It crept up on me, but it was suddenly time to have the talk. I switched off the radio as I was driving my oldest daughter to a lesson, and slowly let out my breath. Obviously, my daughter was feeling things she had never felt before, and a quick glance was enough to tell me that now was a time she needed me to talk. She asked, “Mommy, what were they talking about, ending pregnancies?”
You see, the car radio was on, and the National Public Radio (NPR) lead-in sounded innocuous enough: “In the central market in San Salvador, you can buy just about anything you want: tomatoes by the wheelbarrow full. Fresh goat’s milk straight from the goat. Underwear. Plumbing supplies. Fruit. Hollywood’s latest blockbusters burned straight onto a DVD.”
But it quickly segued to bitter tea and stronger pills to take care of an unwanted pregnancy (“Even when Abortion is Illegal, The Market May Sell Pills For Abortion”). Suddenly I had the talk—about abortion!—with my newly turned six-year old daughter.
What may have best captured the incident is my six-year old’s flummoxed response at the end of our conversation: “But, mommy, they’re going to give people ideas!” And those ideas are to buy illegal drugs and take the wrong medicines on purpose because you have a baby inside you.
Pro-choice America, you had your chance to educate my daughter, and in less than two minutes you taught my daughter that pregnancy is to be feared and silenced. My daughter heard for the first time that, when women are scared or need help, they should take it out on themselves, even if it is illegal, even if it is by taking the wrong medicine.
It Didn’t End There
The next day, my six-year old was whispering to my four-year old with eyes of fear and shame. She cast her eyes down, looked at me, and said, “I had to tell her.”
I did not hesitate, in the car or over that lunch table, to respond. I looked my daughters in the eye, as the strong woman I am, and the strong women I want them to be, and said, “Some people think they have no choice, but we can help. If you ever—ever—hear about someone who is pregnant and needs help, we will help. We can pray for all babies and their mommies, and we can always try to help.”
I am not looking to adopt, but would I? Sure. And there are thousands of people like me throughout this country and many others. I can also open my mouth to raise awareness of our local center, which every day professionally connects needy people with resources already waiting for them.
Horrific Medical and Life Advice
Whereas I want a broad education for my child, apparently public education plans to supplement DARE with unsolicited abortion advice. This NPR story was not about El Salvador, nor does it try to accomplish the aim of the series: “looking at the health implications of abortions in developing countries.” After instructing women to take three doses of misoprostol for an opportunity for a legally-undetectable abortion, the journalist adds that, really, it’s better to supplement with mifepristone for more effective results. Apparently NPR is intent on better educating black marketers as well as any six-year old listening!
Let’s be straight. The pro-abortion agenda paints a woeful picture of women. It daily preaches that pregnancy devastates, unless you have every duck in a row for a flawless life ahead. And any lingering qualms that medical oversight should accompany potent medicine or induced labor have sailed into the distance (flaunted by Women on Waves, whose members proudly visit countries to encourage illegal self-administered abortions), explicitly instructing things such as lie to the doctor about what you have done.
When my daughter thinks about abortion, she thinks about herself as the child. She thinks about her brother(s?) and sisters and all those ultrasound pictures she’s seen of herself and others. She thinks, “Would my mommy have killed me? Will she kill the babies inside her now?” Abortion is emotional and traumatic for her, teaching her just how expendable children and human life can be. And, although she has mourned infant death at church, now she knows that others seek it out, advocate for it, and fill the airwaves with proscriptions for death—no doctor or oversight needed.
Pushing a Culture of Female Fear
Her fears, and the ridiculously low view of the value of children today, are only a part of the picture. Women are abused into abortion every day. Encouraged to lie to doctors, husbands, pastors, and children, they are force-fed words that silence their honest grief and regrets. They are not only expected to toe party lines, but they are to promote abortion and belittle all aftereffects. They are not to question or think or speak out if it is against abortion.
Peer pressure goes so far as to paint false smiles with pro-abortion sentiments on women who, as a consequence of abortion, are now medically and psychologically predisposed to depression and suicide. And so often abortion is touted for the poor, who cannot afford counseling or follow-up care! Women are killing, not only their children, but also themselves.
Even that does not complete the picture. Abortion is about women and children, and each one of us. Each of us can reach out and help.
Now, for Positive Talk
I may be branded with a scarlet A for future Abstinence Educator, but I plan to do a lot more educating of my daughters. If you need to, reread Mollie Hemingway’s “8 Tips for Talking to Your Kids about Sex” and consider thinking about the positives of pregnancies, too. Sex is not the only talk we have to have with our children.
Let’s not leave the power of words to the radio, politicians, and—scariest of all—slumber parties where things have already gone too far and peer pressure is geared toward secrecy. Too many girls, women, and men are already being silenced, so let’s speak up. Our kids need to hear it, and so do many struggling men and women. Let’s offer the support we can—with money but even more moments—and show NPR and the world just how far a little help can go.
As a Christian, I get to teach my children that we are all sinners in need of God’s mercy in Christ Jesus. There are not “good guys” and “bad guys.” Instead we mourn evil, violence, death, and harm. We talk about honesty, needs, and asking for help. We warn against abuse. We talk about listening, mercy, and helping. We talk about how sometimes love just has to be given and not earned. We show them God values words enough to use them and so, by God, can we.
I am not a desperate thing to be hushed up and dealt with by pills. I can use my words, thoughts, and actions to support life and the people I can reach. And I may be retching every day that I am pregnant (gasp, with twins, my fifth and sixth children!), but my children and my community will find more support and love in me and my family than in any “quick fix” with a list of under-mentioned side effects, whether or not it is sold on the black market and broadly advertised by National Public Radio.