Friday, January 23, 2009
Remember the Silent
Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
With the "sanctity of human life week", approaching, I've been doing some reflecting on what it means to be pro-life.
For me, at least.
I've been involved in pro-life and anti abortion endeavors in Mongolia for the past 9 years or so. In the beginning, my main job was to inform the Christians here that abortion is wrong. Mongolia is different from America in that there is no pro-life/pro-choice influences or political influences to convince people that abortion is good/bad. Most people just go along with it because of the high poverty rates and lack of good prenatal medical care.
Once I began educating people, I was amazed to see the doors of opportunity swing wide open. No one, it seemed was against me or the anti-abortion message. We've seen churches, high schools, universities and hospitals open up and receive, wide-eyed, the truth that there is life before birth. Hundreds of babies have been saved as thousands have been reached through seminars, lectures, and the media. And the numbers are increasing. I've lost count of the people who have come up to me and said that they chose to have their baby because of a lecture they once heard, or because they read Hetee's poem in a hospital waiting room.
In Mongolia, the abortion rate is at least twice as high as the birth rate, or so I'm told. I think it is much higher. Finding solid numbers regarding abortion rates are always tricky because not many women like to talk about that sort of thing. Hospitals don't always register the right numbers because it's a great way for the abortionists to get rich off the books. Either way, abortion in Mongolia is rampant. It is usually sought out by the mothers but in some cases performed without her consent then is followed by unwarranted birth control as a means of "helping" her to have a better life. I'm counseling one such mother now. She was 7 months when her doctor gave her something to kill her 7 month-old baby. She's pregnant again, with twins, and terrified of going near a hospital. I'm still seething about that one.
Anyway, like I said before, I've encountered very little opposition from the Mongolian people in general. I have, however, had a few remarks from Americans that I never quite understood. Remarks like, "Can't we do more to help the women?" and "You need to offer the women alternatives to abortion" etc, etc.
Now, much of what I do and have done in the past is to financially or physically help the women or young families faced with an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. We help with food, vitamins and supplements, counseling, birth classes and anything else we can.
I think that sometimes we choose to make things a lot more complicated than they have to be. I remember a few years ago, someone told me that I wasn't doing enough, that I needed to "offer those poor women more alternatives". That it wasn't enough just to tell them that abortion was wrong.
Right away I became discouraged. I looked at my lack of ability to provide for their needs. I looked at my feeble human hands, my inadequacies, my lack of money and resources and quickly became depressed. It was my husband who led me back to the Scriptures and reminded me to just open my mouth and speak up for the unborn. I didn't have to carry anyone's load. I didn't owe them anything for keeping their baby. God would take care of them and reward them for their obedience. And since then I've seen this to be true over and over again.
I realize that to some these statements may sound flippant, even callous. Please understand that I do have a special place in my heart for the girls and women faced with an abortion decision. I still help these women in the many ways mentioned above. But it felt good to know that when the resources ran out, as they still often do, it doesn't have to stop me from proclaiming the truth. I don't need a back up plan. What it all comes down to is me opening my mouth and speaking out for those who are not able to defend themselves.
So, if you're a pro-lifer and you're feeling overwhelmed by the task of convincing people that abortion is wrong, just remember to keep it simple. Pray for them. Then speak to them. Show them pictures of fetal development, evidence of life in the womb. Then let them choose. If you can do more, like help a mother who lives in poverty then by all means, please do. But whatever you do, don't be silent. Speak out, and focus on saving one life at a time. God predestined that life. He can take care of the rest.
My thoughts are a jumbled mess right now and I am feeling and thinking so much more than what I am able to put into this post at the moment. A friend and fellow pro-lifer has written a great piece on her blog. Please check out Daja's thoughts on the subject and don't forget to pray for the women in your life who have gone through an abortion in the past or who are being faced with a difficult decision today.