Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Crisis of life.

This morning, my heart is heavy.
The thunder woke our sweet sleeping baby last night at 4:51 and when I was done nursing and putting her back down, I decided to go ahead and pump rather than waking up an hour later to do it.  While pumping, I was browsing twitter and kept seeing people hashtag #standwithwendy.  A quick google search filled me in and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind.

(In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a brief CNN article to catch you up.)

Now, generally, I will not write about 'politics' on this blog for reasons I don't feel like getting into right now.
But in those early morning hours, as I was reading various articles/ news updates about this abortion bill filibuster situation, my mind was spinning and my heart was broken.  And I have to spill my heart on this one.

Prior to being a mom, I thought abortion was wrong.  There is really no debate anymore as to when a life begins.  Most doctors agree that life begins at or very soon after conception.  (You'll notice that the pro-choice argument in the past several years has shifted from focusing on 'when a life really begins' to 'the health of the woman.')  Anyway, I have always thought abortion was wrong.  But at one point, I have to be honest, I would have said that in a very rare situation (and this type of situation being a very small percentage of all abortion cases) where the mother is basically guaranteed to die, I could understand the dilemma, and perhaps that woman/ family should be given the right to choose.  I still understand why that particular case would be a dilemma, although I no longer believe abortion is okay in that scenario.  Or any scenario.  Many people would call that view extreme. I'm okay with that.  Nor do I care to get into the specifics of that right now. Because there's more to it than debating case by case scenarios.

This 'hot button issue' that people debate as if it is political is so much more - it is life and death.

Oh dear - my thoughts are so jumbled right now, I apologize in advance for the disorganized mess this post is already.

Right before my school year started, Ben and I went to our 20 week appointment.  It was on my lunch break during a teacher work day.  We saw our sweet baby moving, waving, & kicking, and we found out we were having a girl.  We hugged, kissed, cried, thanked God.  I went back to work on cloud 9, unable to concentrate on anything, except the sweet baby girl tumbling around inside of me.  When I walked in my classroom, the teacher with whom I shared a room had the radio on.  The radio show host was taking call-ins about pro choice and commenting on how the idea that anyone else has a right to tell a woman what to do with her body is absurd.  She kept referring to abortion as a women's health issue.  Suddenly, something within me stirred.  I could feel Addie (who we had not yet named) kicking and I was so upset by this program I had to leave the room.  That was the moment I realized my view had changed. It was stronger.

The current assumption of the pro choice movement is that abortion is a women's health issue.  According to CNN, this particular bill that is up for a vote in the Texas Senate (against which Wendy was protesting)  "would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and tighten standards on abortion clinics and the doctors who work at them. Critics say it would shut most of the abortion clinics in Texas." 

Wendy Davis spoke: "Women realize that these bills will not protect their heath," she said. "They will only reduce their access to abortion providers and limit their ability to make their own family-planning decisions."

My initial reaction to this is a mixture of anger and sadness- I feel angry and sad towards Wendy Davis and those who stand with her.  

The CNN article reads: Abortion rights advocates were rallying behind Davis online, pushing the hashtag #standwithwendy on Twitter." 'Like never before, people in Texas are standing up to demand that politicians respect women's ability to make our own personal medical decisions, and the whole country is watching,' Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a statement on the filibuster."  The article ended by stating "Davis, who became a single mother at age 19, went on to graduate with honors from Harvard Law School."

All that to say - after having a baby, my stance on the issue has become exponentially stronger.  
When I was pregnant with sweet Adelyn, there were some times I literally wept for women who would be choosing an abortion in that moment.  The minute you find out there is life inside, I believe (and experienced personally) there is an instant bond.  It's not possible to describe until you've experienced it.  And I believe that many (though certainly not all) women who have experienced an abortion would admit it was heart breaking to 'choose' to cut off that bond.  
my 6 week ultrasound with Addie.

There is an instant wonder about the little person.  
Smaller than the tip of your fingernail at conception. 
One tiny cell. 
That grows to be the size of a grain of rice.
With a heartbeat.
That grows to have 2 little eyes, a nose, and a mouth.
That will one day see, smell, and giggle. (and cry).
Tiny fingers and toes.
A little life, who could leave his or her little imprint on the world - if given the chance. 

The idea that it is the mother's decision whether or not to 'keep' that precious life is a devastating opinion that reflects a terrifying truth about how our culture views life.  I know this post will probably not change anyone's views on the issue, but I have been processing for almost a year now how my pregnancy strengthened my pro-life views, and wanting to get it down on 'paper.' or rather, screen.

Even as I write, I'm moved to tears.
Tears for women who have gotten an abortion and regretted it.
Tears for women who have gotten an abortion and not regretted it.
Tears for people who genuinely believe it is best for our world to have abortions available - whenever and wherever.
Tears for women who 'need' them repeatedly.
Tears for women who have been sexually abused.
Tears for child after child - person after person - killed like it's nothing because it would be... hard for the mom, bad timing, special needs, a reminder to the mom of sexual abuse.  Those things are hard. They are real. But they are not excuses to end human life.  It is not a woman's health issue.  It is life and death.

Let us as the church surround these women for whom I weep with comfort, love, and real support. Let us not wave our finger in condemnation, but rather, stand for truth in real, practical, hard ways. Let us take children & mothers in our homes who need help. Let us give our money, time, resources, hearts to people hurting and dying.  Let us rally together to make a difference - that maybe our culture would begin to value life. All life.

Oh Lord, show me my part. May this not be one day of an emotional reaction, but the beginning of action.
First and foremost - the action of prayer.  May we be moved to our knees, pleading and interceeding on the behalf of life - both born and unborn.

edited to add photo of 20 week ultrasound with our second born, Emma Catherine


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