In Day 1 of this series, I talked about the number of women who have dealt with unintended and crisis pregnancies. Chances are very good that you either know one, are one (if you are a woman) or will meet one soon.
Basically, all of our lives have been or likely will be touched by unplanned or crisis pregnancy. Even before my own experience, it had affected my life through women close to me.
Over the next couple of days, I’m going to take time to address some ways that you can help women who find themselves in a crisis or unintended pregnancy. I am not a professional and do not claim to be one but I do believe the things I will share with you are helpful and grounded. They are based on personal experience as well as things I’ve learned through my time as a crisis pregnancy peer counselor. Please note, however, these are my own opinions.
Ok, lets get started…
The first way you can help is by being a listening ear. It sounds simple but when you are dealing with a woman facing a crisis pregnancy, it can be difficult to keep your opinions and agendas at bay. So, I’ll take it a step further and say listen to ALL of her options, not just the ones you agree with. Here’s where it gets hard, especially for people, such as myself, that are pro-life.
I read a statistic recently that said 72% of women who have had abortions identify themselves as Christian.
Now, “Christian” is a pretty broad spectrum in and of itself but, at the very least, 72% of women who have had abortions have some level of knowledge and belief in Jesus Christ. That’s an astounding number!
So, what exactly does this mean? It means A LOT of women that face unintended pregnancies consider abortion. A LOT. Your daughter’s friends (or even your daughter), your cousin, your nail girl, your co-workers, your neighbors, young women in your youth group, and women in your Bible Study.
These women are everywhere. And they are of many ages, ethnicities and religions.
You never know who is facing this situation and what options they may be considering.
If a woman feels safe enough to come to you with this delicate issue, I beg you, don’t blow it by making her feel bad or guilty for exploring her options, even if that includes abortion.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that you encourage anyone to consider abortion. Ever. What I am saying is that jumping on a soapbox and waving a sign in her face could be more detrimental than anything.
It could cause you to lose her trust. And, ultimately, she may go elsewhere for guidance.
Listening, without judgment, will help you gain her trust.
The same goes for any other option she might be considering. I know people who have very strong feelings about the option of adoption. It’s something they could never see themselves doing and, therefore, their instinct would be to tell a pregnant woman not to do it.
On the contrary, there are people who strongly believe any unwed mother (not that all women facing these pregnancies are unmarried but many are) should give her child up for adoption.
No matter what your opinion may be on what she is saying, I encourage you to listen first.
Listen for her reasons. Listen for her doubts. Listen for her fears. Listen for her resources. Listen for her strengths.