What I Learned About Abortion That I Hadn’t Known

I’m a pro-lifer through and through. I believe life is sacred, and I don’t limit that belief to only the lives of the unborn. I think the lives of all humans are holy because they bear God’s image. I have hitherto believed that anytime the word “abortion” was used that it was because a selfish, evil woman found another life to be an inconvenience to her so she thought she would just end it. Thankfully, I’ve learned that not all women who have abortions are evil nor is my mischaracterization always accurate.

Some, sadly, feel that abortion is their only option. I’ve noticed that we who are pro-life also tend to believe that sex should remain in marriage—something I consider to be God’s will (1 Cor. 7:1–2). However, most of us who believe this do not or haven’t practiced it ourselves, so when our daughters become pregnant out of wedlock, they may think that the shame is too high to bear so abortion would be the better choice. I would hope that we don’t come off too judgmental, because whether we like it or not, our attitudes may contribute to the decision some ladies make.

You and I may not be able to empathize with the option to abort because of our various luxuries and privileges, but what I’ve recently learned has truly humbled me. A friend sent me a link to a story where a pregnant woman, at a particular point in her pregnancy beyond twelve weeks, discovered that her child was not living. Her doctor recommended that she allow nature to take its place, so she went home with a dead baby in her womb to await a horrible process of miscarriage. During her wait, she began to experience health complications that were due to the dead child living in her. However, had she had it removed, it would have fallen under the category of an “abortion” although the child was not living. In my mind, because the child was not living, she should have, for her own health, had it “removed.”

Of course, this is but one story where the circumstances were so exceptional that we pro-lifers might agree on the path of action. Can you imagine her having to tell family and friends that she had an “abortion” and their reactions given the stigma attached to the word itself? In this case, the woman’s health was at risk. As I was discussing this with my wife, she who used to work in a GYN’s office mentioned an ectopic pregnancy and how it might have been necessary in those cases to “abort” the child for the life of the mother—the child being actually non-living. It isn’t always a matter of selfish and careless women ending a life. Sometimes it very much is a matter of a woman’s health being at risk.

That being said, I believe the bills being passed by various states that detecting heartbeats are prohibitive of abortions is reasonable to protect the lives of the unborn. If the child has died or never lived while in the mother’s womb, however, then I hope we could agree that removing the corpse from the womb would be better for the mother’s health and not an evil thing at all. Nevertheless, I think the most important thing for us to do in this matter as a whole is to show kindness and compassion to women regardless of their choice. Only when we listen to those who have abortions and why might we contribute to truly eradicating it when it ends lives.

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