Is the Line Really That Blurry?

I was a senior in high school when Roe vs. Wade was enacted. Times were different then. I guess I am old enough to say that. I was a junior in high school before we were allowed to wear slacks to school, a senior before we were allowed to wear jeans. If girls had abortions, nobody knew about it. As I remember it, nobody talked about quality of life. Life was life. Period. And before Roe vs. Wade, you generally didn’t snuff it out. Period.

That’s why this article about Ms. Magazine’s upcoming issue really bothered me. It seems that Ms. is celebrating people who have had abortions, listing 1,016 names of women who have had abortions and say that they are glad they did. The magazine did not have room to publish the over five thousand names of the women who signed the petition. Those can be viewed on line.

This does not appear to be the first time that Ms. has celebrated abortion. According to the article cited above as well as this article on CitizenLink, “in the 1972 debut issue, 53 well-known women allowed the magazine to list their names, even though abortion on demand was not mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court until the following year.”

The funny thing is that most of the women I know who have had abortions aren’t proud of it. You may know them for years before you find out that abortion has touched their lives. I worked through a Bible study at my local Crisis Pregnancy Center because I wanted to be a post-abortion counselor, and the one thing I am really sure of is that women, even Christian women, have LOTS of reasons for having abortions. And I think that at some point, those women have to come to terms with the fact that whatever the reason, whatever the circumstances, they have taken a life.

I think that maybe the women who signed the Ms. Magazine petition have begun to do just that. One says that she had an abortion so that she could finish high school. She has since attended college and hopes to go to law school. She says she “didn’t want to be stopped by anything.” Another, Debbie Findling, made the decision because she was told the child that she was carrying would have Down Syndrome. She, at least, says that the decision was hard and that people often ignore the fact that women who have abortions will have to live with them for the rest of their lives.

I heartily agree with her. And I think this country has to live with their decisions as well. I first saw this article on AOL News, along with a poll that asked readers to vote as to whether they thought Ms.’s publication of names was a good idea. You can tell that I didn’t, and 48% of the poll’s respondents agreed with me. Twenty-four percent had mixed feelings, and only twenty-nine percent thought it was a good idea.

I don’t wonder at all that 72% of the polls’s respondents didn’t heartily agree with Ms. Magazine. I think the results of the poll indicate that abortion sits uneasily with Americans in general. We all know someone who has been touched by abortion. We all know reasons that people have had abortions, and in some cases we can at least see their reasoning. I tend to think the uneasiness goes back to the “good old days” before Roe vs. Wade, when life was life and everybody knew it. I think something in us rebels at blurring the line, and I think that’s why people are uneasy.

Do you ever wish for the good old days? The days when people looked upon the unborn as something sacred? This is what the Bible has to say about it in Psalms 139, 15, 16:

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

God values the unborn. He values PEOPLE. Life is life. Period. Let’s hope that we, as a nation, start listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit as He points this out to us.

And let’s remember that women who have had abortions, for whatever reason, should be in our prayers.

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October 2006
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