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A Letter Home (Reflecting on Abortion)
Rev Dr George Byron Koch
22 January 2023
Gosh, can you believe it's 2023 already? I'm still writing "22" on nearly everything. Seems like just yesterday I was sitting in first grade celebrating the century change!
I know we haven't chatted since Christmas. Sorry. Anyway, I have a few things to tell you and I really didn't want to call and talk face-to-face.
Ted's had a promotion, and I should be up for a hefty raise this year if I keep putting in those crazy hours. You know how I work at it. Yes, we're still really struggling with the bills. You were right about overbuying on the house, but it IS nice.
Timmy's been "okay" at kindergarten although he's still not happy about going. But then he wasn't happy about daycare either, so what can you do?
He's become a real problem, Mom. He's a good kid, but quite honestly he's an unfair burden at this time in our lives. Ted and I have talked this through and through and finally made a choice. Plenty of other families have made it and are much better off.
I don't expect you to "understand," but you need to be sensitive to our circumstances. I can't afford years of parenting with Timothy and have any sort of career, much less any time with my husband. Do you know how long its been since we just went out together?
Our pastor is supportive and says hard decisions sometimes are necessary. The family is a "system" and the demands of one member shouldn't be allowed to ruin the whole. He told us to be prayerful, consider ALL the factors, and do what is right to make the family work. He says that even though he probably wouldn't do it himself, the decision really is ours. He referred us to a children's clinic near here, so at least that part's easy.
I'm not an uncaring mother. I do feel sorry for the little guy. I think he overheard Ted and me talking about "it" the other night. I turned around and saw him standing on the bottom step in his pj's with the little bear you gave him under his arm and his eyes sort of welling up. The way he looked at me just about broke my heart. But I honestly believe this is better for Timothy too. It's not fair to force him to live in a family where there isn't enough money or room.
Please don't give me the kind of grief Grandma gave you over your abortions. It's the same thing, you know. Anyway, they say the termination procedure is painless.
I guess it's just as well you haven't seen that much of him. Love to Dad.
Copyright 1989 by George Byron Koch. This fictional "letter home" has been reprinted in many publications, including NOEL News, Christian Action Council Newsletter, the SCP Journal, and numerous parish newsletters around the country. It is intended to show how easily arguments about rights, convenience, choice, quality of life and family systems theory have been abused - even by pastors and parents - to justify unethical and immoral decisions, and make them sound levelheaded and reasonable. It is chilling to read, and many have wept openly while taking it in, but there was a time when abortion was considered just as chilling, immoral and indefensible. Now that we, as a society, have decided abortion is a right and a choice, even some pastors justify it using the precise arguments above in this letter. It is the author's hope that this will lead us to seek God's face and will in how we regard the taking of life, and especially that of the youngest and most defenseless.