Angela Chininin Buele
We take for granted that our choice is determined by our voice. We order food at a restaurant, pledge vows during our wedding ceremonies, and explain to family members how we would like to be memorialized upon our deaths. These are spoken decisions, and there is no argument expected in response. So, in what is presented as the “right of choice,” it is quite perplexing that a woman who desires to choose life for her baby can face argument, insult, and deceit in the attempt to sway her toward abortion. Unbelievable? Well, if it hadn’t happened to me, I might not have believed it either.
My husband and I were expecting our first child, and I started spotting at around 4 weeks. I sought prenatal care, and the bleeding stopped. After several weeks, we began to expect that everything would be OK. But then my water broke at 16 weeks, and we cried out to the Lord to spare our baby. All around us, friends and family offered prayers and hugs as we waited and trusted. But the response we received from some medical personnel was surprising. When I called my OB’s office to advise the doctor of our situation, I was attended by another staff doctor. Please understand the questions I asked came from my deep desire to protect my child. And this is not the kind of thing you expect to happen. Knowing I was not a doctor, I asked in hope if I might drink more water to replenish the amniotic fluid. The doctor directly instructed me not to try to do anything out of my usual habits to save the baby because, she said, “It’s going to die.” There was no compassion.
After that initial call, my husband drove me to the emergency room where we were told that there were risks involved and no positive outcome expected from waiting to see if the amniotic sac would reseal and allow the baby to keep growing. The doctors advised “induction.” I insisted that our goal was to keep the baby in my womb as long as possible for his/her benefit. They regrouped and hit us again with the bleak prognosis of carrying a baby that would almost certainly be terribly deformed. Again they used the term induction instead of abortion. I was quite upset by that. Induction is the welcoming of a baby into open arms, expecting to nurture him or her to the point of thriving. What they wanted to convince my husband and me to do was quite the contrary. The aim of their “induction” was to make sure this baby died so we could try to have a “healthy” baby next time. While feelings are not to be relied upon as indicators of truth, we did feel as if our presence was causing them delays, almost as if the space was needed for something else. Quite upset by their disregard and deception in the face of our choice to pray for a miracle, we went home. And waited. Three days later, our son was born. Within moments, he died cradled in our tender embrace. We desperately wanted – and still long – to know our little boy, but we must wait a little longer for that precious reunion. He was not killed. He was born alive. And there is a birth certificate of a live birth from the State of Missouri to testify to that.
I am so thankful that women can use the free services of crisis pregnancy centers to have their questions answered honestly by someone who wants to see both woman and child protected. What is amazing to me is that, even if a woman tells the crisis pregnancy center staff that she has decided to have an abortion, they pray for her. There is no false premise, only the wholehearted promise to be there with her through pregnancy and into parenting or adoption. Even if she has had an abortion, they offer counseling for the pain endured during and after that time. That is true care. No matter what.
Key Question: Are pro-life advocates angry at pro-choice advocates? Do they see pro-choice advocates as enemies?
Unshakable Truth: “David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground….And David said to his servants, ‘Is the child dead?’ They said, ‘He is dead.’ Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped.” 2 Samuel 12:16,19b-20a
David’s plea is passionate, but he knows when and how to mourn, which does not mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that David’s struggle with his circumstances and his Lord are over.
The Real Choice: Is your ultimate goal to see laws changed or to see lives changed?