I have had this post brewing in my head for months. I have actually written it twice, then deleted it before hitting that publish button. Part of me doesn't want to post it because this isn't a place where I normally get all serious and controversial. I have managed, quite nicely, without a single nasty comment on any post. But my conscience won't leave me alone. I've been getting that tap, tap, tap for a while, and it's beginning to turn into a full-on shove. It's time.
One year ago, we went through a terrible heart scare with Buttercup. It was a week filled with tears and worry and doctors. In the end, we were told her heart was fine. Yes, it beats very irregularly, but there is always one normal beat in between the odd ones. Nothing to worry about.
One little normal beat is what keeps her from having a heart attack in the middle of the soccer field.
When your child is in the middle of a heart scare, you realize how miraculous a heart is. For our entire lives, that little muscle never stops beating. The moment it does, we die. To me, it is a mind-boggling miracle that such a tiny organ, a simple muscle, can work that hard and never, one time need a break.
I'll never forget the first time I heard each of my baby's heartbeats. At six weeks pregnant, looking at that ultrasound screen, the womp-womp sound of the little heart filling the room, I was so terribly happy. With that sound came peace. A knowledge that all would be well.
Up until that point, I was filled with anxiety, because I have twice been in the situation where the ultrasound showed the lack of the baby's heartbeat. It showed a baby, but there wasn't the wonderful sound of a heartbeat filling the room. One little heartbeat. It's all we were looking for. And when it couldn't be found, we knew I had miscarried. I would not be holding that baby in my arms.
To me, a baby's heartbeat is the best sound in the entire world.
I am fully aware that this is not the case for all women. For some, that sound brings confusion, fear, and panic. For a whole host of reasons, a woman may not be happy about the new life growing inside her.
Regardless, it is a new life.
It is a life that should be respected as such.
I am 100% pro-life, because that new life is NOT the pregnant woman's body. It may be growing inside of her, but it is a new life, with a new body, with a new heart beating in its chest.
When a woman has an abortion, a heartbeat is stopped. A body is torn apart. That heart and that body are not the pregnant woman's heart and body.
The women in situations of "unwanted" pregnancies should be shown compassion and love.
I say unwanted with quotes, because while the pregnant woman may not want or be able to care for that baby, someone else desperately does and could. There are people lined up at adoption agencies, praying and waiting as patiently as possible to finally be chosen to become adoptive parents.
I know lots and lots of adoptive parents who are very grateful to the women who gave birth to their children.
I have an immediate family member who is a birth father, but with his girlfriend, decided to give that precious baby to another couple who could better care for him.
I know someone who was chosen to be an adoptive parent, and after a month of updates on the pregnancy, found out that the birth mother, because of intense pressure from the father and her parents, had an abortion.
I cry every time I think of it.
That young woman will very likely regret that decision for the rest of her life.
I say this, because two good friends of mine did the exact same thing many years ago. They don't go a day without fighting the guilt and regret of that one decision.
Regardless of the circumstances in which a woman becomes pregnant, there is a new life growing.
We cannot define it based on the desires of the mother. If the mother wants it, she is carrying a baby, but if not, it is called reproductive tissue? That makes absolutely no sense to me.
It is a baby. End of story.
I am also friends with a man who is very happy to be alive. When his mother found out about her pregnancy, she was pressured by her family to have an abortion. She went so far as to make and go to an appointment to have the abortion. In the waiting room, she got a burst of courage and walked out.
Did this woman and her son have an easy life? Not even close.
Do they regret her decision to walk out of that appointment? Absolutely not.
Pro-life does not mean easy. In some cases it means very, very difficult.
Difficult is a part of life. It brings heartache and sadness. It brings anger and frustration. But, if we give it a chance, difficult can also come with strength we didn't know we had. It can come with blessings we couldn't have imagined.
I know there are mean, evil people in this world. I know these mean, evil people, every once in a while, are the reason women become pregnant. I know, so you don't need to ask me in the comments about incest and rape. I know. Those women need even more support and help in very different ways.
And this is where you will find me to be very naïve, but it's a dream, so I'm allowed to be. My dream is for a world where every single pregnant woman is loved and supported by everyone. Where the people in her life encourage her throughout the pregnancy, whether she decides to raise the baby herself, or allow another family to do so. If unexpectedly pregnant women were given this support, regardless of how that baby got there, we wouldn't even have to talk about abortion. It wouldn't be an option people even considered.
I am pro-compassion.
I am pro-love.
I am pro-life.
Beautifully stated. AMEN! I love your conclusion, I am those things too.ReplyDelete
I'm so proud of you for finding the courage to be serious and potentially controversial. Well said, Sister! :) I agree 100%!ReplyDelete
Beautiful post. It's a baby, no matter how early in the pregnancy. It's a person, who deserves life. I'm with you all the way.ReplyDelete
Couldn't agree more. People like me need lovely babies to adopt.ReplyDelete
It's such a hard topic for me to wrap my head around completely. I know I'd never want to get an abortion. I can't imagine a situation where I would ever do it, even in the worst of circumstances. Do I think other people should have the right to do it? That's where things start to get grey for me.ReplyDelete
I cannot understand how so many pro-life folks have the "I'd never have an abortion, but others should have the right to do it" attitude. Where else in life does this logic follow? You wouldn't hear anyone say publicly, "I would never rob a bank and shoot up all the tellers, but others should have the right to." If something is wrong, it is wrong. I know that there is A LOT of emotion tied up in this issue, as there should be. We are talking about life - LIFE - not a choice.ReplyDelete
I am not trying to belittle/cut-down/talk down to anyone, but trying to point out that it just isn't a logical argument for abortion. I am so happy that we are all talking/blogging about this. Let's continue to pray, pray, pray for the right perspective on this and for continued healing for our nation and world that have been so deeply wounded by the scourge of abortion.
Crying and prayingReplyDelete
praying for the girl who could not see the way out, smothered by her own mother who had such a terrible thing to do with no choice in the matter.
praying for the birth mother who will one day make me an aunt.
praying for the birth mother who will one day make my sister a mommy!
praying for the birth mother who will make my kids a cousin.
praying and crying
One of my pregnancies was high-risk, with problems from early on. One doctor (not my regular ob/gyn) mentioned/suggested that I could do what other women might do in my situation. Even though the pregnancy was difficult, and a positive outcome was not guaranteed, neither my husband nor I had any question about what we should do. I spent 20 weeks on bedrest, and my husband took care of everything at home. Our son was born early and small, and we lived at the doctor's office and hospitals the first couple of years, but every moment was worth it.ReplyDelete
I agree that when a woman is pregnant, she needs to be emotionally supported so she can make the best decisions for the baby. Regardless of circumstance, a baby is a baby--innocent and in need of love and care.
Birthmoms do not "give up" their babies; they show great selfless love by giving their babies parents who are prepared to love and provide.
I couldn't agree more. As a woman trying for months to conceive without success, I find it utterly mind boggling that someone could simply give up such a precious, precious gift. I wish there was a way for me to take that "unwanted life" into myself, because I am dying for that chance to become a mother.ReplyDelete
Also, there are so many complications that can arise from having an abortion, aside from the emotional complications. I used to work as a surgical technologist and I saw first hand what it can do.
Thanks for sharing, and for commenting on my blog! I am following you with the Google followers. :) TALU
This really moved me, Christine. Abortion is a sad thing. Support for pregnant women and new moms is so important. Sadly, two of my children were left out in the cold when they were abandoned in China, one the day after Christmas on the side of the road. Miraculously, they lived. If only they had safe places in China for these women to take their babies that they're unable to care for or are pressured to relinquish. It's heartbreaking.ReplyDelete
Thank you for writing this beautiful and powerful post. These words need to be spoken. As mothers, we have an obligation to speak to the truth of life and love it and defend it. As Christians, we are not "called" to be pro-life activists, but obligated. Pro-life is not an issue, it is a way of life. We are not "called" to love some people sometimes... but obligated all at all times. I understand your tears and I share them. Thank you again. That tapping is the heart of Jesus touching yours and making it even more sensitive to the injustice and attacks against His beloved children.ReplyDelete
Kellie- I understand your confusion because I have been there, but it is not complicated when it is broken down logically. You are effectively saying that you would not murder your own child but you think it might be a "right" for another mother to murder her own. The question then becomes: Does a woman ever have the right to kill her children? Is this really a gray area? It is helpful to remember that an abortion involves TWO bodies, not just one. It is not really about "my body, my choice" but rather "my baby, my choice". Is that really a right that women should have? And if so, when does it become criminal? After birth? And who decides? Just some thoughts for reflection.
Well said. :)ReplyDelete
Well said. :)ReplyDelete
*sigh* I've been attempting to figure out how to form my words in response to this. Even to the point of making an individual blog posting as a type of response. I was lured into a trap from reading that previous post and being fearful something had happened medically with your daughter again. I use "trap" very very very loosely.ReplyDelete
Abortion. Pro-life. Pro-Choice. I felt I couldn't (shouldn't) avoid a controversial topic, but sometimes you aren't exactly sure how to best articulate your thoughts. You know, as you've mentioned, we tend to be opposites of sorts.
I guess I fall in-line with Kellie most. I don't feel my opinion is based on religion (or lack thereof). I wouldn't want to have a significant other get an abortion, due to many of the facts you listed. Actually, I stopped dating someone who didn't involve me in a pregnancy scare, leaving me with no say on the matter.
With rape, or with there being a high harm/death factor for the mother, for some reason I've felt that grey area spoken about exists. To where those were "exceptions". Rape is a sensitive topic, and the experience a traumatic one. Forcing someone to bring a child to term under those circumstance, a constant reminder of what was endured no less, just feels wrong to me? Some women can handle it, sure. For others, the traumatic psychological effect could be too much. In those situations, where there was no consent or option of protection that may have otherwise be implemented under regular scenarios, I feel "choice" is a better option. Not sure if I'm explaining myself well enough or not, but yeah...
And I will admit, I've not fully researched pregnancies, births, abortion on the level where I know what "facts" are genuine and which are falsified. IE: when there is a heart beat and such, which if I recall long ago was kind of an argument for pro-choice? I may be mistaken. I assume this is why there was (is) a time frame of allowance to perform an abortion in the first place?
Anyhow, I hope the above was explained decently. This was a great post and definitely a controversial topic. I enjoy discussion/debate on such topics as long as civility is present.
Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink
Jak, I know this has been on your mind, and I'm glad you felt comfortable commenting. I'm glad it's on your mind. I want people to think on this topic long and hard and really lay out what they believe. It's why I posted this to begin with. I'm not going to go through and reply to everyone, but I want to at least say something to yours. (And in doing so, Kellie's).Delete
I've been noticing lately so many people saying, "I wouldn't have an abortion (or want my girlfriend/wife to have), but I can't tell others not to." For many, I know this sentiment comes from a place of compassion for the woman. But what about compassion for the baby?
I do believe it is all or nothing. When people start putting rules on who and how and when abortions take place, things become clearer (or more muddled, depending on how you are looking at it). What is the cut-off? At 24 weeks it's ok to abort, but 24 weeks and one day you can't? Is it less of a person one day before? And if we say it is allowable in the case of the mother's health, who is to say how bad the mother's health has to be? We all know that when there are rules like this, there will be doctors and even pregnant women willing to fudge things in order for people to get what they want.
I in no way want to belittle anyone in any of these situations. They are hard. Horribly so, sometimes. A friend of mine died from leukemia two years after she was diagnosed. She was diagnosed when she went in for routine blood work after she finally became pregnant with twins, after years and years of trying. She had to make a decision on whether to take the medicine for her leukemia, which would kill the babies but help her, or wait and possibly have all of them die. I know women are faced with horrifically hard situations.
No one can tell the future. In the moment of unexpected/unwanted/imperfect pregnancy, it is very hard to see past the pregnancy into anything good coming from it. That doesn't mean good won't come.
And so you know, abortions are allowed well after the heartbeat is present. If a woman isn't trying to get pregnant, she may not know she is until after the heart has already started beating.
Thank you again for taking the time to read, think, and comment in such a civil way. :)
You guys should consider submitting a post to AbortionChat. If its going to be the fair and open debate they want it to be, it's going to need good, well written opinions on both sides of the topic.Delete
Well said, Christine. I agree with you and have for years. Women did not fully understand what they were doing when they fought for abortion rights in 1973. With recent technology, we now know that a heart begins to beat at 24 days, usually before the woman knows she's pregnant. You are correct that the argument 'I wouldn't, but I can't tell others what to do' is so shallow for the reasons you stated. We don't say that about ANY other rule or law. We, as a society, have become so righteous and entitled, we believe our rights are more important than our responsibilities. We have to keep praying that eyes will be opened. I believe, some day, we will look back on abortion (just as we look back on slavery now) and say, 'how could we ever have thought that was OK?' Thanks for posting your thoughts here.ReplyDelete
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