“Mommy, if we lived in the 1940s, would you not let me play with brown skin kids?”
What!? I stopped matching socks and gave my eight-year-old daughter a very confused or maybe even disgusted look before I realized she had been learning about racial segregation at school for MLK day last week. So I took a deep breath and looked into her eyes. Some of our dearest friends are people of colors and backgrounds different than ours. I have read books and had discussions with the kids about racism. Still, this was never an easy topic to address. I told her that I would like to believe in my heart that yes, I would have allowed her to play with black children if she were born in the ’40s. I also told her that unfortunately what she learned was true and that black people and white people were supposed to stay separate back then and black people were looked down upon and treated wrongly. It was all sinful and very sad, I explained.
Her question lingered in my mind. I even talked to my mom about it. If I were a mother in the 1940s would my children have the same friends they have now? Probably not. Would I have been an activist or would I have believed the lies that dehumanized African Americans and led the majority of Americans to believe that they were entitled to more rights? Would I have thought it was wrong but chosen to keep quiet and stay on the sidelines? I really don’t want to think so, but how do I know for sure which side of history I would’ve been on?
I think about that now with abortion. Rights for the unborn is something I am very passionate about. I worry, pray and in some ways fight for it year round and not just when something pops up in the news.
I was listening to a podcast years ago and it was a pastor teaching from the Old Testament and as he describes some of the barbaric lawlessness of that era he said,
Before you are quick to judge or think we have changed so much since then consider the thousands of babies killed every day through abortion. That’s our civilized country.
I got somewhat defensive as I thought to myself,
Well, not me! I am very pro-life. It is a black and white issue for me. I won’t be thrown under the bus for the sins of our nation. Even if I weren’t a Christian I would be pro-life. I would never be able to abort my own child.
Then I felt a conviction like a sharp grip on my heart. I remember as clear as day I felt the Lord say, “Apart from me you have no idea what you are capable of.” It’s been almost a decade since this happened and I remember it like it was yesterday and it’s stuck with me ever since. It gave me chills and I began to weep. My life motto is a quote by John Bradford “There but for the grace of God go I” meaning every good thing that I have or that I am is all because of the mercy of God.
I am still very much pro-life though. I am heartbroken about the news in New York. I do have friends who are outspoken pro-choice, or reproductive health, or however you want to say abortion rights advocates. I also have friends and family members who have had abortions. So it’s hard for me to talk about abortion like it is the holocaust because I don’t want to make anyone feel like I think they are evil or that I think I am righteous. However, I have to be a voice for the voiceless. It’s not the only time in my life that I have taken on this role. I have four children so when they were in my womb I was their advocate. They were living humans inside of me and they relied on me to protect them and care for them.
When I hear women say “It’s my body and I get to have control!” I think about the birth of Elle (who was born on the way to the hospital). I didn’t want her to come out in the van! I could have shouted IT’S MY BODY AND I GET TO HAVE CONTROL! But the fact was it was my body that was a vessel and I had no control. It wasn’t like I could cross my legs like a had a full bladder. I had no say in the matter (which is crazy because as a woman in the 21st century you would think I should get to maintain MY rights on whether or not I got to have the baby in the van). It was her time to come into this world and she had her own rights! She asserted herself at 37 weeks and no declarations on my end were going to stop her.
I see a little pro-life feminist in the making.
Speaking of which, this is about women and babies. I can be pro-life and agree that this is a women’s issue. I am a woman. Also, around half of the unborn are females as well. We are fighting for all females to have EQUAL rights. Of course in my story about Elle my baby was full term and healthy, but most abortions occur early on in the pregnancy before the baby is fully developed. To quote ex-abortion activist Frederica Mathewes-Green:
“When people say the unborn is “not a person” they mean that it has not yet grown or gained abilities that arrive later in life. But there’s no agreement about which abilities should be determinative. Pro-choice people don’t even agree with each other. Obviously, laws cannot be based on such subjective criteria. If it’s a case where the question is “can I kill this?” the answer must be based on objective medical and scientific data.” There is a lot more to her point and it is all in the National Review in an excellent article called “When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense”
It’s a very heated debate in our country and I know that there are a million other points. I am not going to change the world with a blog post. All I know is that while I can’t guarantee what kind of mother I would have been if I lived in the 1940s, I do have a choice for how I live now. I want my great great grandchildren to know that even in this dark hour when the laws allowed abortion and the crowds cheered in praise of this act of dehumanizing children in the womb, I took an unwavering stand for LIFE.