“Choose life so that you
and your children may live.”
Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)
by Donna Evans; June, 2022
In 1973 I was 19 years old and a sophomore in college when the Supreme Court decided the Roe vs Wade case and legalized abortion. Honestly, however, I never expected the Court’s landmark decision to affect me personally.
Ten years later I was a 29-year-old married wife and Mama to two precious preschoolers, ages 4 and 2. Bruce and I had prayed and carefully planned our first two children, talked and prayed about the possibility of having another child, but hadn’t firmly decided on what our future family might look like.
I had been having irregular menstrual cycles for several months when my OB/GYN, a doctor I’d known and worked with during his residency at my hospital, prescribed some estrogen hormones to correct my condition. During a routine follow-up visit, I had a positive pregnancy test.
Entering my exam room, Dr. C coldly announced, “We’re going to terminate this pregnancy.”
I was shocked both by his words and the detached clinical manner in which he spoke them.
“Abortion for a Christian isn’t an option,” I quickly responded.
Still Dr. C persisted, reminding me that something could indeed be wrong with the baby already growing within me. I went home and told Bruce what had happened. He angrily responded, “We pay him to help bring our children into the world, not do away with them.”
We promptly changed doctors and James Bruce was born without complications in February 1984. He had all of his fingers and all of his toes, beautiful hazel/brown eyes (always his best feature!) and I had a little boy name Bruce.
Three years later in the Spring of 1987 James Bruce was officially diagnosed with “mild, mental retardation, origin unknown.” One month later we found out I was unexpectedly pregnant again, but I quickly miscarried. Bruce and I both decided “no more children” and took steps to move in that direction.
A few weeks later, I returned to my OB/GYN physician saying, “Something is still wrong.” What was wrong, was actually right! I was 15 weeks pregnant with Daniel. My physician surmised that Daniel had been a fraternal twin. I had miscarried one baby and kept Daniel.
Weakly, Dr. B said, “This is only the third time in 30 years of practice that I’ve seen this personally. We could terminate this pregnancy if you like.”
Once again, I responded with “Abortion for a Christian isn’t an option.” This time, however, I added, “God went to a lot of trouble for this baby.”
Two different doctors in two different cities had offered me an abortion as an option for both James Bruce and Daniel. The physicians’ approaches were different: one insisted on an abortion as his choice of treatment; the other offered it as a suggestion. I can only imagine how helpful those doctors’ advice would sound to a single pregnant teenager.
With James Bruce and Daniel’s births, the confessional, pro-life worldview that Bruce and I professed became intensely personal. I shudder to think how different our lives would be now if we had accepted the medical advice we were given and chosen to have an abortion. How much we would have missed by not having these two precious sons in our family and lives.
Which really brings me to the heart of today’s post: Whose choice is it really?
Pro-choice advocates insist it is a woman’s constitutional right to choose whether or not to have a baby. I would argue based on my personal experience that sometimes an abortion has been or is a physician’s choice. Perhaps he or she is afraid of a malpractice or negligent lawsuit.
I have a dear friend whose father not only insisted on her teenage abortion, but also drove her to it. A college friend’s partner demanded her abortion. Sometimes, it’s not a woman’s choice, but someone else’s.
No one says that either choice is easy or without costs. Having James Bruce and Daniel wasn’t easy. No matter how hard life with James Bruce was – and it WAS hard- I always knew deep down within my soul, that it was never because we made a bad choice or that he made a bad choice. God chose this path for us. The same was just as true for Daniel.
Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my all-time favorite movies. In one of the movie’s most memorable lines, Clarence the angel tells George Bailey, “Each man’s life touches so many other lives, and when he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?“ With over 63 million abortions performed in the United States since the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973, that’s a lot of holes–and lives.
God, the Author of life, is very clear. He encourages us throughout His Word to choose life in order that we may truly live.
“Choose what pleases me.” Isaiah 56:4 (NIV)