I Am Pro Choice

Does that shock you? Let me explain.

To be pro-choice means that you hold a view, which says you believe people have a right to choose, and no one should take that right away. Some would say that the opposite view of pro-choice is pro-life. That view would say that people should protect the life of the unborn at the expense of the right to choose. Who is right?

Perhaps you have been close to this sensitive topic, or you have been close to someone who has held one position or the other. It really is an emotionally charged issue, isn’t it? In a few short paragraphs, I can not explain the breadth of what I think, but I do want to say is that I believe people are given a right to choose, within the sovereignty of God. All, who are created in the image of God, have free will and are given a right to choose. 

Some people have a hard time using their free will and choosing because they are weak and helpless. They can not defend their own lives. Take, for example, those of us who are not in the military. We really cannot protect ourselves from a serious threat. We need the help of the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines. Others are in similar situations. The handicapped may not be able to remove themselves from a building that is burning; the elderly may struggle to live without an oxygen tank or medicine that someone gives them. They want to live; in fact, they choose to live. They just need help and maybe a bit of time to get on their feet, so they can verbalize their desires.

What about babies? All of us would say that they do not verbalize a desire to die or to live. For a time, they need a mother’s milk, a warm blanket and other essentials to help them along. As they grow and learn to speak, the grand majority of them will say, “I am glad that you helped me. I choose life.”

Now for the hard part. Should a baby in the womb be able to choose? If we are pro-choice, should we extend that right, the right to choose, to the unborn? I think so. I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt; that they would choose life, at least, until they can speak for themselves. That may be the broadest and most liberal definition of being pro-choice that you can imagine. It is fully inclusive. I know that it may mean someone else has to bear a costly burden for a short time in order to preserve the right to choose, but I think it fulfills the truest meaning of pro-choice.  

How do we as a church live out our pro-choice view? 

We live it out by loving all without judgment.  We live it out by being warm and welcoming to those who have made decisions. We live it out by offering hope to those who perhaps wish they had made a different decision. We live it out by grieving, by praying, by adopting and by educating. 

So, today, I ask you to think a bit about this sensitive topic. Perhaps you will pray about it  and re-define terms along the way or be confirmed in your current definitions.  

Jesus once said that we should let the children come to Him. He is their Father, and He will care for them even as He has us. That could be through adoption, or through a mother making a hard choice to keep a child against all odds. That is when the church really has to be the church and help her to live and love well. Sadly, we have often failed on that front.

One last thought. This is not just a “woman’s issue.” If you are a man and are reading this, please know it is your issue, too. All of us have a part here, and together we can work for the right of all to choose life. Blessings.