Looking Out For Number 1
By: Parker Lynch, Guest Contributor
As we near the November elections, all of the usual topics of debate are in the air again, the economy, unemployment, immigration, and yes, abortion. While lots of people have their opinion on the latter, it’s hard to know what an unwanted pregnancy feels like unless you’ve been there.
When I was 17, my girlfriend told me she thought she was pregnant. This is NOT what a 17 year-old boy wants to hear. It was the mid-80’s, mind you, and pregnancy tests were not very reliable yet. Already a week and half late (unusual for her), she was getting really concerned. I, on the other hand wasn’t just concerned, I was completely TERRIFIED! Still in my senior year of high school, I couldn’t even take care of myself. There was no way I was ready to be a father. My dreams of going to college…gone, having a great career… gone, every one of my ambitions was going up in smoke. I had to save myself.
Not wanting to be another deadbeat guy who abandons his knocked-up girlfriend, I decided to do the “honorable” thing…have her get an abortion. I told her this and let her know that I’d scrape together the money to pay for it and even drive her to and from the procedure. I would not abandon her.
The plan was perfect, the baby would go away and I wouldn’t have my life ruined. I could go on to achieve all of my dreams and never look back. It would be like she was never pregnant. It was perfect, except for one problem…she refused. She didn’t believe in abortion and told me she was going to have the baby. Despite my begging and pleading, she wouldn’t budge. My life was ruined.
An agonizing week and a half later she called me with the news…she had started her cycle. She wasn’t pregnant after all! My life wasn’t ruined!! What a roller coaster.
I went on to achieve all of my dreams. Went to college, got married, became a successful business man, and even had kids (in my 30’s). Even though it was years ago, I still remember that feeling of terror like it was yesterday. As I look back however, there’s one other thing I feel…shame. From the minute I heard the news, my only concern was ME. How this was going to effect ME. How this was going to ruin MY life. It was a problem for ME and I needed to make it go away.
Never did I think of anyone else. I was in full blown self preservation mode. MY world was crumbling and I had to save it by any means necessary. The problem with this thinking, of course, is that it wasn’t just about me. The world, I later discovered, doesn’t revolve around ME. Never did I stop to consider my unborn child. A child that I was willing to sacrifice to save myself. Why? She could have given it up for adoption to a loving family and we could have gone on with our lives. If I could go back in time (and the pregnancy wasn’t a false alarm) that’s what I would have talked to her about, not abortion. Yes, there’s all of the judgment that comes with being a pregnant teen. Yes, there’s the pain of giving up the child after it’s born. That would have been tough on us (especially her), but it wasn’t just about us. That baby would now be 26 years old.
Needless to say, I’m now very much Pro-Life. I don’t judge people who’ve had abortions. How can I? Faced with that decision, I was willing to do the same thing. Believe me, I understand the fear. With the benefit of hindsight, I also realize that I was only thinking of myself and I’m ashamed of that. I never told my girlfriend this, but I’m actually proud of her for refusing the abortion and sticking to her guns.
The Pro-Choice side would argue that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body. Why should she consider what’s best for the baby? It’s all about looking out for number 1. From 1973-2008 nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred in the United States. Fifty million! That’s unbelievable! I’m fine with a woman’s right to choose what she wants for her life, but should any of us have the right to choose whether or not someone else gets a shot at life?
I think Jesus put it best, treat others the way you would like to be treated. But wait a minute…that means learning how to NOT look out only for number 1.
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