AUSTIN—Kelly Rosati’s mother was 16, not married and at the top of her class when she first became pregnant with Rosati. Despite the challenges and what she would need to give up, she chose life. By age 18, she had a daughter and a son.
Rosati’s mother was very scared, but she had good support and knew people loved her and would continue to love her, including the nun who helped her tell her parents she was pregnant.
For Rosati’s mother, love and support made all the difference.
Rosati’s parents did marry … and then separated and came back together five times before finally divorcing when Rosati was in high school. Years earlier, though, Rosati met Jesus while participating in AWANA in the third grade.
From her experience in childhood and youth, Rosati knew she wanted to advocate for life, and during her 20 years doing so—including 10 years with Focus on the Family, she has learned important lessons for advocacy. She offered these lessons in her workshop during the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission advocacy training event on March 26.
How to be a better advocate for life
• Good advocates learn how to feel others’ discomfort. Put yourself in the other person’s place. Grow in empathy. Attribute “the very best motives” to people with whom you disagree, Rosati said.
• Attitudes about those who chose abortion must be governed by compassion and love for the mother and the child and must communicate the love and grace of Christ. The majority of women considering abortion are terrified, Rosati said. “Our logical arguments [against abortion] do not work” in that moment. What works is long term care and support.
• “To be pro-life, you must live pro-life,” Rosati said several times throughout the workshop. One way to live pro-life is to support a local pregnancy center.
The problem of neglecting the whole life
Rosati chastised evangelicals who spend a lot of time in Bible studies and worship services without applying what they learn to how they live. “We are a huge part of the problem,” she said, because evangelicals have considered some others as unworthy.
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For example, evangelical passion for opposing abortion stands in stark contrast to their virtual ignorance of or silence about catastrophes like genocide in Darfur. Evangelicals need to be just as passionate about issues facing the born—homelessness, human trafficking, foster care, hunger and end of life issues—as they are about the unborn.
Evangelicals are good in crisis and immediate assistance but quickly weary in chronic situations, she asserted.
Evangelicals place high value on sanctity of life, a value demonstrated by living sanctity of life in a way that makes one’s own life uncomfortable, she added.
Rosati isn’t wagging her finger, though. She and her husband have four adopted children. All are teenagers. At least one has bipolar disorder. Another was born with fetal alcohol syndrome, addicted to meth and has schizophrenia. And, she said, “we would do it again and again and again.”