Which would be harder to hear: "Mom, Dad . . . I'm pregnant" or "Mom, Dad . . . years ago I had an abortion because I was afraid to tell you I was pregnant"?

It's not a hypothetical exercise. Given the numbers of teen pregnancies and abortions in this country, for many families it's all too real . . . like the family to which the Garden of Hope recently introduced us.

A young woman called their hotline last week, seeking information about abortion. She thought she'd "quickly and secretly" terminate her pregnancy while on a visit to Grand Rapids. As a college student, having a child would complicate her life, but her greatest challenge would be telling her parents.

We talked for a long time and this dear, sweet girl had no clue about the devastation brought on by the decision to end the life of her child. I assured her that her parents would know something had happened because the sparky, happy young girl that left their house to come to GR would never be back and they would want to know what was happening to their daughter.

As she hung up the phone, she promised to talk to her parents, and the next day she called back to report. Her mom "felt badly" she'd been afraid to talk to them. They support her plan to continue the pregnancy and assure her they'll work out everything together.

Not all parents are this understanding -- some overtly pressure reluctant daughters to abort their babies -- but most are mature adults who know how to handle disappointments and setbacks. Parents love their children, have sacrificed much on their behalf already, and genuinely want what's best for them. Young people need encouragement to enlist parental input and not act on mistaken assumptions their parents will "kill" them when they receive bad news.

Still, as Russell Moore cautions in his response to TIME magazine's cover story on how the pro-life side seems to be winning, "It’s easy to identify as 'pro-life' when one sees nothing really at stake." He goes on:

A feminist leader once said that most Americans are pro-life with three exceptions: rape, incest, and “my situation.” When the teenage daughter is pregnant, the theory is abandoned and bloodthirsty pragmatism rules. I fear this feminist is all too right.

Pharaoh was pro-immigrant until the Israelites threatened what he wanted. The first Herod Administration was pro-Messiah until the actual Messiah threatened his throne. The second Herod Administration was fine with desert prophets until one meddled with his “adult entertainment.” Lots of people are pro-life and pro-child until the lives of children become personally inconvenient.

. . . [W]e must have a realistic view about how ingrained the abortion-rights worldview is in our culture.

Yes, in our culture, and in our hearts. As with other temptations, it's well before we face this one that we need to determine what our response will be. If we expect our teens to do the right thing when their backs are to the wall, we also must be firm in our minds how we'll react when they make a mistake.

Most Christian parents are zealous about getting the message of sexual purity across to their teens. The trick is striking a balance between that and the equally biblical message of the sanctity of human life. So that his daughter wouldn't err into thinking abortion was better than coming home pregnant, our president Tom Lothamer repeatedly told her, "If you make a big mistake, like getting pregnant outside marriage, don't run to the world for help. Come home! It's safer. Whatever it is, we'll handle it together."

Truly, grace is greater than all our sin. The challenge is to be "cross-bearing for the child-bearing," as John Ensor writes. "To be a lifesaver, you must do what lifesavers do every day" in pregnancy care centers. In closing, I summarize his points:

  1. You must listen and love
  2. Lower her fear and increase her hope
  3. Amplify the voice of her own moral conscience
  4. Inform and educate her
  5. Offer your personal help

Related: 

Evgeniy
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 1:52 PM
I am Conservative to a fault on 99% of things. However, the one thing I am not is pro-life in nrumeous circumstances. While I applaud all your other videos, this one I disagree on for nrumeous reasons, which I'll list below 1. You said that 1.3M babies are aborted each year. Let's say since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was deemed constitutional by the SCOTUS, that many babies had been born instead of aborted 1.3 39=50.7M babies born to date. Let's look at this from a slightly different perspective, if the current US population is about 314M, that make the current population about 364M, not including any of those babies who would have had more kids, as well. I find it somewhat ironic in a sense that most Conservatives are anti-abortion, but also want to limit benefits, by which most of the babies that wouldn't have been aborted, their parents would have received. You think we're in economic turmoil right now? Add another 50-90M people to the roster, and there might be some more trouble.2. Science, you say? I'm assuming you meant the heart starts beating from when the actual pregnancy begins, not conception, which is usually a few weeks. Regardless of that, according to the Mayo Clinic, the baby is likely about the size of the tip of a pen in the 5th week including conception So, there is no fully developed brain, there is no heartbeat, and there is no nervous system yet.3. Don't bring God into this mix. If a women gets an abortion, it is between her and God. Also, the doctor and God. However, given that this country is mostly Christian and founded on nrumeous Christian principles, this is not a solely Christian nation. This means that if an atheist wants an abortion, you cannot use the Word of God as justification for her not to get an abortion because it would infringe upon her 1st Amendment rights for freedom from religion.4. In nrumeous circumstances, whereas the child may be a byproduct of rape/incest/molestation, or if the child would be born with a degenerative disease or handicap, that decision should be left to the parents to decide the best choice for their child. Ever heard of Tay-Sachs disease? It's a degenerative disease that causes the child to die a gruesome, painful, and writhing death after being alive for about 5 years or so. Maybe more if the condition isn't that bad, but they will die very young. Any parent that would willfully let that happen if they knew about it is not thinking with a sound mind.5. Rights of a person. Is a fetus a person? What defines a person? There are several bills being worked on to try and give personhood to an unborn fetus, but they will most likely fail because they will never make it out of Congress, or each states' Congress, alive. Because the SCOTUS deemed Roe v. Wade to be constitutional, and hey, the SCOTUS is the final interpretation of the Constitution, that law would have to be repealed in order to pass any personhood law. Seeing as there are countless people fighting for women's rights, that will most likely never happen. In addition, I do not find a small clump of cells to be a human being. A chicken egg is not a chicken. A seed is not a plant. An acorn is not a tree. A human stem cell is not a human.6. More rights. Let's use rape as an example. If a woman is raped (Yes, I know the chances are highly unlikely the pregnancy will implant from rape.), she should not be forced by law to not have an abortion for fear of being prosecuted for murder. That is what you call cruel and unusual punishment. Can you imagine? Bearing a child for 9 months from a man who viciously violated the sanctity of your body? No woman should EVER be forced to go through that.7. The ONLY thing I will concede on my counterargument, is that abortions should not be performed after a certain point of pregnancy. I believe it's after the 1st trimester as of right now. To wait that long is just ridiculous. Get the abortion immediately, or not at all. There's no point to waiting. I also believe that partial-birth abortions and post-birth abortions are completely insane and cruel.Don't go off the deep end and call me a heretic or an a**hole because of my statements. I am NOT pro-abortion, I am pro-logic and rights of women. A fetus the size of a dime is not a human, I don't care what you say. Fight the good fight on this specific issue, but I promise that it's all for naught, and you're all wasting your time debating over this issue.
Anonymous User
# Anonymous User
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 1:52 PM
I don't know what videos you're referring to -- we don't have many. Must be some other group.

As for your other arguments, the key question to all of them is what is the unborn? What is that new single-cell conceptus? It is a new human life. It is how you and I started life. If you say you can kill a human being at one stage but not another, you're being arbitrary and hypocritical, you're discriminating on the basis of size or location or functionality or degree of dependence.

Beware of logic. It can lead you to a lot of places that are indefensible. You also need other factors in order to live: love, hope, faith. You seem to despair of many things, which is sad. I wouldn't dream of calling you a name because, whether you believe it or not, you are a person made in God's image -- just like the human embryo or fetus.

I'd like to direct you to another source that makes the "case for life" -- http://www.caseforlife.com/. There are answers to each of your objections.
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