Love Lets Live, or does it?
One of Abort73's most consistently popular shirts reads, LOVE LETS LIVE. This week, we heard from a 22-year-old, Portland woman who asserts exactly the opposite. Her story is below:
I found out I was pregnant with twins when I was traveling abroad. It was a shock [but] I felt so happy. When I told my boyfriend, he freaked out. When I was 15 years I was told that I could not have kids, but [now I was] pregnant with twins. It was a miracle, and I wanted to have them, no matter what.
When I got back to the US and got to see my boyfriend, things were better than ever, and my boyfriend told me that whatever I wanted, he was going to be there for me. He said that it was my choice, but our decision.
Seeing the reality of our lives made me think a little bit harder about whether or not I wanted to have them. Neither my boyfriend or I had jobs, or any money. We were both in our last year of college. If I was going to have them, we would both have to rely on his parents, and his parents are [messed] up. I didn't care [about dying]. I didn't care about anything. The only thing in my mind was them, and I decided to get an abortion. I decided that I WOULD RATHER [HANDLE THE] PAIN than have them COME TO THIS WORLD without a house to grow up in, without diapers or a crib.
I went to the clinic yesterday, and did the procedure. I feel horrible today, and I miss them a lot. But I would rather feel this, than them not be able to have what I want to give them.
This has been painful for me and my boyfriend. We both think about them as our twins, and we have decided to work hard so one day we can try again, and then have no worries, and be able to provide them what we wanted to, but we were not able to.
People think that getting an abortion is a selfish act, but it's not. Selfish would be having the kids, knowing that they would have struggled in this world. I don't mind dealing with this pain as long as I know that they won't have to deal with it. Life isn't the same, of course. I have learned a lesson, and I know what I want from life.
How do you respond to a story like that – to the assertion that it would have been selfish to let her children live? Sadly, this young woman is not the first to make such a claim. Not by a long shot. Abort73's LOVE LETS LIVE shirts were crafted with such thinking in mind – as evidenced by their design explanation:
Some people argue that abortion is a loving choice – one that spares a child from a life of suffering. But is it really love to violently destroy an innocent and helpless human being, without their consent, to keep them from potential, future suffering? That is the very opposite of love. Life is hard, but it is a far better fate than death. Abortion kills. Love lets live.
I've spent a fair bit of time over the last few months working on a book. When and where that book is published remains to be seen. In the meantime, I'd like to share a quick excerpt from chapter three because it speaks to this topic:
...the more honest and informed abortion advocates must appeal to an increasingly sophisticated (and sinister) argument if they’re to retain any credibility. It grants the existence of individual human life in the womb and accepts that a real death is taking place, but argues that abortion still serves the greater good. How? By sparing children from lives of suffering and freeing up resources for the needs of those already born. As it becomes increasingly difficult to deny the humanity of children in the womb, this is the line of reasoning more and more abortion advocates are taking up. As to the first claim, this idea that abortion is a legitimate means of sparing children from being born into a life of neglect, it is grossly presumptive. It assumes a life of suffering on the child and assumes that this suffering will be a fate worse than death. Though it's hard to imagine even the staunchest abortion advocate suggesting that we kill born children as a means of eliminating potential suffering, Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, once said, “the most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
Towards the end of my collegiate career, I read Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Beloved. The central character in the story is a runaway slave mother who, on the verge of recapture, slits the throat of her daughter to prevent her from reentering a life of slavery. I don't know that I saw the connection to abortion at the time, but I have since reread the text in pursuit of the details I'd forgotten. Though I don't know Morrison's position on abortion, I found her account of this mercy killing far less sympathetic than I anticipated. After killing her daughter, Sethe is shunned by her own people–the very ones with first hand knowledge of what she was trying to protect her child from. Her sons run away forever, terrified by what their mother had done. Baby Suggs, the town matriarch and Sethe's mother-in-law, loses all hope, shuts herself up in her room and dies. Beloved, the young daughter who was killed, haunts the family in a perennial fury until she finally shows up in bodily form to torment and almost kill her mother. Near the end of the book, we find this account of Sethe’s efforts to justify her actions to Beloved:
Sethe began to talk, explain, describe how much she had suffered, been through, for her children... None of which made the impression it was supposed to. Beloved accused her of leaving her behind.... And Sethe cried, saying she never did, or meant to–that she had to get them out, away… That her plan was always that they would all be together on the other side, forever. Beloved wasn't interested. She said when she cried there was no one... Sethe pleaded for forgiveness, counting, listing again her reasons: that Beloved was more important, meant more to her than her own life. That she would trade places any day. Give up her life, every minute and hour of it, to take back one of Beloved's tears. (241, 242)
As bad as slavery was, what Sethe did was worse. When she tried to convince another former slave there was no other way, he simply stated, “There could have been a way. Some other way… You got two feet, Sethe, not four” (165). Human beings are image bearers. We are not animals. We have two feet, not four. We do not eliminate suffering by killing those who suffer. Though the focus of this chapter is on the secular reasons for condemning abortion, the front line arguments in support of abortion are almost all spiritual in nature–despite the fact that they’re being made by secularists. Their goal is to move the debate away from objective, measurable criteria so as to place it in a realm that science and biology can’t speak to. In it’s crudest form, they are arguing that abortion-vulnerable children are better off dead.
Pray for this woman from Portland. Her grief is still less than a week old and it may well grow and change in the months and years to come. We are all blind to our own selfish tendencies. Pray that her eyes are opened and that when they are, she'll be honest enough to admit the truth and broken enough to seek her Savior.
Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. You can also find him on Facebook and Google+. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.