Something are just too hard to think about… but sometimes I have to anyway. This is a hard thing to talk about. So hard in fact that I cried some hard tears just reliving this to write it. It’s about the day I played a part in the end of a human life… so how could I not cry.
I was young and just wanted to help my friend who had become pregnant … an undesired pregnancy, however with someone she loved at the time. Although, as I contemplated it through the first half of my life, I realized I was never certain that she truly knew what love was as she was willing to consider abortion as an option. And so I prayed…
I prayed that God would change her mind. Her parents pressured her she told me. I prayed that I would be a good friend to her.
And what I did was just the opposite.
That decision haunted me for years.
I can not begin to describe how it feels to have participated in the complete demise of an innocent human life. I can’t even find the words to share how deeply I regretted what I did, trying to be a good friend.
As a teenager, I was learning from the influences all around me and not listening to God in this regard, even though deep inside I knew it was wrong. I had learned that supporting another’s choice is one of the most important things a friend can do. I know a lot of people today who have a differing opinion to my own regarding the value of life, but I don’t know anyone else personally who formed that opposing opinion based on the fact that they helped another life be dissolved. Maybe you do and that would be an interesting conversation to say the least, but THAT is a conversation that must take place for Truth to win. I’d say they are most likely living with grief beyond anyone else’s comprehension; and the belief they hold just may be what they hide behind to justify what they did over what they are truly wishing they had done instead. I, on the other hand, will explain all that I have gone through since that day.
THE DAY I HELPED END A LIFE
As I was driving my friend to another city to get an abortion, I was rationalizing that what was about to happen was fine because she had just found out she was pregnant a few weeks before. I wanted to be there for my friend in every way, since she had trusted me with her fear and unknowing. Her parents said that an abortion was the best thing so that her future would be secure. She said she had plans for her future that didn’t include a baby yet. Yet, she was filled with fear and I wanted to comfort her.
As I drove her to the appointment (no, her parents did not drive her which I found very strange), I began to think “I would never do what she is doing. How could I ever not love a child that had been conceived within me?” I had wanted to be a mom as long as I could remember… no career could equal being a mom to me. I ignored those thoughts because this was ‘her choice’. I had bought into that since women had been oppressed for so long – or so I had been told.
She came out of the appointment and led her life as if it had never happened. Or so it seemed.
At age 16, one might think that is possible, but those of us with some age on us know that it isn’t. She lived with that decision every day. I saw it in her eyes. That was confirmed when I saw her years later, because I could still see that pain in her eyes even if she wouldn’t have admitted it. The pain, I would imagine, of knowing she had one more child that she could be holding had she made a different choice so long ago.
Our friendship lost its way not long after. Maybe it was because she didn’t want a reminder when she saw me, because I was there with her through it all. Maybe it was me who didn’t want the reminder. I do very much recall what I went through after that encounter. What took less than one hour would haunt me for years to come.
All I can say is that this happened in a time when I was searching for answers in my own life, and I was looking everywhere. I began to think heavily on the fact that I helped to end the life of another human being. It tore me up inside. I tried to talk to her about the options. Maybe had I spoken up more she would have listened, and, yet, maybe not. But I really didn’t do so with enough conviction, I suppose. I could have stood ground as a TRUE friend and talked over with her the consequences she could possibly face for the rest of her life. Physical consequences. Mental consequences. Relational consequences.
That would have been a real true friend.
I felt a deep remorse within my spirit – the innermost being of who I was. I was tormented by the thought I helped abruptly stop the life another human being. I had no idea going into it how deeply it would affect my life. It was heavy on my heart. So very heavy. It nearly crushed me emotionally. I started questioning everything.
Who gives a woman the right to choose whether or not to end a pregnancy and take another life?
Who says the man involved has no choice in the matter?
If men are held responsible for child support then why do they not get a choice in these cases?
When does life begin?
Where does that child go when they are aborted?
How many people are ultimately hurt by abortion?
Should there be exceptions as to who may or may not get abortions?
Who decides these things?
And I also thought of all the women in the world hurting and so desperate to have a child, even adopt, to share love. I was young when I knew I wanted to have a child so very much. I knew that longing shared with the heart of so many other women. Wouldn’t it be the best alternative to give one of those women the opportunity to love an unwanted child?
And then this question…
If I would not do this myself, then what made it right for me to enable such a thing?
As I always did, and still do, I went on a quest to find the answers. Had I made the mistake of just buying into what seemed like the popular opinion regarding abortion and the ‘right to choose’ … the opinion that women get to make all the decisions with no consequences?
I must feel educated as to why I believe something and own it… or I’m simply a puppet in the hands of whomever speaks the loudest. And that is something I never want to be. When I research to form my belief about a subject, I always go for the truth in its simplest and purest form, because what many times comes after the simplest of truths is distorted to fit an agenda. I didn’t want agenda; I wanted the truth. And I longed for forgiveness, and to know that I had forgiveness.
WHAT I FOUND
The scientific definition for determining whether something is living (whether it is found here or even on another planet or in the deepest unknowns of the ocean as we explore) is this:
Living things are highly organized with the ability to acquire materials and energy, respond to their environment, reproduce (even if only in cell division), and adapt. Using that scientific definition then certainly a newly conceived being is living. Geneticists far and wide agree on that definition. And, all life has DNA – as supported not only by the medical community but also by the justice system.
Simple. Concise. Truth to the point of simplicity.
What I realized is this:
Since it is a living being based on that truth, then who am I to decide if it is to live or die within the womb? I neither created that being, nor will I make every decision for that being. Who am I to usurp what is already in progress? It is not the same being as I am, nor anyone else.
TRUTHS TO LIGHTEN THE BURDEN
I wrestled and I lamented and I fought with the thought of what I had done … and I sought forgiveness. Obviously, as He so perfectly does, God worked in my heart over a period of time showing me more truths. But He also forgave me.
I am forgiven.
Knowing what I know to be God’s Truth, I saw something deep… I didn’t see any circumstance to which He approves of us playing God; detrimental consequences to the pregnant mother, malformation, rape, and incest not being exceptions. If God sees fit to allow the conception of another human being within any circumstance whatsoever, who am I to decide otherwise?
WHAT GOD SAYS
“…Before I was born the LORD called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.” – Isaiah 49:1 (NIV)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;” – Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
Heather’s personal note …
Do I dare say I know better than He?
If I am to love God with all my power, and if I am to honor the body God gave to me as a temple to His Spirit that guides me, then how could I ignore the value of every single human life?
I have heard it argued that it is a ‘moral right’ to allow choice. Yet those same people will often say, “What kind of immoral God allows some to live and others to perish in unforeseen tragedy?”
Why is it then that a woman choosing which life continues and which one ends is a moral choice, but God doing the same thing is immoral?