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 Kelly.
by Kelly Parkison
I am a woman and I am pro-life. Why, you ask. I guess the simple answer is I LOVE life. I am thankful for my life, while it has not always been easy; it was given to me as a gift. Each day that I wake up and start a day is a blessing. I also love all of the life that surrounds me every day in my husband and my five beautiful children.
My husband was born on January 20, 1973, just two days before the Roe v. Wade decision. He was placed in a children’s home for adoption in Jackson, MS, and was soon adopted by his parents. We know that his birth mom was a teenager when she made possibly one of the most difficult decisions, yet sacrificial, in her life. Because of her choice, a family received their wish to have a son and feel complete. In addition, her choosing life allowed this young boy to grow up and preach life as a pastor and eternal life at that!
Each one of our five children (yes we are crazy…crazy blessed!) is special and created uniquely by God. They are a huge gift to us. It wasn’t always our plan to have this size of a family, but we are thankful God had different and better plans than we did!
Our middle child is a little girl adopted from India, a country with even more staggering numbers of abortion than the United States. They made it illegal to find out the gender of a child in utero, because female children are considered a curse and are often aborted.
Yet her presence in our home is pure joy; the child smiles and laughs nonstop and I can’t imagine life without her. I am thankful for her birth mom or for the person who brought her from a remote village in Gujarat, India to a police station, where she was placed into an orphanage. Now this little girl runs through our house, plays with her brothers and sister, and sings songs about Jesus.
With these five reasons I am all about life, it baffles me to see so many care more about the life of the economy, the environment, and the humane and ethical treatment of animals than the life of human beings—innocent babies with no chance to voice their right to life. I care about all of those things too, but I also deeply care about the life of human beings, which leads me to be pro-life. I resonate with Ronald Reagan’s quote, “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”
One of my most favorite pastors, Dr. Frank Page, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, has said, “I believe in God, I’m just not angry about it.” Too often, I see my brothers and sisters in Christ spewing truth about pro-life issues on social media or in news interviews. While truth is certainly very important, it should be spoken in love and with a gentle spirit.
I definitely think it is important to be bold about pro-life issues, but it takes more than just a Facebook update. It takes more than a blog post. It takes more than standing on the side of the road silently with signs. We need to be the hands and feet of Christ.
What I would like to encourage my church family (as in the Christian church as a whole) is to do more than just talk about it. We have to take some action.
We need to stop merely telling teenage mothers, unwed mothers, or women “Don’t have an abortion; it is wrong!” Instead we need to say, “I am sure what you are going through must be hard. Can we help you through your pregnancy? Do you need help paying for doctor’s visits? Can we help get you some parenting classes? Can our church help raise your child along side of you? Can we help you find a good adoption agency to work with? Can I adopt your child? Can we help you recover through the pain of giving your child up for adoption?”
That would be the hands and feet right there, but it takes a commitment, a long-term commitment. It is much easier to sit back in our pews and say what’s right and wrong than it is to invest in someone’s life. We often want to stop our work after second trimester, rather than seeing babies placed in good families or helping the birth mom as she tries to do her best.
We should hear more about churches starting ministries to help foster care families, or starting ministries to orphans. And while there has been a surge among evangelicals recently in support of these types of ministries, far too many of us are still sitting and watching in the stands, holding up our picket signs. I guess you could say I am not just pro-life, but pro quality of life for the mom and the baby.
The church should love and minister to women before they have an abortion. But we should also reach out to women after they’ve made that tragic choice. The last statistic I heard is that around 1 in 6 women sitting in church pews have had an abortion.
I just want to say, if you are a woman who has had an abortion, from the depths of my heart, I love you. There is freedom and forgiveness found in Christ. I have no desire for you to feel guilty! I want to lead you towards hope. If you are struggling with guilt and pain from a past decision, you can email me confidentially and I would love to listen and encourage you.
Another way Christians can make an impact in pro-life issues is through adoption. Obviously, our family has personally benefited from it. Here are two statistics that show how the church in American could radically impact the world through adoption:
- If one family in every three churches in the U.S. adopted a waiting child, every child in the U.S. would have a forever family.
- In the U.S., 137 million people claim to be Christians of some denomination. If only 1% of the Christians in this country adopted just one child, 1.37 million children from abroad would have loving, Christian families to grow up in.
Not everyone is called to adopt or do foster care, but all of us as Christians can participate by advocating for these vulnerable children in various ways.
We can support foster and adopting families, provide respite care for foster families, mentor a foster child, assist adopting families in fundraising efforts, volunteer or support organizations that help orphans, or mobilize your churches to do more! And we can get even simpler—pray for these children.
As a Christian, I believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God and it clearly supports the fact that children are thought of before they are even in the womb and are created by God in His image.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 “Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’”
Psalm 139:13, 15 “You knit me in my mother’s womb . . . nor was my frame unknown to you when I was made in secret.”
Genesis 1:27 “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.”
I want to close with one last question and verse for my brothers and sisters. Do you want to know God and I mean really know Him?
Jeremiah 22:16 says “He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD.” (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but I want to know God! And He said what it means to know Him is to defend the cause of the poor and needy. No one is more needy than an unborn baby.
These precious, innocent children deserve to be born, but even more than that—they deserve life!
Kelly Parkison is a pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom to five kids. Previously, she was Miss South Carolina, a contestant on The Amazing Race, and a staffer in Washington for Jim DeMint. Follow her on Twitter at @KellyParkison.