I need to start off by saying my brother is a stud. He is seriously such a great man and even though he’s my “little” brother, I look up to him in so many ways. His integrity, thoughtfulness, and determination are just a few of the qualities that he has mastered. Anyways, I recently called him for advice and to process some moral dilemmas and social justice topics that I always mull over, and he mentioned that he wrote this paper on me… Well maybe not on me per se, but I inspired his choice of topic. When he was telling me what he wrote I started to tear up immediately and asked him why he never told me about this! He, being his humble self, just thought it wasn’t a big deal. Long story short, I told him that I just HAD to post this to my blog 1) because this piece was so special to me and made me cry 2) because my brother is so wise and we can all learn from him.
Thanks for being the best brother a sister could ask for, I love you. -Sis
Great Issues Paper
Sean Richard Kato
Colorado Christian University
Abortion is definitely a word that will perk most people’s ears up these days. It is also a topic that has become very closely related to my family in the past years, and as a result I have formed my opinion from frontline experiences. My sister had nonconsensual sex on her 21st birthday. She was drunk, justifiably, and was ultimately taken advantage of. This was also the night she became pregnant.
I can go on about how my sister was a golden child; she graduated high school as salutatorian, received a lot of money in scholarships, and was raised in a very involved Catholic household, but that is not what this essay is about. The bottom line is that she was not someone anyone would have expected this to happen to. She scheduled an abortion and planned not to tell anyone anything. The Sunday before her scheduled abortion she went to mass, as she always did, and the priest’s homily that day changed her life forever. The emphasis of the homily was the mercy and forgiveness of God and how we can always come back to him no matter how far we have fallen. It was then that my sister knew she could not have an abortion and she told our family that she was pregnant. My sister’s story is a lot more fortunate than most single pregnant women because she has been constantly flooded with support and encouragement. We have a strong family and lots of loyal friends that are able and willing to help in any way they can. My sister is currently living at home with my parents and her daughter turned two in October. The father is not involved and not trying to be involved, implied by his relocation to California. My sister has since become a mini celebrity in the pro-life world. She has been featured in multiple books, and is regularly asked to speak at women’s retreats and pro-life assemblies. There is much more to say about my sister’s story, but I need to stay on topic.
Abortion is probably one of the more obvious great issues of the 21st century. Terms like pro-life and pro-choice are words we hear every day and there is a lot of implications behind those labels. It is a topic that everyone has an opinion on whether they choose to share it or not. Unfortunately it appears that trends may be leaning towards pro-choice. I say that just because of the current laws in place that allow abortions. However, I am pretty optimistic that eventually abortion will be extremely minimized.
Abortion is an important issue on both the religious level and the government level. On the religious level it should be important to us because the bible teaches us that life does begin at conception, and if Christians are to believe that we cannot accept abortion because then we are accepting murder according to the bible. On the government level it is their responsibility to protect their citizens, and that is where the situation gets sticky because generally non-Christians do not want to believe that a baby has the rights to life before it has been birthed. As a result the main argument over abortion is an argument of scientific definitions of when life begins.
From my close experience with this issue I think the way to attack this issue is not at all through law. From what I have seen and heard and been exposed to, I believe that the number one reason women get abortions is shame, but where does that shame come from. The shame comes from society’s view of single pregnant women. When people see a pregnant girl walking around campus they make connections of irresponsibility, slut, and stupid. People tend to avoid single pregnant woman, abandon them, and feel sorry for them. These woman know that because they have either done it themselves or heard it themselves. Society is the true abortionist.
I say that the main reason for abortions is shame and fear because I was exposed to the options. If a mother really has no way of supporting a child adoption is a beautiful thing. In the adoption scenario a mother would only have to go through the pregnancy and then give it away for adoption. Unfortunately the fear and shame of being visibly pregnant for nine months is not worth the baby’s life in a lot of women’s eyes. The other problem is if a mother wants to keep her child she is often abandoned, kicked out, or disowned by family. A big reason for this reaction is what society has taught us to believe about unplanned pregnancies. They are shameful and embarrassing according to society. It is an extremely limiting and tough life if a single mother is left alone to fend for herself. Her options are few and those few options are not good options, but from my experience it doesn’t have to be so limiting if people are more caring and supportive. My sister is finishing her graduate degree in School Counseling. To think that millions of babies die because of shame and fear is sick. It is sick because it is nothing more than an emotion that society has forced them to feel, and it is the ultimate reason for abortion.
So how do we go about solving this issue? Or more importantly, how does a Christian approach this issue properly. Well, I do not think it is through laws. I think it is through actually making women want their baby to live, even if they don’t want to raise it. This is done by changing the attitude towards seeing a young pregnant woman walking around. I keep using the young single woman as the example because they are the majority of the people getting abortions. If it is not embarrassing to be pregnant and give the baby up for adoption, what is the point in abortion? Sure the woman will have 9 months of her life be slightly burdensome, but in my ideal world that woman will be supported and praised for what she is doing for life. That is what a Christian’s approach should be I believe. Yes, this woman has clearly sinned, but so have all of us, her sin is just more visible, and we are quick to condemn that which we can see. The job of a Christian is not condemning sins, but it is loving each other as children of God.
In the situation where a woman wants to keep her baby that is when family and friends should pull together and help how they can so that the mother can still pursue goals that will lead her to be able to not be in poverty her whole life. Even simply offering to babysit a few hours once a week can go a long way to help a single mother out. I know this is not always possible with the financial standings of people, but just the attitude that family and friends are emotionally supporting you can go a long way, and would be a huge upgrade from how things are now in society. I know this sounds like such an un-realistic world, where people support each other even if it is difficult and inconvenient, but that is again where being a Christian comes in. We are not always called to do what is easy, or to only support those who can offer us something in return. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The issue of abortion is not going away anytime soon. The problem with not only this issue, but with most issues is that people try to solve problems at the highest level, when what really needs to happen is it needs to spread from the bottom and work its way up. It sounds cliché, but the real way to solve a lot of problems is to just be more loving and caring. The issue of abortion is no exception. Another cliché for Christians that I find myself thinking about with a lot of the issues we talk about in class is the saying “what would Jesus do?” because the answer to that question should be what we do. A lot of times I think it really is that simple. I would like to think that deep down most of us know that Jesus would love and accept single pregnant women, and not condemn them for their wrong doings to be in this place in the first place. That is not the Jesus I see in the bible at least.
In the end even if definitions change and science proves that abortion is murder, I don’t see that being the end of the issue. From my front line experience it wasn’t the definition of life that made my sister want to get an abortion, it was the fact that she was scared that no one would love her, she was scared about what people would think about her, and she felt the lowest she has ever felt. Yet, through the love and mercy of god she felt worthy again, through the support and love of her family and friends she could get through it and is a better and stronger person for it. That is what I pray for all women with unplanned pregnancies.