I fell in love with my unborn niece, at nine weeks of gestation, the moment I saw her sonogram. My 19-year-old step-sister related to me how her boyfriend brought her to the abortion clinic. The ultrasound scan before the abortion saved my niece’s life – upon seeing it, my sister courageously chose life.
I promised my sister, who was almost a stranger to me before all this happened, that we wanted the child, even if the father of the baby walked away.
An unsupported pregnancy cannot be viewed as merely the personal crisis of a woman and her child. An unsupported pregnancy is a family crisis because every new life created has a tremendous impact on the whole family, especially when it involves an unmarried daughter.
My elderly father has eight children from two marriages. I am the youngest of his first family so I do not have much say in family matters. Nonetheless, I was determined to use any influence I had within the family to preserve this life that God has given us (Job 33:4).
Like many people, my father deemed my sister too young to be a mother, that the pregnancy would sabotage her future and her child’s. It is interesting that no one would think a teenager too immature to have premarital sex, which opens up the possibility to life, but many often assume them too young to face the serious consequences of casual sex.
My sister may have been, by conventional standards, too young to “be a mother”, but then again, no one automatically knows how to be a parent, regardless of age. She became a mother the moment my niece was conceived – and she would forever be a mother who lost a child if she had chosen abortion.
Abortion would not have averted or undone the problem – but instead quite possibly create a new one altogether. I have heard too many real-life stories of how abortion harms a woman physically, emotionally and spiritually. So I decided that as long as I was there, abortion would not happen in my family.
This decision was met with lots of tension in the family, and I was upset to see my own family members’ indecisiveness over the matter. This concerned the life and death of the most vulnerable member of our family! It made me feel so drained and demoralised, until I had to declare a 40-day time-out from everyone, including my sister.
During this time, people continued to suggest that abortion was the “quick solution” to her unexpected pregnancy. One of her friends even said she was cruel to bring the child to term, knowing he or she would not have a father, as her boyfriend had left her following the decision to keep the baby. But how could taking away someone else’s life ever be a solution to difficult circumstances?
Although I was no longer trying to persuade anyone against aborting the baby, I prayed and dedicated my sister and her child to God. I remember crying, asking God to preserve the life of this child, promising Him that if the baby was still in my sister’s womb after the time-out period, I would continue in this fight for the basic human right to live – starting from the womb.
In His mercy, God preserved my niece’s life. In Singapore, babies can be aborted up till six months of their lives in the womb. The womb is supposed to be the safest place for an unborn child, but our liberal abortion laws made me fear for my niece’s life as long as she remained unborn.
I am thankful for the community that rallied around my sister and I throughout her pregnancy, such as Safe Place, a temporary refuge for mothers with unsupported pregnancies. Last December, my niece turned one. Despite the rocky beginnings, she is now much loved by our family.
Standing for life has not been easy, not just within my household but also to those observing my family situation. There have been moments of awkwardness and shame, especially when I tried to explain my position in all of this, but I believe God has had my back. I rejoice with Him that a child was born and would one day stand a chance of enjoying eternal life with Him.
In her article, Unplanned Pregnancies: How should the Church respond?, Ann Ford writes: “Adopting a proactive, pro-love approach within your church will give you a front-row seat to witness transformed lives and revived hearts. Families restored. Church members more engaged. God can use a baby to help His children better understand His love.”
As it says in Proverbs 31:8-9 (NKJV), would you open your mouth for the speechless, those who cannot speak for themselves, in the cause of all who are appointed to die? Would you speak up and defend the rights of the poor and needy?
- What are your thoughts on abortion? Why do you think that way?
- How would you counsel someone who is considering abortion?
- What are ways we can “stand for life” as Christians?