Abortion: A Necessary Evil?

by Cyndia C. Garris
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The other day I was out dining with some wonderful women. As many topics of discussion lead to, we began discussing life, marriage, and our work. The topic of conversation switched to when we were all going to have children. Carrie [not her real name] talked about how she wanted to have one child. She went on to talk about how one child was what she desired to have because having more than one would just be an undue burden. Immediately my interest was peaked. "One child?" I could tell from her demeanor that there was more behind that response. Surely "undue burden" was more complex than that.

She went on to describe her reasons more clearly, "You know raising kids is difficult, and really I am more concerned about my career, and my life. Besides, I know that I will have a difficult pregnancy. My older brother was born with a severe deformity that has left him with two fingers on both hands. My mother said that she could feel from the very beginning that something was just not right when she was pregnant with him. Really, it could have been much worse. He could have been born with tumors and possibly even suffer from brain damage, and other major deformities. Because it's genetic, my child could be born with the same deformities. I am considered high risk, and that's why I don't want to have more than one child, because the thought of having to CHOOSE whether or not to continue with my pregnancy would be so difficult."

I could tell that she was getting even more uneasy and anxious as she continued to speak. (She knew where I worked and what I did for a living. [The writer works for Ohio Right to Life. - Editor])

"I've talked with my brother many times, and he has come right out to tell me, 'Carrie if you get pregnant, and knowingly see that this child has a deformity, abort it. I want you to have an abortion. Do not let this child live the life that I have, abort that child, and don't even think twice about it' ... Besides if I get tested early enough, then the baby is so small, that really it would be okay. I mean it may seem really selfish, but I don't care. I am the one that has to raise that child, and I am the one that has to sacrifice my life for that child. I just can't see how anyone could really go through with a pregnancy knowing that their child would grow up like my brother."

I could feel the sadness creeping into my heart. Our culture has allowed us to believe that life can be manipulated, bought, sold, and expended at our own desire. My sadness was overwhelming and for a brief second I could feel the tears well up in my eyes. I was left speechless, unreservedly speechless. The gift of life has been sold over to lies that say that abortion is a necessary evil. It's necessary to prevent women from dying in back-alley abortions; it's necessary to preserve the peace of our perfect little lives; and it's necessary to keep women's rights readily available. The truth is, abortion is not a necessary evil: women and America can live without abortion. I felt sorry for Carrie, and a tremendous amount of love. I wish I could say that my mouth opened up to relay words that would convince her that the truth of abortion is that it could hurt her in more ways than one, but nothing seemed to come out of my mouth. Somehow I knew that there would be another opportunity, (or so I hoped) when I could share with her one on one what I believed. I could tell that her words were forced, and that the moment they came out, she regretted saying them. How do you win a Carrie over? How do you win a heart over to a belief that all life is good? You win them over with words of love, of compassion, of life, and of hope. When you uphold life in a way that others can visibly see is deeply rooted in respect and love, then many might turn to our message. Not everyone will change their opinion right away, but in the end you have sown a seed that might spring forth later on in its life. Until many more are won over, let us use the power of words and actions to display this value and belief.

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Posted 9 Dec 2003.

Copyright 2003 by Cyndia C. Garris
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