By Editorial Staff
Published December 1, 1992
by Mercy Becerra Valdivia
Peering over this precipice, I think back and see myself during my senior year in high school: the liberal-minded, intelligent young woman I thought I was. I remember distinctly the day I scandalized my friend when he asked what I’d do if I got pregnant. “Of course I’d get an abortion.” What did he think I was supposed to do? Tell my parents? Right. I was almost out of there, and I knew about too many girls at school who’d dropped out before our graduation. I was going to college, and nothing would get in my way. Only luck spared me from making that easy “choice.”
I’ve thought back countless times and cringed at my childish ignorance. The years have irreparably opened my mind. Curiosity gave way to an insatiable hunger to know more – more about what really happens in a supposedly “safe” abortion, and the psychological and physical pain women have until recently kept silent, more about human fetal development, feminist political theory, and more about the attitudes and policies that have locked those women who are supposedly most in need of “abortion rights” into miserable poverty and disillusionment.
I know now that abortion is not contraception; it violently destroys one human life, stopping one already beating heart. I believe that since 1973, when abortion became legal, our society has left women in crisis with only one “choice.” I cannot defend abortion “rights” because women are ignorant of the repercussions of abortion and the resulting despair, and I cannot agree that these are necessary “choices” for any woman.
I have always believed that women, as all human beings, deserve the opportunity to develop their unique, immeasurable potential. But I’m told the world is unfair, imperfect. I ask why we can’t address the world’s problems without expecting women to accept abortion in the meantime. But I’m told to be realistic, that women have always had abortions. Yet, I know women had always been expected to wear corsets, bind their feet, take orders, be quiet. Those were the rules. The world must change. Whey are we in this bloody stalemate?
Finally, I understand. Abortion forces women to manipulate their bodies and only offers them “liberation” through surgical alteration. Yet abortion has come to symbolize liberation, when other goals such as day-care reform, equitable pay, parental leave, and male responsibility are the ones which will truly liberate women. Abortion violates women, and this scandal is being ignored. Abortion is a hideous vestige of age-old, entrenched prejudices, in the guise of “safe” surgery, isn’t it?
But I’m told SSHHH! Don’t ask these questions. Forget all you’ve learned about human potential and settle for what we’ve got! Just accept Roe’s abortion license, call it a “woman’s fundamental right” and sanctify it as a “feminist” ideal. Don’t ask if the abortion solution may have been a tragic historical mistake. Be satisfied with Roe’s status quo. Be “pro-choice.”
I learn I can justify abortion IF I pretend not to know there are two human hearts beating in very crisis pregnancy. I don’t want to pretend. I learn I can excuse injustices IF I compromise some human’s right. I don’t want to compromise. I learn I can ignore all kinds of hate, violence, and pain IF I just close my eyes and label people. I don’t want to close my eyes. I don’t want to label people.
So I attempt a consistent progressive approach to discussing our national tragedy of unwanted pregnancies and run into daunting obstacles. When I talk about women’s issues at all, some of my friends tell me I’m off the deep end of neurotic madness. When I defend the unborn and claim abortions will never be the solution to structural inequality, other friends tell me I’ve bought into the ideology that refuses to guarantee our absolute “choice.” Every time it’s a struggle to even get one idea across: We CAN speak out for women, men AND their children. A civilized society must protect every human.
I learn so much from my closest friends, some of whom adamantly defend abortion “rights,” but I’m frustrated and speechless when some flatly refuse to acknowledge the humanity of even a 7-or 8-month-old fetus. I try to rip away the shackles of slogans and stereotypes, and not be intimidated by the pressures from both “sides.” It’s painful enough to disagree with people I love so fiercely. I’ve had to choose to think for myself – about abortion, about women’s lives and our place in history, about the insidious ideas that perpetuate ignorance, disempowerment and human suffering – and this choice continues to be a bittersweet lesson. Who says you don’t learn anything in college?
Mercy Becerra Valdivia, past co-director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Progressive Alliance for Life, is pursuing a Masters Degree in Maternal and Child Health at Harvard University.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Pro-life Articles
Your comments are welcome!
Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)