I'll be spending it the way I spend most Fridays — counseling women at a local pregnancy center. For over a year, I've served as a volunteer with this pro-life organization.
Which is a pretty incredible thing, considering my rabid support of the pro-choice movement during my teenage years.
Earlier this week, I was explaining to someone how my thinking had changed on this subject, and I realized I'd never written about it here. I've shied away from getting too personal on the topic, because it treads on the edges of some pretty tender territory. But it's possible my story might help someone reading it. So here goes...
My pro-choice views were in place early. I remember in seventh or eighth grade, getting into a heated debate with a classmate on the topic of abortion. Having cut my teeth on the old Planned Parenthood motto Every Child a Wanted Child, I argued that it was better to abort than to bring a child into a situation with parents who were unable to care for him. My classmate — a good Catholic boy — argued that every child deserved a chance at life. I couldn't see his logic at all.
Of course, growing up without a faith in God, I had no concept of anything eternal. My worldview excluded anything that transcends the material world — not only God, but the human soul as well. My classmate's logic made no sense to me because it was based on a worldview that recognizes the immaterial, the immortal, the transcendent — not only God, but the human soul as well.
A few years later, during the summer between high school and college, a friend became pregnant and decided to abort. Another friend and I drove her to the clinic, sat in the waiting room as she had the procedure, and drove her back home afterward. I remember her walking back into the waiting room, brushing off our concern with a smile and "I'm fine!" We didn't talk much about it, but after the abortion her demeanor toward the guy changed, and they broke up soon after.
I think about her a lot lately, as I talk with women who have walked the same road and are suffering emotional fallout from it. And I realize just how close to that road I walked. At the time, I was making decisions that led to more than one pregnancy scare, and I know I would have aborted. It would have made no sense to me to do otherwise.
Although I put my faith in Christ during my sophomore year in college, it took a while before I began to really understand what that meant in relation to abortion.
I finally came to the conclusion that if we say we believe God creates human beings in His image, with an immortal soul, and He commands us not to murder each other, we should probably obey that command, rather than debating Him on it.