please read ahead with an open and unjudgmental mind.
tonight i have been thinking on the topic of abortion. a random (and rather morbid) thing to be thinking about, i know. but nonetheless….
i was raised in a staunchly republican household. pro-choice was never an option for me to even consider. i was taught that life is sacred. and yet, somehow, my parents upheld war and the death penalty. (but i’m not going to get into that one tonight.) i was taught that women who had abortions were selfish and stupid, that they were murderers.
in trying to become my own woman, though, with my own beliefs, thoughts, opinions, i am rethinking and restructuring everything i ever was and was taught.
is abortion wrong? is it wrong for a follower of Jesus, like me, to even consider to support abortion? that is what i’ve been trying to determine.
what spurred this blog post was a book i have recently read: Grace Eventually, by Anne Lamott. in one chapter of the book, Anne addresses her stance on abortion. she is every bit pro-choice as my family was pro-life. upon reflection of the topic of abortion during a panel discussion, Anne writes:
“I thought about the photo op where President Bush had signed legislation limiting abortion rights, surrounded by nine self-righteous white married males, who had forced God knows how many girlfriends into doing God knows what…….The most important message I can carry and fight for is the sacredness of each human life, and reproductive rights for all women are a crucial part of that. It is a moral necessity that we not be forced to bring children into the world for whom we cannot be responsible and adoring and present. We must not inflict life on children who will be resented; we must not inflict unwanted children on society.”
i have to say that she brings up a very interesting point. after i read that i just sat in silence, feeling the evening breeze come in the window, cross the room, and rustle through my hair, me wrestling with my heart and everything i’ve ever believed. a woman’s choice of abortion is definitely not an easy choice. it is one that will likely affect her emotionally, and perhaps physically, for the rest of her life. it is one she makes with a heavy heart, bearing a burden no person should ever have to bear. it is not a choice that, as Anne writes, a white, wealthy married male with 3.2 kids and a suburban house with a white picket fence should be the one to make. he will never be in that position. as i thought about what i just read, i began to talk outloud to God: What do you think, God? What would you tell me if you were sitting on the couch, sipping a beer, conversing with me right now? Is it more cruel to bring a child into this harsh world than to have an abortion? the more i talked, streams of tears began to curl out of my eyes. my heart became heavy. i tried to imagine myself facing the choice to have an abortion. what would i do? if i had no money, if i had HIV-AIDS, if i were scared, if i had no one to talk to, if i were raped???? surely a man should not be the one to make this decision. when does life really begin? when does a child get her soul? suddenly i thought of the story in the Bible (Luke 1:39-56) where Elizabeth, pregnant with a baby who will become John the Baptist, says to Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”
and then i had my answer.
i will never judge a woman who has had an abortion. i will support her. i will put myself in her shoes. i will be Jesus to her. i will not throw stones. i will draw lines in the sand and wait for all of her accusers to leave. and i hope everyone of you would do the same.
but for me, personally, abortion is not an option, will never be an option. i would have the baby, even if just to give her to a loving family who could give her the life she deserved.
because she has rights, too.