Opinion

The Back Page: Some things are worth thinking long and hard about

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Above: The decision whether or not to have an abortion is a life-altering one that deserves plenty of thought. Photo courtesy Metro.

By Matt Schepeler

Thinking has become a lost art in a world where popular opinion is swayed more by memes on social media than thoughtful discourse around the dinner table.

The truth is, thinking can be hard, gut-wrenching work, depending on the subject, and we are more likely to be told what to think than how to do it by today’s society.

Here is what brings this up: The Michigan attorney general is calling provisions in the public health code — including the mandatory 24-Hour delay for abortions — unconstitutional. In short, she doesn’t want women considering an abortion to have to think about it any longer than they have to.

Even as a pro-life proponent, I can understand why she feels this way.

Most of these young women are facing the darkest times of their lives. They are under the gun by both time and circumstances. They likely feel trapped. Many have been betrayed by the man in their life. Some thought they were in love, and found out it wasn’t reciprocated. Some were misled. Some have been sexually abused, and many have merely made stupid mistakes, and are paying the price for their actions.

These young moms-to-be are likely dealing with a wide range of emotions, from fear to shame to guilt to confusion and even rage, brought on both by the physical changes taking place in their bodies and the tremendous emotional pressure they are under.

In fact, it is likely to bring up a lot of questions.

If they keep the baby, what then?

What about money?

What will people think?

What about their career?

What about a future boyfriend?

Is adoption an option? Does she have the wherewithal to raise a child alone? Does she want to bring this baby into the world knowing it will have the odds stacked against it, right from outset?

These women don’t know the answers to these questions, because they have never had to actually think about abortion beyond a superficial level. Yes, they have heard the rehashed arguments from their religious uncle or their liberal cousin, but until it happens to you, like anything else, those are just words. When something happens to you, it gets real.

These girls – and make no mistake, most of them are still girls – often feel as if they are going through it alone. They may be too ashamed to talk about it with their parents or loved ones. The man responsible (and he is equally responsible) often cowardly slinks away, and if he happens to be “a good guy” and offers emotional support, it is likely only to soothe his own conscience. He cannot pretend to know what the woman is going through. She is the one on the table, and, quite frankly, this procedure goes far beyond the mere physical aspect.

Despite what today’s culture says, there is a difference between men and women. There is something special about the bond between a mother and her child that transcends our normal love for one another. This is why you don’t get between a mother grizzly bear and her cubs. This is why the saying “He has a face only a mother could love” makes us smile. It’s why most people know there is at least one person in the world who loves them, no matter what. It is instinctual. There is a sanctity to it, and a timelessness aspect involved. One doesn’t merely love their mother, after all. They love their mother forever.

These are cords not easily cut.

It is little wonder the word “abortion” itself is sanitized by calling it “reproductive rights” or “woman’s health care” by those who champion the cause. Yet even when adopting liberal nomenclature meant to provide a measure of comfort for these women, the fact remains that they are hard-wired to love and nurture the “piece of tissue,” that is growing in their womb, that is growing into their baby, and they know that if they choose to abort, there is nothing they can ever do to undo it.

Man, that is some heavy, heavy stuff.

Yet if a woman allows herself to think just a little longer, to delve a little deeper, she will find herself questioning her beliefs not only about life and death, but about her faith as well.

Is there a God?

Is He real?

Is He an angry, mean, judgmental eye in the sky, or a benevolent being who loves us?

What about the sixth commandment? Is there forgiveness for such a thing as this?

Of course, the themes of betrayal, life, death and forgiveness are central to the Christian faith, which, I believe, is the only faith to offer unmerited grace when people reach a point of true godly sorrow and repentance.

The entire issue reminds me of a favorite verse from an old hymn:

Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save;
His glories now we sing!
Who died and rose on high!
Who died eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

I know, it is a lot. There is so much to consider in this life-defining decision that it must be like trying to drink water from a fire hose, all of which brings us back to the original question:

Is the idea of eliminating the 24 hour delay for abortions a good one?

What do you think?

Let us know what you think by submitting a letter to the editor at news@theexponent.com or by commenting on our Facebook Page. Letters to the editor must be accompanied by full name, city or town of residence, and contact information for verification.

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