Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blogging Boldly

Sooo.....I found this little carnival and I decided I just had to participate and I set about to find the boldest post I've ever written. Not to flatter myself too much, but I think I've written my share of bold posts. I'm not even sure that this is THE boldest, but it is certaintly one of them and it is one that is close to my heart. So, without further ado, I am republishing this post from November 28, 2009, entitled "There Are No Mistakes".


There Are No Mistakes

Peyton is in a field where ethical issues arise frequently. I think that that is good for him and good for us. It makes us think and really examine our positions on things. The hardest part of his job, so far, has been the dispensing of one drug. Plan B. The "morning after pill".

When he was at Rite Aid, he used to just "tell a story" and tell people he didn't have it in stock. We discussed this and we decided that this was probably not the best way to confront the situation, obviously most people will just go to another pharmacy and while his conscience is clear, the rest of the story is unfolding elsewhere. So, when he made his move to Walgreens, he came up with a new policy--he would sell the drug, but only after intensive patient counseling. I think that is fair. He keeps his job, but he shares his opinions and most of all the facts, which for the most part, really speak for themselves. Most of the time though, I think, people just half listen and want to get the stuff and get out.

Lately, there have been a couple of cases that have been different. People really taking an interest and some even
seeking out his counsel. And then there was one that just really broke my heart.

A lady came in that had been raped. She was very conflicted and asked a lot of questions. Peyton did his best to answer them with grace and sensitivity. He told her his opinion but he also told her that he needed to explain the drug's mechanism and make sure she understood and then she had to decide where she stood on it. But she was very interested in what he thought of it, even asking what he'd do if his wife was raped. Of course, he told her we would not use Plan B, even under such extenuating circumstances.

I believe this so strongly. Abortion breaks my heart in a way that not many things do. Honestly, a couple of years ago, if you had asked me if I could have a stronger opinion on it I would have said no. So, a woman is carrying a rapist's terminally ill baby and the pregnancy is extremely dangerous to her own health? I still thought it should be God's choice, not hers. Period. And, I still do. But I am even more convicted of that as I write this today.

Because of Annie. Ann Peyton was a child (notice I said child, because she was our child, God's child, from the beginning) who we felt terribly unprepared for. She was a child who we felt wholly inadequate to raise. She was a child who, in the early days of my pregnancy, was ::shutter:: entirely unwanted. And yet.

She is our greatest joy (save the Lord). The most beautiful thing in the world. A constant source of delight and a another reason to cherish each day.

I know not every story turns out this well. But I also know that I will never allow anyone to use the words
mistake or even accident in my presence when describing a child. And that goes for children that are the product of rape, as well. They are not a "mistake" (of course, the method of conception was a mistake. And a sin. And an atrocity. But the baby isn't.). And God does not create "accidents". They are the beauty that rises from the ashes. They are a testament to His grace. And they are ultimately His.

Peyton asked me a question that night that I was not prepared for. I don't know why it took me by surprise; we know a man who talks with women who are seeking abortions and regularly offers to take the child if they will carry it to term (he hasn't actually been blessed by someone taking him up on his offer yet). So I shouldn't have been surprised when Peyton asked me if he could do the same. I immediately agreed. There would be no greater joy than knowing that we saved a child's life and provided a loving home for him or her. We've always talked about adopting a child with special needs, and if your Daddy was a scumbag rapist, well, it would be great for you to have your needs met in a very special way. BUT, this is not something that I think you can enter into lightly. It's something that I want to be 100% certain I could actually commit to, should someone ever take Peyton up on his offer. So, it's something we will certainly be spending time in prayer over.


Shelby said...

Came across your blog through Kingdom Twindom's. I love your post. I grew up in a home and we had a housekeeper who had a son who was out of a rape. He was a gift from God and a blessing. It is such a hard situation but I do believe that all children are a blessing from God. This was a wonderfully, 'bold' post. I'm glad I found it today! I agree w/ your every word!!

Tiffany said...

Wow! It's so great to see people who feel so strongly about something and stand up for it.

Kingdom Mama said...

Wow! Thank you for this!

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful post, Sarah! I really enjoyed reading it. I am behind you 110% on the abortion issue - but oh how my heart aches for women and girls in that position. Only through God's great grace could you raise a child conceived under such horrific circumstances and not suffer from some sort of ongoing psychological trauma. I hadn't thought about the Plan B issue from the perspective of a Christian pharmacist. I can understand that that has been hard! It sounds like Peyton's strategy is wise, honest and God-honoring. Blessings on your day!

Allison said...

Hmm. I completely respect your personal decision for abortion to not be an option for you, and i respect the fact that you (and Peyton) want to educate others on the topic so they know what they're actually doing. I do think it was wrong for Peyton to lie about not having Plan B at the pharmacy, and I'm glad he's changed his practice to a much more ethical, fair method. I honestly think that if I ever knew of someone lying to me that way, I would have serious problems with it, and would probably report it to someone.

Personally, there is no way I can believe that God intends on everything that happens. Don't Christians believe that God allows people to choose their actions? He allowed that man to choose to rape that woman, even though it wasn't right. Tell me what good would come out of a situation in which a woman is raped, becomes pregnant, goes through serious mental instability through her pregnancy because of it, dies while giving birth, and the baby dies also? This is an extreme case, sure, but completely possible.

I have to respectfully disagree with you when you say that even someone that's entering into an extremely dangerous pregnancy by a man that raped her should, under all circumstances, continue with the pregnancy. I honestly don't know what I would do, and I don't think anyone could say they know 100% what they would do, either, unless you're in the situation.

Anyway, this is your blog, and you should be honest and open about your opinions and beliefs on a topic you're discussing. But I just wanted to share my perspective with you, as well.

Christy said...

you are brave to post this :)

I agree with you and I disagree with what Allison said. I DO think it is possible to know what you would do in that situation. You know whether you would have it in you to murder or not-plain and simple. Good for you.

Sarah Denley said...

Allison, Peyton and I both agree that the way he previously handled the situation was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. I hope I didn't sugar coat that in the post. I do think he was in a hard situation though: go against his morals or risk loosing his job.

I certainly do NOT think God plans for horrible things to happen and I tried to make that clear in my post. I think, though, that he can and does bring good out of every situation. I think much good could come out of the situation you described. For one thing, that woman and her baby's life would be such a testimony.

I guess you can say that no one could know 100% for sure what they would do. I could say that in the same sense that I don't know that I would never cheat on Peyton, steal a car, ect...

or the most obvious example in my mind, I don't *know* that I wouldn't murder another human being. Which to me is the exact same thing.

I don't think it's fair to say that NO ONE knows 100% what they would do. Unless you're saying that no one knows 100% about the above examples, either.

Thanks for your comment. As always, I WELCOME the respectful sharing of differing opinions.

Peyton said...

I think that if a person has a very real threat against their life by having a child, and the child is not going to "possibly" cause pregnancy problems, but will in fact cause them to nearly die, the pregnancy should be carried as far as reasonably possible, then the baby should be removed, and neo-natal care initiated. These situations RARELY come up, so I'd rather focus on the other points in the post. First, I did lie when I said we were out of the medicine (when I couldn't make it not present in the pharmacy by under ordering it); But I always pointed someone to a nearby pharmacy that DID have it in stock, I'd either point them to one, or call ahead to be sure the medicine was there. I disagree with my thinking now; but I do think there is such thing as a morally and ethically acceptable lie.

Also, I agree with Allison, God does allow people to violate others and sin. This is the sad part of our great gift of freedom. We're free to do whatever we'd like, including hurt others. God gives us free choice, and we must use it wisely. But by allowing the violation, God in no way causes it. We must do the best with the situations we have. I think for my I was wrong initially, and am making a good moral choice now. I think the rape victim would be best served by allowing for adoption (which she didn't), rather than taking a medicine which could hurt a possible human person.

This is the last point: Is a zygote a human person? or does it take attachment before we consider it a human, or is it later? It's a fair question, and not mine to answer since I have no definate evidence for when we gain our humanity. Den and I play it save and don't use birth control, but I can also see plan B being morally acceptable, I just don't have enough evidence to know when this starts and it's not my call to make for people.

also, for clarification, Plan B is not "the abortion pill", that is a medication that causes a medically induced abortion as defined by the medical community; so don't mix these two up- something I also tell patients. said...

I agree with you 100% but I guess I have a technical question, only because I don't really know how it works.. but if plan b is not the abortion pill what is it and why is it still wrong? I thought it just kept pregnancy from happening and didn't end it once it happened.
Thank you for your post. I'm sure in your position it's very difficult but I think hearing your story that you are a blessing to these women.

Jessi said...

I think it's wonderful that he counsels with people and shows he cares. So many people just need someone to care and listen. It's awesome you two are considering adopting these babies if the need arises. Praying for you as you make these tough decisions.

Sarah Denley said...


Your question is a great one. And a hard one. The way that Plan B works is that once the egg and sperm have met it stops them from attaching in the uterus. It essentially makes the uterus too hostile to support a pregnancy. That is one of the mechanisms in all forms of oral contraceptives, actually (which is why Peyton and I don't use them).

Some people would say that the zygote is not actually a "human" before attachment and thus this is not an abortion. I disagree with them.

The medicine that is known as the "abortion pill" actually induces a chemical abortion AFTER implantation has occurred, once the baby has begun to grow in the uterus.

Thanks for your question; I hope was able to explain it clearly.

Allison said...

I think you chose the right post for your "blogging boldly" theme! look at all these comments. i dream of one day getting 11 comments on one post.

Anonymous said...

I know you mean well, and as a fellow pro-life supporter, I too am not happy about Plan B nor RU-486; however, I don't want my pharmacist involved in my personal life. I think that the morality discussion should be left to a minister and the mechanism of action to the prescribing physician. I expect a pharmacist to inform me of drug to drug interactions, not morality.

Sarah Denley said...

Ha! Keep in mind 3 of the 11 came from Peyton or myself.

I don't mean this to sound condescending, but to get Plan B you need neither a prescription nor a prescribing physician*. Thus, unless you take it upon yourself to read the package insert (most people don't) your main method of finding out about the mechanism is from your pharmacist.

*Don't get me started on that. In many college towns they sell the stuff like Skittles, because people use it as their main form of birth control!

Also, I believe that there are some people who would morally object to the way the drug worked if they knew, but would not feel comfortable seeking a minister's counsel on the situation.

Furthermore, Peyton is not preaching a sermon from behind his pharmacy counter. As I said, for the most part, the facts really speak for themselves. If people ask his opinion, as in the case I mentioned in the post, he will certainly not hide it from them. But, he is very careful not to let his own zeal for the issue get in the way of informing his patients on how the drug works. In most cases, he just shares the facts and let's the person establish their own opinion. If they are genuinely concerned, many times they will ASK for his opinion, which he then gives.

Thanks for your comment! said...

I think you are absolutely right.. people like me would have no clue how it works. You listen to the commercial and it sounds so innocent. Thank you so much not only for your blog post, which was great by the way, but also for your explanation. I really had no idea. I guess some of us just float through life not even getting the concept. Glad I've never been down that road. Thank you again.. thank you for your husband for sharing with his patients and thank you for your explanation! said...

ok.. I have to say just one more thing, sorry..
I just agree and am so encouraged to hear your opinion on abortion. I feel exactly the same way. I wanted to share that my favorite teacher was pregnant with her third child.. when she found out she had advanced cancer. The doctors very strongly advised her to abort to save her life because the pregnancy was just going to be too much on her body. She refused. She was such a peaceful woman. She did live to deliver the baby and for a short while after, but the Lord called her home. I will never forget her words that she couldn't even dream of aborting this baby. She had lived such a wondeful life and this baby had not asked to be there, how could she end this childs life to save hers?
Thank you again!

Allison said...

ok, I have a couple more things to say about this, then I promise (maybe) I'm done.

First of all, I think it's crazy that you don't have to have a prescription or a prescribing physician to get Plan B! Don't you have to have a prescription for all other forms of birth control? (side tangent: I went to the MC nurse practitioner my senior year of college for something unrelated, but asked for a birth control prescription, and she told me she couldn't prescribe me birth control while she was working during MC hours! Seriously, that is horrible. I was so pissed.) I had no idea Plan B didn't require any consultation before purchasing.

Also, as everyone that read my first comment can tell, I am not entirely pro-life. I do think that it's the woman's right to choose, and in certain cases I wouldn't blame someone for wanting/getting an abortion. But I myself wouldn't be able to do it, I don't think. I had thought about getting Mirena, the birth control implant thing, at one time because it was cheaper and easier than being on the pill. I started researching it and discovered that it works a lot like Plan B (doesn't allow the fertilized egg to attach). Knowing that, I wasn't able to go through with getting it--it just didn't feel right for me.

My point is that even those of us that don't take a strong stance on either side of the pro-life/pro-choice debate, after hearing what the drug does, may decide it's not something we want to go through with. I hope I make sense...

Sarah Denley said...

That is a good point. There are many things that I can say "I believe this for myself, but if you believe something else then that is fine" about. Clearly,this is not one of them. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinions. But I do believe we live if a world where moral absolutes exist. And obviously, I feel that this is one of them.

I think I'm probably going to have to do a whole post on this in the near future.

That said, I am glad that you first made sure you were informed. And second, made what I believe is the only truly ethical decision regarding it.

Sarah Denley said...

P.S. Allison- Re: your reference to the number of comments....

Peyton is pissed off that I "overshadowed his Santa post" because he got zero comments! HAHAHA!

Tiffany said...

What a powerful post! I'm so glasd you decided to re-share this one, because I wasn't reading your blog then. Bless you both for giving thought to giving adoption serious thought, under any circumstances! ~Blessings!

Elle said...

I was just browsing through your blog (I hope you don't think I am creeping!) ;) but anyways, I am so happy to find someone with the same values on being pro-life as me! I am in college and it is crazy how many of my friends are on the Pill. I have done research recently about it and I have found it to be morally wrong for me. And not to mention I am Catholic and we all know their stance on it. Basically I wanted to say thank you for sharing your opinion with everyone.

Also, I had never thought about adopting babies of rape victims. So inspiring! It makes me interested in one day pursuing that option. :)