At sixteen, you think you know things. I remember turning sixteen and immediately getting my first summer job at a McDonalds near my mother’s house in Minnesota. As people often do during the slow times, I talked to co-workers about various topics, and the subject of abortion came up. I told my new friends confidently that I personally believed abortion was wrong, but I also believed that women had the right to make these choices for themselves. Who was I to tell someone else what to do? But something would happen not too long after that day that would radically change the way I looked at abortion. It would help me see, as the campaign goes, that it wasn’t a choice, it was a child.
My senior year in high school, my two best friends and I were having a sleepover. It was a Friday night, and after lots of snacks and time on the trampoline, we settled in to talk before bed. My friend we will call Sarah said that she wanted to talk last. It was obvious that she had something serious to say, and when we finally got it out of her, we were shocked to find out that she thought she was pregnant. Her parents were very strict, from the Old Country (Greece), and she was upset and not sure what to do. We decided that I would go with her to local free clinic the next day to get a more professional test before we did any serious panicking.
The free clinic, as it happened, was run by a Christian organization that counseled young ladies against abortion. In no time, the woman called my friend to the back to talk about her results, and there I was, alone in the waiting room. On the TV, a video was explaining the process of abortion. It was horrible. I saw the tiny babies as they were on the ultrasound, sucking their thumbs or stretching their legs. Then a moment later, their lifeless, bloody bodies would flash on the screen. I thought about what Sarah’s baby might be doing at that moment if she was, in fact, pregnant. All of a sudden, abortion was no longer about politics or philosophy. It was about a real baby who might have Sarah’s eyes or her smile and an all-too-soon death that could be and should be prevented.
As it turned out, my friend was pregnant. The father was the same age we were and was going into the military straight out of high school. He wasn’t interested in the responsibility of a new baby. Sadly enough, the boy died just a few years later. Who knows if making the choice to step up in that situation might have been the difference for him in the choices he made later that led to his death. As for Sarah, the thought of her parents finding out and disowning her without the father’s support was too much for her. She did decide to have an abortion despite my arguments against it. I still love my friend, and we talk occasionally today. She went on to have two beautiful children with her husband, and I know she must sometimes think of the baby that she got rid of to live the life of college and career that she did.
As a teen, I had learned a great lesson about the true value of life and the choices people make to either destroy or defend it. It’s not about politics, and it’s not about minding your own business. It’s about preserving precious life and giving every tiny human the chance to make his or her own choices someday. While we live in this fallen world, we can either line up on the side of death or the side of life. It’s that simple. Life is either worth the sacrifice, or it becomes a sacrifice to an idol god of convenience. As for me, I will choose life.
This lovely post is part of Telling Hearts Life series. You can catch more of it >>here<<