A pastor based in Southern California is offering a different perspective after actor and activist Alyssa Milano recently celebrated her past abortions, claiming her life would be “lacking all its great joys” if she hadn’t terminated two of her pregnancies when she was in her early 20s.
Jarrid Wilson, pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship and founder of the non-profit Anthem of Hope, posted a tweet Wednesday, responding to Milano. In it, he asked people to post pictures of their own children along with the hashtag #greatjoys because, in reality, children are the presence — not absence — of joy.
“Children are our future, and a blessing from God, not a burden that so many people — specifically people who are only focused on their own achievement and goals — make them out to be,” Wilson told Faithwire.
Milano first made her comments celebrating her past abortions, which took place only months apart from each other in the 1990s, on her podcast, “Sorry Not Sorry.” She went on to claim abortion “was absolutely the right choice for me” because she was “not ready” to be a parent.
“My life would be completely lacking all its great joys,” she continued. “I would never had been free to be myself — and that’s what this fight is all about: freedom.”
Interestingly, Milano is also the same person who, now that she has given birth to two children, a son and a daughter, admitted her kids have made her better. “I have actually become a patient human being,” she said in 2016.
One of the major disconnects plaguing our society, Wilson explained, is the false belief that children are burdens.
“I believe our world needs to stop treating them that way,” he said. “Whether she wants to admit it or not, she now has two children in heaven whom she will never experience the joy of parenting.”
“Is choosing abortion unforgivable?” the pastor continued. “Not at all. But I believe Alyssa’s views on the subject to be both harmful and mentally disturbing.”
He then encouraged the former “Charmed” star to think about the issue from a slightly different perspective. He asked Milano to imagine if her own mother, Lin, had made the same decision her daughter would eventually make when she was pregnant with the celebrity 46 years ago.
“Has Alyssa ever thought about that?” Wilson wondered. “Because if she’s honest with herself, that’s what would have kept Alyssa from experiencing the joys and success that she’s encountered in life. That’s the story she should be advocating for, not the current one.”
And Wilson, 30, isn’t speaking abstractly. Abortion is something that very well could have been part of his own story. Wilson’s mom got pregnant with him right out of high school and before she was married. She had “every reason,” he said, to consider abortion. But instead, his mom chose life.
Now married, Wilson and his wife, Juli, have two young sons of their own.
As a dad and a minister, Wilson said he’s grieved to know people will now look to Milano’s podcast and social media accounts and be enticed by “the lie that children are a hindrance to finding bliss in life.”
“I don’t know Alyssa personally,” Wilson said, “but I’m praying she really thinks about the totality of what she’s saying on public platforms, especially in regards to situations that encompass the reality of life and death.”
With all of that in mind, then, how should Christians respond?
The issue of abortion — and the debate over its access — is not going anywhere any time soon. So as believers, we have to be prepared to address it.
Speaking truth with love and compassion, Wilson said, is the best way to engage our neighbors on issues like abortion. He pointed to Ephesians 4:15, in which the apostle Paul wrote, “We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”
If we fail to strike a balance between boldness and grace, “we hinder future opportunities to build relationships with people who think differently than us.”
“I don’t hate Alyssa,” Wilson continued. “I want nothing but the best for her, her family, and her career. But I would encourage her, in love, to really re-think the impact her words may have on other people.”
More than just speak, though, Christians have a responsibility to take action. And there is hardly a better opportunity to do just that than when a woman is facing an unexpected pregnancy. All around the world, Wilson noted, pregnant women are in need of spiritual guidance, prayer, financial support, encouragement, practical help, and resources about parenting and adoption options.
Scripture calls us to care for others, to help carry the burdens of those around us. We shouldn’t allow the secular siren call of abortion to do that job for us.
“Children should be celebrated,” Wilson said, “not looked down upon.”