I have kept quiet on the matter of abortion nearly my whole life because I feared I would offend the Lord if my view was not 100% ProLife considering Scripture clearly says, “Thou shall not kill.” On Friday, when the US Supreme Court decided to overturn the prior Roe vs. Wade precedent, I was in the presence of two female friends. The three of us each voiced our thoughts and it may have been the first time I had ever participated in an abortion conversation. Later, as everyone took to Facebook to voice their opinions, it became clear that if you are not on the ProLife side of the argument, you must be on the ProDeath team - I disagree.
In 2006-2007, I was expecting my second child, a son, and I was praying about whether I should have a tubal ligation after the scheduled C-section. I had always wanted to be the mother of 2 sons, and with the second son due June 2007, I believed he would complete our family. I was 31 years old, so I still had quite a few more reproductive years, and the options were pills, an IUD, an implant or a tubal. If you know me, you know that I am talkative, always gathering information, and I love to hear people’s thoughts, opinions and experiences. As I shared my desire to have my “tubes tied,” a couple of people told me they thought the procedure was immoral, that I should have as many children as God wanted me to have. While I respected their opinion, it was my choice.
It was a HUGE decision for me. The “what-ifs” ran rampant through my mind. I know plenty of people who have a 3rd, 4th or 5th child they said was a “surprise,” and I didn’t really want a surprise of that magnitude. I was married, but it wasn’t a great marriage. I was a teacher, so pretty much on a fixed income. Two sons were what I wanted and God blessed me to have 2 sons - I couldn’t fathom why I would need more! I prayed and I cried, and I cried and I prayed. I didn’t even confirm with my doctor until he had laid 7lb 10oz Nicholas on my chest in the operating room. He asked me for the last time - “Tubal?” I nodded and was again, emotional. The nurses took Nick for his newborn regimen, and my fallopian tubes were tied, burnt, etc. Nick turned 15 last week, and I’m yet to regret the decision to have my tubes tied. It was my decision. It was a choice. It was what I thought was best for me, my family and our situation. I honored the Lord every step of the way. I asked His opinion, and I waited for Him to speak, I looked for signs from Him. The moment arrived and the decision had to be made.
While the decision to permanently sterilize oneself is not the same as the decision to end a pregnancy already in progress, I imagine similar emotions would be involved - similar prayers would be prayed. Many say, well, a tubal can be reversed - I suppose it can be, but it’s difficult, rare and could damage the reproductive system. Tubal Ligations can also fail. As I write this, I am still reproductive. I could become pregnant. If I did, I probably wouldn’t be happy about it, at least at first! It would be a shocker, to me, but nothing surprises the Lord. I would carry the baby and raise a third child, maybe grudgingly, but I would do it because that’s what I would believe was in God’s plan for me.
Everyone’s situation is different. Some women have health conditions that would endanger their life or the baby’s life. They may no longer be married to, or in relationship with the unborn baby’s father and they believe it takes two parents to raise a child. Some women may be experiencing financial difficulties and not want the additional burden. I read recently that based on 2022 dollar values, it costs $272,049 to raise a child in the United States from birth to age 18 - and this does not include college costs. For someone in a difficult financial situation, those numbers can seem astronomical. Sometimes a pregnancy can result from rape. While you may say that child could be given up for adoption, that’s not a simple process! For someone who just wants to put painful memories of sexual assault behind them, abortion may seem like the better option.
We all know someone who has children, but does very little parenting - right! Child-rearing is a choice. If anyone asks my opinion on whether they should abort their unborn baby, I would tell them NO - and I have had this conversation a few times in my life. I’ve shared about the joy of motherhood and the infinite gifts and talents God gave to my children. I’ve quoted Scriptures about how all human beings are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27); how God knits us together in our mother’s womb; how we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14). I’ve talked about how Jesus loves little children (Matthew 19:14). I’ve prayed that the women who have asked my opinion would choose to continue their pregnancies. I also respect the fact that some have not. It was their choice. While I gave all the reasons I could think of, they were looking at their own situation, the feasibility of the new addition to the family, the coming years, and they just did not believe it best to have a(nother) child. It makes me sad, angry even, but it’s not my place to pass judgment. I shouldn’t condemn someone for a decision they made for themselves.
As we all continue to navigate the abortion landscape, a few things to keep in mind.
Someone may not be ProLife, but that doesn’t mean they are ProDeath. It means they are ProChoice - they respect a woman’s right to choose what is right for herself, her family, and her future.
The decision to have an abortion is a major decision. I would imagine it to be a difficult and painful decision, as well! Women don’t choose abortion like they choose a hair color, as some would have us to believe.
The United States is composed of people with different beliefs, backgrounds, experiences, morals, etc. While you, reading this message, may believe the Scriptures, everyone does not. Even those who profess Jesus as Lord and Savior don’t share the exact same walk with Him. Some people have been walking with Him for longer and they may see His wondrous Creation in every direction they look. I may believe that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8:28) because I’ve seen that to be true many times. Someone else may not believe that because they have not experienced it. Those who believe are supposed to be making disciples (Matthew 28:19). Without faith, people make decisions based on their experiences and current reality. If we want to be effective at helping those considering abortion, we must not only be sharing the Word of God, but a living example of faith.
Sin comes in many different forms and we are all guilty. Remember, the Pharisees knew the Scriptures and the Law of Moses, but they failed to consider the human factor where they applied it. We read in John 8:1-11 the story of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery against her husband. The Pharisees and teachers of the law brought her to Jesus, and to trap him, they reminded him that the Law of Moses indicated she should be stoned - “what do you say,” they asked. Jesus told them they could stone her, but the one of them who had never sinned must be allowed to throw the first stone. The men left the scene. They knew they had sinned. Jesus said to the woman, “neither do I condemn you; go now and leave your life of sin.” Jesus knew the woman’s situation. He did not attack her because of her sin. Rather than attacking women who consider or choose abortion, let’s love them. Rather than judging them, let’s work with them to help abortion not be such a serious consideration. Rather than quoting the Scripture “Thou shalt not kill,” (Exodus 20:13) let’s live the Scripture, “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) AMEN.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this week's message. It's been a while since I shared a message, but this was necessary for me to share. I hope everyone has a blessed week.