//The gift of life//

The referendum around legalising abortion is underway in Ireland. What does this mean for us?

Today Ireland takes a vote around the legalisation of abortion.

I’ve witnessed only a tiny sprinkling of media mentions about this matter, but it seems that very strong opinion is held around it and emotions are flying high.

Waleed Aly from The Project stated that ‘leaders should deal with it’

Hmmm… leaders? deal? it?

An interesting choice of words.

Leaders – are they to take full responsibility for the decisions which will impact the masses?

Deal – what does abortion deal with? (And what remains not dealt with?)

It – can a child’s life be called ‘it’?

Which leads us to, women’s rights?

What are they?

Does a woman have the right to be loved and supported, to be cared for, to be given more than one option?

And an unborn child’s rights?

Do they exist? If so, what are they?

These are questions that any one of us could ponder.

A few thoughts of my own…

I believe that all human life is precious and that God created us with purpose.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
(Psalm 139:13‭-‬16 NIVUK)

I believe that we should show love, not judgement, to the women at the forefront of this debate.

“Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”” (John 8:10‭-‬11 NLT)

I believe that we need to be providing real support, love and nurturing to the vulnerable – both those women who find themselves pregnant and feeling unsure of what to do, and to the babies who are unable to speak for themselves.

I wonder what might happen if stigma and other roadblocks (exorbitant financial costs, challenging legal barriers, privacy concerns etc.) were removed from adoption, and it were to become a more widespread and viable option for those who for whatever reason or circumstance felt incapable of raising their child.

I wonder what Ireland’s adoption laws and processes like? Easy? Difficult? Do people know their options? Is support readily available?

How might a woman’s mental health be, if she were able to write a letter to the child she carried, letting them know that they were not a burden, but rather a gift – like a splendid present selected from a Christmas party stash, a beautiful gift of a tiny life chosen by loving adoptive parents, grateful for the opportunity to parent, thankful that the mother had kindly opened up this door of opportunity to them.

One idea discussed in the abortion debate states that women should be able to abort in order to protect their mental health. I wonder how her mental health could be if she was given another option. Imagine if she could generously say, “It’s not just about me and my body”. Would she walk a little taller, unburdened of shame and showered with peace, knowing that she’d made a choice which honoured her own life and that of the ten tiny fingers and toes who’d grown in her womb?

Imagine the letters that she might write to her newborn, gently and honestly acknowledging the inability of the biological parents to parent the child, yet speaking loving kindness over the child. ‘Let it not be my weakness or lack (or circumstantial difficulty) which determines your future, but rather let me offer you a future despite my own inability to provide it for you.’

Perhaps {almost certainly} this would be a tear stained letter, for it would take braveness to stand and walk tall through a pregnancy, dealing with one’s own emotions and choosing to place another’s rights above your own comfort.

Perhaps such a letter might be signed, “with love from the one who nurtured your tiny form inside my own body [even though it was difficult/overwhelming]”.

Is it abortion laws that require change or is it us as a society? Our values? Our limiting options? Our prohibitive laws which make adoption so challenging, if not impossible?

In Australia, ‘Adopt Change’ (Deborah Lee Furness’ foundation) is working to tackle this complex, yet clearly important issue.

To every one of you reading this (you yourself, a child given life rather than being aborted), consider the gift of life itself. How might you advocate for this? In supporting a woman in your neighborhood? In standing with a cause? In speaking up for change (the kind that God would smile upon)?

I think it fitting to say: Selah (Think on this…)


{P.S. You are loved. Precious. Valuable. Purposed. No matter what scars you carry from the things life has brought your way.

Feel free to PM me if you have a personal story to share, or if you need someone to pray for you. You’re never alone.}

Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

Photo credit: Twitter
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