A tear rolled down my cheek as I sat in the church watching my son Philip escort his bride down the aisle. He was a dead man walking, a man that shouldn’t have lived. What if I had snuffed out his life before he had really lived, loved, and savored manhood? I would have deprived myself of his love, a daughter-in-law, and four wonderful grandchildren. I realized how close I’d come to ending his life and my heart failed me.
I remembered back twenty – four years previously and the circumstances in which I lived when he was conceived.
I had such great plans. One included becoming the proud owner of a gleaming white electric washing machine. It was my first machine; until that point, I’d been using a pump action plunger to wash the clothes.
I imagined it standing in the old brick washhouse with the missing door, broken walls and uneven brick floor. I intended to pay for this piece of modern equipment by working during the fruit harvest, cutting and picking fruit. My plans went horribly wrong. I contacted the German measles at seven weeks of pregnancy with my third child and lay for a week in the grip of a high fever. During that week the Doctor was called and informed me that I was pregnant. It was a shock.
‘This year marks the forty-seventh anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which resulted in the legalisation of abortion in our country. Since then, it’s estimated that we have had over sixty million babies aborted in America. ‘ Andrew Wommack
Eventually I visited the Doctor at his surgery and he confirmed the pregnancy and informed me that the percentage of healthy babies escaping the crippling effects of Rubella was very low and that I should have an abortion. He invited me to get a second opinion, which I did. The verdict was the same, have an abortion, your child could be blind, deaf, crippled or worse`. I faced a crisis between a moral ethic and my personal desires.
An abortion would allow me to pursue my plans and earn that gleaming washer. I now had a perfectly good reason for escaping an unwanted pregnancy. Further, I asked myself the question: should I knowingly bring into the world a disabled child? What quality of life would it have? Could I give it the care and attention that it might need? Could we afford to pay for its needs? I sought answers from a minister’s wife, our parents; all agreed an abortion was the answer all except my sister-in-law. Clare disagreed.
I professed a strong faith in the Almighty. Somehow, an abortion didn’t ‘sit right’. Other questions began flooding my mind. What if the child were healthy? Should my selfish desires come before that new life growing within and for which I was responsible? If the Almighty was who he said he was, why should I not trust him?
For days I seesawed between the Doctor’s opinion, my desires, the life of my child and trusting the Almighty. The tug-of-war finally fell on the side of the child.
Months passed, washdays came and went. I continued to wash the clothes with a hand-pumping machine.
Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson passed away at the age of 94. Nilsson disproved the notion that an unborn baby is just a blob of cells through his life-affirming photographs
My son was born. He was whole in body and mind. A great burden rolled from the physician. Only at this point did I realize the anxiety he had felt over my seemingly irresponsible decision.
I rejoiced over my tiny son. He was perfect. He has never suffered a day’s serious illness. He is now a father of four beautiful children and three grandchildren, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Lennart Nilsson’s work has been invaluable in portraying the humanity of the unborn and has led many people to understanding that life does in fact begin at conception.
My gleaming, white washer arrived courtesy of my husband’s boss. It shone in the dirty, tumbled down laundry. Because my husband had gone beyond the call of duty the boss had given my husband a bonus with the proviso that the money be spent on a washing machine. It could be said to be co-incidental but, somehow, I didn’t see it as such, I saw my Heavenly Father had given me the desires of my heart. What I hadn’t been able to do for myself, God had stepped in and done it for me.
I couldn’t believe how easy washdays became. What once had been an all-day chore was now only a couple of hours.
How close I came to denying my son the wonderful experience of marrying his beloved bride. His life had almost been over before it began. More than I can ever say, I’m glad I trusted the Almighty and chose life for me, my son, his wife and children.
“The Biblical view of abortion doesn’t focus on death, it focuses on life. Abortion is not really a social issue – it’s a moral one. Abortion is not about healthcare, the freedom of choice, women’s rights. It’s not about religion nor is it centred on who will win the pro-life/ pro choice debate. Abortion is about the sanctity of life.”