Once again, it's October 15th. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, stuck in the middle of pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. It's also just a few days after the two year mark of getting Caroline's diagnosis. What a day. To any mamas reading this blog who have lost a child, my heart goes out to you. I hope you have felt God's comfort in your loss, and that you are healing with his grace.
Today, however, I'd like to get away from my own loss a little bit and share something that's been burdening my heart. This day is always interesting for me because of the significance of Caroline's loss. But it also brings into sharp relief another issue I've discussed before; abortion(see my post A Tough Subject for a more detailed explanation of my views).
The reason I'm bringing this up is because, well...I feel like our culture is extremely hypocritical when it comes to the issue of abortion. I'd like to explain, but first, please know that I am not here to condemn anyone who may have chosen abortion for any particular reason. Cameron and I made a choice not to, but I can and do love all the ladies who have lost children, whether by abortion or natural causes. But I'd like to get this perspective out there because I feel so strongly about abortion. God loves you and can rebuild that which is broken. So please, don't read hate, judgment, or self-righteousness into this post. That is not my intent in any way. I want to share God's love in the midst of a difficult subject. So. Here we go.
This day, set aside for women (and men) everywhere to remember their lost children, makes a big deal about the lives lost during pregnancy or shortly after birth. It is for anyone who has lost a child to miscarriage, still birth, or any post-delivery complications or medical issues. So basically, from conception on. It is a time to mourn the loss of a treasured life, a blessed child. And no one seems to say, "you can only mourn if you made it to 25 weeks gestation." People will argue until they're blue in the face that abortion is ok until a certain gestational age because it's a "fetus," not a child, but this day is specifically to mourn those same "fetuses," but as lives lost. So is it a child or not? Is it ok to abort the child because it's not wanted, but also ok to mourn it it is wanted? It just confuses me. Either it's a life or it's not. Either we mourn it, or we don't. Either we think it's ok to kill it, or we don't. If we can mourn a miscarriage at 6 weeks, why do we not mourn an abortion at 6 weeks? If we can mourn a second trimester loss, why do we not mourn a second trimester abortion? Is the difference really just that one is wanted, and one is not? And if so, how is that ok?
Getting rid of people no one "wanted" was what Hitler did in Germany in the 1930's and 40's. They didn't just kill Jews, who they considered an inferior people, but also people with disabilities, mental handicaps, alternative lifestyles, and political dissention against the Nazi Party. Anyone who wasn't "perfect" or "useful" was considered fodder for mass murder. We look back on that and shudder, hoping nothing like that ever happens again. How many people were killed by Nazis? The figure most often given is around 11 million. That's about the population of New York City and Los Angeles combined. It's horrific.
Since Roe vs Wade in 1973, there have been approximately 55 million abortions performed in America. 55 MILLION. Five times the number of people killed in the Holocaust. The entire population of America is about 314 million people. So 55 million is about one sixth of our country's population. Just to give you an idea of the numbers we're talking about.
Are you really ok with that? Think hard. Use your brain and not your politically correct lens. If you strip all this information down to bare bones, what do you really think? Is it a child or not? Pick a side. Yes or no. If it is a child, then we can mourn for them today, no matter their gestational age, no matter how they were lost. If it's not a child, and can be killed without consequence, then how can we mourn? I'm sorry if that seems harsh, but truly, how can we be so doubleminded on this issue?
I know it may seem to some people that I am oversimplifying the issue. But am I really? Is it a child or not? If it is, can there really be ANY reason to end that life that would be justified? To tackle the sticky issues...what about pregnancy as a result of rape? Let's say, for the sake of argument, that a man rapes a woman. He already has a child, maybe a 2 year old. Is it ok to kill the rapist's two year old just because his dad is a rapist? I would hope you would say no. Then why is it ok to kill a rapist's child in utero? I'm not saying, in any way, that it would be easy to carry that child. I'm not saying it wouldn't be extremely painful for the mother. But should the child really be killed for the misdeeds of its father?
What about a mother whose health is at risk? If you are already a mother, would you risk your own health for your children? Would you give them a kidney if they needed it? Even if your own life could be lost during the operation, would you risk it? If you saw a runaway vehicle careening toward your child, would you give your life to save them? Then why would you not for a child in utero? Are they worth less just because you haven't met them yet?
What about people in situations like ours, where the child has a fatal defect and will never live past a few hours or days, if they survive delivery at all? They're going to die anyway, so is it ok to just end their life early? If you had a two year old diagnosed with a terminal illness, would you just go ahead an euthanize them since they're going to die anyway? No? Then why do it to a child in utero?
What about children who will be able to survive but will have serious health issues or disabilities? Down syndrome, physical disabilities, etc. Is it ok to terminate their lives because they won't have perfect lives? (Think: low quality of life) Should we go ahead and just get rid of all the kids with Down syndrome? Should we kill off all the people with physical abnormalities? If we wouldn't do it once a person is outside the womb, why would we do it when they're still inside the womb? Look at Nick Vujicic (http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/) He was born with no arms or legs. And look what he's done with his life. He's an amazing motivational speaker who communicates God's love to millions of people. Can we really decide, when a child is still in utero, whether their life is worthwhile? No. We can't. So how can we end that life based on a judgment we shouldn't even be making?
I am not saying this is an easy choice. There are some very difficult decisions made every day when it comes to children in utero. We had to make the decision with Caroline. I will never regret our decision to let Caroline live until God took her home. I got an extra 10 weeks with my first baby girl, 10 weeks for God to teach me, comfort me, and grow me. Ten weeks to appreciate life, no matter how fleeting. Did I suffer? Absolutely. But life is full of suffering no matter which path you choose. At least I know I did everything I could to give Caroline the life she had a right to live.
After saying all of this, I know it may come across like I am a close-minded extremist in our liberal, relativistic culture. I hope not. I want to be seen as a compassionate, loving follower of Christ, who loves all people, including babies in utero. He died for all people. Not everyone chooses to love Him back, but He still loves them enough to die for them. Can God forgive abortion? Absolutely. He would love nothing more than for a mother to come to him broken hearted and repentant about this issue. To seek His grace. To receive the love that He has already lavished on us. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) I am not perfect. I have many failings of my own, and I have to rest in God's grace as much as anyone. I have to trust His love to overcome my shortcomings. And I have to trust His Spirit to communicate what I cannot. But I also need to be obedient to His commands, His Word, His will. He loves children from before the time they are conceived, through their time in the womb, and beyond through eternity. If you have any questions about God's love and forgiveness, please don't hesitate to email me (see the contact tab above). Please don't send me hatemail. I understand this is a touchy subject, and one on which many people will disagree with me. That's ok. I just wanted to put this viewpoint out there. May God be glorified by my imperfect ramblings.
Today, can we remember ALL the babies who have been lost? Including the 55 million who have been aborted? They are precious too. God bless you all.