The Day a Stranger Justified Murdering My Three Year Old
In March of this year, our family visited City Park in New Orleans. As I walked through the park, I pulled a wagon holding my six-year-old daughter and three-year-old son. On our way to the playground, we were approached by a woman holding a tablet and wearing a pink vest. Her opening question took me a little off guard. She said, “Hi, I’m from Planned Parenthood. What do you know about us?” As I entered the conversation, nothing could have prepared me for how it would turn out. To help prevent confusion, her part of the conversation is in bold, and mine in regular font.
“Well, I am sure there are certainly things I don’t know, but what I do know is very
“So you are pro-life?”
“And you’re not?”
“Well, I just think there are some cases when women should have the choice.”
“Like what specific cases?”
“Can I ask you a question? If someone raped you, would it be ok for you to murder my son?” (I pointed to my three-year-old son, who was sitting in the wagon beside me)
“So, you are saying if someone raped you, it would be ok for you to come and murder my son, who had nothing to do with it at all?”
“Well, maybe not him as he is right now because he is fully functioning.”
“I’m not sure how you define fully functioning, but we had multiple ultrasounds while he was still in my womb that showed him fully functioning at his developmental stage. And I’m pretty sure if I just walked away from him right now and never came back, he would soon no longer be fully functioning.”
“Well, you are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to mine.” (turning and walking away, not looking back)
“That is true, but we can’t both be right. One of us is wrong, and I hope you will reconsider the reasons that formed your opinions.”
There are three main alarms that I would like to sound from our brief conversation.
The first and most obviously shocking alarm was her confident conclusion that she had the right to murder a child. My child. She was willing to, without wavering or hesitating, say that she could rightly kill my child if someone had raped her. That kind of thought is absolute insanity and has no logical, moral, or ethical standing. At first, I thought she was trying to avoid the logic of my argument. If it is immoral to murder my son because of rape, what makes it morally acceptable to murder another innocent child? I thought she knew where my logic was leading and felt trapped into answering yes in order to win the argument. But when I asked her to clarify, she only changed her answer because of the age of my son. In other words, there is some point of development that she would label “not yet fully functioning” when she believed she could rightly kill my son because of something that someone else did to her.
The second alarm was that she believed we could have vastly different opinions on this issue and happily live out the consequences and implications of our opinions. "You're entitled to your opinion" makes it sound like we are choosing our favorite ice cream flavors or sports teams. We are talking about life or no life. One group believes the most vulnerable among us are being slaughtered without anyone defending them and their right to life. Another group of people believes that women should have the right to end preborn life. They make no distinction between a life growing inside of a woman's body and the woman's body. Therefore, it's her body, her choice. Those two viewpoints are not compatible.
This morning, Dr. Al Mohler had an excellent episode of his podcast, “The Briefing,” discussing this very thing. Part I of today’s episode was entitled, A Nation Divided Against Itself on Abortion Cannot Stand: The Case for Federal Protection of Persons in the Womb Under the 14th Amendment. Dr. Mohler concluded, “We are looking at the fact that on the question of abortion, at least for the unborn child, just about everything rides on whether or not that unborn child is in a pro-life state or a pro-abortion state.” This issue is becoming more and more divisive in our country, and there is no real solution in sight.
The third and final alarm was that she wasn’t looking for a real conversation. She was looking for an uninformed audience. I passed by her a few other times during the day. She and several other ladies wearing their pink Planned Parenthood vests were talking to women. They explained all the services Planned Parenthood offers and entered their information into their tablets for follow-up. It was clear that she and her colleagues only continued conversations with people who were uninformed or already shared their views. People like me who genuinely wanted to have the conversation but had a very different perspective were seen as a waste of their time. Once she realized I had a firm opinion that was very different from hers, she literally turned away from me and started walking in the opposite direction, ignoring (or at least pretending to ignore) my last contribution to the interaction. My hope is that God used the few words I said to cause her to at least question her definition of “fully functioning,” which might lead her to wrestle with her stance on abortion.
These alarms are meant to draw our attention to danger. My family was at the park that day to have life-giving conversations with others, but there were also people there hoping to have life-ending ones. In recent decades, there has been a steady stream of lies carefully crafted with terms designed to hide truth. First, the lie was, “It’s just a clump of cells. A fetus is not yet a person.” The sonogram destroyed that lie. The next lie was, “It might be a person, but it’s not fully functioning, so it can be terminated.” The logical conclusion of that line of thinking leads to infanticide, geronticide (killing of the elderly), and termination of disabled people. Some people still hang on to that lie, but has been mostly replaced with, “It’s a person, but a less valuable person than the mother/uterus owner.” We have heard this lie before. The Nazis referred to those they deemed less valuable as Lebensunwertes Leben, or life unworthy of life. While the lies shift to become more palatable, they are all poison. The truth is that every person, from the moment of conception until natural death, is created in the image of God and therefore deserves to be treated with all the value due to human life. There is a real agenda at work to deceive as many as possible and pull them away from the truth. People are actively working to get this message out to those in crisis... or in college, or in a successful career, or in the carpool line... and on and on.
How must Christ-followers respond? Keep having real conversations with people who see this differently. Be careful not to exclude logic, morals, ethics, or gentleness. Listen carefully, ask questions, interject truth, and remain kind. Support organizations that fully educate and resource women in crisis pregnancies. We love serving our local Women’s Resource Center by donating new and gently used baby items, helping them stock shelves, and donating monetarily so they can have the equipment, counselors, and resources they need to serve these women and their families. Lastly, pray that God will dispel the lies many women believe that lead them to choose their careers, their convenience, and their comforts over the life of a child. Pray Acts 9:18 over them, that God will remove the scales from their eyes so that they can see past the deception. Pray for the healing of those who have believed the lies and followed through with abortions. Pray for the protection of those in the womb who cannot protect themselves. Be creative! Ask God to flatten tires on the way to abortion clinics or cause power outages, giving mothers more time to reconsider. Pray for the hearts of doctors and medical professionals who perform abortions to be softened and turned toward life. Pray for the Church to be a beacon of hope, proclaiming with words and actions that Jesus cares, Jesus forgives, Jesus heals, and Jesus restores.