Updated: Jul 24, 2020
I was 20 and feeling every minute of my deep sorrow. It had been 1 year since my baby was born, and adopted. She was about to turn 1 in just a few days. I was in deep grief, not the place to be dishing out advice. I had a friend and coworker at the retail store I was working at, who came to me asking about my experience with adoption. She knew that my child had been adopted and, seemingly, wanted to find out how I was doing. In my grieved state I told her that I thought adoption was horrible and awful and a terrible thing for a birth mom to have to live with. I told her it isn't for the faint of heart and there is a lot of grief that nobody tells you about. I told her about how I had learned that people pretend to care but they don't. I told her about how people make promises that they don't keep, and you have no right to enforce those promises. I told her many things I wished I hadn't. I wish I had kept my mouth shut. I wish I had asked the Lord to answer for me before I started speaking with my non-believer friend about a topic that was so hard and raw for me. But in those days I didn't have an ounce of wisdom in me, and I spoke out of all of my pain and anger, instead of relying on the Lord to be my answer.
It wasn't until almost a month later that I found out she had been pregnant and was considering her options. I imagine my words to her encouraged her to go get the abortion. And with that one stupid comment all of my pain was compounded. Now I had to live with the fact that I was a party to a murder, a willing participant in an abortion. I know most people wouldn't look at my actions as being a partner to the abortion. It wasn't as if I drove her to the clinic and held her hand. But I know how God feels about it, what I did, the way I spoke out of grief instead of out of God, I drove her to the decision to kill her child on that day. I am as guilty of that abortion as the doctor who committed it and the mother who chose it.
Something good did come from this experience. I determined that if ever again the Lord put someone in my path who needed encouragement to keep their child, that I would do everything I could (even adopt that child myself) to make sure that child lived and was given a beautiful life. I am happy to say that to this day there are 3 babies walking this earth, who may have otherwise been medical waste, because I was able to be a witness to them.
So how exactly do I go about talking to friends and acquaintances about abortion? For starters, I don't seek people out. I let God bring them to me. There are many people in the pro-life community who are very passionate about their political stance (and it is a political stance), so much so that they go stand outside of clinics ready to harass mothers and birth control seekers alike. I am not saying intervening on this level is not important or valuable, because it is. I am saying, however, that this kind of intervention is a last resort effort. If those women, ready to walk into the clinic, had friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances who were ready to intervene before they are ready to step foot into those clinic doors, then the decision to abort would become a much more challenging one for them. In this regard I am always vigilant to friends, family, coworkers, and employees who want to talk to me about their options.
When someone comes to me to tell me they are pregnant, my first reaction is the most important. Even if you friend is in tears, even if they are visibly upset, Always ALWAYS react with joy. Tell them how happy you are for them. Treat them like that is wonderful news. Treat their child like it is a blessing and a joy (because it is!) no matter their situation and circumstances. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to celebrate this child with them! Several people that have told me they are pregnant are coming from a place of sin. They are pregnant by a married man, who isn't there husband. They are in the throws of a drug addiction. They are prostitutes. They aren't in position where anyone will be celebrating their pregnancy. They are in a place where this is awful news and they are expecting people around them to judge them for being pregnant and treat this like it is just one more terrible decision they have made. So imagine how much joy they feel when someone celebrates with them. When someone says to them "You're pregnant!? That's so exciting! I'm so happy for you!" and gives them a giant hug. With that small tiny action, celebrating this new birth with you friend, you make this child into a real true blessing (which it is) instead of another problem that they need to handle.
From there it is simple, treat the child like the blessing that they are. Help the mother in any way you can, financial or otherwise (I have thrown many very fun and joyful baby showers for women who didn't have any friends). Be there for her. Encourage her. Make sure she understands that both her and the child are loved and cherished. Just these small actions will not only encourage this precious mother to keep her child, but it may also encourage her to get other aspects of her life back in order. In my experience I have seen one woman reunite with her estranged family. I have seen another woman give up drugs and stay clean throughout and after her pregnancy. I have seen all of these women doing what they can to keep a good job and try to better themselves through schooling or promotions. It seems basic, but encouraging another human being is one of the most fundamental parts of helping another human being. Many of these people come from a place of discouragement and hardship and it is surprising for them to talk to someone who cares and treats them with kindness and love. In this way you are also showing Christ love to these people and letting them know who our Lord and saviour is.
Psalm 119:77 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.