Jada Bown Swanson: A “Plan C” Testimony

Introductory Note from Denny: If “Plan A” is the effective use of contraceptives and “Plan B” is the use of a drug that has the potential to cause the miscarriage of an unborn baby, then “Plan C” would be yet another way that one might deal with an unplanned pregnancy. An old friend of mine from college left an extended comment on my previous post “Propaganda and ‘Plan B.’” In that comment, Jada Bown Swanson shares her own “Plan C” testimony, which she has given me permission to share with all of you. What follows is Jada’s story in her own words.

Thank you, Jada, for your story with us.

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Imagine with me, a 47-year old woman in rural Louisiana in the 1970’s, already has 9 children, finds herself pregnant with her 10th child. What does she do? Well, “logic” would probably say that she should terminate the pregnancy both for health reasons and herself, as well as the health of her unborn child. However, BRAVELY this woman carries the child to full-term. I say this as best we know, since the due date the adopted parents were given was 2 months after the date the child was born. Regardless, the child, a baby girl, was born perfectly healthy.

Upon finding out she was pregnant the birth mother goes to the only lawyer in the small rural town. Very near that time a man driving to a church-sponsored event with the same lawyer tells him that he and his wife would love to adopt one more child, but the agencies say he is too old (at the time he was early 40’s). This lawyer tells the man, “Well, I am not really an adoption lawyer but if something of this nature comes my way, I will let you and your wife know.”

And well as they say, the rest is history. I was born, given up for adoption by my birth mother, who as stated previously was FORTY-SEVEN (47) YEARS OLD, already had 9 children (some of whom literally could have been my biological parents age-wise) and I not only was given the chance for human life, but ultimately was adopted by a Christian family and given the wonderful gift of starting a relationship with Jesus Christ at a young age.

I don’t take this gift of life (physical or spiritual) lightly. Nor does my husband, my children (a son who is 3 years old and a daughter who is 18 months), the people I have been given the opportunity to minister to while working for a Christian Musical Missions organization, the churches I have been on staff at, the students I have taught private music lessons, and just the people that God has allowed me the opportunity to “get into their world” and share my life with them, etc.

I am no one special. I am no one who is famous. I have made my share of mistakes, while trying to live a Christian life. I don’t claim to be perfect, but on a journey to become more like Christ. However, I was that little girl born to a 47- year old woman, who already had 9 children. I have no idea the circumstances of my conception. However, I do know some would say the “easy” way out would have been for her to have terminated the pregnancy. I ask, however, would this truly have been easy? From the stories I hear from women who have gone through abortion, the aftermath is not something I would want to deal with. The hurt. The anger. The sadness. The guilt.

I honor my birth mother for being BRAVE. For making the sacrifice physically and emotionally to give me the chance of physical life, which ultimately gave me the opportunity to have spiritual life in Christ by choosing a hard road, probably an embarrassing road, living in the rural South and being pregnant at her age, and un-married at the time.

The recent news about the approval of the “Plan B” contraceptive makes me so sad for many reasons. Why? Because this pill can cause the loss of pre-born human life. Why? Because as a church we have shunned women who get pregnant, either from pre-marital/extra-marital sex, or for horrible acts of rape. Such women will likely turn to “Plan B” as the convenient option in order to protect their reputations or that of their families. Sometimes these are even Christian families who want to “save face” and don’t want others to know they have “issues” or that they are struggling, or perhaps they aren’t perfect.

As the Body of Christ, I truly believe it is time we practice what we preach and not shun women who become pregnant. Oh, we have “programs” for them and “homes” for them, but what about the church. It is for them too.

It is not just un-churched, un-Christian women facing this situation. It is women in the church. And yes, there are consequences for actions. But as the body we need to reach out and share with these young (and mature) women that we love them, that Christ loves them.

We need to make sure they know this option, does not have to be an option. It may look like the “easy way out” for the moment, but it is not in reality. They will carry a burden with them for a lifetime. Wondering. Worrying. Carrying the burden of wondering what might have been, what could have been, what should have been.

Choosing to give life to an unborn child is not going to be easy either. There are choices to be made. Keep the child? Give it up for adoption?

I will say again, I am happy to have been given the chance at life. I used to wonder why I was given this chance. What God had planned for my life that was so important that I had been given the chance to live. If for no other reason it was so I could come to know Christ. That is the only thing I want to be known for in my life, for that decision will impact all my decisions and hopefully others will see that all I do is pointed back to that “life” opportunity and know that accomplishment is what I am most proud of because it gives me the chance to share that “life” with all I come in contact with in every situation be it home, church, work, or everyday, normal routine.

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