No Easy Decision

No es una Decisión Fácil

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
January 17, 2011

Perhaps you saw or heard about MTV’s recent abortion episode, “No Easy Decision.” It’s about James and Markai, a young couple who have a child and are faced with another pregnancy about which they are ambivalent.

As the episode unfolds, we enter into the mind and heart of this couple as they struggle between hope and despair. One of their key fears is the deprivation their new child “will” face. They don’t want to be in a position not to be able to provide the child with what the child deserves. And they preface their questions with, “If we have this other child…”

Of course, they already do. And maybe this is why it’s “no easy decision.” We’re wrestling with more options than God ever intended to give us. The question is not “if we have this other child,” because a pregnant couple already has that child. And if it seems hard to deprive the child of possessions, how is it so easy to deprive the child of life?

They ultimately have the abortion, and later in the program are interviewed about that experience.

A program like this, first of all, does have much merit, because the more we can all enter into the experiences of those who face these situations, the better we will be able to serve them and ultimately give them the strength to choose life. We in the pro-life movement serve people like this every day. We know their pain both before and after abortion. We too want the world to listen more closely to that pain.

The theme, however, that it is “no easy decision” to choose how to proceed in these situations, does not mean that there is no right and wrong. The fact is that there are moral absolutes, such as “you cannot kill an innocent human life.” The fact that one may be torn by all kinds of emotions and rationales does not for a moment take away the moral absolute.

There was one major way in which the program contradicted itself. It claimed, with a certain pride, to “show the choice” that many people are afraid of. But it in fact did not show the choice, and this remains the big gap in the abortion debate. If we are going to pride ourselves in being unashamed to face up to this difficult choice and talk about it openly, then let’s go all the way and actually describe and see the procedure. Nobody shared in this program the simple fact about the suction abortion procedure that Markai underwent, in the way, for instance, that abortion doctor Harlan Raymond Giles did when he gave sworn testimony in US District Court as follows:

“Question: Can the heart of a fetus or embryo still be beating during a suction curettage abortion as the fetus or embryo comes down the cannula?
Answer: For a few seconds to a minute, yes.”
(Western District of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, May 27, 1999, Case No. 98-C-0305-S).

No easy decision, indeed.


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