It is my sincere hope that you never need to read this. If you are walking with a friend who is facing an unplanned pregnancy and trying to communicate truth to her heart, I pray that she chooses life for her baby. Everything in me longs for the day when all pre-born children are safe and our culture sees abortion for what it truly is: an unthinkable act of violence.
But perhaps you are reading this because it is too late. You already gave your friend information on fetal development and the abortion procedures. You offered to support her and connect her with pregnancy resource centres in your area. You drove her to her ultrasound appointment. You paid for her month’s rent. You pleaded with her and prayed for her.
And she still had the abortion.
I can vividly remember receiving a text message almost two years ago that read: “She changed her mind and she’s having an abortion.” My heart dropped in disbelief. I had spent hours with my friend preparing for the arrival of her little one, even hearing her baby’s heartbeat together during an ultrasound. In one brief text, all seemed lost. That tiny heart, likely to beat for years and years to come, now had but a matter of days. I remember spending that afternoon on my knees weeping harder than I ever had before.
When you have intervened with love and support and still your friend chooses abortion, it is natural to feel crushed. And we should feel that way. We know that our friend’s so-called “appointment” or “surgery” resulted in the death of a unique, irreplaceable human being that will never have another chance at life. In light of this reality, it is an appropriate and good reaction to feel sorrow.
I face this kind of grief on a daily basis. Working as a Pregnancy Options Advisor across the street from an abortion clinic, I speak with pregnant women who choose abortion every single day. Sometimes we have the opportunity to speak with abortion-minded women for a few minutes, other times for a few hours. By God’s grace, some of our clients are empowered to choose life, yet we still see many continue across the street to their appointments.
If your friend has chosen abortion, I want you to know that I have some understanding of your heartache. I also want you to know that every second of your effort was worth it. Each tear that falls is worth it. Here’s why:
Your tears are a witness to the inherent value of that child. In a country where hundreds of babies are killed every day, often without anyone shedding a tear, your tears testify that on the day of that abortion the world experienced a very significant loss: the loss of a human person. These little children are so frequently discarded and forgotten, but you will always remember. This baby, though no longer with us, will not be forgotten. Your pain over their death honours their life, however short-lived.
You may have spared that child weeks of his or her life. It is likely that through the time you spent offering your friend support and information, you postponed the death of her child and thereby gave them the priceless gift of a few extra days or weeks in the womb. Your involvement may have protected weeks of this baby’s life.
You demonstrated true love for your friend. Loving someone is wanting what is best for them. By remaining unwavering, you proved to your friend that you care about her. With the truth she now knows, she might not choose abortion in the future, might tell a friend not to choose what she did, and might find healing sooner. Furthermore, if the reality of her choice dawns on her and she is bombarded with terrible regret, she will trust you. Unlike others in her life who may have lied to her and presented abortion as trivial, she will know that you were the one who truly loved her by wanting her best.
You have great reason to grieve, to feel, and to weep. But amidst the tragedy, do not lose heart.
After trying to support a friend who in the end chose abortion, it can be tempting to give up. The weight of it all might seem too heavy to bear and leave you fearful of ever speaking with someone about abortion again. Nevertheless, do not be discouraged! Let the memory of this child inspire you to press on in the battle, rather than retreating to the sidelines. There are more babies out there who need you, for whom it is not too late. Honour this baby by fighting for his or her peers who are in danger and are still able to be rescued.
Last week I spoke on the phone with a woman for forty minutes as she drove to the abortion clinic. I was able to meet her on the sidewalk and give her pamphlets and pictures of fetal development. She even told me that she once accompanied a friend to the clinic, and that although the nurses gave them a beautiful scenic painting to focus on during the procedure, she couldn’t stop staring at the stream of blood flowing from a tube into a plastic container on the table beside her. Yet after all of that, her fears conquered her hope, and she went through with the abortion.
The crushing weight of knowing what happened to that baby followed me home. It seemed like nothing I said could have helped that child or opened the heart of that mom in distress. It is sometimes difficult when I am asked how my day at work was, as a true response would be that I witnessed death. I thought about that baby for days.
Then, at the beginning of a new week, I sat in church and was once again encouraged by the words of the old hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God”:
The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still.
His unshakeable truth endures despite the world’s rejection of His creative authority in fashioning human life. Put your hope in His coming justice and take heart, for He has overcome the world.
Thank you for being that baby’s voice when no one else would.