She comes to you for an abortion: What do you say?
by Juli Loesch Wiley
1. You are a complex, easily damaged, and sensitive individual, and so is this newly conceived life. Did you know that some research has found emotional or physical trauma in more than 90 percent of women who abort?
2. Are you aware that your son or daughter is developing beautifully, responds to a variety of stimuli, and is already sensitive to pain?
3. Are you considering abortion because of other people in your life? Your husband? Boyfriend? Parents? Employer? Is it fair that you will be subjected to physical, emotional, and spiritual trauma because they possibly have an anti-child attitude?
4. Did you know that it’s against the law for anyone to discriminate against you for being pregnant or having a child?
5. Is the father of the baby a responsible and loving person? Does he care about you? Does he care about his baby? Could he rise to the challenge of fatherhood?
6. Is there even one woman in your life whom you love and respect: Grandmother? Sister? Teacher? College roommate? Do you trust her enough to ask her to help you? Would she stand by you and your child during this pregnancy and afterward?
7. (After woman sees video interviews with couples eager to adopt her baby) Do you feel drawn to any of these people? Could you place your little one in their arms? Are you aware that you’re carrying a wanted child?
8. Would you abort: If you knew that this were the only baby you would ever conceive? If you knew this child were uniquely gifted in some way? If you knew this child were destined to make one other human being supremely happy?
9. Would aborting your baby conflict with other values in your life? A belief in nonviolence? An ethic of “live and let live”? A commitment to natural or holistic living?
10. Do you believe in the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”? Would you want someone to turn against you and physically destroy you because they weren’t ready to deal with you at this time?
11. Do you believe in God? And that God made you? Do you believe that God made the baby you are carrying? Did God allow this new human to come into being for some purpose?
12. If your circumstances were different and you didn’t have the problems you have now, would you want this baby? If so, can we start there and work backward together, attacking the problems rather than the baby?
13. Do you remember that line from Desiderata, “You are a child of the Universe, as much as the trees and the stars: you have a right to be here”? Can you say it to your child?
Juli Loesch Wiley, a contributing editor to Voices, is a Catholic writer and pro-life activist, who in the 1980s was the founder/director of Prolifers for Survival, which opposed abortion and nuclear arms. She is the wife of Donald Wiley and the mother of two teenage sons. The Wileys live in Johnson City, Tennessee. This article is adapted from the November 1992 issue of Harper’s.
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