If someone you do not know enters your house, do you have the right to shoot and kill them?  Seems like a simple question.  How many of you said “Yes, of course.  I have a right to protect myself from a perceived threat to my family”?

A woman goes to a clinic for an abortion.  Should she have the right to have one safely? How many of you said “No. Abortion is a sin and is wrong no matter what the circumstances. It should be illegal”.

Did you say yes to the first instance but no to the second?  Let’s look at this a little closer…..

What if, in the first situation, the intruder was a black man (assume you are white) that meant to go your neighbor’s house two doors down.  Both houses look very similar and your garage door was open (just like your neighbor’s). He walks in the basement (as directed by your neighbor) and goes upstairs because he doesn’t see anyone. You hear noises in the basement and go and get your gun. You know, the loaded one that you keep for protection. You have it for just this reason. You open the basement door and he is there. A black man, a stranger, has entered your house. He startles you and you shoot and kill him.  Are you justified in shooting him?  He is innocent and unarmed.  It was an accident. Should you be prosecuted and punished?  You PERCEIVE that you were protecting your life and your children’s lives. But he was an innocent life, just at the wrong place. You took a completely innocent life.  Wasn’t it justified because you were protecting yourself and your family?

The second situation is not as simple as it appears either.  The woman seeking an abortion has carefully and thoughtfully considered her family. She loves her husband and two small children.  She would gladly welcome this third but she suffers from depression and bipolar.  She has finally gotten her medications right.  She knows that she will have to stop some of them and cannot fathom how she can survive another year or more of such deep darkness and emotional upheaval (called depression & bipolar).  After the last child, she was in and out of the hospital. She even attempted suicide once. Finally she feels better and is functioning.  She knows that it will always be there but finally it is not consuming her life and her family’s life. She cannot risk the threat another pregnancy will have on her family.  She is protecting herself and her family from an ACTUAL threat.  The fetus is an innocent life but threatens her children, her husband and herself.  Shouldn’t she be able to safely protect her family without punishment?

Or the woman seeking an abortion may be the 21 year old nursing student.  Her parents died a couple months before in a car accident. Her dad was from Australia and his family quit talking to him when he left home 30 years before. She really doesn’t know much about his family. Her mom’s parents are dead and she has an aunt in Ohio.  Her mom and aunt had a disagreement when her grandpa died about 10 years ago. She had seen her once since then. Her aunt came to the funeral and told her if she needed anything to call.  Well, she needed help. Her parents left her a little money but not enough to pay for school.  She has a scholarship and works 30 hours a week. She lives with three other nursing students.  They talked her into going out on her 21st birthday and she drank. She isn’t a big drinker. She met a guy with a warm smile and kind words. She hadn’t had the time or much experience with dating. He said nice things and she was so lonely. She wanted to feel wanted, to be held and to be loved. He never called her again. But she is pregnant. She prayed about it and got the nerve to call her aunt. It had been a week and no call back. Time is ticking. On one hand, she would have something to love. She would have a family. How could she do it by herself? How could she support a baby? Who would care for it while she worked? She would have to leave school, her scholarship, her on-campus housing…her dreams of being a nurse vanished or at least on hold indefinitely. She makes the decision to terminate the pregnancy. She is sad but hopes God will bless her in the future. She just cannot do it by herself. Flash forward 20 years…She is a neo-natal ICU nurse. She helps save babies every day. She is married to a loving man and they have twin teenage boys. She runs the “Meal-a-month” program at church. She thinks back about what her life may have been but does not regret her decision. It took her on a path of helping babies and others. She loves her family and her life.

Or maybe she is the married mother of three who cannot start all over again. She is married to a man that comes home from work for a prepared dinner at six o’clock. After he eats he sits in the living room, watches TV and starts drinking. He yells at the kids if they are too loud so she ushers them back to their bedrooms so as to not anger him. He has a really bad temper and hasn’t harmed them but she is afraid that may change. He has hit her twice now. The oldest is ten and he sees what is going on. Her son is very protective of his mother and she fears the day he talks back to his father will not be a good day. She also has two daughters ages 4 and 6.  She is waiting for the youngest to start school so she can leave with the kids. The woman is a teacher. She knows that she cannot afford full-time childcare so she must just wait until the youngest starts school. Every night as her husband rolls off of her and has finished his business she counts how many more days…433. Can she hold on that long? She is doing everything in her power to keep her children safe and happy. Oh no! She is pregnant. How could that happen? She is on birth control. How can she start over? The thought of 433 days was manageable but 2,298 is unfathomable. She cannot. She must protect her family. She decides on an abortion.

How can we, as a society, decide what is justifiable and what is not? I can give you thousands more stories about difficult choices made by women to terminate a pregnancy. How can you be pro-birth but not pro-life?  How can you possibly know the difficult situation many women find themselves in related to pregnancy. “Well my religion believes that all life is sacred and it is my right to protect all of the innocent unborn lives.” What about those little innocent lives (the children of the women getting an abortion)? Who is protecting them? Their mother, she is protecting her most precious gifts from God and that is the most she can do. Do not judge what you do not know.  If you do not believe in abortion then do not have one. How can you possibly think you have the right to choose for every woman and every circumstance that can occur with a pregnancy? Let God judge us for he knows the truth. For He is the true righteous one.

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