According to the Scientific American, humans experience the emotion of fear in a similar way, but fear affects each human differently. Our ability to feel fear is first and foremost a survival mechanism which typically triggers a "flight or flight" response. So we should not be surprised when women, particularly younger women, run to abortion clinics when faced with an unplanned pregnancy.
We live in a society where girls are bombarded with propaganda pushing them to pursue abortion in cases of unplanned pregnancy. Every tactic of persuasion used to steer women into abortion clinics are rooted in fear. They cause women to fear the opinions of others, to fear bodily harm or pain, to fear their own shortcomings, and to fear their future. Unplanned pregnancy is presented as a fearful circumstance meant to trigger "fight or flight," yet post-abortive women are often treated with cruelty and callousness for exercising this response.
Despite there being basic, biological reasoning behind women's response to these circumstances, callousness and hatred are all too common when dealing with post-abortive women. Too often those who seek to abolish abortion want nothing to do with the efforts to assist the women feeling they have no other choice but to pursue one.
In recent years, more pro-life organizations have adopted a "Love Them Both" ideology, placing equal value on mother and baby. This principle gained much attention throughout the pro-life movement and the majority understood its importance, but there are still those who see this thinking as lenient and watered-down. This extremist-type thinking is why we, as a movement, have not and cannot be seen as pro-woman.
As someone who has been a pro-life activist for many years, I've spent much time trying to convince pro-abortion advocates the life of a fetus is equal to the life of a full grown woman. More recently I've spent as much time convincing pro-life advocates that a woman seeking abortion is just as important as the child we seek to save from that abortion. Saving lives is about more than just preventing death. You wouldn't talk someone down from suicide then simply go on your merry way, assuming they wouldn't attempt to hurt or kill themselves once you were gone. People ought not to perceive the situation of abortion with such flippancy either.
Women are very often faced with situations they view as impossible. They're scared. They're confused. They feel trapped. Meeting those aggressive emotions with aggression of our own will only create strife and conflict. When we reach out in love, showing these women we care about their feelings and what they're experiencing, we combat those aggressive feelings with emotions which are calm, soothing, and clarifying. We create a welcoming environment where women can view their circumstances in clarity, which may prevent them from making rash decisions they may very well later regret. Always remember: abortion hurts women as well. The experience can lead to many mental and physical difficulties later in life, including depression and suicidal thoughts. Their lives and experiences matter. Do they justify killing another human being? No. No one is advocating we allow circumstances to determine who lives and who dies. We also should never be pushing ideas which make one life less important than another. Otherwise, we are no different than our opposition.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.