Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!
If you thought things were both culturally and politically disturbing in the US in 2018, I’m sorry to say 2019 seems to be following the same pace and direction so far. Perhaps the most surreal moment to date was watching the galley of the New York State Legislature cheer the passing of a bill that expanding abortion by removing the 24 week limit, expanding the reasons for late-term abortion from the mother’s life to the mother’s life or health, and expanding the types of medical personnel who can perform abortions. While the pro-choice people applaud it, and the pro-life people denounce it, to me it just seems so extreme. There is no compromise in bill like that. Later, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law.
I do not speak about abortion much for a few reasons. We live in a culture that frowns on men speaking on the matter (unless it’s a full-throated embrace of the pro-choice position). Secondly, I don’t have any first hand experience on the matter (although I know that many readers will have been involved or adjacent to involvement regarding the decisions surrounding abortion). Thirdly, since I don’t talk about it often, there is a high chance I would talk about abortion in a clumsy, unproductive manner. So I have understood that, in America, the best-cast-scenario would be the politician's quote that abortion ought to be “legal, safe, and rare”. If I had to deal with the issue pastorally, I would do all I could to dissuade an abortion. Others will be working on “legal and safe”; I will be working on “rare” when I can.
Yet, in the surrounding news that unfolded after the NY legislature, I came across a woman who does speak about abortion with grace, love, and gentleness. And she has a rare perspective. She survived an abortion. I don’t mean she had an abortion and lived. Rather, I mean in the 1970’s her biological mother underwent a saline injection designed to abort her. Her name is Melissa Ohmed and she survived. She’s got lots of stuff out there because she is a pro-life Christian , so google her or look on YouTube for her talks or get her book You Carried Me: a Daughter’s Memoir. Her story is fascinating. And as she tells it, time and time again, she mentions forgiveness.
It’s a sure sign that a thing creates feeling of guilt and shame if it can be marched about in Washington, but in real-life only talked about in hushed tones. I’ll never be a NY legislator. I’m not likely to see a day when the debate is settled. But I can tell of God’s forgiveness in Christ Jesus. I can speak about abortion that way.
Peace in Christ,