I was checking out Justin Taylor's blog this morning, in my bedrest state...and came upon this very insightful and contemplative article. Written by a pro-choice writer for the NY Magazine, it speaks of the upcoming generations view of abortion and the debate & challenges of the pro-choice argument. I would encourage you to read it in it's entirety.
The abortion debate/discussion has always been close to my heart. I have a great desire to work or volunteer at our local clinic (First Choice) here in Wenatchee when my circumstances allow.
Having gone through a prenatal diagnosis that many would consider a "good reason" to consider abortion, I feel I have some personal interest in the lives of women that face the same "dilemma".
When Josh & I found out about Ella's diagnosis of Spina Bifida...we were 20 weeks pregnant. During some initial tests, they also thought she might have some "chromosomal anomalies" that could potentially be fatal either before birth or shortly after.
In our shocked state, we were referred to Seattle to help us gain information and plan for her birth...no matter what. Or so we thought.
Our first appointment, we were told, was to be with a genetic counselor. Having never been through this, we had no idea what this appointment meant. We were ready to get information about Ella's diagnoses and then move on, in preparation for what we knew was going to be a challenging birth-day.
We were not prepared for the discussion that followed. The very nice woman, the genetic counselor, was there to tell us our risks for future pregnancies and more importantly, to tell us that we still had the option to end the pregnancy. I think it was phrased as the "compassionate thing to do".
Since all of Ella's diagnoses were unsure (Spina Bifida was the only one they knew for sure) and could not be confirmed until some chromosome tests were resulted, she said we had a narrow window to make our decision. Abortions in Washington at that time could not be done past 23 weeks, and at this point we were 21 weeks along. Thats 5 months into a pregnancy...the baby weighs about a pound and has every human body system working. The baby gets hiccups, can suck it's thumb, kicks like crazy and looks very much like a little version of mom & dad.
After she had approached the subject of abortion for the fifth time, we told her our discussion there was through. Unless she had something of greater importance to discuss with us, we had no more need of her "information".
Shaken and sad at the tenacity of her suggestions, we left the office and headed home with nothing but heavy hearts and a sadness for others who had sat through a similar experience in this woman's office.
We thought about single women, young, with little support...facing the daunting task of having a child with "severe disabilities", being told that abortion would be the "merciful thing to do". I am thankful for a supportive family, the trust I have in our sovereign God and the peace & blessing I had about the coming of this child.
Many women who consider abortion do not have such stability in place in their lives. They have no hope in Christ. Many are unmarried and all alone. Some are just kids themselves...15 or 16 year old high schoolers. Some have been through rape or abusive relationships. Some are mentally disabled; others are homeless. Some are in school full-time, single moms with 3 other children and an "unplanned" pregnancy. The situations are tricky, complex, and usually quite sad.
But the decision to end a little life is even more sad and the long-term effects even more devastating.
As I lay here and type...the computer is perched on my growing belly. The little one inside of me is kicking, causing my computer to rock back & forth, as if to say, "I'm here mom"...and "I'll see you soon".
So if you haven't thought of this topic lately, I would encourage you to do so.
Pray for our legislators and those who work to protect the life of unborn children.
Pray for our pregnancy resource clinics (like Wenatchee's First Choice) and the wonderful people that work there and deal with the real faces of women facing the decision of abortion.
And pray for the women who are dealing with this even now...the decision, the ramifications, the struggle, the pressures, and for some...the long-term sadness that they ended the life of their child.
If there is a tangible way for you to be involved in this...writing about your experience, talking with others, giving money to our local clinic or helping a young mother in need...I pray you will.
Everyday, I get to see my daughter. Remember, this beautiful little girl...full of life, personality and joy...is the one who wouldn't be here, had I done the "compassionate thing to do" for her.
I cannot imagine my life without hers.