We who served in Iraq generally did not have as bad of homecomings as those who served in Vietnam, but there is one story that I would like to recall in light of recent events. The year would have been 2007 (I was in Iraq from Jan-Dec 2005) and I had a friend, Horace, who was in the practice of going off on rants about how bad George W. Bush and the Iraq war were. Horace was 62 years old, so he would have been of that generation of Vietnam protestors. He knew that I was an Iraq veteran and one day during his periodical anti-Bush rants he turned and called me a baby killer. Now, in his mind, I’m sure he really felt justified. I mean, here he is, obviously speaking the truth about that rascal George W., and here I am, a veteran who served under him. Surely by calling me a ‘baby killer,’ I would feel so terribly about all of the bad things I had done and join his cause in standing for what’s right… It didn’t work out that way; instead, Horace came off as being angry, hurtful, and self-righteous. He didn’t know what I had been through or what I had done. He was judging me from a standpoint of ignorance. Perhaps that made him feel good about himself, a ‘non-baby killer,’ but if he wanted me to join him in his anti-war antics, then calling me a ‘baby killer’ only pushed me away.
I am not recalling this story because I want to talk about the war. I want to talk about abortion.
There has been an upset in America over the new law that extends the legality of abortion in New York. I have seen Christian friends get on social media to proclaim women, ‘baby killers’ (at least my Horace called me ‘baby killer’ to my face, but that’s beside the point). Because I am pro-life, I take this issue very seriously. If I join the crowd and shout, ‘baby killer,’ then perhaps I may make myself feel better, but at what cost? It might make me feel good about myself, a ‘non-baby killer,’ but in the end, it pushes people away – people who may be faced with the choice of abortion or life. If we care about unborn babies – I mean, we really care about them and their lives more than we care about making ourselves feel more righteous than their mothers – then we should be trying to reach their mothers and helping them with the big decisions they are facing.
Anyhow, I offer some alternative pro-life thoughts:
First and foremost, let’s show compassion for women who are in the situations that would drive them to abortion. Imagine being someone who went through an abortion and seeing some of the posts that pro-lifers are posting these days. I’ve seen women whose lives have been traumatized by abortion. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes, but worse, to have someone rub it in by calling me a ‘baby killer?’ Several years ago, I drove away some pro-abortionists with rude comments and I’ve regretted it ever since.
Second, the whole point of the pro-life argument is that a life is a life, no matter how young. If we are treating a 9-month-old fetus as ‘more human’ than a 3-week-old fetus, then we are surrendering to the very point that the pro-choice camp makes, and we are losing our grounds for standing against 3-week abortions. The morality of the abortion question is unaffected by when it occurs.
Third, imagine being in a situation where you are considering an abortion, but the time limit is drawing to an end. Wouldn’t it be nice to be given a bit more time to think about it? That’s literally what New York is doing. Now, a pregnant woman doesn’t have to rush into the decision, but can take her time. Hopefully, she’ll take good care of the young’n in the meantime, maybe get some ultrasounds along the way. Those who serve in crisis pregnancy ministries now have more time to reach these women and help them out with options other than abortion.
Speak the truth in love, folks. Lives are depending on it.