Abortion No More: How I Became Pro-Life
How change of heart can bring change of mind
By Bob Ellis
I used to be pro-abortion, but that changed about 14 years ago.
An article on LifeNews I read the other day called "Opposing Abortion: How Ronald Reagan, Henry Hyde, Others Became Pro-Life" got me thinking about how I became pro-life.
I used to buy what the media told me, so it made sense to be pro-abortion. I believed that (a) it was a woman's body and her right to choose, (b) we didn't know when life began, so we couldn't say it was murder to kill an unborn child before it was born, (c) it was simply a form of retroactive birth control. Besides, if you're having sex outside of marriage (which I was for a time back then--before choosing God's way and before I met my wife), it made for a very handy "escape hatch" in case something went wrong.
But after I realized doing things my way was a self-destructive dead-end and told God I'd try to do it His way if He'd help me, I had a change of heart that put me on a quest for the truth, rather than simply what fit within the narrow box I wanted to live in. When I expressed my pro-abortion views to a Christian brother, he educated me on some things about abortion that the media somehow never got around to telling me.
I realized that science pointed to the fact that an unborn child was in fact human life, and things like heartbeat and brain activity at an early stage of development left that conclusion inescapable. Incidentally, this was even before I made the connection that if the unborn child has its own unique DNA--which it does--then that means it is an individual, and not simply a part of the mother's body that she can do with as she pleases.
I also came to realize that even if it was difficult to determine whether an unborn child constituted "human life" in those very early days and months of a pregnancy, surely it must be reasonable to err on the side of caution. After all, our judicial system has an incredibly high threshold for determining the guilt of a criminal suspect; if we are so careful to avoid sending an accused but possibly innocent person to jail, shouldn't we exercise every caution before ending the life of an unquestionably innocent and developing child?
My Christian friend also pointed me to what the Bible had to say about the unborn, and how God recognizes their worth even before they are born. The Bible was also clear on how much God values life at all stages, since He is the author of all life. If I was going to call myself a Christian, I couldn't disregard this.
All these things caused me to confront not only my sloppy approach to determining the truth about abortion ( i.e. believing what the media told me without doing my own investigation), but also to confront my own attitudes about children. You see, I had never been what I call a "kid guy." While some people really love and enjoy children, I never had. But I was allowing my selfishness and my preference to not be around children to justify turning a blind eye to the murder of unborn children.
I had seen the devastating effects of abortion on women, but was somehow able to overlook them in my determination to be an "80s man" or "90s man;" in other words, I was so caught up in appearing politically correct that I ignored the truth which was right in front of my face.
I witnessed the pain that a friend's girlfriend went through when she had an abortion after he left the country and her to deal with it on her own. When I learned she was going to have the abortion, something inside told me this wasn't the same as going to get your teeth cleaned, but I said nothing. After all, how could I pretend to be a "modern guy" and attempt to dissuade her from exercising her "choice?" She and her boyfriend (my friend) thought it was a quick and easy way out of a difficult situation, yet based on the numerous testimonies of post-abortive women, I have to surmise that it still causes her grief today. And God likely holds me accountable on some level for putting the opinion of others above what was right and true.
I also saw the wrenching pain it caused another woman who became a very close friend. She had her abortion shortly before I met her, and the only times she would talk about it was in a heavily intoxicated state--she simply couldn't deal with it when sober. But when she did talk about it, it seemed to rip her apart down to the bottom of her soul. She wasn't a soft woman by any stretch of the imagination; she was tougher than most of the cops I worked with then--including me. But I still remember the agony in her crying voice when she told me about the "plop sound" her baby made when they dropped his lifeless body into what she called "that plastic bucket."
I'd like to say I reasoned my way to a pro-life position on my own, but I can't. I don't believe it's impossible to do, but I didn't get there that way. I got there when God enlisted a friend to point me toward the truth, and then I think reason started to kick in.
That is one good thing about the protracted abortion debate in South Dakota: there is no shortage of articles, programs and people that point toward the truth. But none of that is any good if we aren't willing to consider it with an open mind.
Whether we are a solid abortion supporter, or simply someone who isn't really 100% sure what the truth is, we all owe it to Truth and to ourselves to take a genuine look at the evidence, both religious and scientific. If we want to call ourselves good people, we owe it to ourselves and our society to examine carefully if we are placing the proper value on human life.
Once we examine the facts objectively and realize the truth, we also owe it to the unborn children who are losing their lives, and the women who are having their lives ripped apart, to admit that truth and join the effort to end this terrible plague on our land.