I don’t know how many times I have heard pro-lifers say “a woman who has an abortion is just taking the easy way out.”  

Excuse me?

I’ll say right up front that I have very little patience when someone opines about a situation that they have never been in themselves.  It is way too easy to sit back and pontificate about the rest of the world, to look at the world through cookie cutter eyes and say that this is the way things should be. 

I don’t care if you are living in the South Bronx and your parents are on crack.  If you just get off of your butt and work hard you too can become a millionaire!   Easier said than done. 

I don’t care if your hormones are raging like a wildfire, you just can’t have sex until you get married.  Easier said than done. 

I don’t care if you had unprotected sex and the boy has disappeared and your parents are pressuring you to have an abortion.  You go have that child and do the best you can.  Easier said than done.

Let’s look at this more closely.

A woman has unprotected sex.  She goes home that night and immediately starts thinking about the chance she took.   She then has to wait a few weeks to see if she gets her period.  To suggest that she just goes about her daily business without thinking about the potential problem is naïve and insulting to women. 

Finally, the time arrives and her period does not come.  Now, she really starts to panic.  She talks to the man who was involved, if he is still around, she may talk to her parents or a girlfriend.  She decides that this is an anomaly and will wait another month for the next period.  It doesn’t come.  She gets a pregnancy test and discovers she is pregnant. 

Now what?   She thinks about her options (which she has already been thinking about for two months).   She is Catholic, so she is very concerned about an abortion.  She lives with her parents, has no visible means of support, can not imagine giving birth to a child.  Her parents, who she finally told, want her to get an abortion because they don’t want to be responsible for raising the child.   

Ultimately, she decides to have an abortion.   She goes through the Yellow Pages and sees numerous listings for abortion clinics, but she doesn’t know anything about them.  She has heard that there are “abortion mills” out there that harm women.  Which ones are the mills?  She calls several clinics and has different reactions.  The longer she waits, the more money it costs to have an abortion.    

She finally decides and makes the appointment.  That morning she goes in, runs through a gauntlet of anti-abortion protestors screaming “Don’t kill your baby”, and makes it to the waiting room in an agitated state of mind.  She sees the counselor and is finally brought to the surgery room.  She is shown pictures of fetal development that are required by the state and can see that there is a semblance of a baby there.  She goes ahead with the abortion.

After the abortion, she goes home to rest.  She starts thinking “what if” she had had the baby?  Has she done the right thing?  She may wonder about it for years and years.  She may ultimately come to regret her decision.

And this is “taking the easy way out?”