With the current debate over legalising abortion occurring in NSW’s Parliament, I thought a post along those lines was fitting for this week. I am openly pro-life in my persuasion, but instead of discussing my reasoning behind this decision to start with, I’m going to do a book review.
I probably read this book in 2012 (or a little earlier than that). It was published in 2010. It’s called Unplanned and it’s by Abby Johnson. Here’s some of the synopsis:
Abby was director of a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Texas, who not long after assisting in an actual abortion procedure for the first time, crossed the line to join the Coalition for Life. What happened in that clinic to cause this Planned Parenthood leader and Employee of the Year to take such drastic action?
Ok, so I probably should have said ‘spoiler alert’, but it’s on the back of the book anyway.
The book was so good. It was one of those books that you never want to end, but you read it everywhere. One time when I was reading it on Sydney’s Town Hall station, a complete stranger came up to me and said he wanted to make sure I had realised the next train had arrived because he could see I was completely engrossed.
It’s that good.
It’s been a while since I read the book, but one thing Abby writes in the foreword has always stuck in my mind. Here it is in context…
“…how we love to vilify our opponents – from both sides. How easy to assume those on “our” side are right and wise and good; how those on “their” side are treacherous and foolish and deceptive. I have found right and good and wisdom on both sides. I have found foolishness and treachery and deception on both sides as well…To this day I have friends on both sides of this polarizing debate…there is good and right and wrong on both sides of the fence. And even more shocking – we have far more in common with the “other” side than we might imagine…are you ready to look through the fence and see goodness, compassion, generosity, and self-sacrifice on the other side?”
As the book goes on, it becomes apparent that from Abby’s perspective, there are those up the hierarchy at Planned Parenthood who have economic motives driving their decision making. When I think about babies’ and mothers’ well being, that motivation makes me want to vomit (actually it makes me cry – just did – it’s heart breaking).
However, at the same time, Abby mentions her former co-workers, who didn’t choose to work at Planned Parenthood because they had a deeply ingrained desire to kill foetuses. These co-workers – mostly women, from memory – saw their work as an opportunity to improve women’s lives. They were driven by what they believed was compassionate living. I don’t agree with the outworking of their motivation, but I understand where they are coming from.
And I have to say, I’ve heard some dumb comments in NSW’s Parliament from the pro-life side this week. I’ve heard some good things too.
As Christians, the pro-life motivation comes from a desire to obey God. As a result, sometimes I think a lot of the arguments “we” put forth are meaningless. Sure, society might not want to hear about obeying God, but I do wonder what is gained by wandering off from the point, to explore statistics that can’t be proven (NB I am not by any stretch of the imagination “anti-data”).
And as bizarre as it might seem to someone who isn’t a Christian, ultimately, I believe encouraging women to obey God is actually the best way to help women. Obedience isn’t easy; never was….just ask Eve…
Here’s some more from Abby Johnson:
“What I have told people for years, what I’ve believed and taught and defended, is a lie. What if I’d known the truth, and what if I’d told all those women?”
Another thing that sickens me: under the NSW abortion bill as it currently stands, babies who survive an abortion procedure will be left to die. Once they are born, nurses are commanded to leave the babies to die and cannot attend to their cries. If this bill is really about helping women and keeping them safe, why are we making it legal to kill babies outside of the womb?
That’s got nothing to do with the rights of women. That’s got to do with the rights of children; or more to the point, the denial of them.
Just leaving children, born to die. Is this what we’ve become?
Yours in tears,
Image Credit: audiobooks.com