This past week has seen plenty of controversy in the Canadian media over the decision by Cineplex to show the pro-life film “Unplanned”. It seems to be an inordinate amount of controversy since Cineplex is showing it in no more than 14 theatres and for no longer than 1 week, but I digress. Unplanned is the true story about Abby Johnson, a former clinic director with Planned Parenthood (which in Canada, works under the name Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights) who walked away from the abortion industry and became a passionate advocate for the rights of the unborn.
All of this media attention got me thinking about the whole idea of a pregnancy being “unplanned”. Is any pregnancy truly unplanned? If yes, from whose perspective? If no, then what do we do with that?
According to the Biblical worldview, all human beings are made in the image of God:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the
fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every
creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 ESV)
This inherent value that God has placed on each and every one of us begins in the womb:
For you formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13-14a)
Therefore, since God has created each person in His image and has personally “knit” us together in our respective mothers’ womb, we understand that all human beings from a one-second old embryo to someone as old as Kane Tanaka (currently the world’s oldest living person) is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and as such, has an intrinsically valuable life.
So… to answer the question I posed above: our Sovereign, wise, and loving God has actually planned each and every life that has ever begun. From His perspective, there are no “unplanned” pregnancies. Now please hear me out. That is not to minimize the circumstances around pregnancies that we view as unplanned. From the human perspective and experience many unplanned things happen, including pregnancies. These unplanned moments can be incredibly hard to handle, often feeling unbearable.
If that is a position that you or someone you know is in, or even may think you are in, may I encourage you to speak with someone about it? In the Fraser Valley area, Hope for Women offers free counseling, free pregnancy tests, and free ultrasounds for women who are wondering what to do next. They also offer post-abortion counseling to women who are struggling with emotions, thoughts, and feelings after an abortion. You do not need to suffer alone.
Lastly, no matter what you or I have done in our lives, if we’ve been involved in abortion or not, we are all in the same boat. We are all broken, hurting, sinful image bearers who need saving from ourselves. None of us can claim innocence. We’ve all hurt others with our words or actions, we’ve all had thoughts we are ashamed of. And yet, even though we have sinned against God and against each other, forgiveness is available. This same God who knit us together graciously offers us forgiveness and promises us an eternity without the brokenness and sin that we all are currently enduring through the life, death, resurrection, and reign of His Son, Jesus Christ. For that…we simply must turn from our sin, and put our faith in Him.
If you would like to speak with a pastor, we would be happy to sit down with you, listen to you, and pray with you. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re interested in seeing Unplanned in theatres, here is a list of where you can see it. Warning: this movie does show dramatic and graphic reenactments of different abortion procedures. It is not easy to watch.
Also, here is an excellent blog on the abortion industry in Canada, by Steve Kim from Apologetics Canada.
Grace and peace to you all.