Saturday, September 8, 2012

What I Want to Know Is...

Several years ago Natalie & I read a series of books called "Life of Faith." There are actually several series within the Life of Faith book line based on some books written in the 1800's. In one of the sets, a young girl has an insatiable curiosity about life. She forever was saying, "What I want to know is..." and followed with her query.

What I want to know is something that is probably more complex than I want to dive into headfirst. It has to do with the topic of abortion, probably the number one most heated issue in the USA today. People fall into one of two camps in general: those who are pro-choice, meaning the pregnant woman should have the choice to or not to abort the pregnancy, or pro-life, meaning the baby developing inside of the woman has the right to live to full term. Usually the terms used to describe the growth inside of a woman's body is different in each camp. Pro-choice folks use terms such as "viability, embryo, and fetus." Pro-life folks use the terms "Baby, from conception, and heartbeat" more often.

I am part of the latter camp, and that is no shock to anyone who knows me. Please don't stop reading just because I said that, as my question goes deeper. I think often pro-life people and pro-choice people can be very harsh towards one another. This is a deep seated issue that is not likely to be swayed easily in any person. When something is that personal and that deep, it evokes emotional responses, and typically not pleasant ones towards someone who believes differently. I will ATTEMPT to not do that in this post.

While I am 100% pro-life (perhaps even more so that some other conservative folks), I want to say that I understand why a woman would choose an abortion. If a woman is single and finds herself pregnant, especially if the father is not ready to commit to a lifetime of raising a child, she would certainly be in a difficult spot. It took 2 to create that pregnancy, but she is the only one able to make a choice about it. Maybe she is a high school student who had wanted to stay "pure" until marriage but had a boyfriend who persuaded her to have sex. Yes, she agreed, but he also did. Now, if she continues the pregnancy, she will be ostracized, likely, by her peers. Even if she wants to place the baby in an adoptive home, she will have to spend the next 9 months caring for the new life inside of her by caring for her own body. Maybe her boyfriend is forcing her to have an abortion. Maybe her parents are forcing her to do this. Or, maybe the pregnant woman finds out that the baby might not survive. Or maybe the pregnant woman has 5 kids and no income. Sure, she should have "thought of that before," but she didn't and now she wonders what in the world she will do. Those pro-lifers aren't going to come swooping in to pay for her new baby, most likely. Obviously, the consequences of sex are much greater for the woman than for the man. I understand.

Next, I also understand that if someone believes that an embryo is not truly a baby until a certain point in pregnancy, then I would not expect them to find abortion wrong. Perhaps they see the removal of an embryo much like the removal of a tumor. Again, I disagree, but I understand it. If you see it this way, or maybe as a part of the woman's body, rather than a separate being, then I get how you would see how a woman could choose this route.

Here is what I DON'T understand. I am not trying to sound angry or hurtful. I just really don't understand this. If a  person believes that a SEPARATE life DOES start from conception, THEN I don't understand how that person would say it is okay for a woman to have an abortion. I think the biggest fallacy is the line, "I think it's wrong to have one, but I think a woman should have that choice." IF you think the baby is a separate life, then that line is no different from saying, "I think it's wrong to shoot my toddler, but if a woman wants to, then that's her choice." That is usually followed by the "viability" statement: "It's okay to abort a baby before they are viable" meaning can survive outside the womb. NO baby can survive outside the womb without help being fed. And we've all seen or heard of babies being born very prematurely who survive and thrive.

Here is part 2 of what I don't understand. If someone believes that the Bible is God's Holy Word, then I don't understand how he or she could say abortion is okay. The verse that comes to mind is:

Psalm 139:13-14

New International Version (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

If God's Word tells us that He put that baby into his mother's womb, then I don't understand how, if you believe that part to be true, could also believe a woman should have a choice to end that life.

Because this is an election year, the last part of what I don't understand is this: If someone believes abortion is wrong and is murder in God's eyes, how can that person support a candidate who not only believes abortion should be a choice, but wants to use taxpayer money to pay for abortions? Like the character in the book, I just don't understand and really would like to know. I might disagree with you, but it will help me to understand where you are coming from.

If you have an answer to this and do not want to post it publicly, I would really like to hear from you. My e-mail is If you are in the same "camp" as I am, I ask that you respectfully do not say harsh things in your comments, but share a measure of grace for those who disagree. Thank you!

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