Last week I saw a news story about the MTV program “16 and Pregnant,” which was set to air an episode featuring a young mother who chose to have an abortion. The mother’s name is Markai Durham, and she already had one child when she became pregnant a second time. She and the father decided that they didn’t have the resources to raise a second child, and that is why they chose to end the life growing inside her. The story of her first pregnancy and birth was the subject of an episode last November (full episode here). The story of her decision to abort her second child aired last Tuesday (full episode here).
Last Tuesday’s program is titled “No Easy Decision”, and it is divided into two parts. The first part covers Durham’s decision to have an abortion. The second part is an interview about the abortion with the show’s host. By the end of the interview, Durham is in tears. The host is clearly pro-choice and tries to reassure her that she’s made the right decision. But I don’t think she buys it. It appears that her conscience is working against both what the host is telling her and the pro-choice slogans coming out of her own mouth.
Ross Douthat editorializes for The New York Times on the program, and he is worth quoting at length. He writes:
It was a heartbreaking spectacle, whatever your perspective. Durham and her boyfriend are the kind of young people our culture sets adrift â€” working-class and undereducated, with weak support networks, few authority figures, and no script for sexual maturity beyond the easily neglected admonition to always use a condom. Their televised agony was a case study in how abortion can simultaneously seem like a moral wrong and the only possible solution â€” because it promised to keep them out of poverty, and to let them give their first daughter opportunities they never hadâ€¦
On the MTV special, the people around Durham swaddle abortion in euphemism. The being inside her is just “pregnancy tissue.” After the abortion, she recalls being warned not to humanize it: “If you think of it like [a person], you’re going to make yourself depressed.” Instead, “think of it as what it is: nothing but a little ball of cells.”
It’s left to Durham herself to cut through the evasion. Sitting with her boyfriend afterward, she begins to cry when he calls the embryo a “thing.” Gesturing to their infant daughter, she says, “A ‘thing’ can turn out like that. That’s what I remember … ‘Nothing but a bunch of cells’ can be her.”
When we want to know this, we know thisâ€¦
This is the paradox of America’s unborn. No life is so desperately sought after, so hungrily desired, so carefully nurtured. And yet no life is so legally unprotected, and so frequently destroyed.
Douthat is right. The humanity of the unborn is plain as day, and “when we want to know this, we know this.” Indeed, this young woman’s conscience knows this, in spite of the pro-choice justifications she’s picked up along the way. On her Facebook page, Durham writes,
“I get sad from time to time thinking about it but then everything happens for a reason. God gave me 3 paths to take abortion, adoption, or raising this baby along with another. I chose this path and I think about how stressing things would have been if I haven’t made the one I’ve made.”
“It was only an embryo, not a baby not a fetus when I was pregnant. So that’s what I believe now and I know one day God will give me that embryo that turns into a baby back to me once we’re more better :)”
This young mother has fallen prey to the stealth contradictions of pro-choice dogma, and there are countless others like her who will do the same. Pray for this young girl. Pray for the unborn. Pray that the moral insanity that has gripped our culture will give way to truth.