I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m pro-life. I’m not just pro, unborn child, life. I believe in the sanctity of human life, that all life is precious. But the arguments stirring on social media in the wake of President Trump’s promise to defund Planned Parenthood got me thinking about how I got here even before I called myself a Christian.
Just not for me.
Up until my early 20s, I thought abortion was fine, just not for me. The funny thing was, most women I knew felt the same way. In fact, I would often wonder, if no one thinks it’s for them, then why is this even an issue. I mean, no one’s getting abortions then, right? But then I agreed to drive someone to an abortion appointment.
Neither of us had any idea of what to expect. We’d reasoned it was the only option… something as a mom that rocks me to the core today. Because I know now, that was a lie. We discussed the medical procedure, the recovery, leaving out the obvious. The reality set in when we got closer and saw there were pro-life protesters picketing outside. She had been warned that this might happen, so we were instructed to enter through a back door.
We checked in, got her paperwork, and sat in the waiting room. I smiled, trying to be supportive. Then she was called in. Right away I noticed something odd. Most waiting rooms are quiet. People keep to themselves and avoid eye contact. This wasn’t the case in the clinic. It was loud. Then I realized, it wasn’t just loud. I was hearing their stories.
There was a young husband and wife. She was crying, filling out the paperwork. Her husband was holding a fussy baby, obviously frustrated. “We have no choice.,” he said quickly. “We can’t have another right now.
“It’s no big deal,” said another woman to no one in particular. “This is my eighth abortion. I do it all the time.” I thought she sounded like she was trying to convince herself. “She mumbled something about it being her birth control.
Another woman said it was her second. It’s easy, she said with a weak smile. There were white women, black women, brown women. Women in their 20s and some in their 30s. Most were accompanied by a supportive friend. Some by a man. All the while, I sat, listening, and then something changed in me.
After the procedure was done, we walked to the car. I thought to myself, never again. I was so shaken by the experience. I didn’t say a word. I just kept seeing the young mom, crying. And the loud woman, almost bragging. Their faces, their stories really ministered to me before I knew what it was to be ministered. That day, I knew who God was, in theory. But didn’t identify with the plight of his children like this. Before that day, I hadn’t humanized what it was to be pro-choice. It was always an obscure idea, that was okay for someone else but not for me.
No longer an obscure concept, I realized that I saw women walk in with lives in their bellies and then walked out, empty. Forever changed. I was heart broken. I’ve thought about that day often and even shared the story a couple of times. With the controversy surrounding the push to reverse Roe v Wade so much in the news lately, I wonder about people’s reasons for believing one way or another. I wonder how many hearts would be changed by an honest exchange of experiences rather than angry protests.
It’s important to me that I end this post in hope. I take great comfort in knowing that the souls of every child lost in abortion is in heaven. It would be impossible for God to punish them in their purity. In 2 Samuel 12:23 after he is told of the death of his newborn son David tells us, “I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” And God comforts us in Psalms 23:6: