Thirty-six years ago, on the first season of Frontline, a documentary film was aired which examined both sides of the abortion issue, focusing on The Reproductive Health and Counseling Center (an abortion clinic) in Chester, Pennsylvania. This year, a second film has been made, revisiting the issue in the same location.
The clinic has now merged with another group and is called The Philadelphia Women’s Center. There have been changes: abortion centers in Pennsylvania are now required to comply with the same regulations as other surgery centers — this has increased expenses and resulted in a decline in the number of facilities. Abortion providers are also now required to read a script which outlines options to abortion as well as possible complications from the procedure to all patients 24 hours before having the abortion done. There are now bullet proof glass windows separating the employees from those entering, due to an increase in threats against the clinic.
The abortion divide has not lessened. Volunteers still stand outside the clinic, trying to dissuade women from the decision to abort. Crisis pregnancy centers and maternity homes to assist homeless pregnant women have increased in the decades since the first film was made.
The makers of this film have presented both sides of the issue, but there is a subtle bias in favor of abortion. Mention is made of the fact that many of the protestors are older men, along with a pro-choice supporter asking , “what right do they have to tell young women what they should do?” and labeling it “pure hypocrisy.” The new requirement that the clinics meet the standards of other surgery clinics has “made it harder for women to obtain health services.” Mother’s homes which offer shelter to homeless pregnancy women “lack the resources to follow residents after they leave” and so their effect cannot be assessed. Near the end, viewers are told that pro-life forces are “unmoved” by any arguments, and more dedicated than ever.
What could not be hidden was the guilt and sadness that almost every woman interviewed felt at the prospect of aborting her baby. This is rarely an easier decision. Those on the pro-choice side say “life is complicated and women deserve to have control of their lives.” Those on the pro-life side would maintain “life is complicated, and we must help people make wise decisions about life and death matters.”
It seems to me that there is a lot of what a friend of mine once called stinkin’ thinkin’ going around these days. We humans are unfortunately prone to believe what we want to believe whether it’s logical or not. A young lady I once worked with refused to read a book I suggested because the scientist who authored it did not accept the theory of evolution. She said she believed in evolution, and didn’t want to read anything that was contrary to her belief. Well, okay! Nothing like closing your mind to other opinions. I think this kind of reasoning is what’s behind so much of the anger and hate among people today. We’ve decided that not only are the people we disagree with wrong, they’re BAD. Only a BAD person would disagree with certain things. There is no need to consider other opinions because the one we hold is right and all others are bad. The fact of the matter is we’re all BAD and the correct name for that is SINFUL. But that’s another thing we don’t like to mention these days. We prefer to say we just make mistakes.
If you’re wondering what got me on this rant — and I admit, it is something of a rant– here it is. My daughter, who recently had a baby, has been telling me about some of the “dos and don’ts” of pregnancy and young motherhood. She says, no pregnant lady these days would dare to be seen in public with a cigarette or a glass of wine; she would be surely censured for not caring about her unborn child. People she doesn’t know well have come to her and said, “You’d better be breastfeeding! It’s what’s best for the baby!” A clerk in the baby store told her, “Don’t use a crib that’s been passed on to you — those things are dangerous and have been recalled!” Now some or most of things are correct, however here’s my question …. why does a nation that allows abortion practically up until the moment of birth care so much? If you can abort your child, why does it matter if you smoke, drink, bottle feed or use unsafe equipment? Isn’t that also the mother’s choice? Why is an unborn child, or a newborn for that matter, worthy to be protected so vigorously if you want it, and destroyed if you don’t? What kind of illogical stinkin’ thinkin’ is this? If anybody can explain it to me, please do.
I don’t think people who are pro-abortion are bad, but I think they’re misguided. They’ve been convinced that in order to be “politically correct” they should be okay with abortion. After all, women deserve to have “control of their own bodies.” I think they’ve closed their mind and denied a reality they don’t want to look at. I know that many women have abortions because it is the easiest thing to do; they may be afraid, alone or desperate and abortion fixes the immediate problem. I sympathize with their plight; but we need to help them to make a good choice instead of encouraging them to opt for an easy way out. We all need to examine our opinions carefully instead of blindly accepting the dictates of our culture. Rant over. Get rid of that stinkin’ thinkin’.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9