Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe vs Wade, the US Supreme Court decision that decided that abortion is allowable because of a perceived “right to privacy” clause of the constitution, resulting in the eventual legalization of abortion on demand during all 9 months of pregnancy.
A few years ago, I volunteered with an online ministry that provided crisis pregnancy and post-abortion counseling. Here is the letter I received one day from a woman I will never meet:
“I know you probably do not remember me but I wrote to you back in September. I cannot tell you how difficult it is for me to write to you now. But I keep feeling like I need to because I chose to have an abortion and everything you said has come true. I was pregnant with an unplanned third child and my husband didn’t want me to have the baby. I wrote him a letter telling him how I felt and basically pleading with him to tell me to keep the baby. But he didn’t want the baby. He just chose to be emotionally gone.
In October I went to a so-called “counseling” appointment where the counselor was a nice woman but really just wanted the consent form signed. Two days later I went to kill my baby and in the procedure room where they put the thing in to dilate, I was crying and shaking and literally hyperventilating and I asked the same counselor lady to get my husband from the waiting room. I kept asking him if this was what he really wanted and he said it was.
For so many reasons and for so many other people, I killed my precious baby. I wish I could go back to that day. I wish I had listened to you. Having an abortion is so much at the core of who I am not. This pain inside of me is so deep. I hurt so much. I spent my other two pregnancies very lonely. And I spent the month that I was trying to figure out what to do very alone. My husband just didn’t want to talk about it or think about it, and I really believed I was going to leave him. I kept thinking that I couldn’t raise two, let alone three babies. But now I know, somehow, I would have managed, as moms do, and we all would have been okay. I grieved so much in December, and day by day since then but its all back tonight. I’ll never get to hold my baby or comfort him. And I can almost not bear the thought of him being in pain and ripped from me. And all because of me. When they did it, I could feel the deepest part of me being ripped away along with the baby, part of my soul and an innocent part of me that I can’t describe. I hate myself for what I have done. I wish I had been a stronger person for my baby.
Why am I writing to you? I feel like I need to tell you that I wish I had listened to you. I wish my baby was still inside of me. I have so much hurt and anger, at myself and my husband), and pain and regret inside of me. I hate how the world just goes on and I am the only person who grieves and even those know what I did don’t see the whole thing as a killing of a baby.”
I have thought of this woman many times. Though she is just one of many who shared that same story with me, this story touched my heart because it is the testimony of a mother, a wife, a grieving woman who desperately needs the love and forgiveness that only the Lord can bring. I have wondered if she has ever come to Christ for forgiveness and salvation or if her marriage has even survived.
This week I read a news article that talked about the demographics of the average woman who has an abortion. She isn’t a teenage girl or even a college coed. She is, in most circumstances, already a mother in her late twenties who is overwhelmed, for one reason or another, with motherhood and is looking for a way of escape from an unplanned pregnancy. Many times she says that she is killing her child to make a better life for the children she already has. It also isn’t unusual for her to describe herself as “pro-life” but she makes the choice to abort because she sees her own circumstances as exceptional and her only option.
As horrible as it is, the tragedy of abortion goes far beyond the death of a child. The pain and suffering of that choice permeate marriages, families, churches, towns, and even our nation. It is said that on the day a woman aborts her unborn child, 60 other people in her life are affected by that choice. Then, like the ripples on a pond that continue moving outward after a pebble is dropped, that number grows. Not one of us is exempt from the fruits of that Supreme Court of so many years ago. Whether we realize it or not, we all know someone who lost a child through abortion.
Sadly, my own children have never known a day when killing unborn children was not a part of our heritage as Americans. They are a part of the throw-away generation, the ones who survived the 20th century’s holocaust of choice that took half of them before they left their mothers’ wombs. I want my children to hate with perfect hatred the hands that shed innocent blood, to despise the act of abortion. But I also want them to love these suffering women, the despairing ones who made this choice and who, more than anything else, need the touch of Jesus Christ. How do I teach them perfect hatred for sin and at the same time perfect compassion for the sinner?
I have purposed afresh today, on this, the 35th anniversary of the horrific event known as Roe vs Wade, to teach my children by example. I will remind them that they were chosen, before the foundations of the world, created in His image, and called according to His good pleasure. By welcoming little ones and elderly alike into our home, I will show them that life is worthy of defending and protecting from conception to the grave. I will tenderly and wisely teach them what God expects from them when it comes to moral purity and will be certain they know that I am here for them if they fail in any way. And together we will seek out those who are struggling with past choices, offering hope and encouragement, healing and the path of forgiveness for their souls.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life here and on earth. Help me to live it to the fullest every day, glorifying you alone. And, more than that,thank you for the gift of eternal life through Jesus.