Do you remember Thomas Vander Woude, who saved his son’s life after he fell into a septic tank? Vander Woude jumped in the tank, became completely submerged in sewage, and pushed his son up from below. Through his efforts, his son’s life was saved while his own was lost. He made the ultimate sacrifice.
Did you hear about Nyia Parler, the mother who abandoned her son to die in the woods while she hopped a bus to see her boyfriend in another state? Why is that so disturbing? Who wants to defend the actions of such a mother?
The first son was a 20-year-old with down syndrome and the second was a 21-year-old quadriplegic. Is one son’s life more valuable than the other’s? Do the circumstances surrounding a difficult situation make the choice to abandon-unto-death more justifiable? If we believe that every human’s life has equal value from their first moment, like the American Declaration of Independence states, the answer is, “no.” We must insist and strive to show that every human has intrinsic value and dignity.
A strange contradiction reveals America’s bi-polar love for heroes and heart-breakers. We love heroes who risk their own lives to save others, yet we constantly defend the “right” of mothers faced with perceived difficulty to abandon their children-unto-abortion.
What makes the hero so admirable? It’s because his sacrifice is ultimately self-less: no matter what he thinks about himself, he acts to help the other. Abortion is always the opposite of heroic: its proponents insist we ignore the other and advance the self, “MY body, MY choice.” Every hero could multiply good reasons not to save a victim – but don’t we love them precisely because they don’t list excuses like everyone else? Every person involved in abortion is instructed to think only about themselves – not the little human whose life is on the line and definitely not the other person who helped co-create that little person. Allow me to shine a spot-light on the institution of Heart Breakers, and suggest that we can transform “a problem” into an opportunity for heroism, if we focus less on ourselves and our difficulties, and more on pushing others up out of the muck in order to save their lives.
Kingdom of Darkness
Like many well-intentioned pro-choice advocates, Abby Johnson was a good person who really believed she was doing her best to help others. Abby, a Planned Parenthood Director and employee-of-the-year, became pro-life in a matter of moments. She wasn’t coerced. It was not a religious conversion (she was already a Christian). What could possibly change someone like that’s mind so quickly after so many years of working at Planned Parenthood, even after experiencing her own abortions and honestly viewing them as good?
She saw an abortion.
Allow this to sink in. She wasn’t just in the room, but witnessed a live abortion on an ultrasound machine. She watched the little baby try to squirm away from the tool which would destroy her little life, while the doctor who performed the abortion made jokes. Abby’s heart was changed as she – a Planned Parenthood Director – was confronted with the reality that had been hidden even from her.
This scene reveals the truth about Planned Parenthood. Behind all the finances, politics, and distractions, little children are destroyed in the dark. The other services, whether great or terrible, whether helpful or destructive, are all secondary to why Planned Parenthood really exists and what goes on at its epicenter.
(In Part II, I focus on evidence that Planned Parenthood thrives in the dark).
So, what then do I think of pro-choice people?
I think they are often good people who are trying to do the right thing, who really believe they are often making the best choice when they choose abortion. This post is not about them. I do not condemn them, but their ideas and beliefs that cause brokenness. Just like the unborn babies – moms, dads, nurses, and even abortionists are themselves victims of abortion. They now need healing. Abortion is always a false and harmful solution. Our first and last response is love and sympathy because we recognize that the enemy is not a person, but sin, specifically, the glorification of selfishness.
I was in a bar the night my first child was due to be born, but he was miscarried earlier that year. A girl asked me how I was doing and I told her what was on my mind. She raised her eyebrows, looked me in the eye, and exclaimed, “Buzz Kill!” and whipped around to speak with someone else. That reaction represents our moral pandemic.
Nowadays, we tend to embrace a buzz and reject a buzz-kill. We choose what’s easy and avoid sacrifice. We prefer ignorance because confronting truth requires a response. if Planned Parenthood killed our smart phones everyday, there would be more of a revolution to shut them down because we’d see them as a threat to our comfort. Even though they are killing us, we cannot be bothered. We are bombarded with communication and a host of requests, but we value non-confrontation most.
Don’t worry about it. Don’t think about it. The problem will go away. Someone else will deal with it.
The littlest ones depend on couch-potatoes like you and me to sacrifice our convenience to speak for them. We cannot defund Planned Parenthood as long as we worship our couch time. Saving a life requires sacrifice motivated by love. Thomas Vander Woude reminds us that when we stop fighting to protect our own good feelings, something beautiful can blossom.
Planned Parenthood reigns from the throne of convenience. If we are not willing to go out of our way, to be embarrassed, to lose social status, we will not be able to show the world, our community, and our family that every life is valuable.
The American cardinal virtues – ignorance, ambivalence, selfishness and convenience, need to be recognized and confronted with prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. Then, we can confront darkness, despair, and self-love with truth, hope, and heroic, sacrificial love. When we stop worshiping our choices simply because they are ours, then our local Planned Parenthoods will close down.
Instead of asking, “Was this child planned?” we should care more whether this child is loved. A lack of love is not justification to abandon that child. Rather, its an opportunity for everyone else in that mother and father’s lives to embrace, encourage, and partner with those parents to help transform them from a Parler into a Vander Woude. Who will you be today?
My next post will shed light on the darkness surrounding Planned Parenthood.