A few final words, in the wake of the essays and discussion surrounding Christians who are pro-life and pro-choice, respectively. First of all, a big thank you to Karen and Ellen for the time and effort you both put into writing these pieces, engaging comments, and then following up with further answers to my questions. Secondly, a big thank you to readers who also engaged with respect and care.
Although the conversation has provoked many thoughts for me, and, of course, to a few more questions, I'd like to conclude with a desire to DO something in response. If this conversation more-or-less reflects the spectrum of Protestant Christian opinions about abortion, it is a narrow spectrum. Although Ellen is "pro-choice" and Karen is "pro-life," as Christians they agree on many points, and they together disagree with others (namely pro-lifers who vilify anyone who disagrees and who seem to have little regard for the pregnant woman; and pro-choicers who seem to have no regard for the nascent human life in the womb). I'm not at all convinced that people committed to the pro-life and pro-choice causes can work together in a general sense, but this dialogue gives me hope that Christians who hold a variety of positions on the legality of abortion can nevertheless work together with common concern for the lives and well being of women and children in order to reduce the number of abortions and increase the quality of life for everyone involved.
About ten years ago, a friend and I were watching Snow Falling On Cedars, a story about the Japanese internment camps during WW II. I wondered out loud whether there was anything comparable going on in contemporary culture. In what ways are we blind to injustice, just as our grandparents were blind to the injustice of those camps? My friend didn't hesitate when she said, "Abortion." Over one million abortions are performed each year. What can we do to care for and protect both women who face an unplanned pregnancy and the children they never intended to have?
What would it take? Bridge-building from pro-lifers with organizations like Planned Parenthood to ensure that women truly have a choice and that abortion is not an automatic assumption? Bridge-building from pro-choicers with Crisis Pregnancy centers (who do not support abortion) in order to offer support to women who carry their babies to term?
Please add your thoughts, concerns, and questions. Maybe dialogue can become action.