Steamboat Springs I have always had a visceral distaste and horror of abortion. I am also a Christian. But I firmly believe you can have one without the other.
One of the best speakers we ever had at our annual Right to Life dinner was a Baptist minister with a marvelous sense of humor and insightful nature. This was at a time when the vast majority of the pro-life movement was Roman Catholic. He began by sharing that he and his wife had eight children. He followed that by proclaiming that all of them were "unwanted." There was a trickling of laughter in the crowd. He further explained that he wasn't kidding a bit. Every single one of those kids had been unplanned. You could almost see lights going on inside the heads of every parent in the hall.
How many of us have had the same experience? Even in these modern days of birth control and our insatiable desire to control every aspect of our lives, kids seem to get conceived at inopportune times. Does anyone ever have just the right amount of money and time to take on another lifetime responsibility that each child brings? Didn't we just have a new baby only a year ago who requires 24/7 care?
But as he put it, a funny thing happens. After the initial shock and dismay at the realization that you don't have anywhere near the control over events you thought you had, you accept it : not just accept but become excited about it. And as the months pass, you find that by the eighth and ninth months, the expectation and anticipation of welcoming a new member into the family totally has erased the dismay you barely remember a few months ago. And whether you then thank God for this miracle of life becomes solely a personal choice. Most of us do because we're so overwhelmed with the wonder of it all. But that's up to you. If you prefer to see it merely as Mother Nature's gift, that will do.
Conversely, no matter what the post-modern "choice" crowd tells us, I refuse to think that a woman who has an abortion doesn't completely know what she has done: pro-actively taken the life of her own child. For one can't have it both ways. Either the unborn child is human or it isn't. Science has pretty well answered the question with microscopic inter-uterine photography showing a baby of only 6 weeks gestation acting like, well, like a baby. Whether sucking its thumb, kicking sporadically and even showing various moods, there is no doubt in any mother's mind what we're dealing with here. One of the great untold stories of our time is the pain of women who have had abortions and suffer a lifetime of regret for their actions. This is regardless of it being a personal decision or one forced on them by parents or former lovers.
Indeed, one of the many ministries of the pro-life movement these days to offer counseling and empathy to these "victims" of abortion who seem to feel the pain more intensely as they age and so often wish they had had more children. But the deed is done. Nothing can bring that child back. It seems most ironic that it is at this point that even the committed agnostic or atheist may find the Faith that eluded them.
Gary Hofmeister is the owner and operator of Hofmeister Personal Jewelers in downtown Steamboat, a company he founded in 1973. He is a Director of the Conservative Leadership Council of Northwest Colorado and a former Republican nominee for Congress in the 10th District of Indiana. He made 18 trips to the former USSR to teach democratic-capitalism during the 1990s.