I have detected a duplicity in many who are, on the surface, pro-life. Far too many who will march in the streets of Washington on Friday to save the lives of the unborn turn a cold, judging eye on the women who choose to carry their children to birth.
Perhaps no sins are as public as those of a woman who gets pregnant outside of marriage. After all, for months the world can see her physically change with the development of her child, and for years and years that child will grow as living, breathing evidence of her indiscretion. The thief bares no brand, no visible stain taints the liar, but the woman who had sex when she shouldn't and brings life into the world is forever changed for all to see.
And so the “good” people reject her, even as they pray to end abortion. She is scorned as a dirty sinner. She loses friends and family. Rumors fly and her reputation is trashed. Those who would ordinarily celebrate the birth of a child find it too unseemly to give her support. Because her sin is so easy to see – and because it involved sex – she is pushed to the margins.
This is unfair, and it is unmerciful. It is unfair because none of us are without sin. It is unfair because none of us are equipped to judge the state of grace of another. Mercy requires us to care for one another, regardless of what we might have heard, regardless of what the rumors are, regardless of who slept with who. We are not commanded to judge; We are commanded to love. We do not condone the sin when we love the sinner. We talk of mercy and forgiveness for post-abortive women, but how many of us offer mercy and forgiveness to the brave women who did not make the awful choice?
It is this very scorn that causes some women to end their pregnancies. To the desperate, troubled woman, it can seem easier to quietly do away with the “problem” than to face an unmerciful community's judgment.
The next time you think ill of a woman for a pregnancy outside of marriage, ask yourself if you are not contributing to an environment where abortion can seem like an acceptable alternative to a woman in crisis.
Life is a gift from our loving God. All life. We need to celebrate and support all life. This love of life must extend to the women who bring these children into the world.