I woke up this morning from a dream about abortion. I was on a bus full of people and I saw an old friend. She told me she was on her way to an abortion clinic. I sat down beside her and started to beg her not to do it. Then the people on the bus started getting in my face pulling me away and yelling at me about it being "her choice". I woke up in a feeling of panic thinking, "but I need to tell her!" So this morning this has been on my heart.
Being Pregnant has caused me to become harshly aware of abortion. I can remember as a teenager saying things like “well I don’t think I would ever do it but I think a woman should be able to choose what she does with HER body” and I even remember one time in college saying “I don’t think I would ever have an abortion, but if I am honest with myself, there is no way I would have a baby right now”. I made both of these statements during a time that I claimed to be a born again Christian. It wasn’t until a little later that I truly surrendered my life to Christ and saw my sin and my need for a savior. In addition to my new understanding of things, my views on abortion changed. I started to sense more deeply that abortion was wrong, though I didn’t really know why I felt that way. I believed that life began at conception and I believed that abortion was murder, despite the arguments of fetus and brain development yada yada. In my heart I just knew, but I couldn’t verbalize why.
Since I have been pregnant I have come to see abortion in a whole new way. Early in my pregnancy I had spotting (up until 9 weeks) and it was terrifying. I remember thinking its funny how as a teenager the worst thing in the world would be to have a baby and now in this moment the worst thing would be to lose one. At 6 weeks we had an ultrasound to make sure the baby was there and alive. There was something so special and amazing about seeing that little heartbeat flicker on the screen. I knew this was a life, it didn’t look like a baby, but it had a heartbeat! I knew that this wasn't just MY body anymore, I was sharing my body with another tiny life and it was Amazing. The doctors told us to be prepared that things could still go wrong and I could still have an abortion…she used the word abortion, not talking about a procedure, but referring to the life inside of me as being aborted on it’s own, what we commonly call a miscarriage. I thought it was funny that she phrased it that way, but an abortion procedure is really just a miscarriage caused purposely by the mother. I was still so fearful of losing this child and others were willing to purposefully “lose” theirs. I would have attacks of fear where I truly believed that we were going to lose the baby. I was sure of it! The only things that comforted me were the prayers of my husband and the promises of the Lord.
I started to wonder how is it that people can have such differing views on this issue, how is it that in my own life at different times even I have had differing views? Then I realized that a person’s stance on abortion is dependent on two things, what they believe about God and His sovereignty and what they believe about children.
What they believe about God:
If I believe that God is holy, righteous, loving and just, the creator and supreme ruler of all and sovereign, then my view on pregnancy (planned or not) is drastically different than someone without that view of God. A Sovereign God is one who is ultimately in control and authority over all of life’s circumstances; life, death, marriage and children. If I have this view of God when I face difficult situations, I stop asking “why God?” and start asking “God what is it that you are doing?” because I know that God loves me and “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).” I know that even if I haven't planned my pregnancy that God, being sovereign, has planned my pregnancy. It isn't an accident. This means that if I am pregnant as a result of a terrible rape, God is sovereign and he will comfort me through the pain. If I am pregnant and have no money, I know that God has a plan and He will provide. If I am pregnant and have no husband, God is sovereign and He is the Father of my child. If I am pregnant and my child has down syndrome, or some other disease, God is sovereign and he knit my Child together in my womb and he loves my child very much! If God is sovereign then none of these situations are a viable reason for an abortion. Abortion is just a false since of control over my life and ultimately it is a way to tell God that what I think should happen is superior to what He is doing.
It was also this view about God that helped me to put my trust in him when it came to the life of my Child. Believing that God is Sovereign and good and meditating on that truth comforted me. Knowing that God loved my baby more than me and he would work all things together for the good of his people, whatever the situation.
What they think about Children:
As a promiscuous teenager it would be easy to see a Child as a punishment for your sin. I think that is how many of my friends viewed it, it was like a way you were “caught” at doing what was wrong, you would be forced to tell your parents what you had been doing and everyone would know. Your baby bump would be like your scarlet letter. I think this is true for a woman of any age who ends up pregnant from a sinful relationship, infidelity, fornication etc. It can seem as if a baby is just a punishment for the “act” you have done. This is probably the most common lie Satan uses to convince women that they need an abortion. Children should never be viewed as a punishment for sin, but rather a blessing despite our sin.
We live in a culture where Children aren’t loved; they aren’t viewed as a blessing, but a burden or an inconvenience. We have apartment buildings that are “children free” we call our kids “snot nosed brats” and if you don’t want kids yet, finding out your pregnant could be the equivalent of finding out you have cancer. I think I have come to see the root of this view as selfishness. Being pregnant my body is no longer mine, I share it with this little life that needs me to put aside my wants and take care of it, feed it the right foods, rest at the right time, exercise etc. and the sacrifice of my wants won't stop once the child is born. There is self-sacrifice in having a child, and our selfishness makes us not want that, we want to continue to live life for ourselves with limited responsibility. But if we know the TRUTH about Children our view on abortion is drastically different.
King Solomon proclaims,
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
(Psalm 127:3-5 ESV)
And David speaks deeply about the intricate work of God’s sovereignty in creating a child as he reflects on his own relationship with the Lord.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.(Psalm 139:13-14 ESV)
Jesus compares childbirth to believers longing for His return,
“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” (John 16:21 ESV)
Scripture teaches that Children are a blessing, a reward, they are fearfully and wonderfully made, and Children bring forth Joy. But why is this not the view of many in America? Our culture is so blinded by the lies of MY RIGHTS, MY BODY, MY LIFE that we fail to see the blessing and beauty of children.
I did not write this to shame anyone who has had an abortion. I expect that many who stumble upon this post with have at some point in their life experienced abortion, even evangelical Christians. I know that there is much pain involved with abortion and much guilt. But the good news of the Gospel is that forgiveness and freedom can be found at the cross. I would never wish to condemn someone for their past. I just wanted to share how I have come to understand abortion and the epidemic that is around us. Experiencing the miracle of having a life inside me; every kick and hiccup, the sound of her little heartbeat, has made me more passionate and more aware of the TRUTH of what goes on in abortion clinics. I hope this post will challenge the way people view abortion, especially “pro-choice believers” and I hope that others will share their testimonies on the issue. I find this verse very convicting, "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."(James 4:17) I believe that because I know that the right thing to do is to speak up about the truth, for me not to do it would be a sin. I hope that others will speak up too!