Saturday, February 26, 2011

To my pro choice friends

I know you are compassionate. I know that you believe that a woman has a right to control her body. I know your hearts are in the right place. I truly believe that about you.

But from the moment of conception, from the moment a sperm cell and an egg unite, there is a shift in the woman's body. The union of those two cells is a moment when a separate life is born. The woman's body recognizes this. That moment of union sets in motion a series of events that the woman cannot control. Her uterus begins to build a home for the new life. Her breasts grow tender. Her body creates hormones to sustain the life growing inside her. Physiologically, she is no longer a single organism. She now holds within her a separate and distinct life. And her body knows, even from the first day, from the moment of union. Her body knows. She is a mother.

And whether you believe in God or not, whether you believe that life is sacred or not, you have to recognize that a woman who is with child is a mother, even if that child is unwanted. Even if her life is chaos. Even if a kid is the last thing in the world she can imagine for herself. It has already happened, from the moment the sperm and egg became a separate living being, she is a mother.

And whether you believe in God or not, whether you believe that life is sacred, or not, you have to recognize that no matter how tiny that new life is, abortion extinguishes it. There is a death in that clinic. Two deaths, really. The death of the embryo or fetus and the death of the motherhood inside that woman.

Women don't forget. They may console themselves that it was the logical decision... the right choice in a sea of terrible options. They may deny the impact and put on the blinders. They may bury their pain in anger or self destruction or numb it with drugs or men. They may even manage to convince their minds and hearts that they are fine. But their bodies know that for those few weeks, they were a mother. They were creating life. They were nurturing life. And then they weren't.

Years go by. We have women who call our center after decades, ready to face the fact that they lost more than a baby that day. One client had her abortion 45 years ago and has come to us for healing.

Our culture has said that abortion is a compassionate option. I don't believe that for a moment. It is an expedient option. An inexpensive option. A fast option. But not compassionate. Never compassionate. Death is not a compassionate choice. We, as a society, can do better, can't we? How would truly compassionate people cope with a crisis like this?

A long time ago, a friend of mine found herself pregnant by a man who was no good for her. Her friends and family gathered around her, angry and afraid. We talked her into going to the clinic because we believed that it was best for her. We wanted what was best. I drove her, on a cold, gray afternoon. Waited in the reception area while she was irrevocably altered. Her fetus and her motherhood taken from her. I thought I was being a good friend. I think now that I had simply accepted the lie that this wouldn't cause her harm. That this was a good choice. A safe and legal option that would make the whole problem just go away.

But now I know better. From the moment those two cells unite, from the moment the switch is thrown, there is no going back.

We can do better.

We, as a people, as a society, can have a truly compassionate response to an unwanted pregnancy. We can salvage the mother, nurture her, care for her as one of our own. We can love her and support her. We can welcome the life inside her and make a place for the child in our hearts, our society, our culture. We can save the life of the baby and the motherhood of the woman.

We can do better.

We must do better.

" Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want." Mother Theresa

1 comment:

John Michael Keba said...

Thank you, Rachel. We can do better, but better is not expedient or cost effective: Mammon has co-ruler in our world, Expediency.

The "shades of gray" that are always invoked are simply the shadows cast when the Light shines upon the Evil in this world. When a society chooses to base it actions upon shadows, it signs it own death warrant.

This is an nation that believes violence is a legitimate and expedient way to "get what it wants." It reaps what it sows.