Monday, December 19, 2016

abortion was never an option

Dear Little One,

On the day when the shocked doctor told me the news and his assistants clumsily instructed me, they gave me the feeling that the responsible thing to do would be to end your life. But even in those first moments at his desk after receiving the news, I told the doctor that having an Abtreibung was not an option. I had to say it again in the lobby, to an assistant who was giving me a discouraging look: "There will be no abortion." And we had to say it again to a few more people over the next few weeks: "Abortion was never an option."

Suddenly I could better relate to the difficult decisions that women throughout the ages have faced while pregnant—and I hope I will be slower to judge them than I would have been before, having felt the complex emotions of this season myself. I was glad that I didn't have to make that decision in the doctor's office or at the next ultrasound or in our living room. This was something we decided long before December 13, 2016. My social worker said she sees many clients who are agonizing over whether or not to kill the babies in their wombs, but she could see that our situation was different. She knew that we knew you're alive—whether or not you're healthy—and that it is not our right to end your life any more than it is our right to end anyone else's.

I saw a statistic, that 95% of mothers in our situation opt for an abortion. That puts us in a minority again, a 5% group. But I want you to know that we didn't not abort you because somehow we are better people than other people. Actually, there was even a sliver of me that thought, "If only abortion really was a solution. If only there really was a way to erase this heavy weight...." But abortion simply trades one set of problems for another. It wagers that the guilt of killing your own child will be less painful than suffering through a difficult pregnancy ending in a miscarriage or stillbirth. It's not a wager I would be willing to make. We don't go chasing after heartache, but when it happens to us, we know it's not so unexpected. You might as well know this now too: in this world you will have trouble.

We didn't abort you simply because we come from a long line of people who have chosen the fear of God above the fear of man...including doctors with "the best ultrasound machines in the city". We're usually a minority. We fear the same God as the midwives in Egypt who "feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the...children live." If the midwives could risk their own lives to disobey a tyrannical king, we can also risk appearing foolish before 95% of the population and preserving your life as long as you live.

The social worker told me that you're lucky you got us as your parents, because we're giving you the chance to live as long as you can. I don't think luck has anything to do with it, and I would never have chosen this challenge for myself. But I want you to know this, Little One: abortion was never an option. We couldn't both fear God and play God by choosing to end your life. Some things are best decided long before one faces that particular situation.

To life,

Mom and Dad