We all like choices in life, especially children. Their rhyming fair choice method traditionally starts and ends with “Eeny, meeny, miney, moe.” But an amendment was added, “My mother told me to pick the very best one and I think you are…” etc., etc. The extent of this addition can go on and on until kids get the very choice they want. Hardly random. These pint-size lobbyists learn to manipulate the system early.
We want to choose, to be in control of our life. A sense of free will is built into us. But with each choice, God mandated responsibility. Eve found the forbidden fruit was indeed yummy, but soon the consequences left a sour taste. And, ever since the garden, mankind has been trying to choose anything we want and escape consequences. We create bailouts, birth control, and procedures, all to counteract our self-indulgent nature.
I want See’s Candy, scotchmallows specifically. But soon those saddlebags appear, and I’m not likin’ my choices so much. I’ve been faced with consequences. What to do? In today’s climate, I’m told many things. My propensity for candy is not my fault. It’s a disease — Seesophenia. I’m also informed I can have my caramels and eat them too, then surgically have the consequence removed. Better yet, I can have my health insurance pay for my counseling or treatment.
What’s wrong with these current scenarios? No responsibility for choices. If my insurance is forced to pay for my folly, it raises the rates or taxes for other people. I’m not paying the full price for my choices, others are. Oh, I may be dismayed at the size of pants I have to purchase. But some of my fellow insurance holders may live healthy lifestyles and not want rate increases to pay for my treatment.
I know this is a frivolous example. But responsibility is not happening today, and it’s been brewing for a long time. Well-meaning parents have been keeping consequences from their kids for generations—doing whatever it takes to protect them from any kind of pain. Yet, most honest people will tell you they are stronger today for mistakes they had to work through themselves instead of those in which others bailed them out.
So let’s get to a serious choice…You’re a young college student. You meet a boy and feelings of love blossom. In an isolated dorm room, you decide to have sex. Life and love seems blissful till one day you can’t keep down your Cheerios. You’re pregnant. And you panic. No longer does life seem full of opportunities. It’s overwhelmed by a burden that threatens to rob you of the great future you’d planned for yourself. This pregnancy wasn’t your choice.
And yet it was. It was the result of several choices:
1. An isolated setting fraught with temptation.
2. Saying ‘yes’ to sex regardless of your childbearing plan.
3. Having sex unprotected.
But in today’s climate you’re told that nothing should change your future choices, not even your past choices. It’s a terrible lie that’s being perpetrated on women in vulnerable circumstances. There are always consequences to our choices. No matter what you’re told about abortion, it is not a simple procedure that easily solves a problem.
Case in point….A few years ago, our pastors were overwhelmed with women seeking counsel. They were emotionally wounded from having had abortions in their youth. The pastors solicited the idea of a discreet support group. The response was so huge they had to form multiple groups for women and one for men who had contributed, by money or manipulation, to an abortion. Something deep inside had told them that they had ended a life, and they were struggling to come to grips with it. They wanted to ask forgiveness, receive it, and be restored. The weight of their past choices had come to bare.
There is an important choice to make. Your pregnancy offers you a brave choice. Yes, it is your body, but there is another body within for you to consider—a body whose existence is the result of your choices. Whatever you label what is growing within you— fetus, tissue, lump of cells —if this didn’t have the potential to become a viable human being, why are you in such a hurry to remove it? Just that fact should move you to choose life.
I can already hear your objections—what about rape and incest? The innocent life growing within is still a life. But…what if we allow those circumstances as exceptions for abortion? Rape, incest, life of the mother, and unhealthy pre-borns are less than 2% of all abortions. My plea is for the 98%, who are aborting primarily to escape responsibility.
Yearly statistics show consistently that there are more applications for adoption than abortions, meaning every one of the aborted lives could have a home. Our oldest daughter is adopted, and she is the light of our lives. And she inspired her sister to adopt. She waited years with no success through the standard adoption process. Only through God’s grace did we hear of a friend’s sister who was pregnant and wanting to give up her baby. And so we were blessed with a beloved baby boy.
Infertile couples are yearning for babies to adopt and will pay expenses for the birth mom if she’ll persevere the remaining 6–7 months to give them a chance at a family. For the mom, she has the future peace in knowing she chose life and gave life.
I too had an unplanned pregnancy. Recently married, adjusting to two young stepdaughters, the timing was not my choice. But even as immature as my faith was at the time, I knew I had been chosen to bear this life. And, oh, what we would have missed! I bore a beautiful girl who is a beloved daughter and child of God. She grew up to become a professional ballerina while graduating summa cum laude. An impressive lump of cells, yes?
Choice is not a bad thing. But when it comes to life, ‘Eeny, meeny, miney, moe’ will not do. We should avoid taking from others to escape our consequences.
And we should never take another’s life. Choose life. If not for you, then for others desperately yearning for it. Taking responsibility for our choices can seem a bitter pill at the time. But in the long run…it is our best medicine.
Written by Ruth Johnson, member of St. James Anglican Church of Newport Beach, CA