Maddie Runkles: My Newest Heroine!

I don’t claim to speak for all pro-lifers, but I think I speak for a good many when I say that this is exactly the wrong response to a young lady who is pregnant in high school.

Maddie Runkles attends Heritage Academy, a small Christian school in Maryland. She had been told that, because she is pregnant, she would not be allowed to attend classes any more at her school, where she maintains a 4.0 GPA. The school has since changed it’s mind and told Maddie that she may attend classes, but that she may not participate in the graduation ceremony with her class.

This makes me ill. Maddie admits that she had briefly considered abortion to save herself the embarrassment of her pregnancy becoming public. However, she quickly realized that abortion was not the right thing to do. She held a life within her, and she chose to respect that life. She ought to be hailed, congratulated, and supported in every way for choosing life for her child. Instead, she is being punished by a school that purports to teach Christian values. If mercy is not a Christian values, then there are no Christian values. And, I don’t mean mercy in the sense of the school forgiving Maddie. I mean mercy in the ancient biblical sense of showing the grace and love of God for another.

Yes, sex outside of marriage is wrong. Does Heritage Academy think Maddie somehow doesn’t know that, especially since she is now experiencing the struggles inherent in that decision? Maddie rightly points out that other students who have broken other rules have been punished, but not to the extent to which she has been punished. Why? Is it because she’s female? Is it because she, unlike those who drink, do drugs, or commit other infractions and crimes, don’t bear the burden of their choices on their bodies for the whole world to see? Does Heritage Academy think it’s decision will inspire other girls who become pregnant to choose to respect the lives of their children? More likely, any other female student in Maddie’s situation will be more tempted to choose abortion in light of their misguided policy.

Shame on Heritage Academy! I hope and pray they will see the light on their error, an error far more grave, in my mind, than any Maddie has committed. I hope and pray, too, that the pro-life community in Maryland and around the country will come to Maddie’s support and encourage her in the righteous choice she has made to respect the life of her child, even in the face of some pretty nasty consequences.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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