During the first year of my nursing practice Roe v. Wade was decided. In 1973 I was working for a city hospital in a busy labor/delivery unit (500 births per month). The unit was staffed with resident doctors, attending physicians and nurses.
At the beginning of each shift, we received a report on all the patients in labor. One day I was shocked to hear that a saline induction was in progress. Hypertonic saline was being infused into the womb of a young woman who was seven months pregnant. The saline would kill the infant and cause the uterus to contract. At the time I wasn’t aware of the Supreme court decision. I was shocked.
I was so disturbed by this that I wrestled with how to respond. Within a few days I drafted a letter explaining that I could not participate in an abortion procedure and gave it to the unit manager.
The methods of abortion are varied from suction to dismemberment to partial birth abortion. Each method is a cruel treatment of an infant. I believe that God cares about both the woman in a difficult circumstance and her baby.
The Bible records the story of Hagar. Abram and Sarai were childless, and Sarai gave her maid to Abram for the purpose of acquiring a child. When Hagar became pregnant the relationship between Hagar and Sarai deteriorated. Sarai treated Hagar harshly. Hagar fled into the wilderness.
An angel of the Lord found her and told her to return to Sarai and gave her a prophecy about her son. Both Hagar and her son were valued by God.
Hagar responded. She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13
There must be more solutions to an unexpected pregnancy than abortion. Pregnancy care centers offer support. How can the church do a better job of supporting young women? Will men be held responsible for their part?
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