Today's Devotional Thought
January 24, 2011 by Rachel Piferi
Why I am Pro-Life
On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court delivered its landmark decision to legalize abortion and this weekend marked the 38th anniversary of that ruling. This weekend also marked the 3rd anniversary of my own abortion decision. As many of you know, three years ago I was faced with a 20 week ultrasound that resulted in a recommendation from my doctors that I should abort my child.
My heart has been very heavy recently with memories of the days and weeks that I endured the worst news that I have ever received in my life. It also has been heavy as I have listened to all of the news and debates that have aired during this anniversary month of Roe v. Wade.
I am pro-life. And today, I want to tell you why.
For those of you who know my daughter Isabella’s story, you know that I received devastating news at our 20 week ultrasound. In two different ultrasounds, doctors found out that our baby was not developing properly. Most notably, she had no kidneys, no amniotic fluid, her lungs were not going to develop, and she was simply not going to live after she was born. The doctors told us that our baby had no chance of survival.
To make the situation even worse, they discovered that I had a condition that made continuing with the pregnancy very dangerous to my health. The doctors were very blunt in their position that they were going to save my life before the baby’s life. And they recommended that I abort the baby since she was not going to live anyways and carrying her to term was very dangerous to me. I found myself in the middle of a classic abortion debate scenario.
When I think of the abortion debate, I often think of people sitting around arguing over hypothetical situations. I can remember taking a medical ethics class in college where we debated this very issue. When is abortion right? When is it wrong? What if the mother’s life was in danger? We would run through so many hypothetical situations as classmates debated when abortion was okay and when it wasn’t.
It is so funny how your whole approach to the issue changes when the “hypotheticals” are no longer hypothetical. When it is a real situation that you have to make a real decision in, it’s so much different than when it is just a hypothetical situation in a textbook. And when I was faced with our own abortion decision, I realized so clearly that it was not even really my decision to make. I don’t have the right to decide if another human being lives or dies. Friends, don’t rush past that last sentence too quickly. I don’t have the right to decide if another human being lives or dies. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die (v. 1-2). And I believe, as I am sure many of you also believe, that this time should be determined by God, not by me.
The experience also revealed so strongly to me that my life was not more valuable than my baby’s life. My doctors were asking me to make that decision. They were asking me to choose myself over my baby. But, I couldn’t do that. You see, to God, all life is equally important. The unborn baby is just as important to God as the 33 year old mother. And just like God had plans for my life, God had plans for my unborn baby’s life. Jeremiah 1:5 shows us how God knows us before we are born and has plans for us. In this verse, we read of his plans for Jeremiah’s life: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you part; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” The importance of my unborn baby’s life became so real to me as the doctors were asking me to choose myself and my health over my baby’s life. I simply could not choose myself over her. And God gave me a peace that I cannot even explain when we decided to continue with the pregnancy.
I have considered myself pro-life for many years. But, when we were faced with the decision to abort our child, it was so much more clearly revealed to me why I was pro-life. I am pro-life because I believe everyone is known and loved by God before they are born. And, as my baby was growing and struggling to survive inside of me, God loved her. And, God had plans for her. Plans that I would have interrupted had we followed the medical advice to abort her. Because, what I found by continuing with the pregnancy was that God’s plans involved healing her and removing the threat to my life as well. And 19 weeks after we chose to continue with the pregnancy, I delivered a healthy baby girl who has blessed our lives immensely.
Friends, human life is precious and is God given. And God has a plan for each life and that plan begins at conception. And, we must not interrupt the plans that God has for us or for our children. Whether you find yourself in an unplanned pregnancy, a pregnancy that results from a bad situation, or a pregnancy that looks hopeless, God is in control and God has a plan for you and for that developing life. And as I was living my story, I believed so strongly that I had to let God’s plan (not mine) unfold, even if his plan did not involve healing Isabella.
And sweet friends, I learned that we only experience the fullness of God, his character, and his power when we let his plans for our lives unfold. Through the healing of Isabella, I experienced the fullness of God’s power and sovereignty over all of creation. I also experienced his love through the care of the people he sent into my life to support us. I experienced his strength and felt his upholding each and every day as we waited for the uncertain outcome. As I approached the end of the pregnancy and the possibility that Isabella could die or have serious health issues, I also experienced his comfort and peace. And if she had not survived, I know that God’s comfort would have enveloped me as I coped with her death.
If I had terminated our pregnancy as the doctors recommended, I would have missed out on experiencing God in the ways that I did. And, I would have missed out on the plans that God had for me and for Isabella. God saved Isabella’s life. And in so many ways, God saved mine too. And it all started because I decided to let God have control over the outcome of the situation. I believe so strongly that it is not my choice to decide whether another human being lives or dies. Even though she was inside of me, she was not mine. And even now, she is not mine. She is God’s and he has an amazing plan for her life.
I am pro-life because I believe that we must follow God’s plans, not our plans. And, I believe that abortion ends a life that God knows, cherishes, and has plans for. For me, being pro-life means letting each life be given the opportunity to be used mightily by God, however he determines it should be. And being pro-life for me meant that I surrendered control of my life and my baby’s life to the sovereign and almighty God of the universe. And in surrendering control, I witnessed the amazing power, plans, and provision of God.
Friends, it is not my choice to decide who lives or dies. It is God’s alone. Don’t interrupt the plans that God has for you and his children by prematurely ending a life. Let each life be given the opportunity to be used fully by God, however he determines.