The Only Option.

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“Abortion is my only option.” This statement is made every single day by a countless number of men and women. What do you do when you hear this statement? Do you get angry? Do you cry? Do you walk away? Do you make judgements? Do you do anything?

This statement is going to cause many of us to react in different ways. I get that. I appreciate your concern. However, I think we must spend some time actually thinking about why a person would feel like this is their only option. Why would they feel trapped? Why would they even allow this word, abortion, to enter their vocabulary…their mind?

These are questions that deserve our time and reflection as we prepare to love on a hurt and broken world.

We must start to understand that our throw away lines at these men and women are not helping, but instead are actually pushing these people to abortion clinics. Many times we like to act as if we understand what another is going through. We like to act as if times are not tough. We like to believe that these men and women should just suck it up and take ownership of their choices.

On the surface these statements are true, but we are not dealing with surface issues. We are dealing with deep seeded issues. We are dealing with abused and unloved people. We are dealing with many that are drowning in the world around them. They are drowning and instead of going in after them and getting wet and risking our lives, we stand on the coast shouting at them to swim.

The sad part of all of this is we are not even shouting in unity so that the dying person can actually have an opportunity to hear what their next step should be. Instead, we choose to shout in opposition. This person, in crisis, is seeking help, love, and respect. Yet, all they receive is advice.

“Choose life.” “Parent your child.” “Abortion is an option.” “Adoption is an option.” “You are not ready to be a parent.” “How could you do this to your mom?” “How could you go back to him/her?” “Do you know what the neighbors will say?” “Do you know what the pastor will say?” “You made your bed now you have to sleep in it.” “We are behind you regardless of the decision you make.” “Good luck with that.”

We must stop for a minute and realize the damage being done to these men and women in crisis. We must recognize that the answer isn’t shouting at them from the shore. The answer must be getting into the water and actually making your way to the person that is drowning.

It is real easy to shout what one should do only to leave and go back to your life. It is easy to make judgements of those that are calling out for help when we refuse to take the time to truly love them and understand the tough spot they are in.

My pro-life stance is unwavering. I will stand for life every chance I get. This stance, though, cannot stop at the shore. This stance cannot stop at simply giving advice. This stance must push us to love. It must push us to care deeply about the unborn and the person carrying that child. Our pro-life stance must never find its home in simple commentaries.

Loving is difficult and hard. To love someone is to risk everything. When we love we know that we are going to get hurt. Someone is going to lie to us, say hurtful things to us, and may even rip our hearts out, but that shouldn’t stop us from going in. When someone is drowning we should be willing to risk it all. We should risk it all because the reward is one of the greatest gifts ever offered…the reward is life.

Abortion is not the only option. I believe that with all my heart, but I also know that me saying that changes nothing for a person in crisis. We can say good things all day long, but at some point, our words have to motivate us to act.

We must let our words lead us to aa relationship with people, truly diving in and having the tough conversations, conversations that will be uncomfortable, conversations rooted in love for humanity, conversations that can and will save lives.

There are people out there hurting right now. People that have ventured out to deep water and now find themselves drowning. There may be someone in your church, your family, or at your workplace in this situation. Are you prepared to dive in and help, or is your plan to shout directions from the shoreline?

Love, respect, and dignity can change lives, can save lives. Many of us are good at shouting our opinions. This is why we are in the shape that we are in. This is why our country is so divided. We all have opinions, but many of us are not prepared to get off the shore and truly put action to our words.

Love someone today. Care for someone today. Talk to someone today. Pro-life is more than words. It is more than opinions. It is a belief that drives us to act, and who knows, maybe your action is just the life raft they need.

Andrew Wood serves as the Executive Director of Hope Resource Center, a pro-life reproductive health clinic in Knoxville, TN. HOPE opened its doors in 1997 seeking to stand for life as they served the most vulnerable in the Knoxville area. HOPE has been blessed to serve over 20,000 patients during that time.