For the first 30 years of my life, I was, like everyone else I knew in my family, my schools, and my workplaces, fiercely pro-choice. Today, and for the past 20+ years, my views are unapologetically pro-life. So I’ve totally changed my position on this issue, but equally importantly, I’ve also changed my attitude.
Where I was once loudly adamant, even angry, in my pro-choice views, I’m considerably more thoughtful and measured with my words as someone who is pro-life. Yes, I’ve probably mellowed with age, but as someone who has been on “the other side,” I also have an empathy that I wouldn’t have otherwise had for women who face unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.
Back when I believed strongly in abortion rights, the very thought that a woman’s legal right to an abortion could be taken away was absolutely terrifying to me. And I believe that’s still the case with most pro-choice women today, especially those of child-bearing years. You may see anger in their faces and hear it in their voices, but it’s likely that underlying that anger is fear. Fear of loss of control, fear of personal harm, and fear of being shackled to an uncertain and frightening future.
Now, I’ve never actually had an abortion, although I did come close—in my own head, at least. When I was in my late teens, years before I became a Christian, I had a pregnancy scare. I immediately panicked, but consoled myself with the reminder that if I was pregnant, I knew right where to go for an abortion because a close relative had gone there just a few months before. (This was in the 1980s, when nearly 20,000 abortions were performed in my state alone during every year of that decade.) I knew without a second thought that I would choose this path—the alternative never once entered my mind. The thought of an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy terrified me, and the only possible outcome I could envision was a visit to a doctor and the elimination of the problem. The cost to me, whether financial, physical, and/or emotional, was worth whatever it took.continue reading