Some food for thought…and a question for you.

I am not naive enough to think that everyone shares my views on abortion, so the fact that there were dissenting opinions in the comments section on Monday’s post didn’t surprise or offend me. At all.

(And if you were one of them, I’m asking you to stick around and hear me out this one last time).

And yet, as much as I have no intention of harping on this subject from now on, I haven’t been able to escape the conviction for the last several days that I needed to write one more post right now on the topic.

martin luther king abortion1

This is not about defending myself or changing your opinion of me. It is about asking some honest questions to which I really do want to hear your honest answers. 

(Seriously, I would be honored if you would take the time to answer these in the comments, regardless of which side of the issue you fall on; I only ask that, since I am choosing to be respectful in my approach, that you do the same). 

Here they are:

1) When does human life begin?

2) Once it has begun, is there ever a circumstance which justifies taking that life?

I know my answers. They are:

1) Life begins at conception

  • because a baby at the zygote—which is the earliest, just-fertilized-embryo—stage is fulfilling the four criteria of: metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction that science uses to define being “alive.” And at the moment of conception, this new human life has a genetic composition utterly its own and unique from its mother’s, which means that a human being with the complete DNA present to determine everything from hair and eye color to personality traits resides, yes, within a woman’s body but in no way as a part of it. And this human being’s heart is pumping blood of its own blood type (often different from the mother’s) through its own closed circulatory system 21 days after conception.
  • because the Bible describes how God the Creator sees us before we were even formed and knit us together in our mothers’ wombs, making us “fearfully and wonderfully made” from conception. You may not agree with my Biblical basis for this portion of my support, but you could hardly fault me for using it as a support since I am a Christian.

2) Once life has begun, there is never a circumstance that justifies taking that life. (I’m considering the topic of wars and capital punishment and protecting yourself against home invaders to be entirely different topics that we don’t have time to go into right now).

And since, both of those are my answers, it should come as no surprise that I am never in favor of abortion, under even the most dire circumstances.

It simply wouldn’t be logical since, as I consider an in-utero baby to have the same unalienable rights as every other human being, it would be the same as saying, “In general, I’m opposed to murder, but if my situation ever gets desperate enough, and my 2-year-old becomes enough of an inconvenience to me or enough of a financial burden or enough of an emotional drain, I suppose I would have to kill him. In a perfect world, killing my toddler shouldn’t have to be an option, but because we don’t live in a perfect world, and my situation is bad enough, I simply have to. I don’t have a choice.”

If you think that my examples of “financial burden” and “emotional drain” sound flippant, here’s another question:

Did you know that that Roe v. Wade allows for any abortion under any condition up to and including the moments before delivery?

I didn’t until I did some digging. That’s because when Gallup polls ask people if they favor upholding Roe v. Wade because it “allows for abortion in the first trimester,” they don’t bother to mention the fact that there are no “only in the case of rape” or “sure death of the mother” clauses or that the Supreme Court’s decision does not at all restrict abortions to the first trimester but instead describes the availability as limited only to how it pertains to a woman’s “health.”

Here is the further description of those “health” considerations (the language of the court’s decision, not mine…although the emphasis is mine): “The medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.”

In other words, a physician is able to perform an abortion on a women who is 40 weeks pregnant with the simple justification that the woman would be “stressed by” giving birth to the child, and the Supreme Court would/could do nothing to stop him.

ronald reagan abortion

The percentage of folks who support abortions at any time and for any reason drops drastically because the more a baby looks like us and the closer it gets to breathing air outside its mother’s womb, the more uncomfortable we are with the idea of ending what is so obviously a human life. This discomfort extends even to those who consider themselves pro-choice, which means that, if the majority of Americans fully understood the complete license that Roe v. Wade gives to abortion, support to overturn it would rise even from the very people who are its greatest champions.

But what about the mothers? You keep talking about these babies, but you’re not even taking their mothers into consideration? It’s their bodies after all.

Let me address that last question first. Because it isn’t about a women’s right to do whatever she wants with her body.

If this were merely an issue of a woman tattooing herself or altering her appearance or doing anything else (even harmful!) to her physical body without directly affecting another human being, then, although I would strongly urge her not do something hurtful to herself, I, as an individual, would have no right to forbid her to do so. (I make the point about the “individual” part because we do already have statutes in place that allow the government to outlaw doing certain harmful things to your body, like taking drugs or engaging in prostitution, because they have the potential to harmfully affect others).

A baby is not simply an extension of or a blob inside another person’s body but its own person (as mentioned above when I cited the scientific factors of DNA and a heartbeat/unique blood type).

abortion stops a heartbeat

If you argue that the baby cannot live without its mother’s life-giving sustenance and is therefore not a viable human being, I have to point out that he will continue to rely on his mother for nourishment and care once he has been born, and without it, he will die. To extrapolate it further, there are many highly functioning children outside the womb who rely on feeding tubes or breathing aids to survive. (I’m not talking about a completely non-responsive, brain-dead person on full life support).

Does that then give anyone the right to take away that life-giving support? The law says no and will send anyone who does so to prison for murder.

And now let me address the accusation that I am ignoring the mothers in favor of their babies.

I believe with all my heart that abortions hurt women as much as they do babies.

Multiple studies conducted by the medical community (with no associations with pro-life organizations) have reported a connection between a woman’s having an abortion and a significant increase in her likelihood to develop mental illness such as depression and anxiety disorders (especially if she has multiple abortions). (Both this CBS article and this one from The Telegraph {UK} cover this issue, and neither of these newspapers have any connection to the pro-life movement).

And then, there are the incidents of women being dragged into abortion clinics by boyfriends or husbands. Of being pressured into having an abortion (by the very clinic who will get paid only if they go through with it). Of unsure women entering an abortion clinic for counsel and exiting, no longer pregnant, murmuring words like, “I didn’t know it was going to be like that.” These women deserve to know what they are getting into. They need to know the whole story.

susan b anthony abortion

I have read so, so many stories of women who have some level of regret (some extreme, some more mild) about their decision to abort their babies (this site is pro-life but the testimonies on it are unsolicited and freely volunteered by women who have chosen to use their online feedback form), and while I’m sure I could find many examples of women who say that they feel no remorse and have had zero adverse effects from their abortions, the fact that there are so many stories of sadness and remorse and wishing that baby back—feelings that haunt women for the rest of their lives—tells me that this is not an easy thing for most women—that it is, and should be, a big, Big, BIG deal.

I feel deeply for the women who endure abuse and lack a support system. But in the same way that I could not condone taking the life of a child outside the womb who reminded an assaulted woman of her attacker (thus causing her emotional distress…often an argument for abortion in the case of rape) or killing a child outside the womb who was “one more mouth to feed” when there already isn’t enough food, I cannot promote that for an in-utero, just-as-alive child.

In short (not that this is short :) ), since I believe that a baby is a baby is a baby whether in the womb or out, I would be betraying every fiber of my conscience to say that there are circumstances that warrant taking his or her life.

With that being said, you might actually be able to say that I am pro-choice. Because I am committed to finding ways (like going to the crisis pregnancy center today with my three little girls) to let women who are already pregnant know that they have the choice to let their baby live—that having an abortion is not the only way to avoid their lives falling apart (and, in fact, may actually be the thing that causes that to happen).  I am willing to do anything it takes to provide that choice, up to and including supporting them emotionally, spiritually, financially, and even being willing to mother their children if only they will let them live.

martin luther king abortion2

And now that I’ve had my say, it’s your turn.  I welcome your thoughtful responses to those two questions I asked at the beginning of this post (even as scary as that is to say). But more than anything, whether you answer me here or not, I encourage you to ask yourself those questions. If you don’t already know the answers, I beg you not to rest until you do.

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54 thoughts on “Some food for thought…and a question for you.

  1. Abbie,

    I find it very difficult to pick a side either way. I believe that a zygote is a living being but find it difficult to say that other women should feel the same. I am 6 weeks pregnant right now with my first child and although i have only known for a short period of time, i feel as if i already know this child. We are already so bonded. I have also worked very hard to plan my life specifically so i, in turn have the luxury of enjoying this zygote with every ounce of my being.

    That being said, I have been a long time reader of your blog and am curious as to why you are so vocal about this passion of yours right now? I hope that question is not too personal, but is there a particular reason that your passion has been sparked?

  2. 1. Life begins at conception. Regardless of how the life was created. Because of a sovereign creator the life was planned before the world was formed. Therefore God has a plan for each conception. I fully understand that I am ultra-conservative.
    2. There is never a circumstance, in my opinion, that an abortion would be the solution.

    On a side note, I have believed this way for as long as I can remember. However, I did not realize that I would have to live these beliefs in a pregnancy of my own. I was not the typical or usual subject that people bring up in the abortion debate. I am happily married, economically stable, educated, Christian, and most definitely pro-life. My husband and I had a daughter to be diagnosed with Trisomy 18 at 13 weeks gestation. The type of Trisomy 18 that she had was termed incompatible with life. I would have never dreamed that I would be a woman that was actually having to choose whether or not to have an abortion. We were strongly encouraged to seek “therapeutic termination” by our perinatologist. Even with all of the disabilities that our daughter would surely encounter we could not end her life. We carried the pregnancy to term and our daughter Johanna lived 63 minutes.

    With that being said the pro-life/anti-abortion community has some work to do. We are often portrayed or seen as judgmental. And I believe that we are a lot of the time. Since Johanna I do not care to see a pro-life walk with pictures of aborted or unborn babies on signs being paraded down Main Street. Maybe this doesn’t happen in your community but it does in mine. I feel strongly that there are other ways that we can show women God’s love than to beat them over the heads with our own self-righteousness. Women choosing abortion need to know of a Jesus that loves them completely and without abandon. The time for instruction and being told of sins will come in His time. I don’t punish my son at the time he gets hurt doing something he shouldn’t(like climbing over the back of the couch to chase the dog). Instead, we love and fix the hurt. Then we instruct.

    Thank you for asking the hard questions. It is refreshing to read a pro-life/anti-abortion that gives the facts and opinions without being overly emotional. Thank you for loving mothers, fathers, and their babies enough to do the hard work.

  3. Oh Abbie! I’ve held back on this discussion because I know that it can get very touchy, but I can’t resist when someone tells me that they earnestly want to know my opinion. I haven’t read any of the comments above, because I really don’t like this “argument” that people create. So here’s my own opinion.

    Life starts at conception. And, no, there is never a justifiable time to take a life.

    But (does there always have to be a but?), here is what I always add when talking to others about pro-life vs. pro-choice. MY beliefs aren’t the same as others. And just as I do not believe in the death penalty (still a life, no matter the horrendous choices) or the right to kill someone on your property (can you imagine? I can’t. Oh yah, I killed someone, but they were trying to steal my stuff/wife/something), there are still laws that enable these acts. People have a LOT of emotions surrounding all of these topics. And I believe that we all think that our beliefs are the most correct. It’s tough with politics and laws because we must keep in mind others who have their own set of beliefs based on principals that, to them, are equally justified, and have a right to those beliefs.

    I also, fortunately, have never been in the position to ever make the decision myself. I know that I cannot begin to imagine, in my own circumstances, the atrocity of violence that some women have faced. And furthermore could not even begin to understand choices they would have to make after that violence occurred. I could try to imagine, I could pray about it, and I could work with these women (and, yes, children) the best way that I know how. But I believe that without having been in that situation myself, I would never truly know what my decision would be. I pray that I would make the right decision, the one that would honor me beliefs and my God, but in the end it is an unfathomable reality for me.

    All in all, I believe in a merciful God, one who wants us to life by his word the best that we can, without judgement of others. Thank you for writing a post that works hard to do that. I hope you get some wholehearted answers to your questions!

    Lauren

  4. The question is not: “should we have compassion for and support pregnant women and mothers in difficult circumstances?” Yes.

    The question is not: “should we judge or look down on women who have had abortions?” No.

    The question is not: “did Abbie present the question or her opinions exactly the way I wanted?” Doesn’t matter.

    The question is not: “am I doing something to help?” Important, but irrelevant.

    The question is not: “are you doing something to help?” Important, but irrelevant.

    The question is not: “is a baby that is the result of rape/incest less human or less alive than one that isn’t?” They are equally human and equally alive.

    The question is not: “is a handicapped or malformed baby less human or less alive than one that isn’t?” They are equally human and equally alive.

    The question is not: “can my circumstances justify an illegal action?” No.

    The question is not: “in a true mother or baby lives scenario, who do you save?” It is up to the mother. *see note at end

    The question is this: “when does a human gain the right to live?” The intentional killing of a human with the right to live after this point should never be allowed.

    Yes, there are difficult circumstances. Yes, there are tragic scenarios that break our hearts. But that is part of life on this imperfect world. People struggle. People suffer. People are born only to die. But people also live and hope and love. Miracles happen. We should do everything in our power to aid those in need, but we cannot allow our emotions and compassion to compromise the truth that no one has the right to take that opportunity for life and hope and love from another person, whether they are born or not.

    *In the exceedingly rare case of a true mother will die if baby lives scenario, then steps should be taken to save the mother, though she has the right to give up her life instead. If the baby unintentionally or inadvertently dies or is injured as a result of saving the mother’s life, then, while tragic, it was unavoidable and ethically justifiable. This still does not justify intentional abortion, which is never necessary. For a more detailed examination of rare cases: http://www.prolifephysicians.org/rarecases.htm

    1. Okay, so let’s examine the options for answering this most important question of “At what point does a human gain the right to live?”

      First, we must set the qualifications for the determination of this point, which I would say are that it must:

      a) Be universal and consistent. It cannot change on change on a case by case basis. The full development of all five senses wouldn’t qualify because people are born with varying degrees of their senses and some without one at all. No human is any less deserving of rights because of these differences.

      b) Be easily observed/measured/verified. Once a point of human right is determined, we cannot ethically condone an abortion if a baby is not first verified to have not reached that point. Otherwise, we are simply closing our eyes and hoping that we aren’t killing a human with rights when we don’t actually know for certain. This is obviously unethical and should not be allowed. I make the point of “easily” because as much as possible, we should always try to increase our certainty and remove the possibility of human error. If the verification is complicated and subjective, then we are increasing the risk that errors will be made and humans with rights aborted.

      c) Be a significant change from one point to the next that is indicative of the emergence of a human life deserving of rights. In other words, the point should indicate that human rights weren’t warranted before the point, but afterward they should be. I.e. the point when a baby develops all 5 fingers would not qualify; a human doesn’t need all 5 fingers to deserve rights.

      d) Must be better than any other options. It may go without saying, but if more than one point could be used, the better one must be chosen.

      Now, let’s look at the potential options:

      1) Birth.
      2) Viability.
      3) Heartbeat.
      4) Implantation.
      5) Conception.

      BIRTH: It is consistent and it is observable. However, while being a significant change from one point to the next, that change is not indicative of the emergence of human life. Life definitely began before the baby was born. An adult that needs an IV and breathing machine has no less right to live than one who doesn’t.

      VIABILITY: It could be argued that this might be indicative of a human life deserving of rights, though that is debatable. However, it is certainly not consistent. Each baby will reach this point at a differnt time. Even if 99% of all babies reach the point by 20 weeks, there will always be those outliers that break the rule. Ethically, we must err on the side of caution. Furthermore, viability is not easily observed, measured, or verified. Science cannot point to a specific change that determines viability. As medical technology advances, so does the point of viability. Does this mean that those babies already aborted past any new date of viability didn’t have rights? Certainly not. Viability cannot be considered a valid or ethical point at which to determine human rights.

      HEARTBEAT: The heartbeat is universal and consistent; everyone has one and it is the same for one human as it is for another. It is easily observed and verified. It is also a significant change from one point to the next that could be indicative of the emergence of human rights. We obviously check for a pulse to determine if someone is alive or dead. The brain is functioning and telling the heart to beat. This change is undeniably significant.

      While a heartbeat satisfies these criteria for determining a point where human life gains rights, it may be argued that a human may become brain-dead from an accident and no longer truly be *alive* despite still having a heartbeat. However, this does not in any way mean that an unborn baby is brain-dead with no hope of recovery. Further, this raises the point that potentially, our right to life as humans has nothing to do with the physical, but rather something less concrete, such as the soul or awareness. The point may also be made that a heartbeat is not uniquely human and therefore shouldn’t determine human rights. While I agree that the human soul is what truly determines rights, it is not scientifically possible to determine the point at which it exists, so even though it is what we are trying to protect, we can’t universally agree to use it as our point to enforce rights. However, it does underscore the fact that whatever point we choose must err on the side of caution, as we can in no way guarantee that a soul does not exist at that time.

      So the heartbeat is an option, but is it the best option?

      IMPLANTATION: This is consistent and verifiable. However it is not a significant change worthy of determining rights. A man being swept down a river toward his death has no less right to live than the one standing on the bank. He may not live long, but he is no less alive. The same is true for an embryo prior to implantation.

      CONCEPTION: This is consistent and verifiable and certainly a significant change that could be considered worthy of determining rights. So the question is whether it is a better option than the heartbeat. Even disregarding religious convictions, I would still argue yes, for this reason: ethically, we must always err on the side of caution and preservation of life/humanity/the soul. Just as we are innocent until proven guilty, we must be considered alive and worthy of rights until proven otherwise.

      I would urge anyone who hasn’t honestly considered these points to do so. You may disagree with my conclusions, but this issue is important enough that we must all face it and together decide the future of our country.

  5. Hi Abbie, I am a long time reader of your blog and admire your writing ability, DIY prowess, and thriftiness. I strongly disagree with your stance on abortion.
    To answer your questions:
    1). I believe a fetus can be defined as a human being, with the same rights as any other, at 24 weeks, the age of fetal viability as defined by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. I think it’s illogical to assume that just because a zygote is “alive” or contains human DNA, that it should have the same rights as the woman carrying it. We end the “lives” of living things all the time, from killing bacteria on the kitchen sink to pulling weeds in the garden to eating a Christmas ham. The hair that comes off your head in the shower carries human DNA. The mere presence of human DNA and the possibility of growth into an actual human being to me does not mean a zygote is a human being at the time of conception. As to your point about a newborn still needing its mother to survive– that’s not true. A newborn, or a premie at 24 weeks, needs to be cared for, of course, but not necessarily by the woman who gave birth to it. A fetus before 24 weeks literally and technically cannot survive without the woman inside of whom it is gestating.

    I understand that your view of abortion is heavily influenced by the conservative Christian cultural context of 20th and 21st century America. I hope the following questions come off in the respectful manner they are meant: Why did Jesus never mention abortion specifically, but very spoke very specifically about adultery, lust, greed, richness, coveting, etc. being sinful? With regard to the verses about being “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and God “[forming] you in your mother’s womb,” from my reading, none of those verses suggest that a human being exists at the moment of conception. To me, these verses say that God is forming and making human beings throughout pregnancy. (As a side note, a verse often used by anti-abortion rights activists is Jeremiah 1:5, which is SPECIFICALLY about Jeremiah, not all fetuses). Could it be possible that your interpretation of these verses is not the only possible interpretation from an honest reading of the Bible?

    2). Of course I don’t believe that killing another human being is right. Since I don’t believe a fetus before 24 weeks is a full human being, I do not interpret abortion as ending a human life. Indeed, it often saves lives. You wrote about women who feel regret after having this procedure– do you think some of that regret might be caused by the shame that the anti-abortion rights movement often places on these women? Moreover, you ignore the many women who have had abortions and feel nothing but relief afterwards.

    I haven’t left this comment because I think I’m going to change your mind even a little bit. I just want, in an honest and respectful way, to ask you to try to understand that pro-choice advocates are not evil, baby-hating murderers. In fact, we have our own babies and love them just as you love yours. We want to support women and their families, so that they can be healthy and safe, so children are wanted and well-cared for. We believe that abortion is a personal decision that should be made by a women, her doctor, her family, her God, not by you or me or some politician.

    All the best to you. I’ll be back to read more on your blog next week. :)

    P.S. You may not know this, but Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a supporter of the right of women to choose abortion: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/who-we-are/reverend-martin-luther-king-jr-4728.htm?__utma=1.214306853.1326500873.1326500873.1326719776.2&__utmb=1.6.10.1326719776&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1326719776.2.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=%28organic%29|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=%28not%20provided%29&__utmv=-&__utmk=90892954

    As such, I think it’s disingenuous of you to continue using his quotes/his day of remembrance as support for your opposing political stance.

    1. First, thank you for posting your honest opinions in a respectful way. It is refreshing to hear an opposing view from someone that knows why they believe what they believe, and is consistent rather than emotional in that view.

      I hope you will be willing to answer a few quick questions that your views bring to mind:

      1) If medical science improves and it is found that viability is actually prior to 24 weeks (there is already a documented case of just under 22 weeks, http://www.ctvnews.ca/more-hospital-time-for-youngest-premature-baby-1.230188), would you agree that abortion shouldn’t be allowed after that new minimum gestation period?

      2) As you, if I understand correctly, do not agree with abortion after viability, do you support the overturning of Roe v. Wade, which allows for abortion at any time, to establish a law that coincides with what you believe? In my mind, if I believed as you do, I would be just as upset as we are about Roe v. Wade and abortions that happen after viability. (and maybe you are, I’m just asking)

      3) Disregarding the fact that I believe human rights begin at conception, from the pro-choice perspective, why does viability make more sense than a heartbeat as the point when a human being should be considered alive and have rights?

      I hope these questions aren’t coming across as combative. I would honestly like to know your view on them.

      1. 1) If the medical community came to a consensus that they had been wrong and fetal viability occurred sooner, then yeah, viability would still be my measure for when a fetus becomes a human being with the same rights as the woman gestating it.
        2) Roe vs. Wade simply grants women the right to an abortion under our federal government, leaving regulation of the specifics to the states. This is simply an example of our federalist political system, so no, I advocate for the protection of this Supreme Court ruling.
        3) Your question regarding heartbeat vs viability might be hard for me to explain, so allow me to start with an anecdote. We had a family friend who was left brain dead in an accident. Her heart still beat afterward, yet to us, she, at the core of her being (you might call it a soul), had already left us. So I guess the best way I can explain is that it seems to me that a heartbeat corresponds to the physical, and not necessarily to what makes us human at our core.

        I hope that helps. Thank you for not responding in anger or judgment.

        1. Thank you again for taking the time to respond. I just wanted to follow up on number 2 real quick: maybe I’m not thinking about this right, but it seems like you are saying in effect that it is ok for a baby to be aborted after 24 weeks, as long as they do it in a state that says it is ok. If a viable baby is a human and has rights, why should it matter whether they are in Texas or California? Isn’t the right to “life, liberty, and property” a constitutional, and therefore federal issue?

          1. Oops, just saw this. Internet debates tend to get messy and confusing… If there are states that have laws that permit abortions after viability then to me (if I was the sole decider of all the laws of the land… Unfortunately I’m not ;) ) a suit would be brought to the federal courts that would declare the state law unconstitutional. This still wouldn’t effect Roe. I’m going to sign off now and enjoy the weekend with my family. I hope you enjoy yours also and that I have at least changed Or widened your view of abortion rights supporters. Best, R.

    2. Also not that it really matters to the point at hand, but your comment on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. got me interested, and it looks as though there is a lot of disagreement about what he believed.

      When he received the award you reference, Planned Parenthood was publicly Anti-Abortion. Dr. King appears to have supported natural family planning and perhaps birth control, but there is not much specific evidence one way or the other on abortion, though probably more against than for, especially since Planned Parenthood was against abortion at that time.

      In either case, neither side should probably use him as a reference :)

      Digging into this actually brings out a lot of eye opening facts about Planned Parenthood, its founder Margaret Sanger, and her original goals of negative eugenics.

      http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Margaret_Sanger
      http://www.lifenews.com/2011/07/22/dr-martin-luther-king-jr-had-pro-life-view-opposing-abortion/
      http://www.priestsforlife.org/africanamerican/martin-luther-king-unborn.htm

      1. Agreed then, let’s leave MLK Jr. out of the discussion.

        I’m well aware of Sanger’s pro-eugenic views, but just as I, for example, still revere George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as a great and important American leaders despite that fact that they owned other human beings (and TJ even raped some of his slaves, I think you get my point), I can still be thankful to Sanger for forming Planned Parenthood and championing birth control and family planning.

        1. Duuuuude! You run errands all day, and you miss out on epic internet debates! : )

          Ruthie, I am preparing to answer your first response, but I ended up here after reading all the give and take and wanted to say that, while MLK’s exact viewpoints on abortion are debated (Planned Parenthood claims his support; his niece and others claim otherwise, and all claims are skewed by personal bias), I do not believe that whether he supported abortion or not changes the fact that his stance on speaking out against injustice (as perceived by the speaker) is absolute and can be applied to any situation that warrants it.

          Another quote of his exemplifies my point: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

          I don’t think that a man as dedicated to civil liberties as MLK would argue that only those who explicitly agree with his definitions of “things that matter” are allowed to speak out about them.

          In other words, I was not quoting him to support my pro-life views. I was quoting him to support my need to say something at all.

          As to originally posting on MLK day, that was not my idea. I didn’t choose that day for a day of prayer, but I did support it by writing the post (notice I didn’t invoke any of MLK’s quotes on that day but chose to focus on the issue that I had at hand). If someone were to write about stopping human trafficking on Easter and quote Jesus, I would not say, “This is not the day to do that; you should be focusing on Jesus’s resurrection; he never said anything about human trafficking, so you are misrepresenting him.” Instead, I would cheer that injustice is being addressed.

          Okay, that’s all for that one. : )

    3. Dearest Ruthie, : )

      First of all, let me commend you for being the first and ONLY dissenting opinion on this blog today to actually fully and cogently answer the two questions I asked.

      We have a winner!

      And I appreciate the respectful way you did it.

      I did want to respond to your points if you’ll bear with me because I think they are thoughtful ones and worth the effort.

      First, I would like to say that your emphasis on the other “lives” that we “kill” (bacteria, grass, etc.) seems a bit off-base because everything you used as a reference point is either

      a) not human
      or
      b) not living (the hair)

      Also, you said that a zygote had the “possibility of growth into an actual human” when, in fact, it is an *inevitability* not a possibility (outside of some sort of interruption, natural or otherwise).

      I am not trying to nitpick or argue semantics. In fact, I think this is one of the most significant points of the “determining life at an early stage” debate. It is not stagnant. It is ever developing and growing with the *inevitable* end result of a human being entering into the oxygen-breathing world. And that cannot be said of anything else you mentioned as “living.” In other words, the “humanness” of our debate raises it high above the mundanity of shower hairs which will never have any hope of being anything more glorious than a colossal sink clog.

      Also, in reference to your point that an in-utero baby “literally and technically cannot survive without the woman in whom it is gestating” (thus, by inference saying that that woman then has the right to do what she wants with him), let me posit this scenario:

      An infertile couple decides to use IVF and finds a surrogate mother. An egg is fertilized by a sperm in a lab and placed inside that surrogate’s womb. That baby “literally and technically cannot survive” without that surrogate. But is it her right to decide whether that baby dies? No. It’s not her baby. Even though he is inside her body!

      But then, is it the right of the infertile couple to decide that the woman should have to abort their baby because they no longer want it? No. Her body does not belong to them, and that baby is not inside the infertile mother’s body. Therefore, the surrogate is essentially a host. And the baby is separate and distinct from her, so much so that he is capable of being conceived without her and then transferred to her, even though she is not biologically his mother. It simply is not as cut and dried as “this fetus is mine; he is part of my body; I can do what I like with him.”

      Of course, where you and I are in complete agreement is that a baby is a full-fledged human life at 24 weeks. So, if we both agree that killing a baby at that point would be murder, then any law (including Roe v. Wade) that allows for it after this point would be unconstitutional and should be struck down. Right?

      As Yenta would say, “Of course right.” : )

      Speaking of 24 weeks and viability, I feel a bit like you want to have your cake and eat it too. You cite viability as a scientific determination of human life, even though you have admitted (to Shaun in the midst of your discussion) that it is a moving target, thanks to ever-advancing technology.

      But then, when asked why a heartbeat does not trump viability, you err on the side of the “soul” (a highly unscientific concept) in the example of your brain dead friend. In other words, the fact that his soul had died was more important than his heartbeat (a scientific fact).

      And yet, although we know when a baby’s heartbeat starts, we have no way of determining when his “soul” comes into being (although a Psalm 139 reference that I’ll make in a bit argues for a point long before conception). Which is to say that we have no way of knowing or proving that, unlike your brain dead friend, that that baby does not possess both a soul *and* a heartbeat. Furthermore, we do know this: even though your brain dead friend was devoid of hope of ever regaining his “soul” in this world, a developing baby with a beating heart has the sure hope of introducing his soul to the world, unless we take it away from him. The two examples are then diametrically opposed because one cannot be reclaimed and the other is brimming with potential and as-yet-unfulfilled opportunity for expression.

      Second, I would like to point out that the question you asked about Jesus’s stance on abortion reveals how heavily you have been influenced by the liberal, secular culture of the 20th/21st century.

      Because if we take the culture of Jesus’s day into account, there is a very simple explanation for why he didn’t address abortion specifically.

      He did. It was called murder. In that day, if a woman were to find herself pregnant, she would have zero ultrasounds or fetal heart rate monitors at her disposal to determine exactly how far along she was. She wouldn’t know that her baby was sucking his thumb at 13 weeks or when he first smiled. There would be no hair-splitting about “viability” or “personhood.” She would simply know this: a life is forming inside of me that, if I do nothing to stop it, will inevitably result in a baby in my arms about 9 months from now.

      And if she were to do something to stop it (i.e. abortion), she would be charged with infanticide and sentenced to death.

      The fact of the matter is that Jesus never actually said, “Thou shalt not murder.” But he did say that he had not come to replace old testament laws but to fulfill them, which means Jesus stood against murder, and in that day, abortion was murder. So, it didn’t need to be addressed separately.

      As far as Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1:5 (which I did not quote or presume to interpret), I agree that Ps.139 has no direct reference to conception equaling full human life. However, it does, in fact, point to God’s having a plan for us before we are even conceived.
      Psalm 139: 15-16
      15 My frame was not hidden from you
      when I was made in the secret place,
      when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
      16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
      all the days ordained for me were written in your book
      before one of them came to be.

      I was trying to focus on the scientific aspects of human life beginning for the sake of skeptics, but those verses actually speak to something much deeper–the fact that, in God’s eyes, we are people before we even reach the zygote stage. It’s not a good argument in clinical terms, but since you were talking about interpreting Scripture, I thought I’d point that out.

      Next, I wanted to talk about what you said here:

      “You wrote about women who feel regret after having this procedure– do you think some of that regret might be caused by the shame that the anti-abortion rights movement often places on these women? Moreover, you ignore the many women who have had abortions and feel nothing but relief afterwards.”

      To the first part about the shame/regret connection, my simple answer is no. And not just because that falls in line with my belief system but because of reading testimony after testimony from women who live in a culture of abortion, are surrounded by people who support and promote their decision to have one (mothers, boyfriends, sister’s cousin’s aunt’s best friends) and make zero reference to venturing into any arenas which would provide sources of shame…and STILL feel confusion (at the very least) and deep, deep depression (at the worst) about their decision.

      And I actually did acknowledge that there are “many examples of women who say that they feel no remorse and have had zero adverse effects from their abortions.”

      However, my main point was that enough evidence exists that, outside of any societal pressure or artificially imposed concepts of shame, many women still feel it and struggle with it for the rest of their lives. And that is not an insignificant consideration at all when there is so much emphasis placed on the woman’s well-being over the baby’s.

      AAAAAAnd…I think I’m done. Whew! I know that was a lot, and I am truly grateful for your taking the time to read. Like you mentioned in your response, I don’t write this with any assumption of changing your mind or forcing you to think like me. But I do hope you’ll at least give it some thought. I”ll “see” you next week! : )

    4. I think this is a great explanation and exactly how I feel.

      I 100% agree with this phrase “You wrote about women who feel regret after having this procedure– do you think some of that regret might be caused by the shame that the anti-abortion rights movement often places on these women? Moreover, you ignore the many women who have had abortions and feel nothing but relief afterwards.”

      I believe we are “guilting” women in to feeling bad to a decision that they have every right to make.

  6. Yes! I totally agree with everything you said! You are so clear…good for you for writing what you believe. I love reading your blog and feel like we would be friends if I didn’t live in northern Alberta :-)

  7. Thank you Abbie. As a mother of 2 healthy boys and 2 confirmed miscarriages and 1 unconfirmed I appreciate your view on this and agree with you. My miscarriages were early (before 8 weeks) but they were painful physically and still are painful emotionally. As an older mom (married 10 years and over 30 before getting pregnant) I was counseled about what to do “if” my youngest child was born “not normal” (who can define normal?). I did not proceed with any test to find out and he turned out just fine. Each child is a gift. Not to change the subject but if we followed what the Lord asks us in waiting till marriage to have sex this issue would be less of a “hot” topic.

  8. I once heard someone say that the only 2 questions we need to answer about the personhood of a fetus are these:

    1) Is it human? In other words, is the tissue/fetus/baby (whatever term suits your worldview) human in nature? The obvious is answer is of course it is. Humans do not become pregnant with anything that is not human in nature (dogs, cats, etc.).

    2) Is it alive? Most people acknowledge the scientific definition of life that Abbie also included in this post.

    Without going down any other rabbit trails, or justifying your own experience or that of someone you love, can you answer those two questions? I would imagine (but maybe I’m just really, really naive) that 99% of people would answer “yes” to both of those questions.

    To me, answering yes to those questions should put an end to the debate. If what a pregnant woman is carrying is human and is alive, then….really, I’m at a loss as to why any situation, circumstance, or personal belief would justify the taking of that life.

    Just for full disclosure: no, I have never had an abortion. I have 4 healthy children who were all born full term with no genetic abnormalities. I have never been the victim of sexual abuse or physical/spousal abuse. I have never suffered want, and I really don’t even know anyone very well who has been in these situations. So as to understanding the feelings and thought processes that women in these situations experience, I confess that I am ignorant.

    HOWEVER, I do not believe that just because one has not fully experienced every possible contigency that might lead a woman to choose abortion means that he or she is not fully capable of holding a right belief about abortion.

    We don’t apply this logic to any other situation in life. The woman who murders her husband in his sleep because he physically abuses her – we sympathize with her plight, and understand her motive, but we do not condone her actions. The alcoholic who drinks himself silly every night to escape memories of an abusive childhood – we pity him, we recognize the horror that drove him to choose this way of dealing with it, but we do not condone his actions.

    To imply that a person cannot hold an absolute belief about a subject simply because they have never experienced it is ridiculous. I don’t mean that disrespectfully or condescendingly, although I am sure that some will take it that way. If someone can read Abbie’s post and come away thinking, “well, she certainly thinks a lot of herself doesn’t she?”, then I am sure that I have no chance at all.

  9. I agree %100 with your stance on this. I also understand you are not looking for pats on the back or to get “atta boys”. Those that feel the need to be defensive or rude about their beliefs are the very ones that know killing another human is wrong. It’s very simple, killing someone else is wrong. The very people that play the fiddle about how it’s a woman’s choice, or I had a unique situation or she was raped or it’s was best or the baby was going to die anyway…….blah, blah, blah. I’m sure those same people would kill their sick aging great grand parent because it was “just time for them to go!”….or would they most likely not. It is wrong or everyone would do it. Kind of like breathing we all know that is the right thing to do so we involuntarily do it, or we die. Those that defend abortion defend it because they know innately that it is wrong. As you have stated before, the only real peace and rest those that perform, have, or are involved with abortion will find is through the life giver himself, Jesus. I’m sorry if this sounds jaded and like I have no compassion, I actually do but I am sick of hearing people try to rationalize killing a baby.

    1. If you had a child who, God forbid, had been in an accident and became brain dead, or was in a coma and was not going to regain consciousness, would you make the decision to take them off life support, or would you let them lay there in a hospital bed on machines forever?

    2. Autumn, I’d like for you to sit back and think about looking into the eyes of a scared and desperate 17 year old girl that has just found out she is pregnant and is considering an abortion, and saying some of these self professed jaded and uncompassionate statements that you said above. Would you honestly say something to her along the lines of, “And I’m sure you’d kill your great grandma too if she became an inconvenience, wouldn’t you?”….of course NOT! Well, at least I’d HOPE not. Then please don’t generalize and make such horrible comments even if they are meant to be tongue in cheek.

      The reality is, as twisted and messed up as it is, a lot of these girls look at their current situations and feel hopeless and desperate, and TRULY TRULY TRULY believe that they are making the best decision by terminating their pregnancy. To you it is simple and it is a black and white issue. To many of them, they believe they are doing the most loving thing by NOT bringing a baby into the same living hell that they are finding themselves in. So many of them are caught up in choices and cycles that they don’t know how to break free from. They know they’re screwing up and making poor decisions, but they just don’t know any different…it’s all they’ve seen and all they’ve known. The last thing they need is us Christians shouting at them from the sidelines telling them how they are killing a baby….they need us to get down in the trenches with them and love them and teach them and guide them to their only source of true salvation.

      You talk about Jesus being the life giver, but I also want to remind you that the Bible tells us that our words can give life and death as well. I pray that God would give you a compassion for these hurting, scared mothers…not just the babies that they are trying to do the best thing for…but for the women that are facing these horrible choices and circumstances and are searching for the light in the darkness.

      1. So are you saying, as a Christian, it isn’t a black and white issue? The reality is I’m not speaking to a scared 17 year old. Furthermore if one was in front of me (17,unwed, pregnant, scared, abused) if I thought for one nanosecond that an analogy like that would save a babies God given life and she would change her mind…….yes absolutely I would. If I were in that situation I’d hope someone would have done the same for me/the baby. We can be the light in the darkness, but sometimes that light may hurt our eyes in the moment. I do know women who have had abortions themselves and also some that considered it but didn’t. You know what?…..not one that chose life even when they really didn’t want to at the time wishes they’d gone through with it now. None of those women wish they had killed thir child. None. And how is it a horrible comment to say “well would you kill your aging grandparent who’s about to go anyway?” I don’t see how that is more “horrible” or disgusting than talking about what stage of devlopment a baby is in and when the “best time to kill it is”. I do feel for those in tough situations, I realize there numerous factors that cause these choices. It doesn’t make it right. Your right about the fact our words can be life/death and in the case of abortion I don’t think it really matters how gentle or harsh I think whatever gets the baby here alive is appropriate. Every situation is different. My point is sometimes we need to tell it like it is and quit dancing around the reality of what abortion is. The reality is if the majority of women considering abortion were really seeking out us, Christians, to be a light for them we would have more opportunities to speak life and save lives. And the same is true the other way, if we were seeking them. It is my opinion (haven’t researched this yet) that these women are not looking for another option they are looking for a quick way out and they choose abortion because it is a quick fix. I don’t believe that they are happy to do it or happy after but none the less we are selfish by nature. Do you believe just because “it’s all they have seen” as Christians we should take that as an excuse to continue to do wrong? I’m not sure of your stance on this subject. It sounds as though you are ok with abortion in “certain situations”. I do mean this with respect…these are my personal thoughs I certainly know there are other opinions, but for me it is black and white.

  10. Well, I don’t typically comment on articles, blogs, or discussions that discuss abortion. I believe that the women that find themselves in the position of needing to make this decision will seek out the information in order to help them. I do not care for when a blog, forum, person I know personally, whatever, brings up the topic and drills it to the point of making some of the other people involved, uncomfortable. It is not a topic that people like to discuss because it takes people to a sad, dark place that they didn’t usually expect to find themselves in on such a lovely Friday morning during their coffee break. I believe there are many fine lines when it comes to abortion…too many fine lines to discuss right now. With that said, I am pro-choice. I myself have had an abortion. Not in the sense that most of you may think. When my husband and I were expecting our first baby, we were over the moon thrilled. We had tried for 5 months and when the two pink lines showed up, I couldn’t contain my joy. At my 16 week ultrasound, I had some routine blood work done to test for any issues, as many women opt to do. It tests for chromosomal issues such as Down Syndrome. We opted for it, simply because if our baby did have an issue (which we had no reason to believe he would) we simply wanted to be able to educate and prepare ourselves for it when he arrived. However, when I was contacted a week later, I was told by my doctor that there were in deed issues and we were sent to a specialist. We were devastated and barely spoke during the days we had to wait for our appointment. I don’t think I spoke more than 5 words that whole time. We had the appointment finally and were advised by the nurse doing the initial ultrasound that we were expecting a boy. We were thrilled. Then the doctor came in and took over the ultrasound. He was very quiet the whole time and we could see him and the nurse giving each other looks and concerned faces. When he finished, we were asked to join him in his office. We went in and were advised that our baby had a chromosomal defect that was quite serious. The doctor told us that he was surprised that he was even still alive and that he was fairly confident that I would most likely miscarriage soon. The baby’s abdomen was completely open, he had fluid surrounding his brain and his heart was missing chambers. He told us that if I did make it to 9 months, he would be stillborn. and if by any chance he was born alive, he may take a breath, then pass on. We were absolutely devastated. We were given the option to end the pregnancy then, or to see it through. basically, make peace, and say goodbye to him now, or say goodbye to him later. ultimately, we decided to say goodbye then, because the thought of giving birth to a stillborn, or worse, giving birth to a baby who would be born only to struggle to breathe for a minute, be in pain from his tummy and heart issues, and then die. I couldn’t bare to do that to a tiny baby. there would have been no quality of life, only pain. I could have dealt with it, but I felt it was selfish to do that to him. I felt it was selfish to continue to grow him in my womb, just so I could see his face when he was born, knowing that once he was outside my body, if he was alive, he would instantly be whisked away, hooked up to machines, scared, most likely blind, and again in pain…all so I could see him. I felt that it was along the same lines of keeping someone on life support when they were in pain and you knew they weren’t going to get better. I was advised that technically, it would be considered an abortion, and naturally I didn’t like that one bit, but I was assured by our doctor that all the staff involved knew of our situation and that we were not being viewed that way. We ended up deciding to say goodbye shortly after our appointment and we were admitted to the hospital. I was induced and was given a drug that I was told would simply put him to sleep and he would pass on without pain. I delivered him, we had a pastor come in and say a blessing. He was no bigger than my hand. I held him for a while and we said goodbye. we had him cremated and had his ashes put into two silver lockets. It was the hardest decision we have ever had to make, but I have made peace with it, especially due to what happened the night we came home from the hospital. (side story) when my husband and I were married about a year before this happened, we honeymooned in Hawaii. we stumbled upon this little candle maker who made these perfectly round candles, about the size of a grapefruit, and he would carve your names and wedding date into it. You could pay extra to have a little battery operated glow light put in the center of the wax to make it glow without having to light the wick. the on off switch was on the bottom. We opted to not have the battery glow thing put in ours but rather just the regular candle. We had that candle sitting on a shelf in our bedroom for almost a year when everything happened with our baby. The night we came home from the hospital, I was devastated. of course I struggled with the decision we had made, but in general, I was distraught and hadn’t stopped crying for nearly 24 hours. I managed to finally fall asleep in my husbands arms. sometime in the middle of the night I woke up, and when I opened my eyes, that candle was glowing. It was bright and glowing and the colors were changing from red to green to blue to yellow and so on. I thought of course that I was dreaming so I sat up and focused on it and sure enough, it was glowing as bright as could be. I was a bit disturbed at first because it had been there for so long and we had never lit the thing, plus we had told the candle maker that we didn’t want the glow kind, so I wasn’t sure what was happening. I woke up my husband and he was just as shocked as I was. We turned the lights on and got the candle down off the shelf and my husband dug at the wax on the bottom of the candle about an inch up into the candle and found that the candle maker had in deed but the battery operated glow light inside but just covered in with wax. I’m sure the glowing was just caused by the batteries going bad and caused it to go off for a while, but that candle continued to glow for a week, and every night I would lay there and watch it. We took it as a sign. A sign that he (our baby) was in heaven, and that he was at peace, and okay with the decision that we made. The candle glow was so peaceful and soothing that it really helped me deal with the situation for that week that it continued to glow. The night it stopped glowing, I was in tears because I felt like he had finally moved on, and that that was my sign to move on as well. I think about him daily, and yes, there are days when I wonder “what if” if hadn’t made the decision that I did. Regardless, I am ok with it and I believe ultimately, that it was best. With that said, not all cases are the same. To judge someone for having had an abortion is not fair, and I truly truly believe that this topic should be discussed, but not preached. Every woman who finds herself in the situation of having to choose, is already struggling deeply and to make her feel like an awful person is wrong. yes, there are despicable women out there who abuse this and use it as their method of birth control which is deplorable, but again, most of them are not like this, and are simply scared and in need of guidance. So guide them. Don’t show them quotes that say things like “ancient evils” or tell them they are “awfully guilty”. Be kind and listen. That’s my two cents. If any of you disagree with the choices we made, then please keep it to yourself. I simply wanted to throw in an example of a unique case.

    1. Bless you, sweet lady for sharing your story and for your perspective. I cannot imagine the heartache of being faced with making such a choice. I pray God continues to bring you peace and healing.

    2. I think it took an awful lot of courage to share that here. It was really, really hard to read as a mama, and my heart goes out to you as you relive it again here. I’m so sorry you went through that, and, just like Shay said, I pray for continued peace and healing for you.

  11. I agree with my whole heart. I was a 18 when I found out I was pregnant. I was raised in a Godly home my whole life but at that moment even my Godly family was pressuring me to get an abortion.I couldn’t do it, my family even turned their back on me unless I had one. I still didn’t. I convinced them that I would give him up for adoption if they would just let me carry him. Because Jeremiah 29:11 promised me that He had a plan for me and a plan for my baby. When he was born he was perfect. The adoption did not go through and I now have a very smart and handsome 11 year old son. My family has asked for forgiveness for the way they reacted and I forgave them because He forgave me. It hasn’t been easy my son’s father has been horrible to deal with and put our son through a lot but I know that God has a plan for him because he promised me that. And He had a plan for me I am happily married to my best friend and we have 4 children. He loves my son as his own. But I know God still has a plan to use all that I went through to help others. It’s never ok for abortion. It stops one life and ruins the life of the momma. She can’t ever completely heal from that. Thank you for making a stand.

    Katie

  12. I think you got the answers you wanted in the comments above. Your not looking for thoughtful discourse. Nothing in this long rambling post is begging to have a dissenting voice answer your questions. Rather you want a bunch of people to say things like “amen!” And you “Go girl!” You don’t ask people to start a thoughtful discourse on a subject by ending it with saying your pro-choice too because today your going to march in with your three daughters and show those women their choices (teehee). Its like me saying I’m pro life because I believe in the rights of the person who is actually alive versus the lump of cells in her uterus……… Actually i’d never say that. I at least have enough respect for others opinions to not turn the words they use to define their opinion around on them. I try to tread lightly on anyone’s belief’s. You on the other hand feel like its ok to say something very tongue in cheek and then ask if I would like to answer your questions? Ok I’ll answer your questions.
    1- yes Abbie for the third time we think what your doing is incredible.
    2- yes Abbie your amazing.
    3- Yes Abbie you are SO right.
    There you go. I think I answered them all.

    1. Okay, so obviously you disagree with Abbie’s view, but all she did was state two questions (when does life begin and then is it ever justifiable to take that life afterward), give her answers, then ask for your answers. Just because she got a lot of positive responses does not mean she doesn’t want your honest opinion. You just seem to be lashing out because people agree with her. Rather than doing yourself (or your view) any favors, this makes it seem like you don’t have any support for your belief, which makes you mad, so you try to hide the fact by being rude and insulting.

      I, and Abbie I am sure, would actually like to hear a rational, level-headed response from you that honestly answers her two questions. If you’re not willing to discuss it, then you’ve already lost the debate.

    2. I’m glad that I’m not the only one that picked up on this, Kari.

      Don’t get me wrong…I actually DO wholeheartedly agree with your stance, Abbie, and I would have answered your questions the same way you did. For goodness sake though, I think you’ve exercised your voice enough on this subject…just stop talking and DO something if you’re so passionate about it! I understand…you’ve made a step in the right direction with visiting the crisis pregnancy center. Good for you. I’m glad this situation has moved you into action and I hope that it does the same for your readers that agree with your stance. However, I just highly encourage you to not exploit your good deeds for additional accolades and blog fodder.

      During my time at our small town crisis pregnancy center, I have come to notice that the ladies that have the most impact are the ones with open ears, quiet mouths, and unconditional love. The women and girls that come through the door don’t need another voice adding to the arguments. From what I see, they are TIRED of the words and the arguments. They just need to know they are loved and accepted and are not alone. Focus on doing just that, and the arguments will take care of themselves.

      Blessings to you…continue to fight the good fight and continue to allow God to humble you through this journey. I pray that through your time volunteering, God will use the women you may meet and their stories to break your heart in unimaginable, wonderful ways.

      1. Shay, I commend you for spending time at pregnancy crisis centers, and for providing your input about women needing open ears and unconditional love.However, I don’t see how your jumping on Abbie for still talking about abortion and accusing her of “exploting her good deeds” is in any way founded. Nor is it in any way helpful, productive, or loving. I don’t know what post you read, but the one I read wasn’t all about her deeds, and it definitely wasn’t fluffy “blog fodder”, it sounded like a request for pro-choice people to give their reasons for disagreeing with her answers to the 2 questions, while attempting to spread some awareness of the scientific and legal factors in the abortion debate. I’m guess if she hadn’t mentioned going to the crisis center you would have accused her of just talking and not doing. Do you see a catch 22 coming?

        And how is spreading awareness not doing something anyway? I wouldn’t know that Roe v. Wade allowed for full term abortions if it weren’t for this. Many if not most pro-choice people probably don’t know this and might oppose it if they did. Yes, people need to do something, but people also need to be told the truth in love, regardless of whether it makes them uncomfortable.That discomfort is there for a reason. It compels us to examine our thinking and our behaviors and improve them if necessary. As Christians, we should desire that truth and corresponding discomfort. And yes, when we give it, it should be done in love and understanding after examining ourselves first, but it should still be given.

        1. Thanks for the response, Anonymous. First of all let me say that I was not accusing Abbie of exploiting her good deeds….my comment was that I would encourage her NOT to. In the sense that if she does decide to take an active role serving in such a way, that the motives of sharing any such experience would not put the focus on her but merely be done in a way that would empower others to do the same. I recognize that keeping motives in line when you have an audience can be a very difficult beast to tame. That comment was merely meant as more of an admonition, but I realize now that it could have been better left unsaid. I apologize.

          Also, I agree…spreading awareness is definitely a big piece of the puzzle! But so many times it stops there….I hope that any awareness that was spread throughout these blog posts has lit some fires and will move people into action.

          I could see how my tone could have come across as harsh, and for that I apologize. I think it’s obvious we all harbor a lot of passion on this topic.

    3. Kari, to be completely honest, although I am aware that many people who read my blog support my view and knew that some people would respond positively, I expected more disagreement than I got.

      It was hard for me to ask because I truly expected a great deal of anger since this is such a difficult/polarizing topic. I would have preferred less encouragement (although I thought those who gave it were kind) and more, “Here are my answers and here’s why.”

      I really did want an actual response to the questions and didn’t feel like it was fair to ask that without offering my own (even though I could have just assumed that people already knew the answer).

      I am sorry that you picked up on a tongue-in-cheek tone because I can assure you that, while I do write a lot of my posts with humor and a light tone, I didn’t feel like it was appropriate here and strove to keep my words as dead serious as possible.

      As far as my motivation for writing this being to receive accolades, it is not. But I realize that I probably can’t say anything to change your mind about that if you truly feel that way, so I’ll leave it at that.

      Thanks for taking the time to respond.

  13. I do believe life begins at conception. I became a mom at 16 because of that belief. I could not abort a baby because I was young and alone. I was carrying a life inside of me. Blessed that I was raised with that belief.
    I will say, the “church family” was the worst , most critical group of people out there. I would say to the Christians out there, support the unwed mothers with your words and actions. Don’t preach pro-life and then shun the teenage moms who CHOOSE to have their baby.
    Also, in the case of rape/life of mother… I’ve never been in that situation so I can’t say what I would do. As a mom of four , I would have a really hard time choosing to end my life and leave my children behind. These situations are ones a I pray to God I never have to go through. Hard to really know what one would do unless you have walked through it yourself. I try really hard not to judge anyone. With that being said, I believe life is a gift and am beyond blessed with my four gifts.

    1. Ooh, good point Beck. Yes, the shame from the church. I do not want to disparage or disrespect it in any way…however, I was expecting when I got married and one of my closest friends from the church was one of the least compassionate. What I did was not right, yet I can well imagine many girls in a similar or worse situations not willing to carry bc of the shame and judgement.

  14. In cases of incest, abortion is allowing the rapist (father, stepfather, brother, etc) to COVER UP his crime, and allows him to continue to victimize the girl time and time again.

    1. Or maybe it’s allowing the person who went through the rape/insest to put it behind her by not having a constant reminder of what she went through!!!!
      It’s best to leave that choice up to someone who has actually walked in those shoes , and show love and no judgement!

  15. A. I believe that life begins at conception.

    B. In light of that believe, I don’t think there is ever an OK time to end that life.

    If the mother’s life is at risk… well, If my life was in danger if my 3 year old didn’t die (let’s be dramatic and say that someone is pointing a gun at my head and will shoot me if I do not kill him) I would never kill my son. Period. I view an unborn baby to be just as much of a life.

    In the case of rape or incest… it’s a horrible thing and I have never walked in those shoes, so I can’t judge a girl going through that, BUT it still isn’t RIGHT. So often the abused one becomes the abuser and abortion is just one more way that can happen.

  16. Abby, such a wonderfully written piece to appeal to the “scientific” side is great.

    I have absolutely same viewpoints. I know most my answers will not suffice for the scientific community. BUT I look to God’s word, and only His word, to answer my questions.

    1) life begins the moment He says so – the moment He allows an egg to be fertilized. We do not believe in birth control of any kind (even before we knew that I could not have children without medical intervention), as I feel that He will only allow a child when He says the time is correct (even with medical intervention we had numerous negatives before a positive and it was His will). My basis for this is Psalm 139: 15-16, 15My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them

    2) to me there is not a time that it is ok to have an abortion. granted I have never been in a position of rape, incest or medical dires, BUT I have to say I think the heart of people that are in these positions would hurt even worse if abortion is an option they choose to turn to. I believe with all my heart that the healing would be better if NOT compounded by the hurt of an abortion on top of it.

    As far as the argument of ‘another mouth to feed’ that is a complete copout to me. There is more than enough help out there via state help, people helping people, food banks, church pantries, etc. When we were fostering we would go to the WIC office for help with the formula for the baby and the help for the 2.5 yo was not a lot BUT it was help and it did dent the grocery bill and with some finesse there was not a big difference in our grocery bill.

    As far as a beautiful blessing being an inconvenience – I have nothing. And I am being bold here in stating that I think people that have this argument there would be nothing we could ever say that would change their frame of thought.

  17. You expressed what so many think in such an eloquent way. I just wanted to share a story that is close to me. I received a text one day from a relative; a prayer request about an anonymous (to me) young woman who was single, pregnant, contemplating abortion and was struggling with the decision. I shared the prayer request with a few of my prayer warrior friends. We prayed for this unknown woman and her baby. The next day I received an updated text that when the woman showed up at her appointment at the abortion clinic, her doctor was not there (a scheduling mixup? I think not.) I also learned that the boyfriend did not want to be a father, and was pressuring the woman into having the abortion. We prayed more. My husband went to visit the relative who was texting me with the prayer requests, and before he left her home they hugged goodbye and she whispered in his ear that the woman we had been praying for was his very own niece. Our niece eventually decided to keep the baby and move in with her mother. She now has a beautiful baby and the love and support of her family. She also has found joy and peace in her decision, even though she is raising her child as a single mother.

  18. I think it is awesome that you and your good friend chose to speak up about the horrific act of abortion! The only women who are offended and angry about it are the ones who haven’t received forgiveness through Christ for their “choice!” They are mad at you for reminding them! But I see I am not the only one who appreciates your stance! God Bless! I love your blog ❤️

  19. I completely agree with you. It is so easy in early pregnancy, when the baby just feels so hypothetical, to forget that there is a unique and precious life in there. But as soon as you see or feel them moving and kicking, you realize “wow, you’ve been there all along!”. A baby is a baby is a baby, as you said. I don’t envy the not so nice comments you are bound to receive because of this post, but I am impressed with the courage you have in declaring the truth anyway.

  20. I would just like to point out that although people like to use that Dr. Seuss quote to back up their opinions on abortion, Theodor Seuss Geisel had no intentions of that quote being used to support the pro-life movement. Horton Hears a Who was about his feelings on Japan and how his views changed after World War II. In fact, his wife was quoted as saying she “doesn’t like people to hijack Dr. Seuss characters or material to front their own points of view.” According to Geisel biographer Philip Nel, she threatened to sue a pro-life group for using his words on their stationery. Just saying, think about your quote choices. I know I’d hate for my words to be twisted.

    1. I actually am aware that this quote has nothing to do with abortion and that Seuss’s wife, specifically, has objected to its being used as a support for the pro-life movement (since she is pro-abortion). However, my intentions were not to twist his words but merely to borrow them since they so lyrically express my thoughts on the subject. I did remove the quote, though, since I don’t want it to be the focus of the article, and your response showed that it could become just that.

  21. I very much enjoyed this piece. this is exactly how I feel. life begins at conception. a lot of what is wrong with today’s world is even people who think they are Christian do not look at their lives the way Jehovah god does. hr is the universal sovereign and the creator of us all. his laws and principles always are for our benefit. it may not feel like it when we are in the midst of a crisis but like you pointed out many women’s lives fall apart. after an abortion. there are always other choices. evenin the case of rape that baby is half of its mother. look forward to reading more of your posts. for your enjoyment, read ps. 37: 10.11,&29

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