For the most part, when I explain how I help young girls with crisis pregnancies, even throwing them baby showers, I usually get big eyes, an awkward (or sometimes dramatic) pause, and then a slow, big smile spreads across the listener’s face as that new idea slowly starts sinking into his or her heart.
But every once in a while, I get a different reaction. Once a crabby old man said, “That’s all they need – another handout,” as he went off on a tangent about the government. Another time I was at a fabric store and the woman who worked there was measuring out my fabric. She asked if I was going to use it for a party. I answered her and explained that it was for a big baby shower for single and pregnant girls, and she stopped what she was doing and looked up at me and said, “I’m a teacher at an alternative school, and a lot of the girls are single and pregnant. Why in the world would you want to reward them for their bad behavior?” Another time, a woman met with her pastoral team at her church in Houston about possibly starting an Embrace Grace. Her pastor responded, “This sounds like a great program, and I’m sure they do great things to help these girls. But we really want to be careful about this and how it might be perceived as honoring girls that have sinned.”
Every time I hear stuff like this, my first instinct is like a momma bear to her cubs; I want to defend and protect these girls who choose life. But then I quickly calm myself before speaking and try to explain how the person I’m talking to might need to think differently about the situation.
Her stories and thoughts are good ones to ponder. It's true that many people shun single pregnant women, and these are often the same people who claim the moniker, "pro-life." It's the same reason I am hesitant to advocate school programs that involve caring for a baby doll for a particular period of time. The goal is to show kids that they aren't ready for a baby. The real result, though, may not be abstinence and love of babies, but instead a fear and dread of being a parent, and a bee-line to Planned Parenthood.
We need to find a way to be consistently pro-life -- embracing the beauty of every human life, regardless of the circumstances of his or her conception. We need to celebrate each life. We need to welcome young parents who are not being supported, affirming their desire to nurture the life that has been entrusted to them.
Read the rest of Amy Ford's article here.