On Being Pro-Life and Pro-choice

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I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.

John 14: 18-19

Another quote from Matthew 12:20 — “He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious.” This is the Christ that is the model for all of us Christians. We too are called to be be tender hearted toward all of God’s creatures. Christ intends for all to have life, for all life belongs to God.

Notice, too, that justice is part of the nature of Christ. My favorite scripture verse, Micah 6:8, points out that what God wants from all humanity is to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. We need to get an awareness of what God wants into our very being if we are Christians.

There is a lot of talk about abortions right now. The issue of abortions has become a “one issue” issue for too many voters. It is an easy issue to rally around because being against something that attacks innocent life is difficult to oppose, while at the same time not costing the opponent anything. It is easy to stand for the unborn because they are asking nothing of you until they are born.

What we need to remember is there is no such thing as an abortion until there is one, and each situation that surrounds an abortion is different. For the most part I see that abortions are the result of a basic injustice in the way that many men use women. There are situations where women believe they have to choose what they see as the lesser of evils. We must hear the stories and not judge women, but support women. We must understand why women have abortions, listen to them without judging.

Why would a pro-life person support abortion rights? Because every woman must be free to decide the use of her own body. A woman’s body does not belong to society or to anyone but herself. She is created in the image and likeness of God.

Women are not living incubators! A woman must only bear children by choice, not by force. For too long women have been imprisoned and captive by various societies and forced to be living incubators. Women were even told by churches that they could not say no when a man wanted to use her body for his pleasure. Sometimes women even have their clitoris cut out so they will have no pleasure themselves.

We must recognize that women have been and still are forced to have sexual relationships and then forced to bear children. It happens. Men are directly responsible for abortions. They often persuade, even force women to have sexual relations even when women would rather not. And these men do not use any protections against planting their sperm inside women. Men must not ejaculate into vaginas unless they are intending to create new life, support that life, and support the mother of that new life. To do otherwise is to act unjustly.

Because of ongoing injustice toward women, and until men are held accountable, abortion rights are a needed sign and proof that women are free to make choices for their own bodies. Taking that right away says women’s bodies belong to others for their use, not to the woman. This is injustice. It is a lack of mercy.

Only once that right of choice is established is the dignity of women respected. We can be as pro-life as possible through persuasion and support, but must never use force against women. Women have a God given right to dignity and respect! We must prove it by trusting them to have total rights over their own bodies.

Haven’t you noticed the lengths women will go through to have children when they are free and able? Women are ready to give up their lives for others — literally for nine months of growing new life, and then with a commitment to that new life for years to come. “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13.) Trust women and stop taking away their dignity and let all women know they have the respect of our society. And men, stop forcing yourself on women. Stop using women and grant them their God given dignity and respect.

Being pro-life is not this need to control women’s bodies. Being pro-life is respecting and caring for all living creatures including the tiniest non-human living creatures. If you are careless of the life you see around you, I cannot believe you really care for the life you cannot see. Be like Christ who would not crush the weakest reed. Be with Christ who is life and you will have life, then use that life to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

My beloved ones in Christ, do not take an easy position against abortion but listen to women and hear their real story. Be both fiercely pro-life and fiercely pro-choice. You can hold both positions in Christ.

Bishop Kedda

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