“Choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” – Deutoronomy 30:19
Crystal Kelley was a surrogate mother for a couple who wanted to have another child, their fourth. She entered into a contract to carry the couple’s baby for $22,000. When it was discovered that there were medical problems with the pregnancy, the parents offered Crystal $10,000 to terminate the pregnancy (have an abortion).
The temptation of lots of money to a single mother almost caused Crystal to make a deadly decision for the baby. When the parents refused her counteroffer of $15,000, Crystal was relieved as she knew she could not abort the baby growing inside her in opposition to the insistence of the parents.
As reported by CNN, “They said they didn’t want to bring a baby into the world only for that child to suffer,” Kelley said. “They said I should try to be God-like and have mercy on the child and let her go. I told them it wasn’t their decision to play God.”
First of all, let’s be very clear on this point. Being “God-like” would not mean killing a baby. If that is what God would do He would not have sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to suffer and die on the cross for our sins in order that we may be saved. Likewise, we are called to join our suffering with Christ’s for the salvation of souls, not eliminating the suffering by killing each other.
Crystal was right to say that it wasn’t the parents’ decision to play God. Life is for God to create and to take and no one else’s.
But the real problem in this surrogacy debate begins before the contract is signed. Like the abortion debate, although the choice whether to choose life or death is vital, the real problem begins before the pregnancy.
Both examples above involve seeking our own wills and not God’s will. If we as a people would choose to follow God’s design we would make different choices.
When we begin to “play God” we get ourselves into a whole lot of trouble as is evident in our culture today. We believe we know what is better for us than God does. The problem is that God acts out of agape love while we act out of selfishness.
God’s designs is that life would enter the world through conjugal love. Conjugal love has two components; procreative and unitive. To go against either is to go against God’s design.
We go against God’s design for procreative conjugal love when we choose to use contraception. Instead of following God’s design for love and marriage, abstaining from sex until we get married and then being responsible through natural family planning, we follow our desires and self-gratification and engage in sex, sometimes casually, sometimes with multiple partners, all the while contracepting in order to avoid the natural consequences of our action. And when the contraceptives fail, as is often the case, we further complicate the situation by killing the life which God created, again turning away from God’s will. That life that we are now trying to abort was not created accidentally by God but is a part of God’s design. But we know better, don’t we?
With surrogacy we want to have a child so bad that is our own that we go to any measure to make that happen. But are we thinking about ourselves or are we thinking about the baby. In the perfect surrogacy situation, the parents each contribute their 23 chromosomes and they are implanted into the surrogate and with any luck, God will permit life to be created. This leaves out the unitive aspect of conjugal love. Additionally, I can think of a host of problems that could arise from the whole process, like the surrogate falling in love with the baby she feels kicking and moving in her womb; like the parents having marital problems and divorcing while the surrogate is still pregnant; like the surrogate becoming greedy and demanding more money to continue the pregnancy; and so on.
Whether you think abortion is right or wrong; whether you think surrogacy is right or wrong, I believe we all are, as a whole, good honest people trying to live our lives the best we can; the best we know how. In doing so, sometimes our compassion is misplaced. Like the parents of the baby in the surrogate story, I believe they really wanted to be compassionate to their baby girl whom “they didn’t want to bring . . . into the world only for that child to suffer.”
Life is difficult and we have many difficult decisions to make throughout our lifetime. Thank God He left us a manual to follow when we don’t know what to do. Really, say, “Thank you God for giving us your Word, the Bible.” Through the Bible we can do the right thing even when our emotions are telling us to do something different.
I applaud Crystal Kelley for defending the life within her womb. It took courage to stand up for that life and trust that she would find adoptive parents willing to care for a medically fragile baby.
I also applaud all the other pro-life warriors who don’t make the headlines but are out there just the same on the frontlines fighting for unborn babies, some medically fragile, some not.
And I thank God for the Bible which gives me the courage to speak up for those that cannot speak for themselves.
When will humans ever learn? Movies like Gattaca cleverly depict the fallacies of gene pooling.
To God be the glory!