Thursday, February 04, 2016

An Open Letter to Jemima Kirke (Star of Girls)

An Open Letter to Jemima Kirke
(Star of Girls)

Dear Jemima,

Besides sharing the lovely name of my grandmother you also have this in common: Your life has had its share of difficulties. I thought of her in some of her trials as I watched you share the story of your abortion.

I assume the intention of a video like this is to make me think. It worked and how I wish we could sit down over a dinner at my house and talk in person. In lieu of that, may I interact with some of your ideas here? Your words are in italics. Mine follow.

In 2007 I became pregnant with my boyfriend at the time

I know you know this, but you did not have to get pregnant. You and your boyfriend could have had a very meaningful, enjoyable and sexless relationship. I simply want to point out that although your pregnancy might have surprised you, it was not by accident nor was it spontaneous. You became pregnant because you had sex with your boyfriend. That was a choice you made. 

I think that is important because all of our decisions have consequences. How we respond to them is so crucial to who we become as a person.

I wasn't sure I wanted to be attached to this person (your boyfriend) for the rest of my life - my life was just not conducive to raising a healthy happy child - I just didn't feel it was fair, so I decided to get an abortion and I went to Planned Parenthood

I can understand your concern about marrying the right person. I stressed over that decision, too. But there is a jump in your logic. You go from concluding the relationship was not conducive to raising a child, directly to aborting that child. Did you notice that you called your child a “child?” I did. 

But if your concern was really for that child in your womb, you would have never killed it. Lots of wonderful people I know adopt children. Sometimes family members who understand the predicament you are in offer to take the child. There are hundreds of options for that child. You say you did not feel it was “fair” to your child to bring it into the complex world in which you then lived, but was it fair to her to end her life?

Because I couldn't tell my mother that I was pregnant I had to pay for it out of pocket

I understand this, too. There is a stigma attached to unwed pregnancies. I don’t know enough about your relationship with your mom to comment much more than that, but I do know that every major city in North America has a Pregnancy Care Centre where very kind and loving women will help you navigate those waters. 

We are terrible predictors of the future. I have watched many delicate situations between mothers and daughters end up wonderfully. Not every time. But often. Especially when they realize that regardless of the circumstances of the pregnancy, new life is here. 

reproductive issues are something women especially should be able to talk through together

Again, I agree with you. In fact, that is what I am trying to do, even though I am a man. But I have noticed that you need a man to get into this situation. Oh, for more men to step up and exercise their responsibilities. I honour the man who has the courage to tell the women he got pregnant that he will take care of everything. Whether that is financially supporting the new mom  and child or helping arrange an adoption.  Men are more of the problem here than we often admit.

(I’m) a mother of two… I have two daughters and I would love it if when they're older… that the political issues surrounding their bodies were not there anymore

I respectfully disagree with you here on two fronts. 

First, these are not political issues, but issues of right and wrong. I realize that sounds pre-historic to a culture that has abandoned itself to moral relativity, but we still think things like theft and murder are wrong and there is a reason for that. Just as we know, intuitively, that the fetus in a woman is a living person. We can deny these things and spin our words, but our consciences tell us differently. So, this is not politics in the way that budgets and highway planning are. This is right and wrong. And abortion is wrong. 

Second, I think you are counting incorrectly. Like you said at the start, you chose to abort a person. And that means you are a mother to three, not two.

I could be wrong, but I think your talking about your abortion has more to do with assuaging your conscience than it does about reproductive rights. I think you know what you did was wrong in the eyes of your Creator. 

Did you know the most surprising pregnancy of all happened 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem? Mary was young, poor, single, about to endure social scorn and (miraculously) pregnant with Jesus. He was born into the world to live the perfect, sinless life we never could and to be our substitute when it came to the punishment for all our sins. 

I needed a Saviour. So do you. Your abortion was wrong and sinful, but God sent Jesus into the world to die in the place of wrong and sinful people like you and me. If you admit that guilt, rather than bury it and justify it, you can be sure God will forgive you. He forgave me and I am sure I have done far worse than you. And with that salvation He will give us that peace and wholeness for which our hearts crave.


Paul Martin