Monday, June 15, 2015

Then and now: abortion

While we had known each other but a short time, Sue and I had become fast and trusted friends. One evening while visiting at her home- she was just getting ready to bake a cake- and as we were bantering back and forth, she said, "I was a naughty girl."

A naughty girl? You lied about something? Stole from someone? Cheated on a university exam? I encouraged her to tell me what she meant.

Sue told me that while at college in Norwich, she and her boyfriend, Colin, had gone to a hotel, had had sex, had become pregnant, and she had had an abortion. Hence the, "I was a naughty girl."

Naughty girl??

Are you kidding me??

You had an abortion, brought the life of an unborn child to an end, you did it on purpose, and, all you have to say about it is you were a naughty girl??

Oh, you are more than a naughty girl.

I thought I was going to be sick. Violently. An abortion? Why? Why would you ever do that? I was reeling. I had never known anyone who had an abortion. I felt like running out her door and never going back. I quickly excused myself from her home telling her I had forgotten to do something. I could not be around her. No. I wanted no part of any part of her. Ever since I was a small child, I have had extremely strong feelings about abortion and people who have one simply to keep a child from coming into their lives. Yes, there are reasons, in my humble opinion, when someone would be justified in having an abortion. But, I felt, she had not been justified. I felt sick to my stomach every time I thought about her and what she had done.

Through the years, I have come to know more about what drove, rather, who drove, Sue to have her abortion. Her boyfriend had wanted the child. A family friend had been prepared to have Sue go live with her and her family so that Sue could have the baby. It had not been Sue's desire to rid herself of this child. It was her parents'.

Sue was just 18-19. Her parents said she "was not going to have a baby and ruin her life." When the church got involved, wanted to talk with Sue and her parents about it, her parents threatened to leave the church if any action were brought against Sue. Her parents, in my view, and in the eyes of church leaders I have discussed this with, should have had a court convened against them for what they were forcing, had forced their teenage daughter to do.

When Sue got pregnant, no neighboring English doctors were performing abortions. She was taken into underground London, to a seedy and dirty doctor who was very likely drunk at the time of her surgery. Sue nearly hemorrhaged to death. Her scarring was so thick and awful she thought she would never be able to get pregnant again in her life. When I met Sue, it had been x years since that time. She told me that not a day went by but that she did not think of the child she did not have. It made her very sad.

I hate Sue's parents for what they did to her, forced her to abort a child, forced her to live every day of her life thinking about it. Did they think about it? Did it cause shame and guilt for them? Did they wonder every day of their lives if they were good enough for God? No. No, they did not. What parent does that to his child? In my opinion, Sue's parents are the closest thing to pure evil I have ever known. I hate them. I hate them for hurting my friend so badly. I hate them for the pain they caused her. I hate them for the doubt they sowed in her.

Now, understanding what I do, having seen the big picture of things, I have different feelings about Sue and the abortion she was forced into. Yes, I wish she had had the strength to stand up to her parents. But, for whatever reason, she did not. Now, if she were to tell me today that she had "been a naughty girl" and why, I would go to her instead of running away. I would embrace her. And, hold her. Ever so tightly. I would let her feel all the love I could possibly feel for her, let her know how dearly she is loved and cherished, and that she is good enough for God. And, more than good enough for me.