I was 15 when I first heard somebody ask, “What if the health of the mother is at risk?”
Immediately, I wanted to answer. But I couldn’t. I had never thought about it before.
Usually my classmates and I knew exactly what we were “supposed” to say when our teacher asked for input. (Note: it was a private, Christian school. So, the answer was “Jesus.” 😉 )
But this time, I only shifted uncomfortably, while I waited for Miss Mack to let us off the hook and give us a tidy answer.
In fact, she made it even worse: “What if the baby is sick and will die anyway? Is abortion okay then?”
These were BIG QUESTIONS. Tough questions. 😦
I remember exactly where I was and how much my mind reeled, the very first time I struggled with the idea that sometimes women don’t WANT abortions; they NEED them.
Questions have that much power.
I share this story to explain that I’m not opposed to asking. Actually, I’m grateful to my teacher for forcing us to face the complicated issues. And I’m grateful she let us squirm and wrestle, so we would learn how to think.
Those questions, which threw me for a loop as a schoolgirl, needed to be asked. They are valid questions.
But, in the years since I sat in that classroom, I’ve discovered there are even more questions which can (and should) be asked in reply, like:
- Do sad situations involving sickness and possible death change the baby’s status as a human?
- Is a preborn baby still valuable in God’s eyes–even if he/she never takes a breath?
- Are doctors able to predict, with certainty, how long a child will live?
- Is it EVER medically necessary to make sure a fetus is dead before delivering it?
- What does the “health” of the mother refer to? Emotional health? Mental health? Financial health?
This is not an exhaustive list. There are many more questions, of similar weight, which might cause a budding-Feminist to feel as uncomfortable as I did years ago.
If you’re struggling with a point you’ve never considered before, I totally relate!
But let’s keep pressing into it:
In the time since highschool, I’ve heard the stories of women who were told their babies were “terminal”–only to stubbornly refuse abortion and deliver completely healthy children. I’ve heard stories of women putting off chemotherapy until 24 or 25 weeks and delivering micropreemies which allowed both mother and baby to survive.
You want something that might make you shift uncomfortably in your chair, while your mind reels? Watch this video: Choosing Thomas.
Did you watch it? Does it leave you with some questions?
I can only think of one: “God, if I’m ever in that situation, can I have the courage to make the same choice?”
What I WON’T be asking is: “What if the health of the mother is at risk?”
Though it once gave me trouble, that one seems pretty obvious now.