Building a culture of compassion

In an interview on the television show The View last year, actress Anne Hathaway said that “abortion can be another word for mercy.” 

I strongly disagree. Abortion is far from merciful or compassionate.

It is not merciful to tell a woman that having a child when she is young will ruin her life. It is not compassionate to send a woman home with two little pills to end her pregnancy, say it’s “no big deal” and that it will fix everything. It is not merciful to say you cannot have both a child and a successful career. 

Abortion is violence masquerading as compassion and mercy.

Real compassion says, “You can do this, and I will help you.” Mercy is churches starting Embrace Grace groups to walk with single mothers. Compassion looks like free ultrasounds and parenting resources. Real compassion and mercy support women and empower them to choose life. 

That’s why I am so excited about our pro-life communities initiative. It’s a strategic plan that focuses on fulfilling our vision that every woman in Oregon facing an unsupported pregnancy will have at least one pro-life advocate in her circles who can empower her to choose life for her child. 

Step by step, we at Oregon Right to Life Education Foundation are working to make real compassion more accessible and visible in our communities across the state. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last year toward this goal. Now, we’re in a new phase of the pro-life communities initiative: intentionally partnering with churches to advocate for life. 

Churches are integral to pro-life advocacy, but for many, it’s hard to know where to start. How do you engage in advocacy? Can busy church leaders take on yet another ministry? 

To that end, we are developing a church partnership plan to provide practical, attainable steps for churches to engage in pro-life advocacy. We don’t want to just say, “Be pro-life,” but instead, “Here’s exactly what you can do to support life in your community.” 

I am so excited for the future of this project as we continue to take tangible steps toward building a vibrant culture of life. The laws are extreme here in Oregon, but we have the resources, data, advocates and networks to flood our communities with compassion and empower women to choose life.

P.S. If you know of a church that would like to partner with us in this vision, please contact me at makyra@ortl.org.

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