The Rhetoric of Love and Care

“Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women” – Alice Paul, author of the Equal Rights Amendment

I received an email today from Laurel Pregnancy Center in Laurel Maryland. We’re approaching their annual fund-raising dinner (November 4 I believe) and they were working to get table hosts and start the coordination process. The fund-raising dinners have always been fantastic. We laugh, we cry, we praise God. They’re very moving. I’m also quite impressed with the array of speakers they are able to line up. These are very impressive real people who are fighting the good fight.

I remember listening to a pro-life lawyer a few years back at the dinner discussing Maryland’s nonsensical laws regarding disclosure for crisis pregnancy centers. One such law was recently challenged in court (no verdict yet to my knowledge) – requiring crisis pregnancy centers to post notice that they do not perform abortions, do not make abortion referrals, and (get this) do not have licensed medical professionals on staff. One county ordinance even mandates that crisis pregnancy centers recommend that women seek professional medical help (meaning elsewhere). That last one is just absurd. They basically mandated that the first words out of the mouth of any center employee have to be “leave and go somewhere else.”

It all strikes me as a bit odd, and yet consistent with the liberal mindset of doing good. The contention of the pro-choicers in this argument is that crisis pregnancy centers don’t offer abortions (obviously) and therefore are not telling the truth when they claim they want to help with problem or unwanted pregnancies. Let me translate that for you: “The only way to help with an unwanted pregnancy is to perform an abortion, so if you don’t perform abortions you can’t help with unwanted pregnancies.”

I honestly think these people actually believe their own rhetoric. They actually believe that crisis pregnancy centers, who offer help to women who have an unwanted pregnancy but don’t want to terminate the baby, are doing harm to said women. That is the utter opposite of choice! [It all reminds me of Matthew 23:13, though that was a different context: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.”]

I suppose that is the way rhetoric works. You must wrap your position in one of kindness and care – otherwise people will figure you out and cast you aside. Pro-choicers want women to have choices as long as they make the right choice. (By the way, the tales we hear coming from the other side of abortions would astound you – of “care providers” convincing women to have abortions even if they’re unsure and hesitant. It’s nightmarish. This is not the movement of “freedom of self-determination” you might think it is.)

But my words will clearly pale in comparison to the great ones. Consider:

“If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people to not kill each other? Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.” – Mother Teresa

“Abortion is inherently different from other medical procedures because no other procedure involves the purposeful termination of a potential life.” – Potter Stewart

“I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.” – Ronald Reagan

As for the fund-raising dinner, we’ll be there, November 4. In rough economic times budgets for crisis pregnancy centers can be strained. Places like these truly are helping the poor and vulnerable – giving support through difficult decisions, and hope and encouragement for tomorrow.

As for you, dear reader, be salt and light today. We may never know this side of eternity what big differences our little differences made.

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