October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and because I think it’s so important to talk about, it’s something we’ve covered in several articles on this website. I’ve been encouraged by all the coverage I’ve seen on other websites as well, like TODAY Parents and The Huffington Post. Posts describing miscarriage, like this one, with touching lines like, “I wept on the toilet while the future fell out of me.” truly, truly touched me deeply.
The stories these brave women are sharing of losing babies to miscarriage and stillbirth and as young infants are removing stigma and helping others to heal from these painful losses. Their stories are hard, and beautiful, but so, so necessary. Because each of these lives, the ones lost to miscarriage, the ones born sleeping, the ones that lived just a little while after birth, were all precious, and they all left their mark. All of these lives, no matter how short, were made in the image of God, and were loved by Him.
Then yesterday, I was perusing Facebook when I started seeing mentions of Planned Parenthood. It soon became clear that the same online media sites that were publishing heart-rending stories of miscarriage—babies dying in the womb—were also publishing articles celebrating Planned Parenthood’s 100th anniversary.
In case the irony is lost on you, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the United States. Although it is not their MAIN service, the fact remains that between 2014 and 2015, they performed 323,999. That’s 323,399 futures that did not fall out of a young mother as in a natural miscarriage, but were suctioned out, pulled out, dismembered purposefully.
To me, it is utterly dissonant to mourn the lives of those lost in the womb in one article and praise the organization that profits from taking those same little lives in another.
There is no difference between a child that is miscarried and a child that is aborted, except that the child who is miscarried is WANTED by the parents. But that wanting does not make that child’s life more valuable than that of the life that is unwanted. The value of their lives is equal.
I do not doubt that the young mothers seeking abortions never wanted to end up in that clinic. I do not call them murderers. I do not intimate that they take any joy in the procedure.
But they made a choice. A tragic choice to end a life that was made in the image of God. To snuff out a soul that mattered, that had something to give and offer our world.
So, as we spotlight pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, I will be mourning the loss not only of those babies that were wanted so badly by their parents, but also those that were not. I think of them, I grieve for them, and I remember them. I pray for their mothers, that they can heal from the effects of making such a tragic choice, and I pray for the organizations that are working so hard to prevent abortion and to support mothers who choose to give their babies life, whether they are raising them themselves or have put them up for adoption.
And I will pray that one day, as unlikely as it may be, that abortion in our country and around the world will end. Because as Mother Teresa said,
“I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is ‘Abortion’, because it is a war against the child… A direct killing of the innocent child, ‘Murder’ by the mother herself… And if we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love… And we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts…”
Dear Christians, I will pray that YOU and I will be willing to give until it hurts.