Bulletin September 2022
by Natalie Holmyard
Roe vs Wade Another Perspective
Tomorrow I am accompanying Maddeline, our 26-year-old daughter, to her regular OBGYN appointment. She is 27 weeks pregnant. As part of her consult, she will have an ultrasound where we will again, see her baby in her womb. The first ultrasound of her baby took place at 7 weeks. There was a heartbeat, there was a body – the baby was beautiful. By the time of the 10-week ultrasound, we could see all parts of the baby’s body in absolute clarity. In fact, it was at this point we could clearly see the baby’s legs looking so much like Jolan’s. (Maddy’s husband and the father of their children). It is truly a miracle and a wonder to see this life that Father created, in the tummy of our daughter, who, along with her husband, eagerly awaits the birth of this child.
Rewind to summer of 1986. I was 17 years old; my friend was 18. She was pregnant. She was not happy about being pregnant – the result of an intense relationship with a man several years older. He loved her. He wanted to marry her. She felt trapped and ashamed. She came from a very faithful Christian family.
She was not a believer, though attended church with her family on special occasions. I supported her the best way I could and encouraged her to talk to her boyfriend and family and work out a way that she could have this baby. I said no matter what, my family and I would support her. She refused all options I presented to her and eventually at around 8 weeks of pregnancy, had an abortion. It was a devasting situation – but one, at least on the outside, she seemed quite casually resigned to. I hoped that she would change her mind and because of this hope I agreed to accompany her to the abortion clinic. There were protesters outside. They were silent. It was quite calm and orderly. She avoided all eye contact with the Prolife volunteers. I had several sideways glances at them, I presume they could tell from my countenance I did not want to be there – they returned very compassionate glances. Once inside it was all very clinical and procedural. My friend was taken in to the medical (abortion) suites – to fill out some forms. We were left for what seemed like only seconds – no time for me to beg her to change her mind. I squeezed her hand and left the room. I sat for what seemed like an eternity in the waiting room with many other women. There was no eye contact at all. My friend returned calm, steely calm; with an air of cold authority, I had never witnessed before. She had now entered a no eye contact relationship with me. I drove her home. She wouldn’t explain what happened or how she was feeling. Those were now parts of her life that were cut off from me – and most other people who knew her at this time. The father of this baby was never consulted about the abortion, and he was devasted to find out that the baby was gone, as were her parents and siblings. Over the next several years she had several other abortions (it seemed to become her mode of birth control). Sadly, we drifted apart…….
Rewind again, to the winter of 1967 in Ireland. An 18-year-old catholic woman is pregnant and unmarried. There is no written evidence of the trauma she must have suffered, given the time and location she was in. She gives birth to the child in July 1968. He was christened John. He is given to a Catholic orphanage and for six weeks there he stays.
Their way of controlling the crying babies was to not pick them up. In week 7, a family who are unable to have children, adopt him. Two years later they adopt another child who was left in the same orphanage. In 1973 they immigrate to Australia. In 1988 I meet this man. His name is now David.
In the winter of 1989, I was 20 years old. I had met my future husband, we were living together, I was supporting us financially as he was still finishing his degree full time. I had been using the contraceptive pill. We were living against the cultural norms of the time – and most certainly the culture of both of our Catholic families.
It is something neither one of us set about to do – however it had roots of rebellion against God, the church and our family. One morning after a week of feeling quite ill, I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive. I was instantly filled with this immense sense of joy and fear all at once. I told David immediately. He was so happy. All my fears of having a baby left me in that instant. However, my fears of telling anyone – including my family were quite real. By the grace of God, I knew that life was sacred and that He was the creator of all life – though we weren’t born-again believers and accepters of Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we knew inherently from our Catholic upbringing that life was God’s to give and take away. Our story has a very happy and exquisite beginning – our eldest daughter Justine.
My friend, David’s mother and I were all so similar at the ages of 16-19, our choices were similar, our thoughts were similar and many of our actions were obviously similar. However, thanks be to God, the consequences of our actions were so drastically different. I went on to marry David and have four more glorious children. To this day, I do not have a relationship with my friend and the last I heard, she was unmarried and without children. She is 54 years old. Her burden weighs heavily to this day on my heart. David’s mother eventually married and had several more children (David’s unmet siblings). He tried to contact her once through an adoption agency, but she never responded……perhaps shame, guilt, sadness or a combination of all these kept her silent. I hope that she is a believer and one day David and our whole family will be able to say thank you to her for remaining pregnant and giving birth to my husband and the father and grandfather of our children.
As we have been journeying together through SRT in recent months, of what the generational transfer of the gospel means to us as Kingdom citizens, I am so thankful that in my lineage and David’s lineage – we had a history of Catholicism and an absorbing of the biblical truth that life is only God’s to give and take away. Our family wouldn’t exist today if David’s mother had chosen an abortion.
Our family wouldn’t exist as it is today if I or David had chosen an abortion. For my friend, (and all those like her) who did choose to have an abortion, scripture tells us there is forgiveness, hope, peace, restoration and eternal life in the blood of Jesus.
Of course, these stories above have so much more depth and intricacy that I haven’t included. You may see yourself or someone you love in the lines written here. There is plenty more that could be said on this topic – I will leave it here today with these 3 stories. My prayer for you if you are reading this, is that you will know the absoluteness of Father’s Sovereignty. The absoluteness of Father’s word. The absoluteness of Father’s way. His absolute care and love for all His children. Father has a plan – whilst sometimes we cannot see it, intimately or globally – we must hold onto this truth for the sake of our own faith and the faith of those we are called to walk with. May we be the salt and the light to world in this area. May we bring glory to God in all that we are and all that we do.
Behind every choice, there is a story. We would do well to remember this.
God bless you,