and blood and sweat into making sure that these unaborted children are given the opportunity to break out of the cycles of poverty, abuse and neglect. They will care for the pregnant women who need help with the most basic things: groceries, lights and heat. They will offer transportation, a shoulder to cry on and mentorship to grow out of poverty and loneliness.
I have the privilege to be a part of just such an organization. Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach has not been at the forefront of fighting the battles to end abortion. I respect and honor those who are, but APO is that behind-the-scenes type of group that fights for the women and children who have chosen life. We work hard to make sure they have everything they need to raise the children they have chosen to give life. We offer adoptions as an option in addition to mentoring and caring for women who choose to parent.
Changing Our Efforts
I’ve never had an argument with a pro-abortion person about what we do at APO where they have a response. To be against what APO does is to immediately judge one’s self. Until someone is willing to put in the time, energy, blood, sweat and tears to care for women who have chosen life, they cannot say a thing against it. And if they were to put their time and energy into such a wonderful thing, they would never want to.
With the announced closing of Planned Parenthood here in my home turf of Bryan, Texas this month, the pro-life community has been given a tremendous victory. It is a wonderful cause for celebration for everyone who has labored in prayer, politics and principle to see it shut down. But now we must not turn our attention away from our city to find a fight somewhere else. We must now start throwing our efforts into rescuing these children for the rest of their lives.
And when we do that, we’ll change hearts, not just laws.