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Sometimes you run across something that makes you stop in your tracks; a perspective is given on a topic that makes you say “YES. That’s exactly it.” I was fortunate enough to run across such a perspective this week, and after gaining permission from the author, Billy Coffey, I’m pleased to share it with you.
I am of the opinion that people have a right to their own privacy, whether in deed or in word. “Mind your own business” is what my mother always told me, often with a wagging finger in my face for effect. The lesson was taught both early and often— Jesus doesn’t like eavesdropping.
Which is why I don’t eavesdrop, I research. Jesus doesn’t mind research.
I spent the better part of a recent morning in a coffee shop researching Tori, Laura, and Heather, the three twenty-something women at the next table. Very bright, very opinionated, and very vocal. In the twenty minutes I listened to them, they touched upon everything from politics to the environment to who’s doing what to whom on their favorite television show.
I was about to turn my attention to the newspaper in front of me when Laura mentioned the fact that the most recent episode wasn’t very realistic. It seemed as though one of the main characters was in a delicate position involving an unwanted pregnancy.
“Seriously,” she said, “why doesn’t she just have an abortion? No one would blame her.”
Heather took a sip of her coffee and nodded, then flicked a crumb onto the floor. “I gotta say I would,” she answered. “I really don’t see another way out for her.”
Tori, I noticed, remained silent through the recap. Her shoulders had closed in and her hands were folded around her coffee cup, as if she were trying to shrink herself enough to be forgotten.
Unfortunately and as is often the case, trying to go unnoticed was exactly what made her stand out.
“What do you think, Tori?” Laura asked.
Tori’s grip tightened around the sleeve on her cup, and she ran her other hand up and down the leg of her jeans to smooth away a wrinkle that wasn’t there.
It was pretty obvious what her opinion of the situation was; agreement with her friends wouldn’t have given her cause to be so anxious. No, I decided that Tori held the opposite view. The question was whether she would play along or be honest.
She chose honest.
“I’d keep it,” she said. “I’d find a way.”
“Seriously?” asked Heather. “You would seriously keep that baby?”
Laura let out a snort. “Please tell me you’re joking,” she said.
“I’d keep it,” said Tori.
The three sat in silence, unsure how to proceed. Changing the subject would be good. Ignoring the comment would be better. Heather glanced at her watch, hoping she would remember somewhere else she had to be.
But then Tori found her courage.
“I don’t think she should kill that baby.”
“She’s not killing anything, Tori,” said Laura. “There’s nothing there to kill.”
Heather nodded. “She’s just a few weeks pregnant, Tor,” she said.
Tori shrugged an I-don’t-care. “I don’t think it’s right.”
Laura shook her head. “You know Tor, if there’s anyone at this table who should be pro-choice, it’s you.”
“You got that right,” echoed Heather.
I wasn’t sure what was meant by that. Evidently Tori shared my sentiment.
“Why would you say that?” she asked them.
Heather and Laura exchanged an uncomfortable look between them, as if what they had to say was both obvious and awkward.
“Hello?” asked Tori.
“You’re black,” Laura said.
My eyes widened. How could a conversation about a television show turn into a discussion about abortion and race?
“So?” Tori asked.
“If there’s anyone who should appreciate freedom, it’s you,” said Heather. “Your ancestors were robbed of their rights, but you have them all. I think you’d be protective of them.”
“But it’s a baby,” Tori said. “You can’t kill a baby.”
“It’s not a baby,” stated Laura. “It’s not even considered a person.”
Tori took a long sip of coffee and stared at her friends. “Maybe that’s why I don’t think she should have an abortion,” she said. “Maybe that’s why I think it’s wrong.”
“I don’t get it,” Heather said. “What’s that have to do with anything?”
“You say if anyone should be pro-choice, it’s me? I don’t think so. I think if anyone should be pro-life, it’s me. Someone has to say that baby is a person. Someone has to stand up for him, just like someone stood up for my ancestors.”
“What are you saying, Tori?” asked Laura.
“I’m saying that you can’t sit there and say
that baby isn’t a person, because two hundred years ago people would say I wasn’t a person, either.” **
In the image of God He created them;
male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:27 NLT (insertion, mine)
**As originally published on Katdish blog, by author Billy Coffey – Thanks Billy!
Thanks Melinda & Billy for sharing this! It reminds me of a converstation my husband & I had with friends of ours who said something similar… that maybe years from now we would look back at abortion and see the wrongness of it as our country now does about slavery. The Lord is at work… I am so glad that Tori was brave enough to speak her heart… maybe her friends will think upon what she said. The Lord is at work … one heart at a time!
Just wondering, if,in time, it is illegal to have an abortion, do you believe that person breaking God's law and man's law should be locked up the rest of her life? You exert so much effort in this cause, I respect that and admire that. As you have stated so many times, the emotional aftermath is a mental prison for the offender anyway, the physical prison serves as a place to keep one from further harming society at large. How in heavens name can you justify a physical prison (the place we send murderers) the appropriate place for those who have made a clearly wrong choice and, in most cases, not intended to hurt or defile or seek vengence? Can you justify the woman who takes a birth control pill to prevent pregancy from occurring as "okay?" What are your feelings on that? They are both choices to prevent a life, to prevent what God knew before they existed, were released in the ovary, became fertilized. Just wondering, your response will help me understand your calling more clearly. Thanks so much.
A closed chapter in our history… How I pray it will one day be so!
Whew!!!! I bet there was not a bit of air left in that room!! Mercy sakes alive, as my Grandmother would have said. God bless Tori's heart!! God bless her!!
I really appreciate your questions. I think it's important to talk out the things on which we disagree, so that we can all work together to come to reasonable solutions. I'm going to answer your questions point by point, so here goes:
*Do you believe that person breaking God's law and man's law should be locked up the rest of her life?
No, I don't. I believe that when abortion is illegal, and an abortion is provided anyway, it should be the abortionist that is sent to jail. They are the ones threatening, as you say, to further harm society at large, not the woman seeking the abortion. I'll quote from Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life (see link :
"…The fact is that to be pro-life is to be pro-woman. We don't say love the baby and forget about the mother. Rather, we ask, Why can't we love them both? This is not just true when abortion is legal. It's also true when it's illegal.
The pro-life movement is not out to punish women. Our goal, instead, is to stop child-killing. What would throwing women in jail do to accomplish that goal? Their children have already died, yet the abortionist goes on killing hundreds and thousands of others. It makes far more sense to put the abortionist in jail, so that he or she can no longer kill children."
*How in heavens name can you justify a physical prison (the place we send murderers) the appropriate place for those who have made a clearly wrong choice and, in most cases, not intended to hurt or defile or seek vengence?
I think my answer above answers this question, too. (For a further explanation that mirrors my opinion, and includes the quote above – go to http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2008/02/women_do_the_ti.html)
*Can you justify the woman who takes a birth control pill to prevent pregancy from occurring as "okay?" What are your feelings on that?
I agree that birth control is a sticky subject. I would be hypocritical to say that I'm against birth control, as I used it myself early in my marriage. I do think that it's become the default answer to the unwanted pregnancy problem that sex outside of marriage poses, however, and it bothers me that we put more energy into passing out birth control than on abstinence education. In addition, I don't agree with your statement that both birth control and abortion are ways to "prevent" a life. Abortion destroys a life that has already been created.
My desire to facilitate this prayer team comes from a heart that loves life, loves women and loves God. It's really as simple as that. Thanks again, for your thoughts. If anyone else would like to weigh in, please feel free.
That helps so much, thank you for your opinion and sharing that of another. I also used birth control pills for several years before a planned pregnancy and my sole intention was to prevent life. What exactly was yours? Just curious, I often rationalize my actions and feel others do as well concerning this subject. At least devout Catholics(as well as other denominations, etc.)do not lean on this rationalization and do not approve of unnatural birth control methods. I respect that wholeheartedly. All goes back to choices and how we convince ourselves something is okay. How different is taking a pill day after day for years on end to control our reproductive system than the example of race and someone "defining a life" if we believe in the sovereignty of God? It simply goes back to choices we make, good or bad, right or wrong, black or white and how God works in our lives with what we have chosen-before, during, and after the choice. Personally, I do struggle sometimes with my choice to take those pills, it was not the pill manufacture company or the prescribing physician's choice, it was mine. The same holds true for the one who chooses abortion. Punishing someone else for our choices seems extreme here. IT's okay, agree to disagree, we both are just trying to do His will in our life and sometimes quesions and answers help us seek Him more and what exactly He is calling us to do. Thanks so very much, you have a wonderful heart.
A powerful bit of research. And a sad commentary on our culture.
I'm still praying.
This story should be very important to the pro-life cause. But, alas, it won't make the local newspapers.
I'm still praying.
A great post; a great courage!
Awesome Melinda! Thanks for sharing this. Tori was very brave to stand up for what she believes!!!
Oh my ladies, this topic does stir the heart doesn't it. I think the very fact that abortion creates such passion and thought is evidence of it's importance.
I understand the questions posed by "anonymous" and have considered each one myself. I think it is good that we do. Life and Death are at stake.
As far as imprisonment for a woman who chooses abortion, I agree wholeheartedly with the opinions spoken here already. Women are the VICTIMS when it comes to the lie of abortion. They are being sold the untrue "hope" that the destruction of their innocent unborn child will bring peace or closure to a difficult situation. Neither is true. In fact the violent and invasive procedure of abortion becomes a permanent loss of both the innocent life of a child and the natural heart of protection built by God into a mother, not to mention the physical risks involved for the woman.
NOTHING good comes from abortion.
In my opinion, abortion is a violation of the commitment to PROTECT life taken by a medical professional. The abortionist is the one who should be persecuted for such a violation against women and their babies.
As for the right or wrong of birth control pills that PREVENT pregnancy not END it, is a deviation and distraction from the true heart of the matter?
With an abortion, we are talking about the violent destruction of a human being who has already been created. One who has a beating heart and developing limbs. A Life that, left alone to grow safely in the womb, would thrive.
Great discussion and good questions!
Blessings to all who take the time to consider the matter important!!
Thanks Pat for your thoughts and opinions to the questions I was pondering and asked. I understand how the whole issue of birth control pills is a deviation and distraction to the whole issue of abortion. However, I believe you are clearly contradicting the issue of "God knowing us before we were knit in the womb" concept that most prolife people refer to. My point is if we are going to focus so hard on one absolute truth(that abortion is sin) then we need to be consistent in all areas pertaining to the women having choices concerning their reproductive systems. Also, we are all victims of someone else's deception, abuse, selfishness, greed, etc., etc. because we live in a fallen world. Regardless, we can find healing in Him no matter what choices(even abortion) we may have fallen victim to in our life. I personally know two women who have had abortions and their "natural loss of protection built by God" was restored and not a permanent loss as you state. In fact, both went on to have several more children and are very godly mothers. No consequence of our sinful choices is guaranteed to be permanent if we believe in the power of our risen Savior. Punishing and imprisoning abortion providers, to me, seems to be inconsistent with not punishing birth control pill providers. Again, the inconsistency must be addressed on a moral basis also as they both pertain to Life given by our creator. That is where I believe our whole testimony of God's grace makes the largest impact on all participants in this battle. God has allowed certain things in our life, given us free choice in how we live our lives, given us commandments to live by with both rewards and loss of rewards in our eternal home. Both the abortion provider and the abortion participant have fallen to disobedience to His commands. They are both accountable for their own actions. They are both offered the same saving grace that washes both of their sins white as snow. It is all one huge spiritual battle that no physical prison will "fix." We must love them both, see how God redeems them both. As one prochoice comment stated on a previous blog, those wanting to terminate a pregancy will go to other means to achieve that result, this generally leads to loss of life for both baby and mother.