pro politics or pro love?


I see them marching down the street on a certain Sunday afternoon, bearing signs which proclaim the sanctity of life. Their faces are firm with resolution; their dresses and suits stay clean in spite of cars spitting exhaust; they do this once a year for three hours—then they get in their cars and go home to watch Walt Disney and tuck the signs away for next year. And I wonder, Is this the best we can do?

I see myself in them. When I was younger, I participated in pro-life movements at my parents’ request. And even though I don’t do it now, I still believe in the sanctity of life. Just not the politics of it all. I don’t believe in bearing signs like hammers poised, ready to slam down on anyone daring to disagree. I don’t believe in the crassness of magic-marker judgment scribbled across paper of any kind, thrown in people’s faces through tracts or sanctity-signs, daring people to challenge the church, or better yet, the Vatican.

“Fight, fight, fight,” they cry, drowning out the sounds of girls being raped against their will. “Rid our national character of this embarrassing blemish.”

Meanwhile, the rape victim walks by, sees the signs, the perfect Sunday clothes and feels guilty for wanting to kill her rape-baby. Keeps it. Gives birth. Now where are they? The people with their signs? When the baby’s cries are outmatched by only its mother’s, where are the Christians who believed in the sanctity of life?

It’s easy enough to carry signs once every 365 days in protest; but what about setting them down and spending every day loving society’s outcasts? What about setting aside the plank in our own eyes to understand the plight of this little girl who has no one to help raise her child? To understand why she’d be tempted to kill the living being inside of her?

“Adoption is an option,” people say. But now that the mother’s seen her little one, she’s attached. Unable to let go. This is why she was going to abort in the first place—to spare the pain of loving someone she couldn’t part from, but couldn’t provide for, either. She can only cry into her cereal bowl, too exhausted to eat, too hungry not to, and wish she’d never been born.

It’s all too easy to cast stones or titles at people who are different from us. It’s all too easy, when we’ve made the ‘right’ choices in life, to condemn those who haven’t. To huff and puff and blow people down from our towers built of homemade morals and home-schooled children.

It’s not so easy to look into the eyes of a girl who’s been raped and tell her you’ll personally be there to help her care for her child, once he or she has been born.

Or to  love her, when she says she’s decided to abort.

That’s why we depend on the government to remove choice altogether—to make abortion illegal—and why we get so disgusted when it doesn’t. After all, if it weren’t for politics, we might (horror of horrors) be forced to choose love.

(Written in light of the church’s response to Obama’s recent declarations re: abortion)



  1. AmmeePearl said,

    January 26, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    wow girl! This is provocative, powerful and a humbling read! It’s a tough subject — there are no easy answers, if answers at all. Where is the justice? And WHAT is the justice? we tend to blur the lines, unfortunately.

    Love your writing em! a.

  2. Meghan said,

    January 26, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Well put, Emily. You’re right – loving is the toughest road, yet *should* reflect the heart and motivation of the true Christ-follower. This issue is just another illustration of the vast human shortcomings that amount to our need of a Saviour.

  3. January 27, 2009 at 4:18 am

    Is this the best we can do?
    It is ONE thing we can do,
    but the last thing we should do.
    The first thing we should do
    is as you point out, the hardest:
    to love.

  4. Annie said,

    January 29, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Emily, I think it is worth considering the words of Mother Teresa, addressed to another notably pro-choice American president and his administration on the occasion of the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast, at which she was the guest of honor… (She, at least, surely cannot be charged with hypocrisy in her concern and motives?)

    “We are talking of love of the child, which is where love and peace must begin.

    But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.

    And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

    By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems.

    And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion.

    Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

    Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today – abortion which brings people to such blindness.

  5. Annie said,

    January 29, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    (Mother Teresa’s speech continued):

    And for this I appeal in India and I appeal everywhere – “Let us bring the child back.” The child is God’s gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things – to love and to be loved. In this year of the family we must bring the child back to the center of our care and concern. This is the only way that our world can survive because our children are the only hope for the future…

    But what does God say to us? He says: “Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand.” We are carved in the palm of His hand; that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us.

    I will tell you something beautiful. We are fighting abortion by adoption – by care of the mother and adoption for her baby. We have saved thousands of lives. We have sent word to the clinics, to the hospitals and police stations: “Please don’t destroy the child; we will take the child.” So we always have someone tell the mothers in trouble: “Come, we will take care of you, we will get a home for your child.” And we have a tremendous demand from couples who cannot have a child – but I never give a child to a couple who have done something not to have a child. Jesus said. “Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me.” By adopting a child, these couples receive Jesus but, by aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus.

    Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child.

    From our children’s home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3000 children from abortion. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up so full of love and joy…

    I also know that there are great problems in the world… We cannot solve all the problems in the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all, and that is to destroy love…

    There is so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice, are beginning at home. Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put into what we do.

    If we are contemplatives in the heart of the world with all its problems, these problems can never discourage us. We must always remember what God tells us in Scripture: “Even if a mother could forget the child in her womb – something impossible, but even if she could forget – I will never forget you.”…

    Let us make that one point – that no child will be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, or killed and thrown away. And give until it hurts – with a smile…

    And there is where love comes in – when it is demanding, and yet we can give it with joy…

    If we remember that God loves us, and that we can love others as He loves us, then America can become a sign of peace for the world.

    From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak – the unborn child – must go out to the world. If you become a burning light of justice and peace in the world, then really you will be true to what the founders of this country stood for. God bless you!”

    – Mother Teresa

    (The full text of this incredible speech can be found at:

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