Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 20, 2006
We are absolutely a counter culture
Katie chose life and gave birth to Mikayla
My Glass is Half Full
By MARK PICKUP
A little over nine months ago, the mother of a 16-year-old girl who had a positive pregnancy test contacted my wife and me. (I will call the teenager Katie and her mother Joanne - not their real names.)
Katie was obviously in a crisis pregnancy: It was a crisis because Katie is so young, still in high school, and unmarried. It was also a crisis pregnancy because she intended to have an abortion to solve her "problem."
Pop culture victim
Katie was ignorant to well-established, yet unpopular objective knowledge about prenatal life. Poor Katie. She was a victim of modern public school education that's been ravaged by the emotions of political correctness.
This political correctness has even invaded the former objectivity of many biology classes. Katie only knew the unscientific yet fashionable propaganda of the so-called "pro-choice" mindset so prevalent in today's culture.
In such a climate, the choice remains unstated because it is the choice of death for another life through abortion. No matter how it's packaged or presented, abortion is offensive.
The stark choice in "pro-choice" is far too visceral to articulate in polite or fashionable company. Choosing between life and death for one's offspring is hardly the mark of a civilized or enlightened society.
The "pro-choice" mindset rarely identifies the choice. Instead it directs the chooser away from the stark reality of what they are choosing between. It is, after all, the dawn of a new century, a new era, when situational ethics reign supreme and moral absolutes have been banished from the culture.
Fortunately, the banishment of moral absolutes has not been complete. For some of us, the memory of a Judeo-Christian moral consensus still burns deep within our hearts.
Ordinary people can still feel the tug of conscience and the residue of a previous time when the culture knew some things were absolutely right and other things absolutely wrong.
We know that taking human life is absolutely wrong.
Like the 17th century adulteress banished from the town with her illegitimate child, the object of insults and contempt, and branded with a scarlet letter "A," we wear a scarlet "A" too. It stands for Absolutes.
And like the adulteress of old, we are unfaithful. Our unfaithfulness is to the 21st century's culture of choice and moral relativism. We, too, are subjects of contempt.
Katie's mother, Joanne, wore a scarlet "A." Joanne knew what was at stake in making the wrong choice. She was acutely aware of the threat to her daughter and grandchild.
The threat was real and absolute. Katie was in danger of making a grave mistake - and the new human life within her was in grave danger.
Nearly twenty years earlier, Joanne was in the same position as Katie. The authority figures in Joanne's life advocated Katie's brother be aborted. (He's a full-grown man now.)
'A blob of tissue'
Joanne was told - like so many other women facing crisis pregnancies - that she was too young to be a mother. A baby would ruin her life and aspirations. Joanne was told abortion would solve her problem. Joanne knew instinctively that her "problem" was a human being portrayed as a blob of tissue, like a tumour.
Before Joanne gave herself over to an abortionist, my wife and I had the opportunity to show her the stunning photography of prenatal life taken by renowned Swedish photographer Lennart Nilsson, during the 1960s. Nilsson was ahead of his time, using the emerging technology of endoscopic photography to capture images of a developing child before birth.
The images spoke for themselves. Joanne realized that the life within her was not a "blob of tissue." It was not "potential life;" it was actual life.
It was the life of her child.
She rejected the cynicism that would have led her down the garden path to an abortionist's door. Joanne needed someone to hope and believe in her life and the life of her baby. My wife and I tried, in our uncertain way, to show Joanne we held hope for her. Choose life!
Now, 20 years later, Joanne asked us to show her pregnant daughter those same pictures. We gave the Nilsson photographs to Katie, as well as three-dimensional ultra sound images available on the Internet.
Katie cancelled her appointment at the Morgentaler clinic.
Edmonton obstetrician Dr. Stephen Genuis gave Katie the best prenatal care available throughout her pregnancy. (Katie got so tired of eating mountains of fresh vegetables. She thought her baby would be born with carrot red hair!)
In February, Katie gave birth to a healthy, robust baby girl she named Mikayla.
Katie will attend a Catholic high school in Edmonton where she has found a supportive Christian community (with a daycare across the street).
The school is willing to be flexible in order to accommodate Katie's schedule. She can even bring her baby to some classes when necessary.
What a wonderful, life affirming testimony the Catholic high school is giving, not only to Katie and her baby - but the community too.
That high school is also setting an example to the rest of its students about Christian love and how Christians should behave toward those in need.
Katie is going to finish high school with her baby beside her.
She chose life.
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