photo I woke up today thinking about people. When I think of the world in terms of millions, the signficance of  ‘ 1 ’ can easily be overlooked. For some reason this led me to thinking about abortion and I felt compelled to share my thoughts with all you beautiful people.

I am discussing this today because our bumper-sticker dialogue isn’t working so well. We read a “pro-life” or “pro-choice” sticker on the car next to us and then steal a judgmental glance at the driver as we pass them.

And so we sit in our own little cars, going our own little ways. Today I want to get out of my car and get into yours where we can really talk. Can you handle that?

You see, I am pro-life. Half of you are cheering and others are gasping. I am sure I will say something everyone disagrees with at some point in this post. I believe in you. I believe you can handle that.

But unlike what is often portrayed, my reasons may be different.

I am not pro-life because my church told me to be. I didn’t drink  kool aid of any sort. My beliefs are my beliefs & am not speaking on behalf or at the request of anyone else.

I am not pro-life because I am a Republican. Guess what? I am not a Republican. I’m an independent that votes on a case by case basis. So, there ya go.

I am not pro-life because I want to punish people who have sex. To be honest, I do not expect people who do not share my faith to share my moral values. An 18 year old girl who doesn’t believe in God doesn’t really care what He says is best for her. I get that.

I do not think that people who are pro-choice hate babies. To be frank, that is really stupid. I have a lot of friends who are pro-choice simply because they don’t believe the government’s role is making personal decisions for others. I see their point.

I am not pro-life because I don’t understand rape. I have several friends who have been victims of rape and the severity of what they go through is not lost on me. I realize that to ask them to birth a child from that assault sounds like way too much to ask. Especially if their life is at risk.

So, why am I pro-life?

I am pro-life because I believe that every life matters. The lives we planned and the ones we never saw coming. I am pro-life for the same reason I believe a Palestinian  life has the same value as a Israeli life. Jesus isn't biased toward gender, geography, race or religion. Every person matters to God and therefore they matter to me.

I am pro-life despite the fact that I don’t have all the answers. The complexities of what would happen to our economy or our environment if every baby ever conceived was born…yeah, that is no small thing.

I am pro-life for the same reason I support rights for immigrants, healthcare for uninsured, providing aid for those in poorer nations, financial assistance for unemployed in our own nation…those are complex issues too. Not easily resolved or funded. However, I care about them because there are people behind the "issues".

I believe a child's value goes far beyond simply having the right to be born. They should also have access to good education, nutritious food, healthcare and a secure home. Those things matter too. Life is worth fighting for from conception to final breath.

It seems I would be amiss if I were to ask a 20 year old to not abort her baby and then deny her the healthcare and assistance it would take to raise it. My opinions may not be very popular, I know.

Also, chances are that someone reading this has had an abortion. Don't beat yourself up. Wanna know why? Because YOU matter too. And God loves you. Seriously, He does.

I don’t know how to pay for all these people and their needs. But what kind of nation are we if we value people primarily based on how much they will cost us? Now, I’m not dumb , naïve to the scale of all this or think that the government can pay for every person and every need. It isn't realistic to ask the government to handle it all. To be honest, I don’t know how we solve this problem either. Our systems are quite broken & maybe it isn't solely the government's responsibility anyway. One thing I know about God is that He always has a plan. Which is why I pray a lot. About everything.

I know that God made people and they have worth. If we hold to this conviction, despite all of the challenges, then somehow we can help others. Maybe it is one by one. Neighbor by neighbor. But if every life matters, then that is a cost we are willing to take on ourselves. Isn't that what the Church is for anyway? Hands & feet & such?

For me, unborn babies qualify as people. Maybe they do or don’t to you. Lets talk anyway.

We try to solve issues like abortion and immigration by talking to people who have the exact same perspective that we do. Which, if you haven’t noticed, gets us nowhere.

So, I’m ignoring bumper stickers and sticking my neck out there. I am not 100% right and you are not 100% wrong. We have some big problems right now & they are worth talking about.

Two heads are better than one. So find someone with another view. Be respectful & work to understand where they are coming from. Then start talking. Maybe you will become friends. And maybe, just maybe, your conversations will change the world.