Shades of Grey came to be after a heated thread on facebook. This thread was posted by a fundamental christian who views life in black and white. What the Bible says is white and all else is black. This particular FB thread was encouraging people to boycott the non profit corporation, Susan G Komen, and the thread quickly produced 140 heated responses. His reasoning for the boycott:
“Planned Parenthood is known for being a national abortion provider. As someone opposed to killing unborn children, I do not want my money to go to Planned Parenthood or their supporters…I expect many people do not know that the pink ribbon supports the murderous Planned Parenthood org, which is why I wanted to point this out. I hope people will keep this in mind when shopping and somethng has a pink ribbon on it.”
I got sucked in to this debate for two important reasons.
1. Holly Zuber, my good friend who is currently battling breast cancer.
2. As I read the FB thread I saw blind ignorance and refusal to think in shades of grey.
I have considered myself pro-life up until this point. I actually hate the terms pro-life and pro-choice (or as one FBer labeled it, anti-life). This same FBer called me out and said that I wasn’t actually pro-life. I was “pro straddle the fence”. She’s absolutely right. When I first read that comment I wanted to take up arms and fight back but instead I thought about it. *GASP* I am pro-straddle-the-fence. After sitting with that label for a bit I actually think that’s a pretty damn good place to be. Straddling the fence allows me to see both sides. This green field to the south and that green field to the north. Both are visible from up here on the fence. After debating and researching and using reason I came to find that I am actually pro-life for my own life and pro-choice for others with a preference toward education and birth control measures that will lessen the need for abortion. In my fairytale dreams I would wish that no woman would ever need abortion services but that’s looking at the world in black and white. This is where I found the shade of grey, better known as reasoning.
I’m just going to list eleven of my thoughts on this particular FB thread and the reasoning it sparked in me.
1. Scare tactics by providing false information is manipulation!
Examples: abortions cause breast cancer, contraceptives cause spontaneous abortions aka abortafacients, abortion is murder, abortion increases your chance of STDs and infertility, planned parenthood will purposely give you low dose birth control to intentionally get you pregnant so you’ll come back for the more expensive service of abortion.
2. Withdrawing your funds from Susan Komen is irrational.
Why would you stop supporting a company that does far more good than harm? Explain that to the 500,000 women who DIE from breast cancer each year and I’m sure most of them don’t have breast cancer because they aborted babies.
3. Explain to your daughter(s) when she becomes pregnant out of wedlock and contemplates abortion vs the wrath of her parents that you aren’t judging her and she is unconditionally loved.
Better yet, explain to your daughter why you can’t support the Komen cause while she or her mother or her grandmother is dying from breast cancer. Explain that it’s because Komen gives a portion of it’s funds to PP who then in turn uses those funds to support 2-3% of it’s business of baby killing.
4. Become more creative in your cause.
Adopt babies instead of birthing them so the millions of children in foster care/orphanages are cared for. Maybe then a mother will feel like she actually has an option when she is required to make a decision between giving her child up and aborting.
Or how about getting fathers more involved. Maybe if more of them were taking responsibility for the pregnancies and children they seed, women wouldn’t be in such a bind.
Or how about getting the pope to promote condom usage instead of banning it. It’s not just unmarried, irresponsible “whores” getting pregnant. Certainly condom use among married people in Africa should be an acceptable practice of birth control.
Or how about promoting world peace so women don’t have to choose what’s better for her child (being born in to a violent war or aborting before it has a chance to experience that level of torture).
Or how about putting an end to world hunger. Starvation kills 15 million children a year and another 160 million are starving!
5. Don’t throw out statistics such as, “abortion claims over 42 million unborn lives worldwide every year,” without using your brain to really think about those statistics.
What percentage of those abortions are performed in countries that are not as developed as America? What options do these women have? What chance at life does that child have? Statistics are meaningless without the story behind each abortion.
6. Stop blaming the leftists for these problems.
Evolution and sex education in public schools are not the problems behind abortion! Yes, this was actually brought in to the argument!
Is it at all possible that abstinence and God are not the win-all solutions? Is it at all possible that religion is causing many women to abort their babies because they are afraid of the judgement their religious friends and family will bestow upon them?
7. Don’t presume to know what making these decisions is like.
I would never presume to know what it’s like to know that I will birth a child who will starve to death in a matter of weeks.
I would never presume to know what choice I would make if it came down to my life or my unborn child’s life.
I would never presume to know what it’s like to be violently raped and then subsequently pregnant.
I would never presume to know what it’s like to be addicted to drugs knowing that I will permanently damage an unborn child.
I would never presume to know what it’s like to be a teenage girl pregnant and abandoned by her family.
I would never presume to know what it’s like to be homeless and pregnant.
I would never presume to know what it’s like to not know how I will provide for my child.
I would never presume to know what choice I’d make if the choice were between putting my child in foster care or an orphanage where he/she may never have a family and aborting at 10 weeks.
Who are any of us to say what is right or wrong in those situations? Who are any of us to say what we would ultimately choose? Who are we to call these women murderers when many of them may actually be acting out of love for their child?
8. Lose the hostility and gain some empathy.
Telling women that contraceptives cause abortions and in the next sentence calling women who abort murderers is telling any woman that is on birth control that she is a murderer. Not hateful?
Telling a woman and pro-choicers that God will judge them is not hateful?
To call these women murderers and manipulate fear in to them is to stone them with words. If you are the portrayal of your God I would imagine converts aren’t knocking at your door begging to be a part of this all-loving congregation of believers.
9. Educate yourselves.
To use four quotes from one scientist in one christian based article is not education. Read up on the issue from all sides and use quotes from all sides. Learn about abstinence education vs sex education. Learn what causes breast cancer. Read about or better yet visit an impoverished country. Don’t just sit in your little bubble spouting off black and white judgements.