Support, don't Judge

by Shawnae Lacy

As I sat relaxing with my feet submerged in a warm bubbly whirlpool of happiness, a woman seated next to me struck up a lovely conversation.  We chatted briefly on the weather, our college-aged children and their next steps (her daughter was with her) and how grateful we were to be able to indulge in a trip to the nail salon.  

And then it happened…The TV was showing the national news and the headline story was about the new law passed in Alabama outlawing abortion and criminalizing any doctor who performed one.  The room was suddenly quiet and the nail technician just shook her head. The silence was broken by the voice next to me blurting out “Serves them right! If they don’t want to be pregnant they should keep their legs closed!”

I was momentarily stunned and confused. I’d heard this notion before – that unwanted pregnancies are the result of overly promiscuous women who don’t know how to control their sexual urges – but this was coming from a lady who I had just connected with on a personal level.  She had been warm and friendly and funny and approachable. I glanced at her daughter who sat mortified. Beyond that, her expression showed hurt. Like she knew if she ever found herself in that situation she would be judged by her mother instantly.

Like many others in this debate, I am pro-life.  I believe that children are a blessing and should be loved, cherished and raised surrounded in love.  But I am also a realist. I’ve seen that the world can be a dark, unspeakably mean place. As a foster (and soon to be adoptive) parent, I could tell you stories that would break your heart. You’ve seen them on the news as well. When pregnancy happens at the wrong time or under unfortunate circumstances, it can bring disaster to the mother and/or the developing baby. And to me, the ONLY person qualified to determine those qualifying circumstances is that pregnant woman.

When a woman decides to terminate her pregnancy, it is not a time for anyone to pass judgment.  It’s a decision between her, her doctor and her God and we need to respect and support her. If she decides to continue her pregnancy, we should use our energy to support her and her child during pregnancy and AFTERWARDS.  That support includes (but is not limited to) physical and mental healthcare for the family, an affordable quality education, gender and sexual identity acceptance, financial well-being and the right to not be seen as a threat and be killed because of the color of their skin. Real pro-lifers know that life continues after birth and doesn’t end until the last breath is drawn (or later).  And that’s my two cents worth.