As a student in high school, history fascinated me.
This was especially true of history within the last 100 years. Reading about the thoughts and events that shaped the minds of Adolf Hitler, Sigmund Freud, and Karl Marx intrigued me; as well as the ways they chose to make their marks on the world. Although each of them has been dead for decades, their lives and writings continue to shape and affect people.
Learning about WWII was fascinating for me. There were endless accounts of the horror people lived through. The torture, injustice, cruelty, and pure evil sometimes felt like too much. I didn’t want to know what went on; it was revolting and it made me feel nauseous. But something in me had to know!
As I allowed the pain of those stories to touch me, a single question begged to be answered.
Why didn’t someone do something?
The Fight Against Abortion
Abortion has been an issue in America for 100 years or more. In the public arena the fight against abortion comes and goes in spurts. I remember as a young teenager reading about Margaret Sanger, birth control, and Planned Parenthood. At that time Lila Rose (President of Live Action) released videos of herself posing as an underage girl wanting an abortion. Her organization sparked discussion as she traveled across the country speaking and raising awareness.
Over the last year The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has put forth a valiant effort to raise awareness and expose the illegal activity of Planned Parenthood (PP) that is happening behind closed doors. The hours of undercover footage in the eleven videos released so far is both shocking and disturbing. The candid manner in which PP doctors talk about “crushing above or below” to make sure that body parts can be harvested intact is graphic to say the very least.
In the videos released, CMP actors pose as middle men for a fetal tissue procurement organization. At various conferences and over dinner they connect with multiple top name doctors and directors within PP. Different methods of aborting babies are discussed, depending on what body parts are most desired. In one video a PP employee haggles over the reimbursement price per baby.
What is My Response?
As the American culture continues to decline, morality has become almost invisible. The concept of right and wrong seems to be flipped on its head. The wealth of grotesque evil around us can feel overwhelming. And the inability to make a difference often leaves me feeling desensitized and apathetic. I don’t want to see the horror or feel the pain of something I can’t change. In the wake of all the information CMP has released and the ongoing congressional investigation into PP, there are two reactions that I think we often have.
The first is apathy. We often struggle to care about something so big that it seems impossible to change. For the most part abortion is not something that is a part of our lives or directly affects us. So instead of letting the horror touch us, and bring us to our knees, we walk away and try to put the issue out of our minds.
The second is a spirit of self-righteousness. Abortion is messy, and with the new light CMP has shed on other discussions happening within PP it can feel very difficult to navigate through everything. “Thank goodness I’m not a part of that!” we think, as we give ourselves a pat on the back. Too often we see abortion as a sad, immoral issue that’s ‘out there.’ It’s something that you’re not going to come into contact with unless you choose to, i.e. volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center. We may be far removed from the act of abortion itself, but what about the worldview and thought behind PP and what they stand for?
Standing for Self
Planned Parenthood takes pride on being a center for women’s medical health. The focus is women’s health; or more specifically women’s choice over their body and decisions they make. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and mastermind behind birth control in America, saw the life of a woman in the home as confining her to be useful only as a housekeeper and baby-maker. She viewed children as a burden and an unfortunate by-product of sex. She spent her life encouraging women to be autonomous and selfish. Sanger taught that the women’s choice is more important than protecting human life.
In the years since first reading about Sanger and the life she lived and worked for, I have been amazed at how much her worldview has seeped into those around me. Granted, within the Anabaptist circles generally the family size is larger than secular culture. But more often than I’d like to admit, I’ve overheard people comment with contempt on families that are larger than the norm: “Don’t they know what causes that?!”
A Gift of the Lord
It feels like we only see children as a blessing when they are planned for. Only if they come when we are ready, in our timing. And until we are ready, we take every measure possible to make sure a mistake doesn’t happen. When compared with Scripture, it’s clear how much the culture around us has influenced our thinking, and directly contradicts God’s view of children.
“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.”
A few years ago I attended a women’s conference. One of the workshops was on birth control, given by an Anabaptist woman who was a registered nurse. Instead of presenting the topic of birth control in the light of Scripture, the evening was spent exploring the options available. She went over dozens of different methods of birth control, how they work, what the pros and cons were, etc. We spent an entire evening looking at the myriad of options out there to prevent life. I walked away wondering, “Do we actually trust God?” Are we any different than the culture around us? Do we embrace the biblical view that children are a blessing, or do we cling to selfishness?
| Sarah Miller lives with her husband Timothy near Sarasota, Florida. She has a passion for the truth and sees most things in black and white. Sarah enjoys reading, traveling to new locations, or spending time with her husband.