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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Read this book with an open mind

I don't typically write book reviews -- and I don't plan to make it a habit. But there is a book I read recently that I want to tell you about, even if doing so might be a little risky. It's timely, though that is just a coincidence.

The book is Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey Across the Life Line by Abby Johnson. (Note: This is not an affiliate link.)

Now don't stop reading here. This is not going to be a preachy post.

Though I've never marched in a protest, prayed before an abortion clinic, or even read any other books on the subject, I am pro-life. I believe life begins at conception. I don't waver in my belief, but I am not outspoken about it, either. I don't have bumper stickers on my car and I don't place judgements on anyone who thinks differently.

So I'm not sure why I felt drawn to reading the book. I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I read was, in my opinion, a balanced and caring view of the people on both sides of the issue.

Why you should read Unplanned if you are pro-life
This book will not preach to the choir as much as you might expect it would. Living through Abby's experiences, I began to understand how someone might see their involvement in Planned Parenthood as a service. Abby describes some of her former co-workers -- and even her former self -- as being truly concerned about the women who came to them. For me, this book put a more human face on some of the people on the opposite side of the abortion fence.

Why you should read Unplanned if you are pro-choice
Part of the reason why I'm not terribly vocal about my views on the abortion issue is that I don't want to be characterized as a crazy zealot who hoists graphic pictures of dead babies. This book sheds light that stereotype, too.

Regardless of where you fall in your views on the abortion issue, this is a book worth reading. But please read it with an open mind, setting aside judgement to just try to understand why someone else might believe as they do. I'm not sure the book will sway you from whatever you believe when you first open the cover. But I do think it will make you think.


kimybeee said...

i will not read the book - but like you i have many opinions that i keep to myself.

i guess i lean more toward pro choice, but i am personally a pro life. i try to vote pro life too.

i had a miscarriage during my 1st pregnancy and wouldn't have the d&c because it felt like an abortion to me. i knew the baby was not living, but to have somebody mechanically remove it was not the choice for me. so we came home and let nature do it's thing and went back to the doc a few days later and had a checkup. that was the choice that was right for us.

fast forward to working in the medical field and working with high risk pregnancies and some really horrible news. i would never abort a baby because it had a chance of downs or some other illness - i would love that baby as long as it was here on earth with me and beyond. i would never have the test done. a lot of people don't feel that way - and a lot of people that got that diagnosis also went on to have "perfect" babies.

but i specifically remember one case where the baby didn't have a head. the baby had a brain stem and a heartbeat and all the other body parts of a regular baby, but no head! i could not say 100% that i know what i would do. the baby isn't gonna grow a head, the science is not wrong in that case. how do you decide???

and cases of sexual abuse and rape - getting pregnant by someone you trust, a family member maybe or being attacked by someone violently. i know there is adoption as a choice, but how hard would it be to live everyday knowing that the baby growing inside of you came from something so ugly. i also couldn't say 100% what i would do here either.

so i try to be open minded and prayerful about such things. i know that everything is not as simple as have a baby or don't. i hate abortion as birth control and a lot of people use it that way.

so while i don't have any bumper stickers either - i have opinions and feelings and questions too. i am glad you shared yours and i always share mine lol lol lol

Unknown said...

My husband has read the book and liked it. He is very pro-life. I flipped through it, but not sure if I'd actually read it. I consider myself to be more pro-choice, but I have respect for those on both sides of the debate. Thanks for sharing, Amy!

Amy said...

Thanks Kim & Beth for your comments.

You know Kim, I am so lucky to have never been put in a situation like the ones you described. That's why I don't judge people who think differently. I sure pray for those people, though.

What I really liked about this book is that it put human faces on the people on both sides of the fence. It helped me to understand where people might see some gray in places that I most often see black and white.

It wasn't my intention to try to change anyone's mind or to start a debate. The book gave me perspective I didn't have before and I wanted to share it.

Thanks for sharing yours.

kimybeee said...

until i was placed in my work situations - i was 100% pro life. i just can't say that anymore.

i think it is great that we all are able to share our personal experiences and see things from another point of view. over the years as i have grown stronger in my faith i have found that i am far less judgemental (never perfect) and much more open minded. it doesn't matter the subject - education and perspective are always great stepping stones to being a better me!!

Janet said...

Amy, thanks for sharing. Kimybeee, thanks for your sharing and insight. At 55 it is easy for me to say that I will never have an abortion. But in reality I have no idea what I would have done in any situation. My family was built through adoption. I know several living miracles where the doctor has suggested abortion because the condition was not compatible with life.