Roe vs. Wade - When abortion hit home for me
Today marks the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. While I try not to be political or too opinionated on polarizing topics on the blog, this year I feel I must say something. As you can guess, being pregnant has made the topic of abortion hit much more close to home than ever before. To be honest, I always knew abortion was wrong, but I wasn't passionate about it. I didn't think about it or really understand "the why" beyond the basics. But this year it's different. When we attended our first appointment for the baby at 10 weeks, our Dr. asked us if we'd like to perform elective testing to determine if the baby could be prone toward certain disabilities. At first, Mike and I were divided on the topic, and as the Dr. was listening to our discussion, she lightly pipped in, "It can be very useful in determining if you'd like to terminate the pregnancy early on."
We both stopped talking mid-sentence, turned to look at her, and I said firmly, "That is not an option for us, please do not suggest that again."
Fast forward 10 more weeks to our first ultrasound. Following our time with the technician we met with our Dr. for the routine check-in - and do my favorite thing - talk about the baby. After letting us know what great pictures we got, that he's in the 60th percentile, and that overall he was developing well, she let us know that there was one small issue - our baby had a cyst on his brain. She assured us not to worry yet, but we'd have another ultrasound in four weeks to check on it. She told us usually these things disappear, but if it stays, it could be a sign of a disability. So it's best to check on it again in a few weeks, then determine "if we'd like to terminate."
I'll admit I responded in anger, "Not an option for us - please don't say ever that," I snapped.
By this time, it was public information that I was pregnant. From the outside, the evidence was clear that I had another life inside of me and for the most part, I couldn't hide the fact that I was pregnant even to complete strangers (except if they were male - let's be honest, they're completely oblivious). I had read all about my baby developing organs and fingernails and learning to blink, and after that day's appointment I had evidence from the inside - I had just seen my little baby boy dance around the ultrasound screen and I was holding 3-D images of his face, complete with the most adorable nose you've ever seen - and someone is suggesting I murder him because he might, might have a disability?
I was so ticked I couldn't even speak. The rest of the appointment didn't go well. I didn't know what questions to ask and the Dr. wasn't offering much information. I was scared and overwhelmed for the health of our baby, and her nonchalant suggestion made me angry on top of everything else.
I find it interesting that with all these celebrities getting pregnant these days, they're pregnant with babies. People. Humans. Particularly with Will and Kate's baby, at 12 weeks, the media dubbed it the "Royal Baby," and they were theorizing names, interests and talents of this 12 week-old life. But shouldn't they be calling it the "Royal Fetus?" Or is it just a "baby" because it's wanted?
I know this post will strike a cord, and many will disagree with my position. I'll admit I went back and forth on posting it about a million times, not wanting to ostracize readers, and if I'm being truly honest, receive criticism, but I want to challenge you to think about what you believe and why you believe it. I'll be the first to admit I grew up believing abortion was wrong because I grew up in a Christian family and my parents told me it was - at the time, that was enough. But now that I'm an adult, I can't lean on that any more, I must be educated, smart and thoughtful in my decisions and beliefs. I know one of the number one reasons people vote in favor of abortion is because of women's right to choose what happens to their bodies - which is a legitimate right and one that I believe in as well. But to paraphrase John Piper in the article I linked to below, when two legitimate rights conflict, the right of the unborn to live and the right of a woman not to be pregnant, the higher value must be protected. And what is more valuable? An innocent human life or not being pregnant?
While I still struggle to express on a dime all the reasons I believe abortion is wrong, I do believe I can usually articulate a semi-thoughtful response if required. For those of you who are looking to learn more, I found this article a wonderful storehouse of information. I also found this article very thought-provoking, and something I hope someday can become true. Yes, both articles are written by Christians, but neither is written with heavy-religious hand, instead they offer logical and thoughtful reasoning for why abortion just doesn't make sense. I know there are other articles and opinions out there from Christians and non-Christians alike, and if I get more time, I promise to post them here.
Regardless, I truly hope that on any topic, before you vote with the majority, or how you were raised, or what you heard somewhere a long time ago, that you research and learn about both sides - from both sides - before you reach a decision. A child's life may depend on it.