Following this week’s hearing in Congress, the subject of Planned Parenthood and its abortion practices continues to be a hot news topic—though even Christians who disagree on it seem unwilling to discuss it. My heart is to open an honest, civil discussion.
For decades, pro-life advocates have approached abortion mainly by showing these are living babies in the womb. Yet if people are not convinced already with the science that is clear—that the pre-born baby is a living person with a beating heart, the baby feels pain, etc.—then more evidence will not do much.
Image: Focus on Life / Facebook
I’d like to present another approach. At the heart of the issue is: Why do women abort their babies? Calling it by another name, such as fetal tissue, and believing that it is not alive may help ease their conscience. But I also think it fits in with a certain view of life.
Some of the reasons we hear for having an abortion include:
- I am not ready or able to take care of a child.
- Having a baby would impact my life; I wouldn’t have the time to do what I want or “need” to do at this time.
- It will impact my career (How many women have been overlooked for promotions due to being a mother? It is a shame that it happens, but the truth is it does.)
- The baby may have a physical disability—it would be too hard to take care of them, and it would not be a good life for the child.
There is truth in a lot of these statements. Having a child requires a lot of time; there are sacrifices I made to take care of my two children. Another big reason we hear why abortion should be legal is in cases of rape. In all these cases, it comes to a matter of answering two heart questions: What are my priorities? And what is my view of God?
The “Family Tree”: Richard and Margaret Hufschmid with their two children (Photo Courtesy of Hufschmid Family)
If God is who we say He is—the creator of life—those of us created cannot accurately assess how the Creator made a mistake. There are surprises for us, but no accidents in His plan. When a woman get pregnant, it’s not as if God looks down and says, Oops, I didn’t see that coming. He knows the circumstances of the mother. And He knows the future for both the mother and the child.
Are there times that the birth mother cannot take care of the child? Yes. But I believe God knows that too and has a plan for that child. It may be being adopted. But even if the child is not adopted, God does not abandon the child. He is there through everything. Can we wrap our minds around the fact that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, loving, faithful? If He is all these things and so much more, how can we say that abortion should ever be the option?
I believe that every child’s life begins at conception. God is true to His word: He knits us together in our mother’s womb. He has a plan and purpose for both mother and child. Although rape is a horrible crime, it is not the woman’s fault or the baby’s fault that a child resulted from this act.
All we can truly know is that God knows and that there is a purpose for this child’s life. Let’s support the mother and child. Just as we are not defined by our past, so is this infant not defined by his past.
Photo: Sarah Hopkins / Flickr
While I am married and have two children, I also know the pain of losing a child. My first pregnancy had just begun when I lost the child. The doctors confirmed that I had been pregnant and that I had what the medical community called a “spontaneous abortion.” Right away, that word abortion made me cringe.
We think of abortion as a choice to end an unwanted pregnancy. Even though I was only about six weeks along, I knew that I was carrying a child who was alive. But there was nothing I could do about the loss—except grieve and give the child to God.
My view prior to this was that abortion was a personal choice. Yet during this time, I became convinced abortion was wrong. If I believed I was carrying a child that was alive at that time, then how could I believe that abortion was not killing a child? But I also fell into the trap of thinking that this was what I believe; that I shouldn’t express my opinion to others. It was between them and God, I thought.
“I felt I couldn’t express my pro-life opinion to others” (Photo: Eliza Lo / Flickr)
About five years later, I heard a speaker talk about abortion and other issues. The speaker stated, “If they are wrong, then they are always wrong. Could you imagine saying, I don’t think it is right to kill, but it is up to you whether you think it is right?”
Either it is right or it is wrong. It can’t be both, no matter how we much we think there should be a gray area. God’s word is true. There is no in-between. If we don’t have set laws, then where are the boundaries? What is permissible?
I thank God that He showed me His heart on this issue. I started standing for the fact that abortion should never be done. Though it’s true that abortion is wrong, it was never that God viewed the women who had abortions as evil. They are like a lot of us—hurting people.
God loves these women. This does not permanently separate them from God. It is just like any sin that separates us from God—like lying, stealing or cheating. We are all separated from God until we confess our sins to Him and receive Jesus as our Savior. I am so thankful that He is faithful to forgive us.
Photo: Geoff Meyer / Flickr
And if you think that I cannot relate to facing such circumstances—driven to cry out, Why did God let this happen?—you would be wrong. My life changed dramatically nine years ago after a “minor” car crash. It didn’t look so bad at first, but my neck and back were hurt. Since then, I have gone through multiple procedures including a surgery and medications galore with no relief.
I have not been able to work due to the pain I live with every day, which limits what I can do. And if I can do some things, the amount of time I can do them has been drastically reduced. I never expected my life to change so dramatically.
The questions come: why did God allow the accident to happen? And why haven’t I been healed? What is the purpose? I have no answers to these questions today. I don’t know why I am walking down this road of difficulty right now.
But what I do know is that God is still a good God. He loves me, and He is walking this road with me. And I do believe what His word says: that all things work to the good for those who love Him. There are times where I get a glimpse of how He is using my experiences to minister to others and empathize with them, in ways I could not have understood before the accident.
Richard and Margaret Hufschmid enjoy life together in Florida (Photo Courtesy of Hufschmid Family)
Everything that happens, God can use for good. I have also seen how He has worked things in me that have drawn me closer to Him. It is by His grace and love that I make it through each day. I can truly say He is my God, my best friend, my healer, my deliverer, my strength, my joy, and so much more.
My calling is to be in prayer for the hearts of men and women who are faced with the choice of having an abortion, that God would open their hearts to hear His voice. Knowing God as the creative, all-knowing, all powerful One, He enables us to choose life.
I pray that they would know that the child in the mother’s womb is wonderfully made… and God has a plan for the mother, father and their child.
Margaret Hufschmid is a wife, mother, former government accountant and now grandma. For years a participant in Bound4LIFE prayer events, she blogs about her life and faith at Pearls for Your Journey. She lives in the Orlando, Florida area with her husband Richard, where they love spending time with their extended family and grandkids.