She cried when the two blue lines appeared. Her fleece pullover got wet when she wiped her eyes, and she told me she’d just been hired at a new job that she feared she’d now lose. She was young. She faced eviction. Her boyfriend would be angry, she told me—maybe even violently so. I nodded, struck mute by a lack of solutions for her.
“I don’t know how to make it easier,” I told her. “But I know you will never, ever regret holding your baby. We can find help.”
I’ve volunteered in my community’s pregnancy resource center for a few years, and while I frequently feel nervous, sad, confused, and at a loss for solutions, there’s one concrete thing I’ve learned: Most women seeking abortions aren’t uber-political. They aren’t members of the aggressively pro-abortion, Twitter-argument-waging, shout-your-abortion crowd. They aren’t calculating murderers. They’re afraid.
Abortion is a great evil. It’s left an ugly, gaping hole in the world where millions of image-bearing children should be. While the church has largely excelled at calling this despicable spade a spade, she often fails to see this picture: a young, often impoverished, terrified woman—who knows her baby is a human!—but considers abortion anyway. Fear is incredibly potent.
Most women seeking abortions aren’t uber-political. They aren’t members of the aggressively pro-abortion, Twitter-argument-waging, shout-your-abortion crowd. They aren’t calculating murderers. They’re afraid.
When we assume a woman who is seeking an abortion or has had an abortion is an archetypal, uber-feminist activist, we can expect to be neither as loving as we should be or as effective in encouraging her to choose life.
Instead, we should remember that she is probably afraid. This will help us love her, empathize with her, encourage her to choose life for her baby, and, ultimately, point her to Jesus.
Fear of What, Exactly?
It may seem obvious that the fear of killing should naturally outweigh any other fears. But while we may wish that fear—and the fear of God—was our most compelling motivator, in our human flesh it often isn’t.
Women facing an unplanned pregnancy often have reasonable, here-and-now fears. They may fear the loss of financial stability—or the loss of the ability to ever reach it. They may fear the loss of an already teetering status quo in which every available ounce of food is already consumed at home—perhaps by other children they’re already parenting. Pregnant women may lose a job, or they may not get the job they were hoping for. They may fear a violent boyfriend or father.
They may even fear pregnancy itself, which is often full of terrifying sickness, physical pain, loss of emotional control, and embarrassing bodily problems. All of these fears are real and oft-cited at crisis-pregnancy centers the country over. A common theme weaves through most of them: the fear of other people.