Getting an Abortion in December
December 13 is the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's first oral argument in the Roe v. Wade case, which effectively legalized abortion in the U.S. It is ironic that the month in which the world celebrates the most inconvenient and unplanned pregnancy in history is also the month in which the court began its ignominious descent into preventing such pregnancies.
You probably know that Mary the mother of Jesus was not married when she became pregnant. She was betrothed to a man named Joseph. You probably also know that she lived in an extremely strict religious and legal setting in which out-of-wedlock pregnancies were punishable by public stoning. It is very likely that Mary was a teenager, probably less than 16 years old when she became pregnant. So to summarize, she was an unwed pregnant teenager in a society that stoned such women.
Jane Roe (her real name is Norma McCorvey) also had a child when she was a teenager. Actually, she had two of them, and she had been divorced before she turned 20. You could say she was the opposite of Mary. Mary was innocent; Jane Roe was promiscuous. Mary was engaged; Jane was divorced. Mary celebrated her pregnancy; Jane tried to end it. Mary's act of righteousness ushered in a new reign of righteousness and life in world history. Jane's act of evil ushered in a new reign of evil and death.
It was Jane's third pregnancy, at 21 years of age, that made her famous. She didn't want to deliver the baby; she lied to doctors, claiming she had been raped, but the story didn't hold water, and she was unable to obtain an abortion. On another occasion she visited an illegal abortion clinic but found that it had been shut down by authorities. Later she attempted suicide and failed. She then decided to take the matter to court, claiming that the state had no right to prevent her from getting an abortion.
Again, Jane's actions were the opposite of Mary's. Mary, while pregnant with a child that society would condemn, visited her relative Elizabeth, the wife of a leading Jewish priest named Zechariah. In their house, Mary sang what has become known as the Magnificat, in which she praised God for the privilege of carrying the child. Since Zechariah was a priest, Mary was taking an enormous risk, both for herself and her family, but also for Zechariah's career. Jane, on the other hand, visited a black-market abortion clinic, lied about rape, and went to court using an anonymous name. Mary sang openly in the house of a prominent priest.
Jane's court process started while she was pregnant and went all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was not decided until January 1973. The baby was born in 1970 and was a few months short of three years old by the time the court finally reached its conclusion. The court was effectively ruling against the life of a living two-year-old, the same age Jesus was when Herod had all the boys in Bethlehem killed.
By today's standards, Mary would have been a prime candidate for an abortion. The abortion-leftists of America fight tooth and nail for teenage girls to get abortions without anyone finding out and without having to pay for them. Had Mary lived in Jane Roe's America, she could have aborted Jesus for free in seventeen states. What King Herod worked hard to do, the U.S. government, when ObamaCare is fully implemented, will offer as a free service everywhere. Herod would be envious.
The Roe baby was given to an adoption agency at birth and remains anonymous to this day. She is a 42-year-old woman and may have children of her own by now. It's very likely that somebody reading this article is friends with her, and your kids may be friends with her kids. She is a real person.
Jane's pregnancy had no complications and took place in a modern hospital surrounded by nurses and doctors. Her baby was inconvenient to her, so she gave it up for adoption with a reputable agency that quickly found a home for the child. Mary's pregnancy was incomprehensible by today's standards.
She lived in a dangerous outpost of the Roman Empire under martial law, ruled by Herod the Tyrant. She traveled with Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem while pregnant, in order to satisfy the whims of Caesar Augustus, the absolute ruler of Rome. There is no biblical mention of a donkey; Joseph was too poor for one, as we know because when he offered sacrifices in the temple after Jesus's birth, he offered the sacrifice of a poor man. In all likelihood, Mary walked the entire distance of 60 miles to Bethlehem over several days, sleeping in the open air.
In fact, Joseph didn't even have enough money to rent a room for a night when Mary was in labor. His willingness to remain by her side during an illegitimate pregnancy would have earned him excommunication from his family. They were alone together with no one to help, and no money to pay for a donkey or a room. That is the real reason there was no room in the inn.
Jewish law and tradition require people to open their doors to travelers. Yet when Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, there was no room for them. The decree of Caesar had crowded all the inns with Roman soldiers and Jewish travelers, but in any decent society the innkeeper, or inn guests, would have gladly given up their rooms for the woman in labor. In reality, there was room in the inn -- just not for an impoverished, scandal-ridden couple of Jews from Galilee. Mary was a regarded as a shameful woman, and Joseph was too poor to make it worth anyone's while to give up a room. She would be the poster child for Planned Parenthood if her story had happened today.
The romanticized view of the Nativity taking place in a comfortable lantern-lit stable with a roof is probably not true either. A manger is a feeding trough for livestock, usually located outside, not in a cozy stable. There is no biblical mention of a stable. Jesus was probably born outside, next to a hitching post beside an inn, at night, in public, while locals scoffed at Mary for her supposed promiscuity and Joseph for his poverty. It was the most inconvenient and degrading birth in history; it was unplanned, and the circumstances would have made an abortion sound very tempting.
Since the infamous court decision, even Jane Roe has changed her mind. In 1995 she announced that she is opposed to abortion, and she became an active leader in the pro-life movement. She is a convert to the Catholic Church and uses her fame to promote wholesome and God-fearing lifestyles. In 2003 the filed an official affidavit with the district court of Dallas, Texas in which she reversed her position in the original suit. It was a purely symbolic measure, and it has no standing in reversing the original court decision, but it was an important document, worth everyone's time to read.
It is remarkable that the Catholic Church, widely viewed as the most intolerant and the loudest opponent to abortion in the world, has opened its arms to accept McCorvey. This grace and acceptance is a strong testament to the true purpose of the Christian Church and can be explained only by the redemptive work of Jesus. Meanwhile, the supposedly tolerant and open-minded leftists who used her to make their court arguments have now completely rejected her.
Nonetheless, abortion remains legal. Every year, there are well over 1.2 million abortions in the U.S. This month alone, it is likely that about 100,000 babies will be killed before Christmas. If you are a pregnant woman thinking about an abortion, please consider Mary. She endured extreme hardship and inconvenience, but because of the joy set before her, she counted it a privilege to carry her child so that you could have a merry Christmas.
T.S. Weidler can be contacted at tsweidler at hotmail dot com.