Last night, Maryanne and I went to the annual fund-raiser for Sanctity of Life Ministries (SLM), the primary pro-life crisis pregnancy organization here in northern Virginia. We had a good time, enjoyed the company very much, and were treated to an exceptional keynote by Bishop Marytn Minns, former rector of Truro Episcopal Church and founding bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.
Minns’ primary message had to do with the increasing devaluation of human life, and the world’s tendency to divide life into what is valued and what is disposable. He told of visiting a mass grave in Rwanda holding over 250,000 bodies from the 1994 genocide, and how the relentless propaganda-driven dehumanization of the Tutsis led directly to the genocide. It was a chilling reminder of what my people went through earlier in the 20th century. The connection to the dehumanization of the unborn child, and the subsequent ease with which those who are unwanted are dismissed and disposed of by the pro-abortion movement, was equally chilling.
He also told us about his daughter Rachel, a young lady with Down’s Syndrome who has been an inspiration and joy in the Minns family’s life. She has reminded the bishop on occasion of the need to draw the circle of humanity in such a way as to include every human being, even those whose actions are evil. Minns also related, to the obvious horror of many in the audience, how 90% of babies who are diagnosed in utero as possibly–not even definitely–having Down’s Syndrome are aborted. Listening to him talk about Rachel, it was difficult to believe that so many people do that, but that’s the reality.
I also was struck by a thought during the evening as it pertains to our pro-choice brethren. Across the mainline denominations, as well as parachurch organizations such as the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, you will find nary a person willing to say they are pro-abortion. In fact, applying that label will result in one’s getting heated and emphatic denunciations combined with the claim that as pro-choice Christians they simply ant to see abortion be legal and safe, but also rare. That being the case, I found myself wondering, why is there no support for organizations such as SLM from mainline denominations and lower judicatories? Why no love from folks like those at RCRC? Crisis pregnancy centers like SLM are rarely if ever involved in political efforts to restrict abortion (though their supporters may well be); they are simply working in the lives of women in crisis to help them make a choice for life, and supplying them with the support and resources they need to be able to do that. Surely, if the assertion that our brethren aren’t pro-abortion but pro-choice has any meaning, they should be doing all they can to ensure that this choice, the choice of life, is one that is available to every woman considering abortion. But such is not the case. In fact, crisis pregnancy centers are regularly denounced for a variety of reasons (most of which are figments of the accusers’ imaginations), and are certainly not supported in the work they are doing.
I think it’s time to challenge those who say they want to see fewer abortions to put their money where their mouth is. Instead of supporting Planned Parenthood (which between their abortion business and government support is flush with cash), why not support SLM and its sister organizations across the country? The abortion industry has all the help it could possibly use. Those who are actually trying to reduce the number of abortions, on the other hand, are frequently limping along on a shoestring. Give them a hand, and help women choose–choose life.