I am a Pro-Life minister, I believe that all children, whether they grow up in the hills of Appalachia, the projects of Chicago, the killing fields of Afghanistan, or the suburbs of New York City have a moral right to Life, which includes enough food, safe homes, health care and compassion.
In the Christian tradition, to be pro birth but then ignore the life of a child is not living up to Jesus’ call to care for the those who have the least among us.
Abortions, like homosexuality, were common in the first century Roman Empire yet Jesus never talks about them, instead he spends a great deal of time preaching and exemplifying his most important commandment, to love your neighbor as you would be loved and to love God and all the gifts of God, including this beautiful planet and the life that lives upon it. He healed and fed people from all walks of life, nations of origin and religious traditions. The only time he was truly angry was when he was hungry and after finding a tree that had no fruit he walked into a temple only to find the rich exploiting the poor and immediately turned the tables on them.
But not only is ignoring the life of a child a Biblical sin, it also has negative effects on society. A child who is born into a situation with little opportunity, where neighborhoods are not safe and schools are struggling will not know hope. People who do not get proper and preventative health care or good nutrition have difficulty functioning and often end up in expensive emergency rooms where they might receive addictive opioids which only compounds their and society’s, problems. They will likely grow up angry, frustrated and hopeless – and the cycle will not only grow but grows exponentially. This exponential growth in angry, frustrated and hopeless adults can manifest itself in drugs, alcohol and the crime associated with desperation as we watch our communities become less safe.
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If you want to end abortions, work to improve young people’s lives, give women and their babies the chance for hope and opportunity, good schools, food stability, affordable childcare and healthcare and most of all compassion. Laws will not end abortions, they will send women to the dark and dirty halls of desperation and knitting needles, risking, not only their baby’s potential life, but their own.
The Rev. Dr. Barb E. Blom
The Rev. Dr. Barb E. Blom is minister for both the United Ministry of Aurora in Aurora and St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Spencer. She's also founding director of The Interfaith Center for Action and Healing in Ithaca.