While I believe men have both a right and responsibility to speak about abortion, I also believe it is important to show that many women are passionately pro-life.
To counteract the false narrative that women are all in favor of abortion, I asked four women to share their pro-life stories and reasoning this week. I’m honored to feature guest posts from Kelsey Bridges, Kelly Parkison, Bekah Stoneking and Pam Earls.
Today’s post is from Bekah.
by Bekah Stoneking
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title …
— Romeo and Juliet, Act II
Life is sacred. This doesn’t just happen. A quick Google search yields multiple sources that claim healthy women have only a 15-25% chance of becoming pregnant during any given month, that any number of factors can delay or halt the process altogether, and that as many as 1 in 7 women struggle with infertility.
No matter which way you look at it, the odds are stacked against conception. Women are significantly more likely to not conceive than they are to conceive and fertility troubles are not uncommon. But, every now and then, two people come together and whether they’re the betting-kind or not, they beat the odds.
It should humble us when, against all odds, something new is created. When the newest life in the whole entire universe secretly rests within, something amazing has happened. This should both stir our souls with excitement and stop us in our tracks, stricken with awe and reverence.
And it doesn’t stop there. We don’t simply get to participate in the creation of new life. We get to participate in the creation of the very best of life:
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
— Genesis 1:27-28
We were formed in the image of the triune God to rule as vice-regents over every other living and created thing. We were made male and female, unique, yet fully exhibiting God’s image, attributes, and value in our intentionally-designed selves. We were blessed and charged with abundantly filling the world with more of our kind to continue governing over all and displaying God’s image.
And still, there’s more! Out of all of His good creation, God declared man very good (Genesis 1:31)—the only creature out of all of creation to be so highly labeled.
That which God has declared His very good image by any other name is still His very good image. The unborn do, even if they are not called, retain that dear designation. We have been set apart.
We have also been broken.
As very good, as prized as we are, and as closely as our original parents walked with God, they chose, just like we choose, to reject His authority. The effects of this fatal decision permeated the whole of creation and cast a shadow across the imago Dei.
We no longer live like we were created to. We no longer see one another or ourselves as intentionally created, inherently valuable creatures. We get sick. We hurt each other. We live and act out of fear. We choose to rebel. And so we reap the consequences of those sins and sometimes, we suffer the consequences of others’ sins.
About 11 years ago, the trajectory of my life changed at the hands of a boyfriend who ignored me when I said, “No.” In the years that have passed, I’ve dealt with so much and God has healed me in beautiful ways, but I still wrestle with the consequences, hurt, and fears.
By God’s grace I never had to make a hard decision or carry in my womb the result of this sin, but I can identify with the women who have had to face that reality. As illogical as it is, I feared daily for nearly two years that something would be weird with my body and I’d somehow become pregnant months and months later. Every pain and every weird feeling convinced me that I was mysteriously and tragically pregnant.
I daily asked myself, “What would I do? How would I tell my parents? What would this mean for my life?” But the baby won—every time. The impact a child would’ve had on my life—however negative—would be nothing compared to the impact an abortion would’ve had on that child’s life.
I knew where the clinic was but I also knew where King Jesus was—solidly on the throne and still very much in control, even when my life felt completely shattered.
Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak, but He is strong.
As dark as that season of my life was, I knew that the Bible says God works all things together for good for those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I clung to this; it was all I felt I had left. And though it took me years to finally see its truth, God was faithful. Even this was redeemed.
God promises to never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is in our midst and He is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17). He who started a good work in us will carry it out unto completion (Philippians 1:6).
Though my heart and my flesh may fail, God is my strength and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26). Not only does Christ identify with us in our birth and humanity, but also He was tempted in every way and He has compassion on our weakness (Hebrews 4:15).
Christ bore the fullness of our sin and shame in His body on the cross. He absorbed the wrath of God on our behalf (Isaiah 53). Jesus is our peace (Ephesians 2:14).
By grace through faith, this free gift of salvation and redemption is available to all who call upon the name of the Lord (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:13). Those who are in Christ are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) and He promises to make all things new (Revelation 21:5).
From the mind of God to the wombs of our mothers to the arms of our loved ones, the journey is the same for everyone and brokenness, separation, and rebellion mark each of us. We’re all united in these shared experiences and even God, Himself, intimately knows our condition.
Does this not strike you in your deepest places? What other creature can say this—that they are created in God’s image? That they are capable of bringing forth more image bearers? And, though thoroughly tainted by sin, they can be reconciled to Him, made new, and shaped more and more into Christ’s likeness?
Who, besides man, can identify with God in both creative activity and in lived experiences? This is unique! This is sacred! This is life and life abundantly! Life– which is to be protected and celebrated.
It is beyond remarkable and nearly unfathomable that God humbled Himself to take on our condition. He did not come in the form of an unblemished lamb or a scapegoat. No! He came like us to live perfectly unlike us to redeem us and to make us new.
We were made in His image and then He chose to take on our form to reveal Himself to us, to live the life we couldn’t, to bear the wrath we couldn’t, and to defeat death once and for all.
His plan for redemption included Jesus being a fetus and developing from that stage all the way through to adulthood and it included Him being murdered so He could take the victory over death for His glory.
The will of God and the life of Jesus very clearly demonstrate the value of humanity—even for the tiniest among us—and the will of God and the life of Jesus clearly demonstrate God’s displeasure with sin and its fatal consequences.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
— Psalm 139:13-16
I value life because God values life. I value the unborn because even Jesus humbled Himself to grow in such a way. I am rationally convinced, spiritually compelled, and experientially informed that God is the author, creator, giver, sustainer, and redeemer of life.
As a woman, I cannot reconcile having a body capable of carrying, bearing, and nurturing life, but deciding to use my hands to end it. I worship a Savior who laid aside his own needs and desires for me. He sacrificed His wellbeing for my own. He laid down His life for yours and mine and in response, we should live like Him—sacrificially.
Human life is a gift from God, even when it is unexpected, conceived in sin, promising hardship, or loaded with baggage. You and I were made to serve a King who specializes in shedding light into darkness, making old things new, creating something out of nothing, and overcoming death to bring life.