Today's Devotional Thought
January 19, 2014 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 week marks the 41st anniversary of that ruling. This month also marks the 6th anniversary of my own abortion decision. As many of you know, six 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 is always heavy this time of year with memories of the days and weeks that I endured the worst news that I have ever received in my life. Even more so, however, it is heavy with the thought of the many abortions that occur in this country.
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 for her. 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 they saved my baby's life. And they recommended that I abort the baby since she was not going to live 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? Is it wrong? What if a girl was raped? Is it wrong?
We would run through so many hypothetical situations as classmates debated when abortion was okay and when it was not.
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 is 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 what I believed.
Oh friends, there is absolutely nothing like going through a situation to help you truly decide what you believe. And now, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that I am against abortion. In every case.
After we were asked to make our own abortion decision, I started really studying the Bible and searching the character of God for the answer to these questions about abortion. I think most Christians agree that abortion should not be allowed in cases of unplanned pregnancy where the child is seen as an inconvenience or perhaps a source of disgrace. But what about the more ambiguous cases where abortion seems justified by human logic?
When my life was in danger and I had two other children to raise and the baby was not going to live anyways, is it okay?
When a young girl's body has been violated by a man and she is carrying an unplanned life and the memory of the horrible event haunts her each time feels the baby move inside her, is it okay?
Lord, how should we make sense of these things? And more importantly, how should we act?
As I searched Scripture and as I thought about it all with God, I came to this simple answer:
Abortion is never okay.
Even in the seemingly ambiguous cases where human logic tells you that you might have a "right," I believe the Bible is clear that it is wrong.
And I came up with three reasons that I believe that it is never okay. First, and quite simply, regardless of the situation surrounding the creation of a life, it is never my choice to decide if that baby lives or dies. I simply do not ever have that "right." Even if that life may be emotionally painful for me and even if that life may endanger my own.
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 and not by me.
Second, and this is a hot point of discussion, I believe life begins at conception. One of the classic debates within the abortion decision is when life begins. Does it begin at conception or does it begin at birth? The world will tell you it begins somewhere in the third trimester (which is why late term abortions are largely illegal). But, my searching for God's truth has led me to believe very strongly that life begins at conception. Jeremiah 1:5 shows us plainly 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." Psalms also speaks of God knowing us before we were born. In Psalm 139: 13-16, we read:
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.
The Bible so clearly states that we are known to him in our mother's womb and that he has plans for our life. Our physical life begins at conception and God is in charge of it all.
Finally, I am pro-life because I believe in God's ability to do the impossible.
When a teenaged girl gets pregnant out of wedlock, raising that child by herself while she finishes school looks impossible.
When a woman's body has been violated by a man and she is carrying a reminder of that horror, ever emotionally recovering from it seems impossible.
When the baby developing inside of her mother is endangering the mother's health, the possibility of saving both the baby and the mother or going on if either dies looks impossible.
And when a baby has no kidneys and the ultrasound leads doctors to believe that the baby will not live, both physical and emotional healing look impossible.
But sweet friends, my God is the God of the impossible. Of physical and emotional healing. Of redemption. Of forgiveness of bad decisions. Of second chances. And when you call on him, he can do amazing things with the impossible.
Things that won't be accomplished if you exercise your choice to end that baby's life.
Friends, I believe in the impossible and letting God have control over my life to do the impossible. As I have thought about abortion, I have realized that it really comes down to control. When pro-choice advocates talk about the right to choose, they are really talking about the right to control their lives and the life developing inside of them. They are using human logic to decide what is right for them.
And if there is anything that I have learned through my life, it is that my human logic pales in comparison to the mighty and awesome knowledge and power of God. And if I retain control of my life and do not yield to God's principles, wisdom or control, I will miss out on the experience of God's awesomeness. Of his power over the impossible. And as it says in Ephesians 3:20, God can do things more amazing than I can even comprehend, ask for, or imagine in my wildest dreams (MSG).
Friends, God can do the impossible.
God can take an unplanned pregnancy that came from a mistake in judgment and create something beautiful.
God can take an unhealthy baby and turn that life into a demonstration of his healing (of either the baby or of you as you emotionally heal from it).
God can take a violation of one's body and heal the emotional scars through an awakened dependence on him. Healing that will come in a way far better than just ending the life of the baby.
God can redeem any situation and create something beautiful if we let him.
But, if we choose to control our destinies through human logic over God's Word, we will miss out on the full experience of God and his redemption that he promises us through our obedience to him.
If I had chosen to abort my baby, a decision that was fully supported by human logic, I would have missed the miracle. And not just the miracle of Isabella's life, but the miraculous creation of a new life for me.
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.
Miracles can happen. But they only happen by the hand of God. And when we choose abortion, we are telling God that our hand will guide this, not his.
Friends, I also want to speak to anyone who has had an abortion in their past and posts like this arise such guilt and sadness. If that is you, please know that this post is written with such love and hope and belief in God. It is not meant to condemn or judge in any way. Please know that God will forgive you and can redeem that decision.
God is the God of healing, of forgiveness, and of redemption. And regardless of the situation that you find yourself in regarding abortion, he can heal, he can help you forgive, and he can redeem.
But to experience God in the midst of it, we must seek him and his ways and not choose our own.
I am pro-life because I firmly believe in the power of God and his ability to bring life, healing, and redemption to any situation. And I must let him by relinquishing any rights I believe I have.
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. And let him show you the amazing healing, forgiveness, and redemption he can bring to you too in the midst of following his Word.
I am pro-life, because I believe in the impossible. Sometimes, regardless of the exact specifics of it, a pregnancy seems impossible. But, I believe with my whole being, that when you turn the impossible over to God, you will be amazed. And in the words of the Apostle Paul, may your faith not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (I Corinthians 2:5).