Christianity,  Entertainment,  Politics

An MTV Abortion

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 — 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 — because it promised to keep them out of poverty, and to let them give their first daughter opportunities they never had…

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 this…

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.


  • paul

    One small glimmer of hope comes from this — hopefully, other teens who watch MTV will see the anguish that this young woman has gone through and have second thoughts as well.

    You know what I wonder? Where were any of the pro-life associations out there during this? Wouldn’t this have been a far better use of ad buying resources than the Super Bowl? Just a thought from my overly cynical mind, I reckon…

  • Ryan

    Wow, that is gut-wrenching.

    The girl was advised by the abortion provider to not think about fingers and toes, but just a blob of cells…

    The other girl who had an abortion claimed that it would have been harder to go through with the pregnancy and then adopt it out because of the emotional burden it would put her through.

    And another one claimed their decision to get an abortion was a “parenting decision” in which they were doing what was best for their child.

    God have mercy on us.

  • Kristopher Grimes

    I don’t normally comment on blogs but I do enjoy reading this blog on a regular basis. As I read this post, I couldn’t help but think of my seven year old son who is sitting on the couch with the flu. I was up all night with him and had to miss an important day at work. Parenting is difficult. But I can’t imagine not having the joy of my son in my life.

    Not only do I pray for the salvation of these young parents, but I also pray for the daughter that was allowed to live. I pray that God’s grace and mercy surrounds and protects her. Because if her parents can abort a child after already giving birth to their daughter, then their perspectives on parenting and their motives are completely self-serving, regardless of how often they claim they are killing one baby for the good of their living child.

    Thanks for posting this. Though it is difficult to read about such depravity, it is necessary at times to be reminded that we live in a world where killing a child is both a convenience and fodder for television. It truly is reality TV. I thank God that there will be a time when sin will be turned on its head once and for all and such evil won’t even be hypothetical. Until then, we have much work to do.

    Jesus come quickly!!!

  • Ryan

    Good thoughts Kristopher and thanks for chiming in.

    I think there is something in the video that shows how much of our depravity is wrapped up in self-deception. I listened to the girls talk in the video about abortion and their thoughts were filled with delusion mantras that they have just absorbed from the depraved culture around them.

  • Sheryl

    What a struggle for that young family! With no voices confirming what her heart told her, with no support system (from what I’ve read), the choice isn’t surprising. The post-abortion rationalization isn’t either. Given the portrayed circumstances, how else can she protect her heart?

    Your admonishment to pray won’t go unheeded. Thank you.

  • Gabrielle

    This is a sad story, but not representative of all stories concerning the dilemma of abortion. To be pro-choice is NOT to be pro-abortion. I believe in freedom of choice, but certainly not in abortion–any unplanned pregnancy for me would not result in abortion, but I absolutely believe in every woman’s right to consider this as her choice.

    It is important to portray all aspects of the choice concerning abortion as objectively (yet humanely) and accurately as possible. MTV did a good job of illustrating the heartbreak surrounding this particular couple’s decision. (Such painful deliberation is commonly a part of this process, which always makes me wonder why pro-lifers seem to think that making abortion a choice justifies promiscuity. Abortion is always a deeply affecting choice, and there is no data to support that abortion as an option leads to an increase in sexual activity in women.) My concern with this article is that it subtly paints everyone who believes in the individual’s right to choose as people who deliberately cloak their actions and motivations with evasions…an interestingly evasive and subversive tactic.

  • Ryan K.


    Would you support a Mom aborting her three month old if he or she became to much of a burden? Or in other words why do you support the choice of a mom to kill her child at any stage of he or she’s development?

    If you disagree with it being a child than I would ask what makes abortion “sad”? I have always wondered why pro-choice folks believe abortion should be “rare” as Clinton said or that it is a tragic thing. Why? No one mourns when people have their wisdom teeth removed, or when someone has a mole removed from their skin. If an unborn baby is not human than what is there to be sad about?

    I do not ask these things to put you on the hot seat or anything like that, I sincerely put them forth because the issue is so critical we all need to think as clearly as possible about it.

  • Phil Vander Ploeg

    Breaks my heart! I don’t think I could watch that show. I would get too frustrated with the people who are advising this girl to have an abortion. Lord have mercy…she has no idea what she is doing.

  • J.A. Swanson


    My heart breaks for this young woman. Sure, she had a choice, but she was misinformed. How, please, was aborting this child, the “best decision” for the child, or even the parents? PLEASE!

    Denny, you know my story. SO THANKFUL my biological mom didn’t choose to abort me. So thankful she gave me the chance to live, even if not with her raising me.

    So thankful that the children our family will soon be fostering (and hopefully adopting) weren’t aborted, too. But are just waiting for us to be matched up and for them to be brought into our family to be loved and cared for.

    Once again, I believe this is a call to the us, the CHURCH, to STEP UP!

    Foster-parent children. Adopt children from our country (the foster care system, private adoptions) and around the world.

    Mentor kids, who are without a mom and/or dad.

    As well, come along side of young moms/dads/families, even if they aren’t part of ‘your church’ and help them.

    Open our eyes to see the hurting among us. They are there. Yet, it might require you to step OUTSIDE of your COMFORT ZONE.

    Live out our faith, practically and tangibly. Help them to know they are not alone.

    This might not stop all abortions, but it could make a small difference.

    Get engaged in this issue. Do something about it.

    We all can, you know?

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