Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Love, Tolerance, and Truth

by Lydia Trandem

Pro-life and pro-choice individuals have been clashing with words, theories, and laws for over 40 years now. The din hasn’t lessened, nor do I expect it to subside any time soon.  Having been a vocal pro-life advocate for several years, I often see and hear allegations and reactions from the abortion prone that can be hard to swallow.  What is most frustrating to me is how disinformation and phony empathy seem to be their tools of choice. 

Here in Fargo, at the Red River Women’s Clinic, a group of volunteers have been coordinating Plants4Patients. As I understand, the volunteers make small clay pots, plant succulents, write a note of sympathy, and the clinic offers a plant to a patient as they leave their facility. Under almost any other circumstance, this sounds like sweet and thoughtful gesture to someone in pain, however, this is not “any other circumstance”.  Abortion isn’t an accident, a disease, or old age. Abortion is never the only option. Abortion is the intentional killing of your child. I am well aware that many girls and women who opt for abortion feel like it is the only remedy to what they view as a problem, while others opt for abortion as a matter of process; it’s just the last step. I find it difficult to express adequate sympathy to a parent who has lost their child through miscarriage, sickness, or accident, but to sit down and write a note to a girl who has chosen to intentionally cause the death of her child is twisted and grotesque. I find it shameful that the Red River Women’s clinic has agreed to participate in this program. Women aren’t dense, we know that when we’re pregnant the end result is always, one-hundred percent of the time, a baby. We grieve when a miscarriage ends a pregnancy not because a random clump of cells is eliminated but because that unique set of cells containing DNA, a beating heart, and a soul – our child, with 23 chromosomes from father and mother will not be met, held, and loved here on earth. Do they really think women are so unintelligent that they are going to be comforted by a plant from the same hand they paid to kill their child?

Another Pro-choice organization recently called to my attention is rife with hypocrisy. I discovered a short time ago that I was being denounced as an “Anti-Choice Bully”. The website, Voice of Choice, is protesting opponents of abortion and seeking to, “temper the rhetoric and hate”. So they’ve created a webpage explaining their mission and a search engine so you can locate “bullies” in your area complete with their Facebook page, picture, address, and phone number. Apparently these Bullies, “prey on the culture of fear and stigma that surrounds abortion”. Fear and stigma? if it was really that strong would we be seeing 3,700 abortions daily in the United States, and 25 each week in Fargo? The demonstrations and vigils I and many I know have participated in have never been violent, unsafe, or uncaring. Most activists try to demonstrate in front of the clinic as a presence and to pray; some approach clients to ask if all of their options have been explored and if they’d like other information. We don’t shout, demean, or express anger. We are reaching out with tender love and care to hopefully prevent a mother and family from the hurt of abortion and death of their child. Since I discovered the list of “bullies” a few weeks ago it is now five times the size and I’m sure is yet a work in progress. I’m waiting for the peaceful and calm phone call from someone concerned that I might be intimidating a woman, preventing her from killing her child through my presence and prayer.

It is easy to accuse those concerned about the ill-effects of abortion of having malicious intentions and a radical view, and to those who are in a desperate situation and feeling as though they have nobody to turn to, it is probably very easy to believe those false allegations.  This underscores the importance of our reaching these women FIRST and showing them that our primary concern is in fact, their health, well-being, and the life of their child.  It is an immediate response to what could amount to a lifetime of regret and self-destructive behavior as well as the death of a child who is wanted.  If the response is heeded, the subject could not only realize the love of the responder, but the peace of having made the decision to spare the life of their child, and preserve their own dignity without regret.  I have yet to hear of a woman who wished she had aborted her child.

Through the strength and love of Christ I will continue to pray both for those who oppose my stance and for those involved with abortion because it’s the most peaceful rhetoric I know.

- Lydia Trandem


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