Today, Feb. 23, 2019, is a #DayofMourning. A day where thousands of people are gathered around the country to mourn the killing of babies in the womb, to pray, and to stand up for LIFE.
I am not a political person, and I rarely post anything political on my blog. In today’s society, if you say one thing, you’re often “grouped” with certain political parties or ideologies. I don’t claim any one ideology, political party, or religion. I claim Jesus Christ, and I try to follow Him the best that I can, though I falter and stumble along the way.
But this is not about politics. This is about our humanity. The topic of abortion has been weighing heavily on my heart over the past month, and I simply cannot stand by and remain silent. Not as a mother, a woman, and a follower of Christ.
I have drafted and re-drafted this post countless times. I have prayed and cried over it. No more revisions. No more second-guessing myself. I need to step out in faith and share what is on my heart. So here it is… my own story about why I used to be Pro-Choice, and how and why I am now Pro-Life.
Here are pictures of my two precious boys, each at 19 weeks of age in the womb.
I held my baby in my arms the other night. He’s three now, but he’s still my “baby.” And I wept. I silently cried as I gently held him, rocking back and forth, feeling his soft breath against my cheek. I cried thinking about the pain he would have felt had he been aborted in the womb, torn from limb to limb. I cried for all the babies who have horrifically suffered; for the precious, tiny little bodies that have been carelessly thrown away in the trash, discarded, without value.
I cried tears for all the mothers. I grieved with them. For those who chose abortion because they didn’t want their babies, and for those who did want their babies but were told by their medical team that abortion was “medically necessary.” These women were faced with difficult, scary decisions. I can’t begin to imagine their fear, heartache, and life-long emotional pain.
I wept and I grieved. But afterwards, I decided to write. I decided to speak up. To be a voice for the voiceless.
I write this as someone who used to be “pro-choice.” That’s right. When I was a freshman in college, I believed a woman had the “right” or “free will” to choose to terminate her pregnancy. I personally did not agree with abortion, but I would tell others that, “while I don’t agree with abortion, I don’t want to impose my beliefs on anyone else; they have the freedom to choose for themselves.” That was my disclaimer. That was my “play it safe” line.
This was during a time when I viewed unborn babies (especially during the first trimester) as “fetuses” and “embryos” and not real, living, precious children of God. I also didn’t fully understand what abortion entailed. The word “abortion” is so medical and sterile-sounding. I had no idea that abortion meant literally tearing apart a tiny baby’s body, limb from limb, crushing its skull, and pulling out the body parts one by one. I didn’t know it meant suctioning out body parts and organs for the younger, smaller babies who could fit inside little vacuum tubes.
Or maybe I chose not to know— I chose to look the other way— because the truth and reality of it all is so horrific.
God changed my heart, and I started valuing life– all life– from the start of conception. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” (Matthew 19:14) He valued children and recognized their innocence. He asked us to become innocent like them and to have a childlike faith. And yet, here we are, trying to explain miracles away with science, replacing “life” and “baby” with the term “fetus” so as to justify killing them in the womb. The Bible says that John the Baptist “leapt with joy” inside the womb when he and his mother, Elizabeth, heard Mary’s greeting (Luke 1:41). The Bible clearly states there is life—JOYOUS life!— within the womb.
And then God opened my eyes about abortion. I educated myself on what abortion really was, and the reality of it sickened me. I’ve read about and seen countless videos where “pro-choicers” change their opinions about abortion after watching a video of what actually happens to a baby during an abortion and/or after seeing pictures of a dismembered baby. The pictures are very graphic. No one wants to see them. But it’s time we start opening our eyes.
What about the 1%?
This post is not about debating or explaining away the medical dilemmas where the mother’s life is at risk (statistically less than 1% of abortion cases, cited by LiveAction.org)— although many medical professionals are now saying that abortion is never necessary and that there are other options available to save the mother’s life in addition to trying to save the baby’s life. I also can’t explain away the victims of rape and the emotional scarring that they have to endure during their pregnancies. I can’t explain nor understand why these tragedies happen. I grieve for these families, and I don’t have the answers to their very difficult questions. I pray they choose life for their child, but I still grieve with them just the same.
I choose to believe that God is good, all the time. I believe that when tragedy strikes, there is a redemption story, somewhere, somehow. Whether in this life or in heaven when we meet our Maker.
The majority of abortions, however, involve healthy babies and healthy mothers. The majority of abortions revolve around the belief that a baby’s life is not worth saving and that a woman is “entitled” to end that baby’s life if she so chooses.
According to the Guttmacher Institute (AGI), approximately 53 million legal abortions have occurred in the United Sates from 1973 through 2011; approximately 881,000 legal abortions in the year 2017 alone. The numbers of legal abortions are thankfully decreasing year after year, but the statistics are still staggering and very eye-opening. (Source: Abort73.com)
Many women choose abortion even though there are so many other life-saving options available like adoption and/or medical advances to help medically-fragile children. I’ve heard countless stories of mothers who were advised by their medical team to abort their babies due to suspected “incompatibilities,” but they chose life instead, and their babies were either born perfectly healthy, or they survived and thrived after receiving medical care.
Ultimately, I think it comes back to values and how babies are viewed in the womb. I truly believe that if more and more people were to 1) start valuing life at the start of conception, and 2) understand the realities (and atrocities) of abortion, more and more people would turn away from it and choose life.
I believe that everything and everyone has a purpose, even an “unplanned” baby. To the world, the baby may be unplanned. But to God, he/she was planned from the very beginning and is beautifully and wonderfully made.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139: 13-16)
A word about LOVE and being Pro-Life.
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39.
Love God and love others. That’s the value system and ideology I want to live by. “Others” includes ALL humanity. Regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and any other “labels” humans place on each other—or sadly, divide each other with.
Love ALL humanity as yourself. Love ALL life. Life is a gift from God.
For everyone who is “Pro-Life,” I urge you to speak in TRUTH and in LOVE, not in hatred. Does the thought of abortion anger me? Yes, indeed! But I still choose to love and forgive. All life is precious. The mothers who choose abortion are still God’s beloved children. The doctors who perform the abortion procedures are God’s beloved children. Keep in mind, some of them think they are doing what is best for the baby; their motives and intent aren’t “evil” in nature. Some of them just have different opinions and beliefs about “when life begins.” Let us speak up against their actions in truth and in love, but not in hate. How will anyone listen to us if we speak out in hate? Their ears will be closed to the truth.
To be PRO-LIFE, for me, means we need to value the mother’s life as well, in addition to the baby. We need to do better, as a society and as a church, to support women through their pregnancies. We need foster families and adoptive families to accept and love these babies and for the parents (who are often minors themselves) to be loved and supported as well.
We need more programs to help families who have children and adults with special medical needs. Many of these families said “No!” to abortion. Let’s support them and show the world how precious and valuable their children are.
We need a systemic change in helping families get out of poverty and to give children and teens healthy recreational outlets, keeping them away from substance abuse and prostitution. We need to instill self-worth into our kids, letting them know that they are valuable human beings who don’t need to be pressured into sex to “fit in” or to feel valued. We need to promote abstinence in addition to providing safe-sex education.
Lastly, but not least, we need to forgive. Many people, families and medical professionals alike, who chose abortion and/or were involved in abortion procedures may be living with deep regret. They are not “evil people.”
Some of them may have been misinformed and misguided, or some of them may have had different opinions and beliefs. I used to as well. Some of them thought they were doing what was best, and their decision was very difficult and painful to make. Many of them experience ongoing nightmares and struggle with depression as a result of their choices and actions.
We need to welcome these brothers and sisters with open arms and show them Jesus’ grace and forgiveness. As I said before, I believe there is a redemption story with every tragedy.
To me, being “Pro-Life” is more than just advocating that abortion be ended. Being Pro-Life encompasses the “Love your neighbor as yourself” commandment.
So, what is my childlike faith answer to help the world become Pro-Life?
The world needs more of Jesus.
And we, the church, are to be His hands and feet, protecting the preciousness of life with which He has gifted us.
Let’s share JESUS with the world! Let’s stand up for LOVE and LIFE!