Dear Women of the Next Generation,
You would think that in times when women across the globe march in expansive displays of gender solidarity, that you could trust the words of older women. I’m sorry to say, you cannot trust them all.
To be fair, some older women were fed lies by the women in their lives. We know truth is the first casualty of war and both spiritual and cultural battles rage.
But sometimes, it’s more insidious than that. Sometimes, it’s about hidden agendas that have nothing to do with what’s right or good for you.
You see, women are equal to men in every way, including our capacity for subterfuge. Female moral superiority is one of the myths stirred into your rice cereal. Women aren’t inherently more noble, wise, or selfless than men, and we betray the sons we birth to perpetuate that distortion.
So, first, let me say, don’t believe everything you hear shouted from a megaphone on the National Mall.
In full disclosure, I write as a woman following Jesus, a woman who believes in the authority of the Bible. Feel free to dismiss my perspective based on that information alone, but if you’re as inclusive of all women as you say, you’ll hear me out.
I also write as a person who has walked this planet for over fifty years negotiating all the same joys, temptations, and dangers of being female as you. My perspective is as valid as those who disagree with me, by basis of my DNA.
Still here? You’re such a brave generation. Let’s talk about words.
Freedom and choice are beautiful words, but they’ve been misappropriated and attached to acts that have little to do with their definition.
Many women believe in freedom, but don’t believe abortion is the path to any kind of lasting freedom – not for anyone involved.
Many women believe in choices, but also believe there just isn’t enough dialog about the responsibility of those choices.
People make dozens of choices prior to the conception of a child, with varying levels of freedom attached to each one. True, some women have those choices taken from them, violently, but many do not. A nuanced discussion of abortion includes all these choices, but there isn’t sufficient airtime carved out for nuance these days.
Abortion is a complex conversation and not one that can be carried on intelligently by screaming across picket lines or making pronouncements over Twitter feed. Women are brilliant, creative, intelligent beings who shouldn’t reduce themselves to bumper sticker versions of their greater selves.
The future of our unborn children is too significant to be distilled to a slogan on a sidewalk sign.
Coercion, pressure, and power are also words associated with abortion. Who gives voice to the powerless women in this equation? Abortion isn’t always a straight out choice. Often, it’s a weapon used against oppressed women by people victimizing them.
Let’s talk about the girls and women pressured into abortions by others wanting to cover up the violations of predatory men. Or pressured by families wanting to preserve their own reputations. Pressured by traffickers wanting to protect their profits. Pressured by uncaring partners who aren’t ready for children. Pressured by partners and in-laws who want only a healthy child or male child.
Once, I sat in a room with a grieving girl. One week prior, she’d been nearly five months along with a wanted child. Now, she wept at a loss she chose. But, as she explained, she only chose abortion because she believed others in her life thought she wouldn’t be a good mother and for one moment, she’d believed them.
Now, she wondered if maybe they were wrong. Her mother was a harsh woman of hard words and her partner used verbal abuse to control. Who were they to convince her she would fail the life within her?
It was so easy to walk into a clinic and make a choice under the foggy burden of their accusations. No one devoted any time to explore her choice with her. Does she sound free? There is an abundance of unpleasant words associated with abortion you won’t see on a T-shirt. Loneliness, selfishness, exploitation, greed, sorrow, regret, anguish, gendercide, and conspiracy.
The abortion industry essentially joins forces with coercion, sex-selection, and aborting for certain conditions by forcing conversations about these practices into the shadows. It’s harder to cloak their business in the lovely garb of freedom and rights if it gets bogged down in a complex discussion of this underbelly that is decidedly NOT pro-woman.
It’s tragic and true that women died in back rooms when abortion wasn’t legal. But, women are still dying. More un-born females are aborted, world-wide, than un-born males. Wide-spread abortion doesn’t save women’s lives, it kills them earlier, more efficiently, and antiseptically so as to have a more socially acceptable tenor.
There is an evil that wants to destroy women. By endorsing abortion, we become complicit in our own destruction.
You are part of a strong-minded, intelligent generation with a world of information at your fingertips. Don’t be caught up in the waves of screaming rhetoric without engaging a global perspective on this life-and-death conversation.
Take time to sort through the conversations. Understand there are women who choose life. Women who don’t fear the babies that grow within us. Women who are for all women, not just the ones who survive our wombs. Women who have wrestled with the risks, choices, and consequences, but who have chosen life over death for the sake of the next generation.
Abortion IS a woman’s issue and there are women on BOTH sides of the table. You have the freedom to choose where you sit and still find yourself on the side of women. Be the generation that invites all the voices to the table.
— Lori Roeleveld (@lorisroeleveld) March 28, 2017