Just asking for a friend.....

Published May 25, 2023

By Lib Campbell

She watches news and reads broadly. She is particularly interested, and increasingly curious, about all the anti-abortion activity that is making so much noise around her. She asks, “Why are there so many women carrying pro-life and anti-abortion signs at the protests I see in the news? It would seem that the pro-life moniker is not really what this is about.”
She says, “If these women are pro-life, why don’t they use the same megaphone to speak into abolishing the death penalty? There are many innocent people wrongly convicted who are living, breathing human beings. Just recently, news of a man who was wrongly convicted for a rape, served 29 years in prison for a crime even the victim said he did not commit. Why don’t the pro-lifers join Innocence Projects around the country? If pro-life is pro-ALL-life, why do the wrongly incarcerated not receive your vocal advocacy?” 
Then, she asks, “Why do these protesters not speak into the issue of gun violence? Gun violence in our country has become the number one leading cause of death for children. Surely living, breathing, walking around, playground-playing children don’t need to be hunted down by the crazies with AR 15 weapons of war. Why isn’t the pro-life voice working to protect these babies?”
She is full of questions, “Why are these pro-life voices not speaking with the same volume into issues of sex-education and birth control? Why would they shudder at stemming the consequences of unwanted pregnancies on the front end? And why would there not be the same passion around addressing domestic violence and rape? Why do they not advocate as strongly for childcare, maternity care, foster care? This all seems like a disconnect to me.”
She then turns to a statement, “I think these pro-life, anti-abortion protesters are actually pro-zygote, pro-fertilized egg people and not so much actually pro-life people. If they were, there would be more vocal advocates for all the other issues facing human beings. I think what they are practicing is a self-righteous morality that puts women’s health at risk all across this country.” And then she says, “I thought that ‘do no harm’ was a fundamental value of the faith.”
She is right in her observation of what is happening to women in states around us, and now in our own state. Women are put in danger when they cannot get help with partial miscarriages or badly deformed fetuses. She recalled the time she took a friend to a clinic in the middle of a miscarriage to get what was then called a DNC, which is now being called abortion. It was a painful and emotional experience for her friend. Yet, rotting fetal material in a uterus will likely turn septic and endanger a woman’s life. She questions, “Why would anybody – especially women - make decisions that so adversely affect women’s health and women’s rights in America?” 
I am stumped by her questions, for I have few answers as to why such a hard right turn has been made in this country. When she finally asks, “Where is grace in this whole scenario? Where are compassion and empathy?” All I can say back to her is, “Exactly.”
Lib Campbell is a retired Methodist pastor, retreat leader, columnist and host of the blogsite www.avirtualchurch.com. She can be contacted at libcam05@gmail.com