Sometimes the world sucks. That’s just a fact of life. And sometimes the world sucks so much that you are on the verge of losing all hope that there is anything in it that can give you any kind sense that humanity can do better. You feel an almost bone-crushing despair at the state of the world and start to think, "What's the point?" when it comes to fighting for what you believe is right. But then, something happens. It can be a big something, like the Supreme Court finally hearing cases regarding same-sex marriage in the United States, acknowledging that this isn't something that is just going to go away, but is an issue of equality that cannot and should not be ignored. Or, it can be something little, like the opening of a pregnancy center in a small town in Iowa that is actually trying to practices what it preaches about pro-life. It’s the second hopeful something that I want to focus one in this post. But before I actually begin, I have a confession to make.
Your reaction is probably:
There, it's out there. Now, before you jump on my case
about feminist (which I do consider myself to be one) ideals and choices, let
me actually explain what I mean when
I say that I am pro-life. What being
pro-life means to me (and what I think it should mean for anyone who claims to
be it) is that I am pro-guaranteeing a quality of life for everyone, which
includes at least the basic comfort and needs of survival without question, as
well as preserving lives. Pro-life
should not only mean anti-abortion, but should include being anti-death penalty
and pro-affordable health care for all, whatever that looks like. For me (personally) it also means being
pro-contraception in order to offer a better quality of life for all people
(but that is a whole issue in and of itself that I won’t get into here). It should (for everyone again) also mean
having a respect for all the lives around you, no matter the gender, race,
religion, sexuality, or class, and working to bring about a world that isn’t
going to ignore people when they cry out for help.
Sadly for many, it seems being
pro-life has been reduced to merely
meaning anti-abortion. Don’t get me
wrong, I’m not pro-abortion, but I understand it as an unfortunate solution
that has developed because of a much deeper problem within society. That problem is how our society approaches
sex and sexuality, and specifically when attaching it to women and women’s
health. Let’s be honest, when a U.S.
Senator, an individual who is educated and in the public forum, makes a claim
saying women can’t get pregnant through “legitimate rape”, you know something
really fucked-up is going on. That’s
about the time society as a whole should look at itself and say, “Hmmm…this is
a problem. We should fix this. Do we actually know what we are talking about anymore?” When people say that women get abortions
because they just don’t want the baby, period, they are straight up wrong. Yes, some abortions happen for that reason, but some happen because of rape or health, and a
lot more happen because a woman (usually a young one) makes a mistake. She and her partner didn’t really understand how much complexity there is in having
sex, and then she didn’t have the resources or the support to do anything but
terminate the pregnancy because society just decided that, “Your mess, you fix
it”. So while I am not necessarily
pro-abortion (and I honestly don’t think many of my strong, independent,
pro-choice feminist female friends think that abortion, at its root, is a good thing), I am pro-let’s-actually-look-at-these-issues-bringing-women-fully-into-the-conversation-so-we-can-figure-out-what-really-needs-to-happen-in-our-society-so-that-this-doesn’t-need-to-be-an-option-and-oh-yeah-Jesus.
no, she brought Jesus into it.
Yeah, I did. I went there. You want to know
why? Because this is an issue religious
people tend to have a lot to say about.
I get it. I’m religious, I care
about the issue, and I have some stuff to say about it. What often happens, though, is that Churches,
religious organizations, and the people who are apart of them focus their
pro-life beliefs only on being
anti-abortion. But the actual problem
doesn’t go away when the abortion clinic shuts down. If you’re going to preach it, you have got to
be prepared with something else to offer instead. That is why when I cracked open my paper from
back home the other day (yes, I get my hometown paper…shut up), I was pleasantly
surprised to find an article about the Cornerstone
for Life Pregnancy Resource Center that has just recently opened.
It’s a small operation so far,
but hopes to expand its network of care within the near future. Currently, the center offers pregnancy tests
and counseling, and is forming counseling ministry for those women who have had
abortions and seek such an outlet for their feelings towards the decision.
They also hope to partner with an adoption center, which gave me a bit of personal happiness.
There are a lot more things this center hopes to accomplish as it grows,
but what it is ultimately offering is a support system. It is a place for women who are unexpectedly
pregnant, and don’t necessarily want to have to go the abortion route, to go
and be a part of a community of people they can relate to and receive support
from. While I don’t know every detail
about the center, just its existence gives me hope. It shows that there are people in the world
who aren’t just looking for a band-aid solution, but recognize a need for much
more intentional involvement in solving the bigger problem. And they are doing it while maintaining their
faith, by not just preaching it but by actually going out and acting on it in a
way that could be beneficial to society at large. I pray that more religious people and
Churches who preach the message of pro-life can look to this example of active
faith. That through this relatively
small thing our world can get just a little bit better…a little more hopeful. Does it give you a little more hope? Let me know what you think.
Bye for now!