I, often, receive a particular question. Am I really pro-life? Am I against abortion in all circumstances? Yes. Do I believe there are any exceptions for abortion? No. Do you want to make abortion illegal? Yes. However, for me, it doesn’t stop there.
Being “pro-life” means standing up for ALL life, valuing ALL life. I am not one for labels, but in this case, I think they are important. I am pro-life. I believe in the protection of all life. I am against abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty. I am pro-quality of life.
I believe all children deserve quality health care. I don’t believe in reducing assistance benefits for those who are disabled or who have special needs. I am not simply anti-abortion. I abhor clinic violence. I have a genuine urgency to see every clinic worker and abortionist turn away from abortion. However, I do not believe harassment, violence, threats, or anything of the sort is the way we are to behave in this movement.
Abortion is bad because it’s a terrible act of violence. Violence begets violence. If we simply turn to violence, we are no better than the abortionists themselves. I am not just pro-birth. I believe in supporting a woman during AND after pregnancy. It’s not just about “saving” the baby. It is about empowering the mother as well.
I am not against abortion because it takes an innocent life. I am against abortion because it takes a life, period. Innocence has nothing to do with it. Their lives are not more valuable because they are innocent. They will not always be innocent, but their lives will still hold the same value.
I think people use this whole “innocent” argument so they can justify the death penalty. As I always say, if you have to justify something, it’s probably wrong. When the death penalty is imposed, innocent people die. That has happened time and time again. Why would that happen? Simply because people are flawed.
Only God should give and take life, that is the exact argument we give when we discuss abortion. I could go on and on about the death penalty, but that isn’t the point of this post. Maybe I will discuss that topic at a later date.
Recently, I spoke with a woman who runs a group that assists women AFTER they have their baby. Being pro-life is not just about assisting a woman during her pregnancy. It’s also entails helping her after the baby is born, too. If we are only interested in her giving birth to her child, then we need to simply consider ourselves pro-birth.
If we are truly pro-life, then the woman’s needs continue far after her child is born. Many pregnancy centers will assist the new mother with material support and even classes, but many times that is not enough. We need these moms to be self-sufficient, off government programs, skilled for jobs, educated, and able to stand on their own, and support a child.
This is exactly what I discussed with the lovely women who run Teen Mother Choices International. We talked about the necessity of self-sufficiency for these moms. Almost all of their new moms rely on some sort of government assistance when they enter the program, but this can be such a dangerous cycle.
Honestly, I’ve never had a really clear way to describe my feelings about governmental help until I talked about it with these women. It’s not about the money for me or taxes. I want people to get the help they need, regardless of the monetary expense for me, but I knew there was something else that bothered me. I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
Scripture says the Church is to care for the widows and orphans. Society has redefined the word “widow” to mean a woman whose husband has died, but the actual definition is a woman without a husband. There are many widows in our country, and the Church is instructed to care for them. Many of these widows have children. These government programs have simply enabled the Church to ignore their duties and responsibilities.
We have allowed the government to “take care” of these women, albeit poorly, instead of following our command to care for them. Now, look what has happened. We have cycles of poverty, women and children living in dangerous neighborhoods because they rely on this minimal standard of living, families who are uninsured, children who don’t have enough to eat. Why is that? We haven’t done our jobs.
TMCI is changing that, and it is so beautiful to see. They are setting up support communities inside churches to help young mothers stop this cycle. The success is phenomenal. They have had hundreds of girls go through their program. They receive job training, receive help with their medical needs by people in the church, help with childcare, help with education, and it’s all done without government assistance.
In fact, almost all of the young women who go through their program come out with stable jobs, the necessary education and training, parenting skills, money in savings accounts, medical care, and a church community they are a part of and thriving in, all accomplished without the use of government assistance. This is a model we should all be using and duplicating.
I am so impressed by the work they are doing. I encourage you to look at their website. If you are a pregnancy center, they can come and help you. You can use their program. They will come in to your center and help you make this happen. It will totally change your center, and your clients.
Please visit their website, Teen Mother Choices.
The pro-life movement needs to be about collaboration; working together, finding out who does what the best, we can’t all be the best at everything. TMCI is the very best at helping these young women get on their feet after they become mothers. We don’t want these young women to end up pregnant again within the next year after having a baby. The sad thing is that the statistics are not in their favor, unless they get the skills, support and training that they need. Let’s help them.
Are we pro-life, anti-abortion, or pro-birth? I hope you are pro-life. I hope your concern for this movement doesn’t stop once the child is born. Let’s make a difference for the FUTURE and help break this cycle.
Abby is right – being pro-life means being the hands and feet of Christ to care for others. Not in an “enabling” way, but in a way that breaks destructive cycles of dependence.
I was a volunteer mentor in one of the founding programs set up by the woman you speak of. I worked directly with a teen mom for 3 1/2 years. I grew to love her. I did my best to help her through struggles. I saw her transform into a happier and more self-confident young lady who seeks the Lord. And I transformed too. God showed me the joy in helping others, in being patient, in loving unconditionally, in being a role model. This MUST be what we are all called to do as Christians. Sure we should be telling others about the gospel, but we must not forget that we are His hands and feet. The gifts he gives us in return are absolutely priceless.
Christy Kramer says
What an excellent post, Abby! I 100% agree with you on being pro-ALL-life. I find that I’m in the minority as a Christian and that baffles me.
We should all be out there helping each other instead of tearing each other down and arguing.
Judy Blunt says
Abby, you are so right. The church is failing to do their job and has been for a very long time. I will be checking this out and doing all I can to change my church, at least.
Leah Jacobson says
The line, “The pro-life movement needs to be about collaboration; working together, finding out who does what best…we can’t all be the best at everything” is SOOOOOO true! I am so glad to see this acknowledged in writing by someone with your position in this movement.
Too often there ends up being competition within the pro-life arena and we divide amongst ourselves, instead of building one another up. We are not one another’s enemies! And abortionists aren’t our enemies either…..there is only one Enemy, and we must not allow him to win by simply fighting from within.
Prayers for unity and cooperation within the entire pro-life movement.
Mary Pat Kengmana says
Abby, this is fine as far as it goes but our men are capable of more here. Our men need to stand up and take responsibility for their actions. These babies need their daddies, too.
Colleen Pugno says
I just finished reading your book! POWERFUL! God bless you for your conversion and confidence to write your story!
My husband, Andy Pugno, is currently fighting for the sanctity of marriage, one man and one woman in California. Truly a David and Goliath battle! But…David won!!!
Such parallels in this fight of abortion and gay marriage…there was a point in your book where you wrote about the rhetoric the pro-choice movement uses to substantiate their cause. This too happens within the LBGT community and the media they use to tell lies to the general public!
This country must continue to pray for those fighting these battles. Good will prevail over evil!!! But we MUST get our friends, family and neighbors involved. Andy and I are very involved with the Sacramento Life Center. Andy is on the board and I help with the annual fundraising dinner each year. Our hope is that by our example others will follow. In fact, the LGBT community tried to use Andy’s and my involvement with SLC against him last year as he was running for California State Assembly! As though being pro-life was a crime! Shame on them!!!!
Again, God bless you Abby for your strength and commitment to the unborn child of God.
What do you propose we do with all of the unwanted children that are not aborted? Children of drugs addicts and prostitutes that will grow up in an ugly home life and not get the care they need and deserve. Are you adopting them?
As a fierce pro choice advocate and Planned Parenthood volunteer (and a friend), I would like to validate Abby’s position and opinion here. Well, in one area at least.
I volunteered at Planned Parenthood in Sacramento California for quite some time. The “pro lifers” there were not only rude and cruel, when I finally DID decide to have a baby and turn to one of them I thought I’d made “friends” with, she abandoned me. I was never good enough for her. Before it had been an issue of life, now I was a bad person for having sex outside of wedlook. This woman who swore she’d be there for me is nowhere to be found now that I actually have my baby.
Abby is. Abby has been there at 2AM when I needed a friend. Abby has helped me get baby items, helped me get income, helped me get resources, and is helping me get on my feet. If more pro lifers were like Abby, less of us pro choicers would dislike the movement so strongly.
Just thought you all should know.
PS Aaron: Abby is looking to adopt. Not that I am totally opposed to your point of view, just thought that might be relevant so you don’t stick your foot in your mouth.
Hi Abby! I came to see you when you were here in Spokane. There were several moments when I wanted to stand up and cheer, especially when you talked about the churches and pastors needing to be more proactive and less apathetic. I recently wrote a blog to the church about that very thing and would love for you or your readers to take a look, and share with their pastors if they could.God Bless You!!!
Winston Smith says
Hi Abby, really interesting article and very empowering! I’m just slightly confused on one of your views and was wondering if you could please clear it up for me – you said ‘Only God should give and take life’. Does this mean that you are anti IVF? Also what are your views of Darwinism as I felt that statement held strong connections with the theories.
Thanks so much! Looking forward to reading your response.
You are honestly the only pro-life person I have encountered on the Internet that actually seems to have a genuine caring for all life, not just zygote/embryo/fetus.
Life doesn’t stop at birth, and I am glad that you see that.
I wish you were there when I was being abused by my mother for 15 years. When she lied about me molesting my sister to try and get CPS to take me. When I was homeless for a year. When I was raped. When I was stealing food because I had to choose between a place to live and something to fill my stomach.
Because no one else was there.
I honestly would not detest the pro-life movement so much if they were all as compassionate and respected life as much as you do.
Abby Johnson says
That is so tragic. I can’t even express how sorry I am for everything that you have experienced. And yes, I wish I would have been there, too. Because we would have taken you into our home…and fed you and provided you with all of your needs…we would have treated you like a member of our family. Because your life is JUST as important as the children that I fight for that are in the womb. You life is JUST as valuable. I wish all pro-lifers saw that. I know that not everyone is consistent in this movement…but I like to think I am. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂
I was so grateful to read this post. Thank you for so eloquently presenting a completely, consistently pro-life position.
Wynette Sills says
I just saw this post by Amanda and am devastated that she would portray our relationship like this. I was overjoyed that she has chosen life for her baby! I sent her maternity clothes that she especially picked out on-line, since she lived out of state. I sent her baby clothes and helped personally connect her with the Pregnancy Resource Centers in her area. I didn’t abandon Amanda, as she is the one who discontinued our friendship. I wish her and her family the very best.
Blessings to both Abby and Amanda!
With love, wynette