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Confessions of a Convert

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.


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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“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. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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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.

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

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Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

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2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
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5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
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With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

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Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

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