DON’T PANIC . . . Take a deep breath, should be your first response when someone tells you he or she is considering abortion. Share that it’s never wise to make a decision, or pressure someone else to, in the heat of the moment.
Lack of sleep, physical discomfort, hormonal changes, financial problems . . . these things all keep us from using our best judgment. Anything that will have lifelong consequences and sacrifices the life of another, deserves deep reflection.
There is ALWAYS another way to deal with an unexpected pregnancy than to intentionally end it. Adoption agencies welcome babies who have disabilities, there are several months during which solutions can be sought, and often, just having a cheerleader will make the decision between life and death fall on the side of life.
In this brochure, written by our founder Laurie Robinson Turnow, there are helpful talking points based on her fifteen years of experience talking with abortion vulnerable young women.
#1 I can’t let my parents know – they’ll kill me!
Have your parents ever killed anyone before? Unless they really are violent, you mean they will be very upset. And you are probably right. Give your parents some credit, though. They did not make it to adulthood without experiencing disappointment. Your parents have had dreams shattered and hopes dashed, yet they have survived. Abortion involves the life of their grandchild. It seems only fair to include them, even if they will initially be shocked by the news. Open communication is key. Keeping a secret – for years and years – will add unhealthy stress to your system. You don’t need more of that!
#2 I can’t support myself, much less a baby. I want to finish school.
It can be very scary to have financial difficulties, but there truly are a lot of possible solutions. Social service agencies offer temporary assistance with food, medical care and even baby sitting. Today’s schools often give aid to single mothers or a job could always come through. Church groups will sometimes help. A lot can change financially in nine months! Another alternative would be to place the baby in a loving adoptive home. What an honorable act! Of course there can be heartache with this choice. Abortion can carry guilt and shame. Adoption can cause grief but also gives hope for a positive future – for both you and your baby.
#3 Well, it is legal.
Yes, but many things that are legal (smoking, cheating on your partner, gambling) may not be right for you. And our country is in conflict about the legal worth of a fetus. If a pregnant woman dies in a plane crash, her baby’s life is counted in the death toll. Likewise, a fetus is protected from a mother who is abusing drugs. The woman can be put in jail while pregnant to protect the baby’s health. Laws and opinions are constantly changing (even the original woman who was “Roe” in the landmark Roe vs. Wade case that legalized abortion now speaks publicly against it). And some women are suing their abortionists for damage done to them from their “safe and legal” abortions. Don’t depend on the legal system to make your own moral choices for you!
#4 My boyfriend will break up with me if I don’t have an abortion.
Here’s the sad truth. Your boyfriend will probably break up with you anyway, especially if you are both young or haven’t been dating long. If you get the abortion, you will always remind him of something he isn’t proud of. If you don’t, he may resent that he has to pay child support and take responsibility as a father. Either way, it isn’t wise to make a life-altering decision based on what someone else dictates. Remember that the baby’s father has no legal rights when it comes to abortion. He cannot force you to have one, and you should not give him the power to do so. Is a guy who would break up with you for not ending your baby’s life really worth trusting with the decision anyway?
#5 My mother is pressuring me to have an abortion.
Some parents suggest abortion because a pregnancy will impact their own lives in negative ways. Most really do put their children first, wanting what is best for them. Your mother may sincerely desire to take away your pain. She may believe the lie that abortion is an easy way out. Your mom may feel she had her own child too young, or at the cost of her own education. She may not wish the same to happen to you. She may have had an abortion herself and see it as the answer. But what your mother may not realize is that 94% of women who have had an abortion regret their decision. 1 If she knew the facts about the potential physical and emotional consequences for the daughter she loves, your mother might instead choose to support you in the pregnancy. Chances are, your mother is glad she did not abort you.
#6 Getting pregnant was an accident. I just want to undo it.
Many people can relate to the feeling of desperately wanting to turn back time, but there just is no way to reverse a pregnancy. Once conception has occurred, there is a baby who needs to come out – either in pieces from an abortion or whole and alive through a birth. A normal pregnancy lasts only 40 weeks, a relatively short amount of time in the whole of your life. Carrying your baby to term and then placing the baby for adoption could make what you now consider “an accident,” a huge blessing for others. Choosing abortion over adoption because you know you would naturally become attached to your baby throughout the pregnancy means that you recognize there will be pain at separation. That pain will lessen over time and be eased by knowing you made the unselfish choice to offer your baby a wonderful life. If you fear your baby won’t be brought up in a loving adoptive home, try to imagine what could be less loving than ending his or her life.
#7 I don’t like what pregnancy will do to my body.
While it is true that pregnancy causes changes in your body, many women today actually celebrate those changes and stay in great shape. But, if you are honestly fearful of what being pregnant may do to you, consider also what abortion can do. The most common, immediate, and short-term complications include excessive bleeding, infections, intense pain, high fever, incomplete removal of the baby or placenta (which can cause life-threatening infections and sterility), PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), and a punctured or torn uterus. Abortion can also result in problems with reproductive organs that can make it difficult to conceive or carry a child to term in the future. 2 For pregnant women who have previously had abortions, they now have a 160% increased risk of tubal pregnancy 3 and 200% increased risk of miscarriage. 4 You are not doing your body any favors by subjecting it to an abortion.
#8 It’s not really a baby. It’s just a “blob of tissue”.
The fact is that upon fertilization 23 chromosomes from each parent have joined to form a 46-chromosome, complete individual with the eye color, shoe size, and sex already determined. Only oxygen and nutrition are added in the womb. An ultrasound at the earliest stages of development will reveal the specific features of a unique person miraculously being formed. And consider this: those in post-abortion support groups across the country are not there to mourn the loss of their “blobs of tissue”. They are there to mourn the loss of their babies.
#9 I’m pregnant because of a rape.
Carrying this baby to term must seem unthinkable! Although our culture would give you “permission” and even encouragement to abort, please don’t jump to that as the obvious choice. Adding another violent act, abortion, to the horrible thing that has already happened to you, will only complicate your healing process. 5 You are in a very unusual circumstance (conception from rape is extremely rare) and it is understandable that you would be frantic. But don’t allow the rapist to further impact your situation by causing you to end the life of an innocent child.
#10 I have to have an abortion. There’s no other way.
Let’s stop to think of some other possibilities. Find people who help women with unintended pregnancies and get creative ideas from them. Yes, your lifestyle with your current friends will change. But you will be amazed at how supportive others can be (including pastors, counselors or staff at a local pregnancy center).
And if you go to God and ask for help, He will hear your prayers. In fact God tells you (in Isaiah 43:18-19) to forget the former things and not dwell on the past. God is doing a new thing! Do you not see it? He is making a way in the desert and will give you streams in the wasteland.
Take comfort in God’s promises and ask Him to guide your decision as you gather information, view an ultrasound and consider every alternative. Respect the life He has created within you, despite the circumstances. Safeguard your own future health and well-being by confidently doing the right thing. You may not be happy with decisions made by you or others in the past. But now you have the opportunity to make a better choice, not only for yourself but also for your child.