I was catching up with a friend the other day, and she was telling me about counseling a coworker who was pregnant and being urged to get an abortion.  My friend was the only one in this girl’s life who was telling her to keep her child.  Over lunch, they discussed the girl’s options.

She told my friend she couldn’t find a single reason to have the baby, seeming to challenge my friend to tell her why she shouldn’t have the abortion.

Not that long ago, the burden of proof would have been with her. Why should my friend have to prove that she should give life to her child?  What the heck has happened with our world, that the burden of proof lies with the person advocating for the baby’s life?!

As my friend talked to her about allowing her baby to live, she brought up the option of adoption.  If the girl didn’t feel that she could raise the child, and if she felt the child would be a burden, why not give the baby up for adoption?

“Oh, I couldn’t do that,” the girl replied.  “I couldn’t carry the baby for 9 months and then just give it away.”

The next week, she aborted the baby, despite my friend’s attempts to change her mind and all the information she gave her to direct her to pregnancy centers where she could find free help.

Yes, adoption would have been hard– an enormous sacrifice.  I propose that it is the hidden sacrificial act of our day.

So many of our young girls find themselves in these difficult situations.  Perhaps there was one night, one choice, when she made a selfish decision.  A selfish act that thought only of herself, her desires, and her passions.  She gave herself to another, perhaps to someone she barely knows.

She now has the opportunity to perform an entirely selfless act.  She has the opportunity to give a part of herself to another, to a married couple she barely even knows.  After carrying a baby for nine months and giving her life to the baby — who takes, takes, takes from her– she then “just gives it away.”  She gives him away to a couple who is waiting expectantly for a baby to call their own.  She gives life to the couple as she gives life to her child.

Perhaps my friend’s coworker felt to give her baby up for adoption would be admitting she wasn’t capable of caring for her child.  Or perhaps she knew it would be hard to behold the child’s bright eyes and little fingers and then never see him again.  So instead she made another selfish choice.

To “just give it away,” might seem callous, cowardly, or unloving.  But it’s often the loving action.  The selfless decision. The heroic act.