Being pro-life: abortion prevention revisited

 

I have missed my usual Friday posting to this blog twice in the last month. We have had as a guest at our home since January a little 18-month-old girl, and while she is a wonderful delight, caring for her has consumed much of the time and energy that I normally spend  preparing for and writing this blog.

We are caring for this girl as a part of a volunteer network called Safe Families, which provides temporary homes for children of families that find themselves in a variety of difficult circumstances, whether it be temporary homelessness, a stint in the hospital or drug rehab, or time in prison. It is a good alternative to DCFS and other dangerously overloaded components of the social safety net.

I see working with Safe Families as part of being a pro-life physician. In particular, I see it as a part of trying to address abortion by providing support to those women and families who do choose to carry their babies to term rather than abort them. I am not holding myself up as a paradigm in this area; there is much more I could and should be doing. But anyone who identifies as pro-life must ask oneself, “What am I doing to be part of the solution to this problem of which abortion is a symptom?” Too often we look to the government to take care of the problem of abortion. We think our part in the solution is simply voting for the right candidate or sending money to the right lobbying group. Now those are not bad things; but if that is all we do — if we are looking solely to the government to fix the problem — we are abdicating our responsibility and opportunity to make a difference in the lives around us with the love of Christ.

It’s far more trouble to reach into the troubled lives around us with Christ’s love than it is to vote for a particular candidate. For our family it has meant disrupted schedules, re-ordered priorities, deferred schooling, missed blog entries. But it has also meant the joy of seeing a little girl flourish, of serving Christ, and of making a little difference in a little corner of the world where someone could very easily say, “In my situation, I can’t have this baby, I don’t have the support I need, and abortion is my best option.” Reaching out to those around us will of course look different for different people in different circumstances; by no means do I think that everyone can or should take children into their homes! But just think what a difference it would make in turning a culture of death into a culture of life if it became known that this people, the followers of Christ, were radically committed to helping and promoting the life and welfare of the mothers and children among whom we live.

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