This week’s episode of Parenthood, “Small Victories,” showed Drew and Amy’s struggle after finding out that Amy is pregnant. Without talking to her parents or any trusted adult, Amy makes an appointment with Planned Parenthood to get the pregnancy confirmed and to speak with someone about their options. Amy decides to go forward with an abortion and even though Drew would rather keep the baby he supports her decision and goes to his older sister, Amber, for the money. Amber, without encouraging him to talk to their mom or bring someone else into the situation, tells him that she’ll give him the money and that everything will be okay. Later we see Drew and Amy sitting in the waiting room of Planned Parenthood, surrounded by other young people. The camera takes its time showing us the fear and sadness on Drew and Amy’s faces and we’re shown that one girl in the waiting room gets up and leaves, insinuating she can’t go through with it. As I’m watching this, I keep waiting for Amy to say that she’s changed her mind. As the nurse comes out and calls her in I expect her to change her mind. Even after the scene is over and we see Amy and Drew driving home I expect her to tell him that she couldn’t do it, that she changed her mind. But she doesn’t. Instead she tells him that she needs time and space. The episode ends with Drew standing at his mom’s door, visibly upset, and crying. My heart broke and the tears came, as they usually do when I watch Parenthood, and I was left feeling sad. This is, of course, just a TV show but this is a real life situation being portrayed. Two young people took part in an act that wasn’t for them to experience yet and something came out of it. Something they weren’t ready to handle. And along with that came the life altering decision of giving birth to the baby or having an abortion. Either way, their lives will be changed and, either way, they were not emotionally or mentally ready to make such a decision and live with the consequences.
We’ll have to wait until next week to find out how his mom, Sarah, and the rest of the family responds to what happened and how it is handled. I’m fearful of what the message will be.
Abortion is a controversial topic and I don’t want to get into a debate about pro-choice vs pro-life. I am obviously pro-life; I value the life of a child at any stage of growth or development. I believe that is biblical. What I do want to get into is the fact that abortion is another manifestation of sin that greatly effects the family. Every day so many people, particularly young people, are faced with the decision on what to do about an unexpected pregnancy. And every day so many babies within the womb lose their lives. I will never see abortion as a viable option under any circumstance but when it comes to a young couple who are still in high school and “still have their whole lives ahead of them,” I can see why abortion would be considered an option. It’s perceived as an easy out, a way to “fix” the mistake, a way to move on and pretend it never happened. I can understand why this would be desirable. But with every baby that is conceived and then disposed of, we lose a life, we lose a member of what would have been a family. And the guilt and shame a woman feels can carry on through her life, effecting her marriage, and the children she may later bear. Some women have physical repercussions and aren’t able to conceive another baby. And a man may also carry guilt and shame as well as resentment because maybe his opinion was given no weight in making the decision. And of course there are the parents who weren’t told about the pregnancy, who weren’t confided in, who weren’t given the chance to help. Or perhaps the parents were the ones who encouraged the abortion and thus building a wall between them and their child. Whatever the case, abortion causes pain, guilt, shame, resentment, doubt, and the loss of a life. It effects all of those who are involved. There are many people who are in desperate need of healing and forgiveness for the decision that they made. Jesus is that healing, He is that forgiveness. No matter the mistakes of our past, Jesus can redeem. No matter what baggage we may bring into our marriage, or what mistake may effect our parenting, Jesus can redeem us, He can redeem our families.
“He heals the brokenhearted, and binds us their wounds.” Psalm 147:3