Besides writing about my son’s suicide, this may be the hardest article that I’ve written. I am an avid pro-lifer and I have stood against Planned Parenthood ever since I was in 8th grade and a PP rep laughed at a boy who raised a question about condoms being too big to fit him. Yes – true story – To be fair, her answer (after snickering) was “if it is too big, you don’t need one”. This sophisticated answer came from an organization attempting to stop unwanted pregnancy and sexual disease.
I am not writing today about body parts and selling them for research. I am writing for the silent hurting women who may have had an abortion because they felt like it was their only option. I’m writing to women who may have been deceived by PP or another provider not knowing the affect to themselves. I’ve been told rather boldly that I can’t comment on abortion because I don’t have a uterus. I also haven’t had my legs amputated but I can have empathy for those who have. And, by the way, don’t comment on teen suicide or adoption or separation disorder unless your child has died from it. Get my point?
I am not a woman but I am a father and grandfather. I can’t imagine the fear, anxiety and angst of a woman who finds herself pregnant at the worst time of her life. As joyful as a planned pregnancy is, an unplanned unwanted pregnancy must be beyond words of description. Don’t pull the hate card at this point. You can blame all you want for sex outside of marriage, promiscuity, sin etc. We have all sinned and fallen short . . . but all sins don’t carry a lifelong change with decisions that are at the top of life’s pyramid.
The bottom line is: a woman has three choices – keep the baby and deal with a life of consequences, adopt the baby and deal with a life of consequences, abort and deal with a life of consequences. The first choice will be evident for the rest of her life – “how old were you when you had him?”. The second choice will be evident for approximately six or seven months (when I was a teen, pregnant girls disappeared for a school year and then magically came back from never never land and didn’t talk about where they were). The third option is not evident to anyone but the woman. Our society doesn’t brand women with an abortion tattoo. You may be sitting in your office now spewing opinion about PP and abortion while the woman sitting right beside you may have had an abortion and never confessed it you. And why would she? I don’t believe any woman is proud of this decision and most I assume struggle with it to some degree and don’t go around telling the world about it.
Imagine for a moment being that woman. She wakes everyday knowing what she did. Whether she affirms it or not, she has to deal with it. She hears the news just like we all do. She sees the images. She hears of the gruesome procedure and the sale of body parts. How is she supposed to act? How is she supposed to feel? How is she to grieve, confess, share? How does she enter into a church discussion or lunch talk knowing her side of the story? A co-worker recently said in front of me “that celebrity committed suicide, he just went to hell”. I nearly exploded! I chose to go in the bathroom and calm down rather than tear them apart.
In my lifetime, I have had a total of two women admit to me that they had abortions. Not only do we not require women to where the abortion tattoo, we also don’t expect the woman beside us at work, church or school to openly talk about having one. Since we don’t know about it, we make the assumption that no one has had one. It is a secret on both sides. The women don’t want to talk about it and we don’t really want to hear about it. By not hearing about it, we don’t need to hear the personal side of it. We don’t need to hear the pain and agony and sorrow because that’s when it really gets messy. That’s when we put a face on the decision. That’s when it’s no longer a news story or demonstration and it becomes a friend or loved one who may still be suffering.
I will continue to post against PP. I will continue to ask our government leaders to de-fund them. I am still a advocate for adoption and I will help to support a young mom who chooses to keep her child. But . . .I will be sensitive to the hurts of those who chose an option that I don’t support – right or wrong those women are still children of God and need to be loved and forgiven. Their actions are NOT worse than mine and they need the love of Jesus just as much. For those women, I pray for peace and forgiveness and the grace to share with other young women who may be facing this difficult time.
Mark 11: 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”