Updated: May 10, 2022
A few months ago, my husband and I watched the movie Spiderman: No Way Home, and the ending of this movie, *spoiler alert*, got me thinking. What would it be like if no one knew me? If there wasn’t a soul on earth who knew what made me laugh like a hyena? No one knew my love of ice cream or my absolute hatred for slapstick comedy. What would it be like to live in a world where no one loved me? No one cared, or worse, even noticed if I died or disappeared. What kind of atrocities would that make me vulnerable to?
If you pay attention to the news, or to your overzealous coworker, you know our country is divided on many issues, none more so than abortion. We have states passing laws to make abortion utterly impossible to perform legally, while others are pushing bills to legally protect the killing of infants up to twenty-eight days after birth (liveaction.org). Today, crowds of people are fighting for life and others are fighting for the choice to end unborn children’s lives at any stage of pregnancy.
For a long time, I had convinced myself that abortion existed because of lies and ignorance. People didn’t understand or know what was going on or how abortion procedures were conducted. After all, I didn’t fully understand the life within a pregnant woman until I was pregnant myself. However, as laws came about allowing abortion up to birth and now with the push for no investigations allowed to be conducted in cases of babies killed up to twenty-eight days after birth, I realize that it is not about ignorance. People know and refuse to face what is happening. People know and choose convinience, money, lifestyles, careers, over an innocent life. Abortion ends a life. If uninterrupted, a human baby will enter this world, most of the time healthy and thriving. Anyone can tell you, willfully ending a life is murder.
Now my question is how can people rationalize this? How can unborn babies, that could be born and live and thrive, instead be literally torn limb from limb? How can people be “fighting like hell” (Gavin Newsom) to protect the right to do so to their own children? I strive to understand it from both sides when I can, but as a mother, I’m having a tough time with this one.
Then I think back to my firstborn and the first couple of weeks after he was born. I was scared. I had no idea what I was doing. My parents came to help me and my husband for the first week after we got home from the hospital, and I cried when they had to go. I had no idea how I was going to do this. I not only had to sacrifice my sleep, my body, and my wants, I also had to sacrifice my needs for the needs of this little newborn who I had just met.
I had this overwhelming feeling that I was taking care of a stranger. I didn’t know this little bundle of wrinkles and poop—this little guy who was completely dependent on me and couldn’t give me so much as a smile in return. I remember feeling like I was operating out of pure instinct. The overwhelming feeling of love I had always heard about, wasn’t there for me. I just felt the drive to make sure he was okay, that he survived. I would sing a song by JJ Heller over him:
How does someone so small
Hold my heart so tightly
I don't even know you
I love you completely
I get to be the one to hold your hand
I get to be the one
Through birthdays and broken bones
I'll be there to watch you grow
I get to be the one
I sang this song as an encouragement to myself to keep going. I knew I would get to know this little baby. I prayed for him and for the man he would become, I still do, and I am still getting to know him.
I think of those feelings I had, and I feel empathy for the women who feel trapped, who feel like they have no other options, who feel like they don’t know this stranger who has sprung to life inside of them. I understand the feeling of wishing it would all go away. You don’t even know this kid, and he or she is already turning your life upside down. When the Abortion clinics and pro-choice advocates tell these women, that it's okay, it’s just a clump of cells, it seems like a tempting option—especially if you don’t investigate it any further to see what is going on. I can imagine it would be easy to accept the lie and keep life safe and comfortable. I was this scared as a 26-year-old married woman, I can’t imagine the fear in some of these women who are in much harder circumstances. However, the answer shouldn’t be to kill the child. It should be to support and stand by these women, their families, and their new child. To offer hope, rather than fear tactics. So why is this not what is being pushed by the prochoice movement? Why does it seem like the only choice presented is abortion?
No one knows these unborn children. No one knows his/her favorite color, what will make him/her laugh with a snort, or what he/she will be when he/she grows up. Her/his talents are a mystery. No one has admired how cute he/she is or jumped up in a panic because he/she is about to fall. No one will miss them when they die.
Abortion clinics and politicians make billions of dollars on the 2,363 unborn babies killed every. single. day (2,363.org). There are no funerals, and while many people grieve the infanticide this number represents, no one grieves or misses each individual child. Each one is still a stranger in this world--a person no one knows.
Would it be different if the child were known? If we knew the baby had someone who knew his/her name. Who knew his/her favorite color, knew what made him/her smile so wide her dimples showed, knew what he/she would grow up to do and be, and how smart he/she is, and could make the squeals of laughter erupt on even the worst of days?
Would we stand by so easily and allow this child to be suctioned out piece by piece? To be injected with poison?
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13-16
This is why Psalms 139 is so important. God does know every one of us when we are unborn. We are never strangers to him. What must God feel as he watches the people, he, not only knows but created, being sacrificed to the altar of choice? How would I as a parent feel and respond if anyone tried to do such harm to my children? God is not only the Father of us all, but he is also the judge of us all, and he promises to judge the nations. How will our nation stand before him?
As Lila Rose, a bold voice of the prolife movement, puts it, “Abortion is demonic. There is no worse demonic activity than the slaughter, dismemberment, the cutting into pieces, of living, human children, barely born. . .[d]efend abortion at the danger of your own soul.” If we start thinking about each unborn child as someone who is known and loved, and whose snuffed out life is grieved by his/her heavenly Father, it changes things. Only God knows what each child’s life had in store for him/her, and only God will miss them—the person who he created them to be.
Thankfully, God who is the Father and Judge of us all is also the Savior. The other casualty in abortion is the parents—especially the mother. Prochoice pushes abortion as the best solution, and the pain, hurt, guilt, and mental illness that follows the parents is pushed aside. If you are one such parent, please reach out. There is healing and there is forgiveness. The same God who loves and knows the unborn loves and knows you completely. He is waiting to wrap you up in his love and forgiveness. There are so many resources available, but here is a good one to start: The international Helpline for Abortion Recovery: (866) 482-5433. This helpline is available 24/7 and you will be able to talk to someone who has personally experienced the pain of abortion but has found hope and healing. You were never created to live in pain, guilt, or fear. Jesus offers mercy and forgiveness to all of us.
Pray for our leaders. Pray for our nation. Pray for the unborn children. Pray for the daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers to raise their voices in defense of those who have no voice, so that someday, they can enter this world and have conversations and allow others to get to know them. Allow others to hear their laugh, and to miss it when they are gone. Pray for the church to stand by the women who feel they have no choice, that we can support both them and their children as they bravely bring new life into this world. Evil in this world will not be erased until God makes all things new, but the church needs to stand up and be the hands and feet of Christ who gave his life so no one would need to perish. The first step is taking a stand to support the women, men, and children who feel they cannot make it in this world alone. A child born will undoubtedly face a lot of pain and hurt in this world, some more horrific than I can even imagine, but where there’s life there is hope. As a church, let’s step up to ask mothers, single parents, teen moms, and grandparents, what we can do to help. Let’s be part of allowing women to feel like they do have a choice—like they can choose life.
If you have never investigated what exactly happens in the different types of abortion procedures, check it out. Ignorance promotes silence. You can learn about it here: https://www.abortionprocedures.com/