I’m not going to lie. I’m nervous and hesitant to share this post. What an incredibly volatile topic!
And yet, how can I hold back?
I’m not in favor of abortion.
Day in and day out I facilitate the converse of abortion as I work with women and the little lives germinating, unfurling within their wombs like wee seeds swelling with moisture as they make their way toward the light.
I lay my hands on even the smallest of wombs, and I sense the life! As those wombs stretch and grow, my fingertips find the tiny bodies, my ears pick out the sounds of the steadily thumping hearts, and I experience them experiencing me. They shift their bottoms, dip their heads, and flail their limbs in response to my touch while their hearts thump faster at the laughter and exclamations of excited mothers and fathers, siblings and grandmothers!
Then I look up into the eyes of those mothers and the myriad vulnerabilities, dreams, fears, and hopes shimmering in their depths sweep over me in a rush, and I remember, and I understand.
I do everything in my power to support each mother and each child with tenderness and respect as they seek to navigate the twisting, transformative paths before them—lending my ears, lending my wisdom, lending my hands, lending my heart—creating and holding space—soothing and strengthening—bearing witness and rejoicing as brand-new life is summoned and at last bursts forth.
Those who know me know I find sacred those I share our world with, almost especially my many sisters.
I’ve been asked by those who know how I treasure my sisters how my unfavorable view of abortion could even possibly be congruent with my treasuring of these, my sisters.
It’s really so simple.
I consider what fills each even subtly expanding womb to be an actual person, and from the magical sparkle that ignites our existence to the last lingering whisper of breath that releases us to return to dust, I find every single one of these persons inherently, inexpressibly sacred.
Coming from this perspective, I don’t feel the disposal of these persons a viable way to solve the issues surrounding how they got inside their mothers or to the challenges that promise to encompass their exits.
Nor do I feel this view a bit inconsistent with my regard for my dear sisters.
I’m actually as concerned for my sisters as I am for their babies.
As a Christian who—yes, really and truly—believes in God and the devil, heaven and hell, I find a great deal of comfort in my belief the babies we lose here are swept straight into the arms of the Almighty.
While that doesn’t change my mind about whether we possess the right to dislodge them from their lives, that assurance leaves me pressed with an overflowing concern for my sisters.
Abortion is not as simple a thing as many of us think. I won’t go into the details of abortion procedures here, or the variety of deleterious effects abortion has upon the women who submit to them, but it’s brutal and not always fully understood or wholly consented to, and having loved and tended many through my years who’ve had abortions, I’ve seen up close and ever so personally how very often and how very deeply a great many women suffer for having had them.
I feel so strongly there’s got to be a better way.
Please, if you’re a woman trapped in the dire straits of an unwelcome pregnancy, reach out to me. There really are options besides abortion.
And, please, if you’re a woman who’s had an abortion and is suffering for it, reach out to me. I may only be able to offer you my love and compassion, but love and compassion has such an amazing power to heal, and you are worthy of healing.
You are sacred.
“The best way out is always through.” Robert Frost
Kim Woodard Osterholzer, Colorado Springs Homebirth Midwife and Author
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