What does saving and changing lives have to do with caring for the poor?
We know that God commands us to care for the poor. The Bible mentions “poor” well over 100 times. Many of those times are directives on caring for and providing justice for the poor.
Even apart from a faith perspective, many in our society value caring for the poor. The Madison area has many non-profits dedicated to providing food, clothing, shelter and support to the poor in our community.
But what does saving and changing lives have to do with caring for the poor? Where do abortion and the poor cross paths?
When you make a gift, you provide a listening ear, pregnancy testing and an ultrasound for a young woman facing an unintended pregnancy. How are you caring for the poor through this gift? On the surface, it may not seem like you are.
However, in reality, abortion disproportionately affects the poor. Women in households with incomes under the federal poverty line experience more than 49% of all legal abortions in the US.
Further, 75% of women who have an abortion cite this as a major factor in their decision: they cannot afford a child. 75% also say that having a baby would interfere with work, school, or the ability to care for dependents.
We see this struggle daily in our clinic. The large majority of those we serve are facing financial difficulties. Many are living in poverty. Many strive to make ends meet and aren’t sure how they could care for a child right now.
Clearly, abortion hurts the poor.
When our society tells a woman who struggles financially that the responsible decision is to end the life of her child, we do not care for the poor. Caring for her could instead mean helping her get on her feet. It might mean equipping her to become self-sufficient. It could mean offering to care for her child or giving her a ride to a job interview.
Isaiah says this about harming the poor, the oppressed and widows and the fatherless:
“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.” Isaiah 10:1-2
When you care for a woman facing an unintended pregnancy, you care for a modern-day widow. When you give her options and support, so she can make a choice to carry her child to term, you provide are providing life for the “fatherless.” When you help her learn how to be the best mom she can be and about healthy relationships, and possibly marry her baby’s father, you care are caring for the poor. When you help her become equipped to finish school or obtain good employment, you provide are providing justice for the oppressed. When you share the love of Jesus with her, you make are making a way for abundant life.
While we applaud the efforts of those who work to change the “unjust laws” and “oppressive decrees” that deprive the poor, we will continue to care for one woman at a time. We, alongside with you, will continue to care for the widow and the orphan, the poor and the oppressed who walk through our doors.
Thank you for caring for the poor.