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Open Letter to Right-Wing Evangelical Christians

Ariel Bovat

Dear Right-Wing Evangelical Christians,

You want to know how to stop abortion? De-funding Planned Parenthood might be the obvious choice, but it’s just a band-aid. It’s not a real solution to one of our country’s biggest problem.
I agree with you the Planned Parenthood videos are the epitome of evil. The evil of seeing dead baby parts as commodities for “research” is just too much to bear.
I mourn with you, and for the babies. I also mourn for the women that have had abortions.

Running Numbers
We have to get to the root of the problem. The root is the women getting pregnant unintentionally. Statistically speaking, the babies seen on the videos are probably either black or Hispanic babies, and came from the womb of poor black or Hispanic women.

Blacks comprise only 13% of the population of America, but account for 37% of all abortions. Black women are five times more likely to abort than white women. 69% of pregnancies among Blacks are unintended, while that number is 54% among Hispanics, and 40% among Whites.

Women with family incomes below the federal poverty level ($18,530 for a family of three) account for more than 40% of all abortions.

Poor black women are having abortions at the rate of 40 per 1000 women.
Poor Hispanic women are having abortions at the rate of 29 per 1000 women.
White women are having abortions at the rate of 12 per 1000 women.

Black women have unintended pregnancies at the rate of 91 per 1000.
Hispanic women have unintended pregnancies at the rate of 82 per 1000.
White women have unintended pregnancies at the rate of 36 per 1000.

These numbers tell my story.

Driving Across the Tracks
One only needs to go into the inner city, and you will find thousands of black and Hispanic impoverished women. But hey….I know it’s just easier to stay in the nice side of town.

I guess it’s just easier to take their unwanted babies, instead of delving into their messy lives in hopes of loving them, and possibly teaching them to change a long history of cyclic family dysfunction.

I get that reaching out to women coming from broken impoverished families is just too difficult. Getting out of comfort zones to drive across the tracks is scary. To top it off, they probably don’t even want you in their lives. They will probably reject you.

Loving the unlovable is a messy business.
I get that.
I think Jesus knows a bit about that too.

But I plead with you, if you are serious about ending abortion, get to the root of the problem: the women.

Close to Home
I may not have had an abortion, but the statistics above are my own. I had 3 unwanted pregnancies before the age of 30. I lived significantly below the poverty line during all 3 pregnancies.

I was a neglectful mother during those years in my 20’s. I didn’t know how to be a mother, in the least bit.

On top of my horrible parenting skills, I grew up with 5 siblings and a single parent mom that lived off government assistance for my entire childhood and teenage years. Living off the government was all we knew. It kept us alive. And in our circle of friends, it was the norm.

With no baby daddy in sight, I attempted to keep myself in college, but often dropped out because it was too hard raising kids on one income. In spite of wanting an education and a career to get myself off government assistance, I kept my babies alive and did the best that I could.

Heart of the Matter
It was not until God saved me at 33, and changed my heart I began having a desire to be a good mother. The Holy Spirit immediately began working on deep-rooted issues and destructive patterns of thought and behavior.

I am also thankful for the Christian women God brought into my life to show me what a Biblical woman and mother looked like. It was hard and messy. But prior to getting saved, during that tumultuous period in my life, the sad reality is, I did not know any real Christians existed, until I became one.

I reflect on what could have helped me see a different way of living when I was attempting to raise 3 children I never asked for. I can only imagine what it could have been like had you driven across the proverbial tracks to reach out to me or the many black and Hispanic friends I knew living below the poverty line, had abortions, or had kids they didn’t want or know how to raise.

We might have been leery of your intentions, at first.
We might have even rejected you.

But if you were persistent, and sincerely showed Christ’s love, maybe we would have allowed you into our broken and dysfunctional lives.

I guess it was just easier to picket abortion clinics, adopt our babies, and demonize the entire system that you chose to stay away from.

The good news is it’s never too late to change.
If you want to get to the root of the abortion problem, get to the women having abortions.

It’s gonna get messy and hard. I plead with you: pray earnestly, get creative, and start somewhere.

For any woman who finds themselves needing help, or know someone in need, please click here.

Author’s Note: From this post, please don’t think I am against adopting babies from impoverished women. I am not under any illusion all women will change if you pour your life into theirs.
What women need most is to hear the gospel of Christ, who alone has the power to call whomever he wants to himself.
Loving unlovable people is hard work but worth it, if you allow yourself to be an instrument to help a woman see the worth of her baby, encourage her to keep her baby alive, show her how to be a mother and then see the baby thrive under the care of her own mother.

If the Great Shepherd calls her, and she becomes one of his sheep, then you get to call her sister. 

11 thoughts on “Open Letter to Right-Wing Evangelical Christians

  1. Arline

    I asked this same question to Trillia Newbell and here’s what she told me:
    Listen. Listen to your black and brown brothers and sisters in Christ with a sympathetic ear and open mind.
    Speak. Speak up when you see injustice.
    Get involved at church.
    Get involved in your community.

    I’m doing these to the best of my ability, using social media for all its worth. Both to find out news and share it.

    More than anything I’d say we must leverage our power and freedoms and our theology of the imago Dei on everyone and work toward good, solid, loving systemic change, starting in the Church and working its way out.

  2. Arline

    Ariel, thank you for publishing this piece. Thank you for your honesty and bravery in telling your story.

    (I wish I could apologize on behalf of the foolish and unknown comments above, but I’m too selfish to stick my neck out for a fool or a scoffer.)

    Anyway, your story was helpful to me and too any women who read it wth an open heart and then go wherever God leads them. Thanks again!

  3. Nigel

    Ariel, I agree with you that getting to the poor women, often minorities, before during and after they have an unintended pregnancy is getting closer to the core of the abortion problem. I also believe and humbly suggest that if you can reach the men in those same neighborhoods you will have done just as much as reaching the women. I believe both the men and women need to be addressed if this issue is to be ended.

  4. Danette

    Nicole, people’s feelings being hurt because they feel like someone is being “racist” towards them, poverty, etc…..
    please! The poorest of our nation are among the richest people in our world. Even Jesus said “the poor will always be with us”. But poor or not, they are alive.

    The REAL issues that our nation faces are nowhere in your list -because your list is half made of democratic party talking points, and the other half just describes the symptoms of the disease of sin.

    The REAL problems are things like abortion, infanticide, child abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse, euthanasia, physician assisted suicide, self-harm, and human trafficking. All of these have at their core, a very broken understanding of the truth about the value and worth of human beings. Who cares if corporations are greedy- when planned parenthood is making money from trafficking baby body parts? Babies being delivered with still beating hearts, being cut up and sold for parts. Racism?? Like this article says, black and Hispanic moms are significantly more likely to abort. And the abortion industry targets their communities. Gun culture??? People in our nation have had guns in most households from it’s inception. It is only in the last half a century that this has shifted…. And if the boys and girls born to minority parents in the inner city understood Christ’s love, there would be fewer gang members, and fewer gun deaths.

    Issues that actually deal with changing the perception of people to understand the innate value of human beings, as being precious, irreplaceable, unique individuals, created in the image of God, and known by Him and loved by Him, are the ONLY issues that matter, period.

  5. Bill

    To clarify – I believe there are many churches and people that need to hear this. I just worry that you have not only given a (needed) rebuke, you are also advocating for a singular way of fighting abortion. Don’t we need to both change hearts and minds AND transform the Jericho Road?

  6. Bill

    I yearn for more Christians to cross ethnic and class barriers for a hundred reasons… but you seem to pit prayer pleading and protesting against the hard work of overcoming relational barriers. Why can’t we do both?

    Also, I’m unsure of what you mean by demonizing the system… isn’t it necessary to talk about the system of money that is funding abortion? If systems of funding are a major issue in all forms of injustice, wouldn’t that make defunding PP more than a band aid?

  7. Tracey

    Ariel, thank you for sharing your testimony of what Christ did for you. It should give us all hope that God can and does do what man can’t. 30 years ago, when I first came to some convictions against abortion, the wise mentors that surrounded me told me right away that we could not oppose this act and at the same time ignore the women. This was the impetus behind the growth of crisis pregnancy centers, and the ones I have been closest to over the years have learned a lot about everything you say here and have poured their resources and their hearts into the women who come to them. This is not a new aspect to our fight against abortion, and your readers shouldn’t act as though it is or that your argument is somehow out of place. I for one was encouraged by the reminder of what happens when Jesus enters a life. We have to be tireless in sharing Him with this broken world.

  8. Ariel Bovat

    Scott, it’s encouraging to hear that your church is getting in the trenches. I know it’s hard work. The “payoff” is not readily or easily seen. Dig your heels in and stay present and persistent.

    I will keep you and your church in my prayers and thank you for your edifying comment.

  9. nicole

    Really abortion is one of the biggest problems in the country? I can name 10 real problems America has and abortion is not on the list. Please poverty, racism, corporate greed, overt racial policies, the gun culture, religion( not Christ)

  10. Scott

    Ariel, I am a white, conservative, evangelical Christian who is probably the person you describe in your article. However — I have come to the point where I agree with you. My question is, how? My church is reaching out in the inner city in ways we never would have dreamed possible even a few years ago. We know that we don’t understand, and are often told that, but we can’t change our color or our socioeconomic background. I think we need more people with your story to step up and lead, not with anger but with confidence and positivity. We will get behind you.

  11. Sarah

    Wow. I kinda can’t believe RAAN published this article. I don’t expect caricaturing and straw man arguments from you guys. Very disappointed.

    If you’re interested, here are two amazing ministries going on in the U.S.

    1) a ministry for mother’s considering abortions and their babies:
    – they also follow up with these mom’s and pour into their lives and offer free counseling and financial support.

    2) a ministry for abortion workers in these clinics:

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