For the Community Heights Alliance Church, abortion has become an important subject. The church hosted GiGi’s Playhouse’s “I Have a Voice” traveling gallery to help demonstrate their views. The church would like to emphasis that the traveling gallery is not demonstrating a stance on the subject, but shows how mentally disabled children are beautiful .
Church member John Dunwell is an advocator for pro-life, but understands why some people are pro-choice. For him it is a question of where life starts.
“The most frustrating things about the pro-life and pro-choice movements are that we don’t talk about the same things. For example, I absolutely believe a person should have the option to choose what they want to do with their life. I don’t have a problem with that. Right or wrong, ignorant or uneducated, I believe that life begins at conception. If I believe that life didn’t begin at conception, if it was nothing more than a fetus, than I absolutely support pro-choice.”
“It’s such a misunderstood issue,” Dunwell said. “We both talk from our corners. I would love to see a discussion/dialog where life begins. If we have that discussion at least we can say at least you respect where I come from.”
While living in Florida his friend, who was a conservative, brought to his attention that area demographics can change one’s viewpoints. The area he lived in had high teen pregnancy rates, and his friend was pro-choice. Dunwell’s position did not change, but it allowed him to experience a different viewpoint.
“They were in a crisis,” Dunwell said.
The “I Have A Voice” tour demonstrates the beauty of special needs children and Dunwell was saddened to hear a large number of pregnancies are terminated once the child is diagnosed as mentally handicapped.
“All life is a gift from God,” Dunwell said. “Regrettably, 85 percent of Down syndrome pregnancies are terminated.”
Dunwell believes that ultrasounds have changed people’s stance on abortion.
“It changes people’s perceptions because, all of a sudden, you actually see a baby,” Dunwell said. People are softening towards the issue, but I don’t think the country will outlaw abortion. I wish they would.”
On January 22, 1973, the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton allowed abortions to be legalized.
As CMA is pro-life, it has asked its members to Remeber, Pray and Choose.
Remember: the 52 million abortions happened in the last 40 years; all life is a gift from God.
Pray: for our leaders, pray for our culture, pray for those in pain, pray for those making difficult decisions.
Choose: to value all human life as precious gifts from God.
“It’s easy for me to say, ‘don’t terminate the life,’ but the reality is we know that there are economic issues,” Dunwell said. “There is a lot of stress. We want to pray for those people who are in pain and have to make difficult decisions.”
Dunwell understands that raising a child is not easy, and there are programs that can help. He believes that it is easy to tell someone do not have an abortion, and not offer help. Special-needs children require constant watch, and special services which can cost a lot of money.
Dunwell and his wife are considering adopting a child as well.
“My wife and I are potentially adopting a baby from a mom who cannot afford to keep her child,” Dunwell said. “It’s an economic issue. She is by herself.”
He is an advocate for the Pregnancy Resource Center. PRC’s usually follow the beliefs of Christianity.
“It (PRC) at least offers a helping hand to women and couples making huge decisions,” Dunwell said. “What if they don’t have a support group? What does it mean to be a single mom? We have to show empathy. Regardless of what you feel about the abortion issue we have a choice now. We can choose life.”
Staff writer Matthew Shepard may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.