I’ve long held the belief that life begins at conception regardless of the circumstances of that conception. However, when around others who are more tentatively prolife, I have often been nervous to speak up. That all changed after a weekend youth retreat.
I was involved with a girls’ ministry at my church for second to sixth graders. Once a year we went on an overnight retreat. While on a retreat, we decided to have a talk with the sixth grade girls about dating and sex. As you might imagine, it was a conversation filled with questions, concerns, and “what ifs”.
Soon the conversation turned to pregnancy and abortion. My co-leader and I shared how waiting until marriage was the best way to prevent pregnancy and how abortion destroys an unborn baby. It was then that this sweet sixth grade girl looked at us and asked, “But what about rape?”
I paused, wondering what my co-leader might say. I knew she thought abortion was not a good choice, but I also knew she was not as passionately prolife as I was. We both paused, and just before I could speak, she looked deep into the girl’s eyes and said, “Even in the case of rape, that baby is precious and made in the image of God!”
The young girls eyes quickly teared up, and she shared that her mom had been raped, and she was the result. She had been questioning her value, worth, and ability to be loved for years.
We assured her that there was a purpose and a plan for her life. She was not a mistake, but a child deeply loved by her Creator. We cried and shared truths for the next 45 minutes.
It was a powerful moment for my co-leader, myself, and the 15 other girls in the room that day. It made me realize … what if we had given another answer? What if we had said that abortion was all right in cases of rape? What kind of damage would we have done?
In that moment we had the opportunity to show a young girl how loved and valued she was. The thought of anyone telling her otherwise broke my heart.
So whenever someone brings up the rape exception for abortion, I often share this story. How could you look at someone, anyone, and tell them that they should not be here?
Since that moment I have never shied away from speaking the truth. I am very clear — all life, regardless of how it came to be, is valuable and precious!