Angela Chininin Buele
Most people don’t know that I used to be pro-abortion. Actually, I was more than politically in favor of abortion; I could have been the poster child for what seems to be “right” about the movement. You see, I was raped and scared that I might be pregnant. So I found myself desperate to undo what had been done to me without anyone knowing. Because I knew that a pregnant woman whose abdomen sustained trauma could miscarry, I decided to punch myself in the stomach in order to make sure I would never suffer the humiliation or shame and blame on the outside that was already quite familiar within me.
How, you might ask, can I now stand against abortion, when I clearly know what it is like to feel the need for relief from such a frightful situation? I have to say that it’s quite simple and a little complicated at the same time. The truth is that I was driven completely by fear of what others would say. I didn’t think about gathering medical facts or imagine what life might be like with a child. I didn’t get feedback from family and friends or call a help line for a confidential listening ear. I didn’t stake my claim and charge toward it. I had a knee-jerk reaction that I hoped would make my life all OK. After all, it seemed to be an unspoken protocol: “You are going to be in SO MUCH TROUBLE if anyone finds out.” I was sure I would lose everything if my dirty little secret got out, so I decided that my choice was whatever would make me feel safe in the opinion of others.
In light of that framework for decision-making, I wonder if there are others like me out there who would like to be a whistle-blower to the “choice” women are told is theirs in seeking abortion. I know I was knocking on that door, not because I didn’t want a baby to ruin my life, but because I was sure that most people would lay eyes on us both and scorn me as a failure for having let myself get there. Am I the only one who wants to know: “Where is the empowerment in that one-way street?”
I suppose that’s the long and short of it. I wanted people to like me, and I had learned enough to know people didn’t like people like me having babies. But, in all fairness, the complicated side of the story is in the medical ignorance under that cloak of social approval. I was ignorant of the timeline of human development, so I don’t know if my self-preservation would indeed have prevailed over the biological facts, had I been aware of them. I believe it’s best not to speculate about that point and instead suffice it to say that someone with such high levels of anxiety and such low levels of information as I had, is neither prepared nor empowered to do much of anything to bring peace through secrecy.
Pro-abortion and pro-choice must not be considered synonyms. What we call pro-choice today really is not about offering real choices at all. Let me explain. I was a 10-year-old girl who thought she was pregnant, even though I hadn’t been raped since I was 5. Yet, somehow, without any direct coaching, I believed I knew how to self-abort, without knowing anything about any other choices or resources. Or the fact that I couldn’t even be pregnant given that time lapse. This is why calling the culture of abortion “pro-choice” is not fitting. Abortion gives women one choice. Life gives women multiple choices. Parenting, closed adoption, and open adoption are the first three that come to mind. Gratitude, challenge, and love are three more choices that can fill a heart. No curette or suction tube ever did anything except leave a woman empty. Is that really the choice that is best for women? Emptiness? I should think not. This is why being pro-life is the only place a woman can be empowered to see the victory at the finish line.
Key Question: Don’t women who have been victims of a crime deserve to have freedom from carrying a child conceived from rape?
Unshakable Truth: “…for God sent me before you to preserve life.” Genesis 45:5b
Joseph was left for dead, sold as a slave, then falsely accused of rape, and imprisoned falsely for years. In the end, he saw that God brought about the rescue of people through that chain of events, and he didn’t begrudge his attacker-brothers or God Himself for his suffering. He was glad to see good result from his suffering.
The Real Choice: Am I eager to bless others or only myself?