Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why I Am Pro-Life

Honestly I was just sitting here playing Mahjong tiles when suddenly I had this compulsion to write this post. I think the reason it's even come to my mind is because of an email that was sent to me the other day that led me to this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2CaBR3z85c&feature=player_embedded.



Honestly, I think it's one of the best ads I ever seen on the topic. I wonder if it will actually give some pause to thought. I actually kind of doubt it. I think I heard someone say this ad will never get to be aired. I don't know if that's true or not, but it wouldn't surprise me.

As I write this post, I do it with an understanding that I will probably offend many. In fact, some so much that it could cost me friendships, or at least cordial relations. So I will give the disclaimer now that I do not do this to pick an argument or to try to convince anyone who disagrees with me, whether it be in strength or mild consideration, I'm just sharing my perspective.

I give you my opinion first as a woman who has actually been in a crisis pregnancy. I also give you my opinion as a woman who at the age of 19 chose to have an abortion. I will say until I found myself in a crisis pregnancy I considered myself to be neutral on the matter. I honestly felt it was a "to each his or rather her own" opinion. I had never really considered the possibility of actually having one myself. I would even go so far as to say I don't think I thought I would ever have one. It actually was not my first choice even when I was in the circumstance, but without rehashing old wounds and wrongs that have since been both healed and forgiven, I will say that I personally bent from pressures and went through with the abortion. Having said that, no woman can ever consider herself innocent of her choice to have an abortion, ultimately (without a gun to her head) she participates in the choice.

Saying that, I do know what a painful and difficult decision it is to make. And when it's made, it is made in trade for something else. When all the options and considerations are made, it is determined that something else is of greater value than the life inside. Whether it is relationship, or plans, whether it be imagined freedoms or education, something else takes precedence and a woman proceeds. I honestly believe that most women find it a painful decision to make.

In my case, I chose relationship over the unborn baby. And for me, I never questioned whether or not it was a "baby." No one ever tried to convince me it was tissue or something other than a life, and when I went into the clinic for my abortion at about 9 weeks, I mistakenly saw my ultrasound. I wasn't supposed to but I did. I now know what I saw, the beating heart of a little child. I've since had the joy of seeing the same kind of ultrasounds with two of my other children as well, I know even better now what I saw that day. There is no doubt when I had my abortion that a baby died. It's the one fact that is true about all abortions.

Those who are for the "right to abortion" call themselves pro-choice. I find it interesting because it has been my personal experience that abortion is the one choice that ends all other choices. Once the abortion has been done, there is no going back or undoing any regret. It is a decision that can never be changed or modified. On the other hand, a woman who chooses not to have an abortion keeps the door of choice wide open for herself to make many other decisions in the future. There is the choice to have and keep the child, with that comes choices about marriage, education, working. She can choose to postpone other plans and revisit them, she can choose to make new plans or set new goals, or she can make the choice to stay on the path she's already been on and do it in a different way. Or she can choose to continue on her same path apart from being a mother by giving her child up to a loving family for adoption. Even the choice of adoption leads to more choices. She can choose to have an open adoption with ongoing contact with the adoptive family. She can choose to walk away, and with that she can choose to never look back or she can choose to pursue the relationship again in the future. To me, choosing not to have an abortion is, without a doubt, the road to a plethora of future choices.

Another reason I am pro-life is because of my extensive experience of working with women who have had abortions. Without quoting volatile statistics, I can tell you I have personally dealt with hundreds of women who have suffered from the choice of abortion. I have seen women who have suffered physical complications such as infertility and miscarriage. I myself have had two miscarriages after my abortion and my aborted pregnancy was the only pregnancy I ever accomplished without some form of intervention. I have also seen a lot of women with deep psychological scars. I'm not saying all women are affected this way, but my experience indicates that some women undoubtedly are, ranging from chronic nightmares all the way to attempts of suicide, I have seen these responses and a great range in between. I have also seen emotional damage from shame to depression, and there are of course spiritual consequences as well.

Interestingly enough even though my abortion experience was very traumatic, my initial response was to become extremely pro-choice in the aftermath of it. No, honestly I personally became pro-abortion. I can specifically remember having one conversation that I tried to convince a woman I knew to have an abortion. Looking back now I realize I did so because I didn't want to feel alone, it wasn't enough to be a statistic, I wanted to personally know someone else who'd actually been through it. I am thankful to this day that she didn't listen to me, especially when I see what a treasure her son has grown up to be. I also have great guilt to know that she did abort a later pregnancy that I never knew about till years later. I do feel some sense of responsibility in that, because I lied to her and told her it was "no big deal." Abortion is indeed a big deal.

That leads to another reason why I am against abortion. I have an adopted child. So every day living in my very own home is a reminder at what cost abortion comes. A beautiful loving child, who was given life in the most dire of circumstances, and he's never brought anything but joy into my life. More and more I hear about children who've been adopted, and I think, each one of them has been a choice. Truly every child born since 1973 has absolutely been a choice. They have been given the gift of life, chosen first by God and then my their mother. And those adopted have been chosen yet again. And it is sincerely an incredible thing to experience the joy of adoption.

Now having said all that, you will probably never find me picketing a clinic or lobbying on Capitol stairs. I will always vote pro-life (sorry Mr. President) and I will sign any solid pro-life petition that comes my way, but I know that isn't where the answers lie. Would I love to live in an a world where abortion didn't exist? I would. Do I expect to? I do not. I also don't believe the solution is in sexual education or making birth control more available. You can keep telling me teenagers are "going to have sex" and I will continue to tell any of them who will listen, not to unless they are married. If only a few listen, I will have at least done my part to make an impact. And even if I only change one opinion, I will have at least changed that one opinion. I'm not speaking from a soap box, I'm speaking from my experience, and that no one can deny.

The battle of abortion is not a mass war, but hand to hand combat, and it isn't to be fought against the woman who is making the choice to have one, but rather against the mindset she's been given to believe as absolute. It's a battle against the thought that it is the "best" way or the "only" way. It's a fight against hopelessness and fear. The day I walked into a clinic to have my abortion, I was looking for a way out, I was open to another road of thought. One of my saddest memories about that day is driving into the clinic parking lot. As I looked out the passenger window there were well intentioned people there picketing the clinic. I honestly believe their hearts were for the well-being of the babies. As we drove up to the lot though, they pointed fingers and began to yell. It was with harsh and angry tones that they cried out "Murderer!" at me. And it was in that moment that the clinic that I questioned entering suddenly became the safest place for me to go. I'm by no means judging the people who were there that day, but I do offer it as a warning to any who may feel called to do such a thing should do it in peace and love, whatever their motivation.

To a woman considering abortion I would say, weight your options yet again, there is only one direction that continues down the road of choice. To a woman who has already made the decision and is hurting from it, I would say, you are not alone, there is hope. I never cease to be amazed at how in a world where abortion is so acceptable, so few women who've had them are willing to talk about it. And they are everywhere, in your workplaces, even your churches, your families and many of them are in pain. I pray that both these groups of women discover there is help out there and there is hope.

It is hope that makes me pro-life, I choose to keep it alive. Of course, having said all of that, there is one reason greater than all I have written for my pro-life convictions. The strongest belief I hold about why I am pro-life comes from the scripture.

Genesis 1:26 says, Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness."

Human life was created with inherent value. It's value cannot be separated from the very life itself. Created lives are not accidents or mistakes, human life is made to reflect the image of the Creator Himself. Whether treasured or neglected, it loses no value, it is no less precious, only less appreciated. You are valuable because God created you. He chose to knit you together in a very specific way for a very specific purpose. From the color of your eyes and hair to the personality, strengths and talents He's given you, you are His precious creation. You just may not realize that. And unfortunately people don't realize that is the case with all human life, and so much valuable life is squandered through abortion. Babies being unplanned or unwanted don't make them less valuable, but unfortunately there is no coming back from abortion, the "choice" that ends all choices.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! Psalm 139:13-17


For more of my personal experience with abortion, click here.

5 comments:

carolyn said...

Thank you for sharing your opinion! I am going to blog about why I am pro life later today. But, definately not as beautifully as you did :)

Mandy said...

This is an amazingly open post about something that so many are not comfortable talking about. It is so beautiful and incredible the vulnerability that you share. Thank you.

Jeff Hamilton said...

Amazing Diana.

Patti said...

I do not know you, but I read your post and believe that this is a wonderfully, well written, way of trying to help people understand the down side to "pro-choice" options. I feel for you, and the pain you must deal with every day. This post stirred up so much emotion inside of me. I am happy that you were able to adopt a child and give him the love that another may have been incapable of giving him. He is a lucky boy to have had you choose to raise him with love and a better understanding of how precious a life is. With God on your side, you will do many great things for this child, and for many who read this post. Thank you for such an honest description of the impact that choosing abortion, can make.
Patti Rivera

Diana said...

Patti,

I don't know if you'll come back to see this reply, but I did want to say, that through God's grace and forgiveness, I have been able to walk free from pain. I will always regret the choice, but know that God has used it for good to help and touch the lives of others. If I could go back I would not do it again, but the wound has been healed by the Lord, only the scar reminding me of all He has done in me remains.