This blog is a risk. It’s not something I normally blog about. I could get hateful comments, I could get people unfriending and unfollowing me. But I’m not here to please everyone.
The other day I became aware of the twitter hashtag #shoutyourabortion and it’s like the twitterverse is on fire. I normally don’t go on to Twitter, but I wanted to see what the fuss was all about and quite frankly, the hashtag makes me want to learn what these people have to say.
The two women who started it did so to let other women know they don’t have to feel shame in their abortion, and they want to break that silence and the stigma because not all women feel shame for having an abortion, and you don’t have to feel shame either, if you’ve had an abortion. Abortion is legal in this country, it’s a law that women have the right to access, I’m not here to argue that.
And I’m not here to shame you as a person for having an abortion, if you’ve had one. But my point of view is different. The unfortunate thing is when we have differing opinions on such a divisive topic, we can get nasty. I feel that’s why a lot of Christians might remain silent because they don’t want to be lumped in with the others who are shouting hate at people. Search #shoutyourabortion on Twitter and you can see how people talk to one another… you’re ignorant, go educate yourself, I’m right, you’re wrong. Just another religious nutcase, etc.
How can I be supportive to a woman who’s in a situation where she feels abortion is her best option AND also be supportive to the life that is inside of her? Do those who are in the for abortion category want people like me, who are not for it, to agree with you, even if it goes against every fiber of my being? I’ve never been in that circumstance, but if I feel strongly about something, are you asking me to remain silent? Just as the #shoutyourabortion crowd are not silent, why do I need to be silent because I feel we are #madeforlife?
If my daughter is going to harm herself by pulling on the stove handle, or by walking into the street, am I going to sit idly by and allow it to happen because she feels like this is what she wants to do? No, I want to say something, I want to protect her, I want to tell her there’s another way.
In the case of abortion, I firmly believe, there’s a human life inside of you with its own DNA, with functioning organs that are developing and that there’s a heartbeat inside of that tiny baby. I don’t just believe that, there’s overwhelming evidence that it’s true. Not only that, but through the advancement of sonograms we can see babies smiling, sucking their thumbs, and we also know that they feel pain because they recoil when a needle for a test is put into them. Another body, is inside of your body. There are two bodies here, the woman’s and the tiny, living, heart beating, brain receiving information body inside of the woman’s body. That tiny body is a person BECAUSE of all these things…it has DNA it has a fingerprint. That person will have dreams and a personality, if given the opportunity. Just please process that information and don’t allow it to wash over you like it’s not true.
The disheartening thing from reading the posts with the hashtags, for me, is that so many of the women seem to convey that the reason for their abortions was because having a baby was inconvenient. A lot of things are inconvenient, like making a return at the mall the day after Christmas. And children are a lot of work, but is inconvenience to what you want in life a reason to choose abortion? I’m sure as a child I wasn’t always convenient or fun, but life is not always about what’s convenient. Sometimes we have to do hard things in life. Having a baby you didn’t plan on is a hard choice. Abortion is a hard choice and so is adoption. Adoption is an alternative to not wanting to parent and I wish that more women would consider alternatives to abortion, like adoption.
When Rob and I adopted our daughter Reagan, she forever changed our life. Those who know our story, know that on day four of her life, our daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic, metabolic disorder. This test is done on newborn screening, after birth, and it’s a fairly new test. It’s become standard just within the last 10 years here in Florida and I’m not sure if all 50 states have these as standard tests. At age 13 months our daughter would suffer a traumatic brain injury, due to her genetic metabolic condition; she lost all her skills, gained a g-tube and we’ve been working hard to help her regain her milestones and skills back ever since April 2014.
But when I look at her, I am so grateful that her birthmom chose adoption. In the midst of a very difficult life circumstance, Reagan’s birthmom chose to give Reagan a chance.
Reagan’s life and story has impacted thousands of people. Her life has challenged Dr.’s because every single thing she is able to do, she should not be able to do. Her brain was so severely damaged that she should not be able to walk, or move much at all. Her life matters. Everyone’s life matters.
Some people might choose abortion due to a potential disability. If presented with Reagan’s genetic disorder prior to birth, I can bet a lot of people might select abortion. The information on Glutaric Acidemia Type 1 is insanely scary when you look online. But then I look at my child’s eyes; she is not her disorder. She has a feisty personality, she is defying all odds given to us by the doctors in the hospital. She’s walking more, falling less and trying to talk, eat and drink more. Reagan goes to a regular preschool and is a pretty popular classmate because she likes to give everyone hugs. There’s no way I can know the full impact of her little life but I can guarantee you that anyone who has watched her life story unfold has never witnessed more determination or adversity defying by another person, let alone a two and a half year old. We can’t shield ourselves from pain all our life…pain will come, adversity will come, this is life here on earth.
The only way we know greatness, or great people, is because they were given the opportunity to become great. They were given the opportunity to be born.
The reason we choose one decision over another is because we want to control our life’s outcome and we want it to be the very best. But we can’t control better outcomes. You’ll never know how that unborn life could have impacted you, your loved ones, or the world. You’ll never know how you could have grown as a person through a situation you didn’t think you could handle or didn’t want. You’ll never know how you could have become your very best self by overcoming adversity or seemingly impossible odds, you’ll never know.
If you’ve had an abortion, please hear me…I am not here to judge you or condemn you. And I don’t think you’re a terrible person. The purpose in me writing this, is to offer another viewpoint to a woman who might be considering abortion.
Through Reagan’s life and the difficulty we have gone through with her, one thing I have learned is that your current life situation is not going to last forever. We have mountains and we have valleys. Maybe you’re a woman who’s in a valley right now. You aren’t ready to be a mom, you are financially having a hard time, you have no family or friend support. Or maybe you’re on top of a mountain, and you feel having a child would fling you into a valley. I want to encourage you to make an adoption plan. There are SO many families who, like us, have never been able to conceive, ever. There are people who want to be a mom and a dad but haven’t been blessed in that way. You could bless them with the child you’re not ready to parent. Your life might be tough through the nine months of carrying that pregnancy to term, but you can give the gift of the life inside of your body to a family who will love and take care of that child forever. If you are considering abortion, would you please consider adoption?
Maybe you’re afraid that during those nine months you will feel the baby kick, you’ll start to feel emotions and love. You might catch yourself making dreams for that child and for you, you’ll see them smile on a sonogram and your heart will melt…you might start feeling like, you can do this mom thing to the child growing inside of you. Or maybe you don’t want to go through those feelings and you prefer to just end it with abortion. Can I ask you something? Is it possible to do something even though you don’t want to? Is it possible you could carry a child for nine months, for a family who would give anything to have a child? The #shoutyourabortion movement is really loud, like a clanging gong. But I pray you can listen to the soft voice that is inside of you, the voice who says “I created your inmost being,” and allow what is being knit together the chance to live. What is being knit together inside of you is #madeforlife.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
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.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—