Ten years ago, my biology teacher Mr Ch’ng Kang Beng taught me a lesson on the value of life. (I wrote a very short post on it back then.) He was a good teacher and that lesson stayed with me.

2005 was my last year in north Malaysia. I then left home: to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur & Australia. I read different stories, became aware of different ideas. I found abortion a difficult, tiring and emotive issue to grapple with.

I was in my teens when I watched Juno.  Funny I don’t remember much about the film, but I do remember the lone nerd girl outside the abortion clinic shouting after Juno, “Your baby has fingernails!”. I remember thinking to myself, I never, ever, in a million years, want to be such a loser. (Worth noting: she successfully changes Juno’s mind about the abortion. But I had to google to recall this — the film’s primary message to me, all these years, has been: DON’T be such a crazy loser.)

As I have come to grasp the underpinnings of the prolife movement — human dignity & charity — I have however grown to appreciate its wisdom and importance.

I met mothers who, in moments of desperation, had considered aborting their child…but didn’t. Thanks to others who provided emotional, financial and practical support, they changed their minds and raised their children. Some of these kids are blossoming beautifully. Some have very difficult struggles, but they struggle on.

At this point, pro-abortion friends might ask, “Who are you to force these mothers to choose a life of struggle?”

I have come to think that question is wrongly framed, but here I want to talk about another kind of deep struggle I have become aware of: the grief & pain of the post-abortive mum. Sometimes, the grief takes years to surface and it is awhile before the woman is ready to confront her suppressed pain. Some of these women are unable to deal with their decision to abort, and find no solace. Here’s one of many such stories. Kari, miserable, says:

People tell me that I shouldn’t feel regret.

This sort of advice offered by those who support “a woman’s right to choose” adds insult to injury. Shouldn’t feel regret? Hello? Who is forcing their beliefs on others now? We don’t often hear such public stories because it asks a great deal of a woman to let the world know “I aborted my child, and now I regret it”. It requires confronting pain and guilt, and overcoming embarrassment and shame.

Please read that last sentence again. Slowly. Out loud. Those are very, very difficult things. Think about how that skews the type of stories you hear about.

I personally know of several such regretful women. Anne Lastman (who has had two abortions) says:

Beginning with a society that has decreed that abortion is acceptable and is “the choice of the woman” the same society then proceeds to build and maintain social taboos about this procedure. This leads to a collective silence. Into this silence enters the abortive woman who must then live according to the rules, which govern the society with its taboos. That is, she acquiesces to the hiddenness of her abortion and so must remain silent about any emotions that she may experience about the event.

Because the abortion has been her “choice” alone, or her “choice” with the assistance or coercion of others close to her, it is believed that there should not be any grief associated with the experience. Therefore no grief will be experienced or grief-work required. This is not so.

I’m an irenic, relational person, and I dislike upsetting people. But having been in a different space before — a space of general disdain for prolife PROTESTORS (what an angry word!) and confused bewilderment regarding their posture and work — and having more understanding & empathy for that now, I hope I can help others grasp and think through the concept of human dignity. I hope some will begin to see why this is not merely an ideological debate “for those with an axe to grind”, it is a fundamental value worth protecting. It is a (Christian) value that helps societies become great.

I hope more and more will come to recognise the wrongdoing that is being committed in the name of “women’s rights”, and to see through the well-told “pro-choice” advertising lie.

And to my friends, who like me, wished for a gentler, “more compassionate” approach; to Christians who simply “shut-off” at the first sign of controversy, I hope one day you will see that battles worth fighting are unfortunately not mild and pretty. At the very least, I hope you see that abortion service providers have Bu$ine$$e$ to run, and as such find themselves in a conflicting position to truly provide for a woman’s wellbeing.

Abortion hurts women, and takes lives.