Imagine a house.
When it was first built, it was perfect and it was beautiful. Over the years, it weathered many storms – some did only slight damage that was easily repaired, but others took such a heavy toll that even years later the house still bore their marks.
When you were a child, the house seemed large and wonderful. There were no mysteries that it could not contain and there were a thousand secrets to be learned. As you grew and the house aged, however, you began to see the cracks in its walls, the leaks in its roof, and the shakiness of its foundation. Maybe, as the houses around it seemed to remain beautiful on the outside and even underwent renovations and improvements, you even began to despise the house.
Then, from one source or another, you learned that your house could be renovated, too. The cracks could be sealed up, the roof could be repaired, and the foundation could be supported. You began to invest time and money in the house, putting in countless hours of work to make it the beautiful and wondrous building you knew that it could be.
Now let’s say there’s an empty room in this house.
Maybe it’s your idea to decorate the room, or maybe it’s someone else’s. But beautiful wallpaper is carefully selected and hung, picture frames with photographs of you and your loved ones are added, soft carpeting is laid, fixtures are installed and furniture is bought. This room is no longer cold and empty; now it is full of the trappings of life.
But you realize you want to use this room for something else.
Maybe you do it yourself, or maybe you hire someone else to do it. But you destroy all the furniture. You rip out all the fixtures. You yank up the carpeting, smash all the pictures, and tear off all the wallpaper.
There. Now this room has been restored to its original state.
Except that it isn’t quite the same.
The walls bear evidence of the wallpaper that there once was. Holes from the nails that held picture frames. In the cracks where vacuums couldn’t reach there are still shards of glass and bits of wood from all the broken furniture.
And…every time you step inside this room, you remember what it used to hold.
Sometimes you feel a pang of regret at ripping out the things inside of it. Sometimes you’re glad to be rid of them because they remind you of things, people, or events that you are trying to move on from.
But you will never forget what used to be inside this room.
Maybe this happens only once, or maybe it happens over and over again throughout your life. But every time the room is decorated and you decide to clean it out again, the vestiges of the old versions of the room remain.
You tell yourself it doesn’t matter. You’re going to use this room for something better so you should feel glad. Or you wanted to forget about those old times anyway, so you shouldn’t feel so eaten up about it. And after all, isn’t an empty room better than a full one? You can do anything you want in an empty room. The options are endless. As long as the room is empty, you have the freedom to choose what to fill it with.
Here’s my question.
Is it good for the house, and is it good for you?
The reason I ask is because a lot of people believe that having an abortion is only about a choice – whether to keep a room full or to clean a room out. Whether to nurture the investment in that room or to gut it to keep your options open. Whether to cherish the memories growing in that room or to forget the pain associated with it.
A lot of women feel like they’re being attacked when someone else suggests they should think twice about abortion. The usual arguments against abortion favor the baby, not the mother.
But I’m not talking about the baby.
I’m talking about you. Your life. Your body.
How many years has it taken you to learn how to love your body and yourself? How many years has it taken you to stop comparing yourself to other people and realize just how beautiful you are? How many years and how much work has it taken for you to recover from the wounds that life has inflicted upon you?
Every time you have an abortion, it takes a toll. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually.
There’s no judgment here.
I know that everyone makes the best decisions they can with the resources available to them. I know that people consider abortions for entirely valid reasons.
- Babies are expensive.
- Childbirth can be dangerous.
- Engaging in the act that created the baby may not have been your choice.
- You may not want to bring a child into a broken and malicious world where suffering and poverty will overwhelm it.
- You want the baby but other people (your partner, your parents) don’t.
But there are other options.
If you find yourself in a situation where it seems like there’s no way that you could keep this baby, I would encourage you to to consider allowing the baby to be adopted instead.
The American Adoptions* website has some useful information to consider:
- Facts about abortion and adoption
- A comparison between the costs of parenting a child, getting an abortion, and allowing the child to be adopted
- Myths and facts about adoption, parenting, and abortion
Because you’ve fought hard to get this far, and you don’t deserve to be set back.
*I refer to the American Adoptions website simply because they have useful information. I can’t endorse them or any other adoption organization and encourage you to consider your own preferences and needs when considering adoption.
Join the Discussion
Would you consider adoption a good alternative to getting an abortion? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.