Friday, July 20, 2007

Acting against abortion – the things we say

We can all do something to prevent the killing of innocent unborn children, today, right now. Even if we are too busy to participate actively in the pro-life movement, we can still do a lot in our daily lives and make an enormous difference.

Like in everything else, I believe prayer comes first here too. We can pray for defenseless unborn children, for mothers who are facing difficult situations; we can pray for a change of heart for fathers who decided to abandon their children or pressure their wives or girlfriends to have abortions.

The next thing to work on is our own attitude. Believe me, it matters! Our thoughts, our words, the message we're conveying, it all creates a snowball effect. So let's ask ourselves the following questions:

- How do we treat children? Do we love children? Do we embrace each child as a wonderful, unique gift from God? Or do we treat them as hindrances, as burdens instead of blessings? Do we ever say things like, 'I can't wait for the moment when I can send them off to school', or 'I used to have so much more freedom in my life before I had children', or 'now that this couple has children, they will never be able to afford a new car or a real vacation'? Remember, every negative comment we make about children has a lingering impact!

- What about children with special needs and/or various disabilities? Do we treat them as they should be treated – individuals who need even more care, attention and love? Or do we imply they have no worth and it would have been better for them not to be born? One of my teachers in highschool had a son who suffered from autism. Last year, the boy unfortunately died from cancer. Many of the people who knew this couple weren't embarrassed to say right after this tragic event, that this boy's life wasn't worth much anyway! How cruel is that?! Why don't we say, 'I'm sure this child is such a unique blessing to his family', or 'They must be wonderful people, to be blessed with such a special little soul in their family'?

- Do we ever say 'what an unfortunate time to have a child'? 'I'll bet Mary Sue won't graduate from college now that she has a baby. She will remain uneducated and her life will be ruined!'; 'A baby, when you're only starting your career? You must be crazy!' – do you know how often I hear people saying something like this? Do you realize the effect this might have on a woman or family who are passing through temporary difficulties? We should say something different. How about: 'Yes, the Joneses have debt to pay right now, but it will be done with in a couple of years. A child is a blessing for a lifetime!'

- And how do we treat unmarried mothers? Our convictions about sex outside marriage and the attitude we express towards unmarried mothers should not parallel each other. I firmly believe sex is a beautiful gift, to be saved for marriage alone. But it doesn't mean we should turn our backs on unmarried mothers. These women might have made a mistake, but they are courageously standing up and facing the consequences of their actions! Their children are also blessings, to be valued and cherished like any other child. Your negative remarks, saying 'there's no way she can raise this baby on her own', a holier-than-thou attitude, refusing to extend your fellowship to a woman in trouble – seeing this might just be the last straw, the thing that will give a final push to a desperate single mother to go and have an abortion.

God loves and values each child, why shouldn't we do the same? God blesses us with children when we expect or don't expect it, when it fits into our plans or not. So let's start feeling and expressing boundless, unconditional love for children, mothers, fathers, families today. Let's prevent abortions by creating a snowball effect of love, acceptance, generosity, kindness and faith above all.

53 comments:

Buffy said...

I totally agree with your last point. You can't stand in judgement over single mothers if you want to cut down on the the number of abortions. As if these poor women often don't have it hard enough. How about recognising their courage in not taking the easier path?

Coffee Wife said...

Fornication is a sin - being pregnant is not!

Mrs. Brigham said...

This is a wonderful post. I do agree with everything you said.

The point you brought up about special needs children is very important. My mom has worked with autistic children for several years now and all of these children are special blessings to their families. Many of their parents are also some of the most patient, kind, and compassionate people you will ever meet. I once heard that somebody say that God blesses special parents with special needs children and after meeting many of these people, it really does appear to be true.

This post is also very timely for me. There is a young woman at my grandparent's church who just became a mother at seventeen. The things that have been said to her throughout the course of her pregnancy with awful and all of these hateful remarks came from the mouths of Christians. She was told how she had "ruined her life", how stupid she was, and so on. It was an upsetting thing to be witness to, but seeing what was going on at least gave me an opportunity to help and also put her in touch with a dear friends of mine who were teen parents and have built a beautiful Christ-centered life and marriage for themselves.

It is also important to realize how we treat young mothers in general. If you are young to be married and a parent by the world's standards, you might experience some awful remarks from strangers. I have had some nasty people approach me and say some pretty hurtful things, which is really strange as I do not look that young. I have had a pretty easy time laughing it off, but for others these words could really cut deep. I cannot even begin to imagine how nasty people can be to mothers who are younger than myself and not wearing a wedding ring...

Anna S said...

Mrs. Brigham,

I shudder to think what could have happened if my mother had been, say, 10 (or 20!) years younger when she became pregnant with me. She had me at 36, and was quite a mature adult, so she didn't give in to all the people who had 'her best interests' in mind (including my own father), and told her she's better off if she gets rid of her little problem.

Like Buffy said, "You can't stand in judgement over single mothers if you want to cut down on the the number of abortions". Isn't it ironic how usually the more religious people are, the more critical they are of single mothers, who are one of the most high-risk groups for abortions?

PaulaB52 said...

Your point about an unfortunate time to have a child is something I needed pointed out to me. My brother & his wife recently had a baby. My sil is have a very difficult time leaving her child, but my brother is nursing school with only a two semesters left. My mother and I have been gossiping (I"ll admit it) them and how they should have waited, blah blah blah. I know my children have been in the general vicintiy while we've been talking. I wonder how much they've heard.

Thanks again for another eye opening post.

PS, on my son's birthday 7/1, he told me "mom thanks for giving birth to me, I'm glad you didn't abortion me". Made me happy he said that, but it also made me sad that at 9 he knows that some women kill their unborn children.

Haus Frau said...

A dear young lady (former student of mine) made a mistake 8 months ago and is now 8 months pregnant. She is almost 19 and unmarried. I didn't know she was expecting until I met up with her and her mother while at a store recently. She has been the recipient of such unkind remarks so I was careful to encourage and uplift her. She has made the decision to adopt her baby out to a wonderful Christian family and they've embraced this young birth mother sweetly. She has chosen *life* for her precious little one. Praise God!

The emotional toll will be remarkable, yes. But in her mistake a life has been created. Blessings will follow. Her heart will heal - the Lord will use this to glorify Himself.

I agree with the other ladies responding to your post...very insightful.

Mrs. Brigham said...

It certainly is ironic and very sad. I sometimes wonder how many abortions could be prevented in churches made an honest effort to put their money where their mouth is and help pregnant woman, along with condemning abortion. Abortion is a problem that is not just political, but has real people involved and this seems to be forgotten in many instances. It's not as simple as just telling somebody not to get an abortion, especially when they may be alone, scared, without resources, and have nowhere to turn. Of course, people should also ask where the fathers are when it comes to situations that might wind up in abortion and challenge men to step up and support their children, rather than encouraging abortion and/or running away.

One of my most awful "young mother experiences" occurred at my grandparents' church (It seems they really do not like young mamas there!). An older man had the audacity to LOUDLY congratulate my husband for doing "the right thing", since obviously that would be the only reason we might be married and have a child at our age. We did not get pregnant because I was married, in fact I did not first become pregnant until we had been married for nine months, but even if I had been pregnant, why would have that been important or mattered if I had asked for repentance from God and was accepting the responsibility for my actions?!

Beautifuly Created said...

When my best friend had her oldest daugheter she and her parents were not getting along. She was 19 and unmarried and not with the father of the baby. My parents took her in and they still are like grandparents to all of her children. When my parents began helping her it suprised my Mom a little that my Dad was so supportive. My Dads response was that you can't be against abortion if you are not willing to help the widows and orphans. That statement is so true. Every person I know that has had an abortion has told me they felt they had no other choice at the time because they had no suport system to take care of themselves or their child.
You are so right if we treat having children as a blessing rather than a curse and give support in whatever way we can then we can help eliviate the abortion rate.

Anna S said...

Paula,

We had an exam today, and a fellow student came with her husband and precious baby girl. She gave birth only 3 weeks ago. I heard whispers behind her back, 'oh, no, now she' won't graduate this year! How inconvenient!'... well, yes, she won't graduate. So what? I made sure to approach her, coo with the baby and tell her how blessed she is.

Sherry,

How brave of that young girl to choose life for her precious one! So many couples would give anything to adopt a healthy baby. As a matter of fact a cousin of mine married a widower with 3 small adopted children (he lost his wife in a tragic accident). Now they are raising 6 beautiful children together. What a blessing for everyone.

Mrs. Brigham,

How awfully rude. I don't know how old you are, but it seems you're not in your teens, so why such a nasty reaction to having a child? As a matter of fact I think this is another disturbing symptom of our culture: delaying children until very late. This week I had a conversation with a 20-year-old who told me she isn't going to have children until she's 35. She was very surprised when I told her, very mildly, that at 35 she might not be as fertile as at 25 (not that it's impossible to become pregnant at 35, but it might be much more difficult).

Laura H said...

Anna,
What you have said is so true! I know of a young woman, who was fifteen, and gave birth to a baby. She is now the mother of two boys, and the man she was with, left them, and now she is pregnant by another guy! It is horrible! I do love this young woman, but I am sad that she is living the life she is!
Laura H

Rightthinker said...

Beautiful post! Many of us Christians are guilty of being "pro-life...it's just those pesky kids I don't like!"

Children are the Kingdom of God! We all must humble ourselves as little children to even begin to understand the power and omnipotency of God Almighty. His Kingdom is filled with children as these...the aborted, the unwanted, the neglected, the suffering, the disabled, etc.

We also must remember that often God uses our action-sinful or otherwise, to change who we are! Humans rarely change towards righteousness when everything in their lives is peachy!

It is often under terrible circumstances, tragedy, or unexpected results of a situation or action that bring us to our knees in repentance and desiring Christ in our lives. Let us not hinder a woman and child from coming to Christ! We must emulate God's love and forgiveness while always standing firm on the need for repentance of sin...our own and the world's!

Rightthinker said...

Oh-Mrs Brigham,

I forgot to address on of your points!

I completely understand what you are saying about young motherhood. See, God's plan nearly always differs from that of the world. If the world followed His will in all circumstances, wouldn't many of us be married, fulfilling our God-defined gender roles, at a fairly young age? He would bring souls together as one under Christ, and baby making would begin. We would reject the world view that one must go to college, date and have sex with many to test out our compatibility, as well as become "sophisticated" in the world.

I know first hand what judgement and downcast eyes come from having many children young. Their are assumptions one doesn't know how to prevent pregnancy, that one is poor, uneducated and neglectful-simply because we chose God's plan rather than the world's.

I had my first at 20, and waited several years to try again, mainly based on the idea that "I couldn't possibly be a good mother at my age".

When I came around to understand God's will, then we had 3 more in rapid succession. You can't imagine the commentary and looks and judgement that befalls a 26 woman of a 6 year old, 12 month old and a newborn in tow..despite the fact they are well-behaved, happy, healthy, intelligent children with a heart for Christ!

Melian said...

My husband and I believe, as do most people in our church full of large, homeschooling families, that preventing abortion starts by creating a culture that loves children. All children, born into all situations. In ancient times, infanticide was common. Roman women would leave their infants on the rocks to die. Christians would come by and take the children as their own. We hope that cultivating this kind of attitude will allow women who are facing difficult decisions to realize that their children can be embraced. I believe this attitude also means support systems for pregnant mothers - married or not. May I also add that I have known more than one woman who got pregnant through date rape. Despite the fact that she had no choice in the matter, she had to endure hostile remarks from people about her irresponsibility and bad decisions.

Sheri said...

Oh Anna, what a thoughtful and true post. Yes, lets value life in "all we say"!

PandaBean said...

Amen!

Kathleen said...

Beautifully said. Thought-provoking and important questions, too! And I second Coffee Wife's remark :)

marie said...

Anna:)

You have raised a very relevant topic which is close to my own heart. Have you heard of the Sisters of Life? Here is their site.


http://www.sistersoflife.org/

May I also add that NO child is ever a 'mistake'. People make decisions and they need to OWN their course of action. My niece became pregnant at only 16, her son is now a lively and very well mannered 8 year old. We love him dearly.

Peace and blessings to you

Marie

Anna said...

While we should not be critical of any woman who is pregnant (marriage status aside), sometimes we should consider the reasons why they are pregnant.
My state (Oklahoma) has the highest (or near highest) divorce rate in the nation. It also has a high unmarried pregnancy rate. Yep, this is the Bible Belt! There seems to be a generational custom of poor choices. The typical family starts off with a girl getting pregnant sometime between 16-20, the couple gets married, they bear another child, the father leaves, he returns, bear another child or two, then they divorce and remarry with other divorced people, get divorced again in a few years and possibly remarry a third time. They are astonished that their children are doing the same things!

It takes alot of chuzpah to stand against the tide and choose differently or even encourage others to do the same.

~Anna

Rhonda Devine said...

Very well said--my husband and I have talked about this issue before--ever wonder if christians have the same heart problem as those who are aborting their children? Didn't Jesus choose to look at the heart? If we, as the salt of the earth, look at children as a curse, why should the culture around us think differently and act upon it by killing their unborn children. Both have the same heart condition.
We, as God's children need to view children as God does-----"Children are a heritage of the Lord" and "Blessed is the man who has his quiver full"

Anna S said...

Thank you for your wonderful comments and sharing from your experience!

Marie, I visited the Sisters of Life site, thanks for the link.

Anna, if you've read some more posts on my blog, you probably know how much I'm against sex outside marriage. But when a child already exists, born or unborn, all of this is set aside.

Susie said...

Anna,
I agree that the first step of action should be praying for the mothers, children and doctors in this situation. We should also pray about our attitudes towards these women (and doctors) as well. It is good point on how we treat other young mothers as well. As a mother, it seems like if my child cries I get "looks of daggers" by the majority of people anywhere that I go. (And I'm married, 26 y/o--not unwed and under 18 y/o--those young girls usually get worse looks from strangers it seems). It is so sad that our society looks at children as a "choice" and "an annoying nuisance" rather than as a blessing.
~Susie

Michelle Potter said...

The other night my husband and I were in a store, and I mentioned that we had 6 children. (I forget how the subject came up.) I'm sad to say that I was not at all surprised by the clerk's immediate response of, "I'm sorry!"

I realize that at 26, most women do not have 6 children. Two of mine are adopted, and I am not technically old enough to be their mother. But I still shake my head at the numerous comments from *perfect strangers.* One woman telling me that if I was her daughter, she'd kill me! (And I only had 4 then!) Another saying I should give some of my kids to my sister-in-law so I wouldn't have so many! I even recently learned that a friend who spoke highly of me was begged by his fiance to never *have* to have as many kids as I do! (And I know they are Christians.)

In my own life I am sad to say that I will probably not have any more. My husband is "done." I have always said that God will decide how many kids I have -- not me -- and He tells me to follow my husband, so there I go. But even if I never hold another baby of my own, I will never understand the compulsion to call "bad" what He has called "good." I will never understand how it makes sense to expect the unsaved to welcome children when we don't.

Anna S said...

Michelle,

I'm sorry for the negative remarks you have to endure. I wonder if I will have to go through the same thing (probably yes...) if one day, God willing, we have as many children as we're praying for!

I also think you should follow your husband's lead, but you can pray for a change of his heart.

Michelle Potter said...

Anna, thanks for your support. But I should also add that many times I have received lovely comments from older women who understand and appreciate having a large-ish family. Don't fear that it will be a fight all the way!

As for my husband, I'm sad but ok with it. He's a prayerful man, and if God has given him peace about this as he says, then I believe I have exactly what is meant for me. And that's good enough for me. :)

Shannon said...

What a perfect post! I agree with you on everything! Many of the comments you said in How do we treat children section I have gotten when I told people we have four children and I homeschool.

Anna S said...

Thank you, Shannon!
I think that at this age, when people meet someone who actually puts her life into her children and does a lot for them, they feel uncomfortable - because they just aren't doing it. And so instead of looking at their own ways, they become defensive. I heard absolutely ludicrous sayings about children, for example, 'if a woman has many children, how can she possibly love them all?' *rolls eyes*

Michelle said...

Thank you for your blog. We often forget to love people and see past their sin - even sin that happened long ago.
I didn't read all the other comments, but another point I'd like to make is to tenderly support those who have made the mistake of an abortion and acknowledge it as such. I can't imagine a more tremendous guilt.
You are a wonderful young woman of God and I pray God blesses you ten-fold for following His footsteps.

Anonymous said...

Recently when I spoke with a certain relative, he made the comment "Well, that's four children for you now? That's it, right?"

Truth be told, my dh and I had considered "stopping" at three, but every time WE look at our precious baby girl and her smile reveals her sweet little dimples we are so glad that we didn't.

I shudder to think what blessings we might cut out of our lives if we chose to "stop" right now!

-K

Anna S said...

Michelle,

Thank you for stopping by and for making your excellent point. I agree with you completely, and as a matter of fact I think a lot about this as well. Without compassion for women who had abortions, we have no hope to prevent further abortions! I'm going to publish some posts about this soon.

Anonymous said...

I had my first baby at 17, unwed, with a year of high school left to finish. My mother and father were very supportive and loving, and I finished with my graduating class, finished in the top 10, and earned a college scholarship. Yes, I missed homecoming and football games because I was walking the floor with a newborn. No, I didn't date much after my daughter was born, but I did meet the man I'm married to now, who adopted my daughter and whom I believe God sent as an answer to mine and my mother's prayers for a good husband and father for my daughter. We now have five blessings total, and very few people remember that I was an unwed teenage mother.

A baby doesn't ruin your life, but you can allow your circumstances to rule your life instead of praying and allowing God to raise you above your circumstances for His glory. Thank you for this post, it was beautiful.

Anna S said...

Dear Anonymous lady,
"A baby doesn't ruin your life, but you can allow your circumstances to rule your life instead of praying and allowing God to raise you above your circumstances for His glory."

You hit the nail right on the head! A baby doesn't 'ruin' your life. A baby alters your plans, and that's something completely different!

I'm so happy to hear your story. It's truly heartwarming. You are a brave woman!

Catherine said...

I agree with all of your points, and would add another. We also need to be aware of how we talk about babies before they are born. My sister miscarried her third child slightly into the second trimester. One careless person said, "at least you weren't too pregnant." Like there is something between pregnant and not pregnant. I also refuse to discuss my baby while I'm expecting as anything other than a baby. Fetus, Zygote, Embryo are all words used as euphemisms for baby. We don't want to think about it as a baby (our culture I mean) because that makes abortions murderousness all too real. If we as mothers insist upon referring to them as babies, it gives witness to how important our children are to us.

Anna S said...

Catherine,
You are absolutely right! Thanks for bringing this up. Regarding unborn children as anything else but babies is a path to dehumanizing them and making abortion justified.

Lydia said...

Anna,

I hope you don't mind me commenting since I don't know you at all. I found this post through ladiesagainstfeminism.com and since I see that you're not that much older than me I wanted to make a couple of questions even thought our backgrounds seem to differ quite a bit. (I was raised in a catholic household and went to a catholic school)

I'm rather curious by this post and your theory behind it. Should we all love every single family in the world? That would imply that we would love every person and we would accept them as they are, even if we don't agree, or understand, with how they act or behave, right?

Then doesn't that imply that we shouldn't criticize those that do that which we don't understand or agree with? For love is always unconditional?

Anna S said...

Hi Lydia, and thank you for commenting! You asked an excellent question.

Yes, I do think we should love each and every person and family in the world. This doesn't mean, however, we always accept what they do! 'Hate the sin, love the sinner', remember?

If we go back to the issue of abortions, I'm very much against sex outside marriage. I can criticize it. I can point it out. But it doesn't influence my compassion towards single mothers even one bit. Rejecting them and their children and making them outcasts will not help them lovingly embrace God's ways.

lydia said...

You say that we don’t have to always accept what they do; I don’t know what’s there to accept? You may agree or not, you may understand it or not but who are we to say that it’s acceptable or not? That’s passing judgment, which should be left to God the day we’re called to his presence. God gives us the freedom to choose for ourselves in all aspects of our life, with only our own beliefs to stop us. And in the other hand we have the laws given by the State. The second are obligatory for everyone while the first is not mandatory for everyone since it’s a matter of personal choice. When can we say that our own beliefs are that important that they must surpass the limits of free choice to be set as a law? Because then the State stops being secular and becomes linked to one single specific religion which not everyone in the country follows so how right is that? Since we rob that which God gave us and that’s freedom of choice.

So how correct is to let some beliefs judge in life every one in a country where there is a big number of people that do not share those same beliefs?

Anna S said...

Lydia,

As believers, we have clear instruction in God's word, and our judgment depends on this alone. Basing judgment on our personal beliefs that are not rooted in God's words is, in my opinion, bias.

Lydia said...

Anna,

But what about making abortion legal? The United States is a secular country; shouldn't those that believe in God accept that, accept that not every fellow citizen is a believer and thus give them their rights of freedom of choice to have access to abortion? Those same rights of freedom that God gave to all of us.

In the Scriptures there’s no mention of abortion so how can we humans decide where would God stand upon that argument? Assuming is not a perfect synonym of knowing so why do we?

God sent his only son to save us, so we could learn from him and his actions. Where is the learning if we, Christians, think we're the only ones that hold the truth? For Christ accepted every single person, standing for them in front of the society, no matter what he was the voice of those that were not listened by the established system; to my mind now comes the example of Maria Magdalena, and you may say she was a sinner, well Christ did proof that everyone that was accusing her had committed sins too.

Freedom to choose to follow Him and His words, freedom to choose how we act towards every other person that we cross paths with each day and we might not even see. How can we stand in the way of that freedom? Because those that judge as immoral those women that abort are judging and are standing in the way of the freedom to act as we decide that was given to us by our God. Didn’t Christ prove that we shouldn’t label people? Didn’t God teach us that we can be as fallible as the rest of humans and thus not being able to judge others for we’re not better, we’re all equals in front of God, we’re all brothers & sisters. We must accept and respect everyone even if we don't agree with their actions.

Anna S said...

Lydia,

I believe we are told, 'thou shalt not kill'? Taking the life of an unborn child is taking human life. Tiny, yes, but human.

The ACT of abortion is a horrendous one. It's monstrous. But it doesn't mean I think women who had abortions are monsters. Here's the difference, you see? Hate the sin! But love the sinner. I love each one of them. I respect each one of them. I think of them as poor, wounded, broken fellow sisters, and my heart aches for each one, with compassion. We are all sinners. I wrote a post about it, actually, called 'Grieving with Them', and I'm going to publish it soon, I think.

I also encourage you to click on the 'pro-life' label on the sidebar of my blog, and read my post called Making Abortion Rare. It's a review of a book which talks about a strategy to make abortions unthinkable. Banning abortions is rather a simplistic solution isn't it? I'm all for making abortion unthinkable, like it would be unthinkable for a normal person to go and mutilate themselves by cutting off an arm or a leg.

Lydia said...

Anna,
I don’t want to offend you but I think you don’t know what respect means. Respect is not only to “hold in esteem or honour” it also means that you “show consideration towards that person” and thinking of them as “poor, wounded, broken fellow sisters” is not showing any type of consideration nor of respect. At most I would say you pity them.
How can an act be horrendous when it can save the life of the woman? There are a big number of abortions that are natural and women do not even realize they happened; many times abortions are done to safe the life of the woman because the child when born would take both lives (the mother and the baby itself). Can saving one’s woman life be a crime?

Should a woman be raped wouldn’t she deserve the right to be able to abort? Because it might not be the baby’s fault but neither is the woman’s fault, so why does she have to pay for the man’s actions the rest of her and her child’s life?

Wanting abortion to be unthinkable is quite impossible since as I said it’s an actual failsafe inherent in women’s body and if we consider the greater knowledge thanks to science about possible problems in later stages of the growth of the baby shouldn’t be listen to them and if need be abort to ensure that the mother/baby/both don’t die later on in the pregnancy? For me thinking that it’s possible to make it unthinkable is going against nature.

And well if you had a leg gangrened and there’s no other solution to survive, wouldn’t you ask the doctor to cut it? No woman seeks an abortion for personal pleasure; they’ve all thought it through before making that step, assuming the contrary is thinking less of their decision capacity and their persona.

So in your opinion should abortion be illegal or not?
If illegal how much jail time should women get for having an abortion?

Anna S said...

'Natural abortions' are called miscarriages. The difference between abortion and miscarriage, to me, is like the difference between natural death and cold-blooded murder. Should we legalize murder because people die on their own as well?

Would I cut off a gangerened leg to save my life? Yes. Would I cut it off for ANY OTHER REASON? No.

Most abortions aren't done to save the mother's life. I know many women (and, even more tragical, girls) who had abortions not because they had no choice - but because they were conditioned, coerced, and bullied into THINKING they had no choice.

Rape is a horrendous act. Not the child. Killing the child will not undo the past and will not make the woman forget she was raped. On the contrary. It will make her feel like she is raped over and over again.

Anna S said...

PS: I hope no one thinks I'm comparing an unborn child to a gangerned leg, cancerous tumor or any other such thing I sometimes hear from people. It makes me shudder.

Lydia said...

Anna,

Well we differ on your first paragraph because I don’t think abortion equals cold-blooded murder. But from what I understand you consider abortion should be illegal. Let me ask you again the question of how much jail time should the women get for having an abortion? Should they be penalised as if they had committed a cool-blood murder? (In some states that means forfeiting their own lives) Or would you impose a different type of condemn?

As you say in the ps. an unborn child is not the same as a gangrened leg. I’ve never met a woman that was coerced into having an abortion, I know no woman that would be coerced if they didn’t want to. I guess it’s a matter of who you know, if they’re strong willed and believe in themselves their actions will reflect that if they’re not then I guess that they let someone else’s will overthrown theirs. I’m lucky and all the women I can think from the top of my hat that I truly know are strong willed and believe in themselves enough to make their own choices without coercion.

You mean that having an abortion will make her feel “raped over and over again”, wouldn’t that fit more if she had the child? Yes the woman will, probably, love that child but how easy will it be for her to act towards that child remembering that it was born out of a rape? How shall she act for the rest of her life towards that child born of a horrendous act? What is she supposed to tell her kid when she’s asked “where do I come from?” Is she supposed to say I was raped and I wanted to abort you to not be reminded but I couldn’t because I wasn’t allowed, even though the man that raped me was out of jail in less than a few months/years for good conduct (if he ever was caught). I do see your point; I just find it a bit quixotic.

Anna S said...

I suggest you look at statistics. A very high percentage of women who have had abortions confess they would probably have had the child under different circumstances. This means something or someone pushed them into a corner and makes them (falsely) believe they have no choice.

Parents who are concerned about what the neighbours will say about their highschool-aged daughter; irresponsible boyfriends; abusive husbands; 'well-meaning' doctors who have discovered the unborn child has some sort of abnormality; all those are people who, statistically, have been reported as the most likely groups to convince a woman have an unwanted abortion, and PLEASE DON'T TELL ME IT'S A SURPRISE. Look at the amount of unmarried mothers with the father out of the picture. How many of them do you think were presented with the 'either you have an abortion or I'm leaving' statement? More than a few, I assure you. My mother was one of them. My father sent her on a guilt trip about 'ruining his life' and how he 'wasn't ready yet' (they were both 35 at that time).

And just so you know, my mother is a strong woman. Even a strong woman can be swayed in a moment of anxiety, fear, uncertainty and confusion, especially when the 'good advice' comes from those who 'love' her. Especially if she's young.

Studies have been conducted about the psychological well-being of rape victims, too, and it was discovered that abortion has a tendency to hurt women even more. It's brutal, painful and traumatic physical abuse.

(see www.afterabortion.org)

And if a woman feels there's absolutely no way she can raise the child, there's always an option for adoption. I don't know about you, but here people wait for YEARS for the possibility to adopt a healthy child, and the richer ones go to China and adopt unwanted baby girls. A cousin of mine married a widower with three small adopted children from Ukraine, three little blessings in their family. There are many people who can give much, much love to those 'unwanted' children.

I won't go into the legal issues here because I'm not even sure what the law is where you are. One thing is certain: I think the doctors who perform abortions without it being justified by health reasons, and without considering the terrible possible side effects, physical, emotional and social, SHOULD be punished. If I'm in distress - and a woman contemplating abortion is almost always in distress - and I go to a doctor and say, give me a strong and dangerous drug, and he gives it to me without asking any further questions, who's guilty of my later suffering? Yet it is virtually impossible to make abortionists have what they deserve for producing and keeping up an uncontrolled, highly dangerous abortion industry and for convincing us they do it for the benefit of women.

Anonymous said...

Could you please explain to me how that child was a blessing to the family?

Anna S said...

Anonymous,

I assume you mean the boy I mentioned who had autism, the son of my highschool teacher?

I will, then, gladly explain how E. had been a blessing to his family, and to many, many more people.

Like every other human, he loved and was loved. He was an extraordinary boy, gifted in a special way. His parents are people of influence, and his condition motivated them to travel around the world and collect millions and millions of donations, which helped them found a center for young adults with autism. This way, many families received much better care for their loved ones, and much improvement in their condition. E. reached out to many, many people and blessed many families beyond measure, in his own unique, special way. May he rest in peace.

Lydia said...

Anna,

Could you point me to all those statistics you mention? Because I’ve never seen those statistics you mention. In fact many of that contradict everything I’ve seen from large scientific studies.

Well I don’t think that highly of people that act because of what others will think of them, because you can’t live your own life if you’re always looking into what others could say. If people behave like that is their choice but saying that it’s society’s fault when it’s their own fault for feeling pressured? Well until someone puts a gun to my head I won’t feel pressured to follow whatever others tell me to do if I don’t want to do so, and even with the gun directed to my head I doubt I would do what I was told. People behave the way they want because they want to behave like that, blaming peer pressure for it is like saying that all people dress like the fashion shows because that’s what’s “in” for the season. For me that’s exactly the same type of peer pressure that you seem to be blaming for pernicious influence, I’ve yet to dress like the fashion shows.

Those unmarried women? Are the proof that people don’t have to follow peer pressure and act like they want (be it being mothers, be it having an abortion, dressing gothic like or à la mode). I’m not saying your mother isn’t strong; and it’s true that by norm the younger you are the more other people can influent you but it depends on the person to be influenced or not.

I’m going to put an ‘easy’ personal example… When I was in my early-mid teens many people I knew smoked (it wasn’t illegal and there was this trend between youngsters that it was cool and made you more of an adult – trite, I know but well kids are kids), several people offered me to try it (not out of bad doing towards me but because they liked it and didn’t see anything wrong with it). I always said no, I’ve never ever smoked, not even try it. Was I tempted? I have no doubt because I remember that I quite liked the smell of the normal ‘Marlboro’ but I always said no because I knew better. And it’s not like it was easy because for some time I was like the only in my friends group and very few other people didn’t smoke in my family. It’s a choice, if we let peer pressure dominate us we will fall under it but it’s our choice to let it dominate us or not.

Many people don’t like to give on adoption their own children. And I don’t know where you are from but I’m sure that it’s also not *that* easy to give a baby on adoption. And about the love to those ‘unwanted’ children, I agree but I also have to remark the fact that there are many children up for adoption and none of those loving families want to adopt them because they’re older kids, have siblings, etc.

You think that the woman seeking an abortion truly goes that blind into the operation? Women are counselled by their doctors, they go to many doctors before deciding for an abortion and the big part of them they’re aware of the consequences – mainly because all legal doctors (no idea what the illegal ones do since they don’t really follow the law) do have to warn the women seeking such an operation of all the consequences. And I don’t know where you live but everywhere where there’s an acceptable doctor and the correct means the risk of dangerous abortions are quite mince, to say the least.

So you’ve mentioned what you consider would be the doctors’ possible consequences for doing illegal abortions but I wonder what is your opinion on the women? How much jail time should women get for having an abortion?

Anna S said...

Lydia,

For statistics, drop me a note by email (see at top right corner of the blog). I'll then send you a book named 'Making Abortion Rare' (e-book version), which gives the data I mentioned, and references to plenty of scientific studies. I'm sure you will find it interesting. It also pours light on many other myths people believe, to name just two, that legal abortions = safe abortions, and that doctors REALLY inform women.

I agree with you that pressure cannot be used as justification for personal decisions. Yet we see a trend. And if something, overall, is causing women to opt for more abortions, I think that something ought to be stopped. If we see a trend of pressure from husbands, boyfriends, parents and doctors, I refuse to sit with my arms crossed, saying 'ah, their problem that they are weaklings'. Even strong women have their weak moments, which can be taken advantage of.

Giving your own child for adoption is heartbreaking. It IS. But, I will never grasp how - HOW??? - it can be worse than killing that same child.

Anonymous said...

Anna,

Thanks so much for this post. I agree wholeheartedly with you on each point. I pray for the day when society truly treasures all children.

Amanda said...

I found this post through LAF this morning.

Thank you!

I've never seen someone equate our thoughts on abortion with the way we treat children and mothers who are here. This is very insightful, and definitely makes me think more about my own word choice.

Anonymous said...

I believe we need to move beyond the definitions of "pro-choice and "pro-life" as the title suggests to "pro-woman". Where the final informed decision rests with the woman. Dr. Christiane Northrup summarizes this argument well in "Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom" (Bantam 2006).

I agree with Anna that we should be addressing the issues that create the "need" for abortions. Rape, poverty, unloving relationships, fear.

These issues can be addressed by fostering a society in which women feel that they truly have a choice, rather than an option that will selected for them (i.e. Parents or spouse want/do not want the baby). Such a society would support women to make decisions in their best interest beginning in childhood, extending into adulthood. Support would include, equal access to education, thorough eduction on birth control and fertility, maternity leave (at least one year), child support (equal in value to a salary). Norway's social spending on child support, education and child care has resulted in half of all children being born to unmarried mothers! Can you imagine...unmarried mothers that stay at home and are above the poverty line!!! I define feminism as women empowered to make the best decision for themselves.

The abortion debate is broader than wether abortion should be legal or not. Abortion will happen regardless of its legality (look up illegal abortion rate in Muslim countries). The true issue is a womans right to forge her own path. This path may contain birth(s) and/or abortion(s), as long as it is the right choice for her and she has been given all of the tools possible to make that choice. When women obtain true freedom to determine their destinies, pro-choice vs. pro-life arguments collapse and reproductive decision making rests with each empowered woman.

Finally, as women - creators of life we should ensure that we protect life wherever and whenever we can. This can be done through environmental protection, humane treatment of animals and by fostering peace and not supporting war of any kind.

MRS MJW said...

Your post was very well put...a nice reminder of God's heart toward all of us sinners and how we need to pray for each other...even more so when we mess up. Thanks for writing this. It was encouraging.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you for this reminder that our words and actions can convey much about how we value life.