Michelle: Rina, a 23-year-old girl, writes to tell us that she is thinking about aborting her baby. This, she said, was a result of a one night stand with someone she just met. She is ashamed that she’s pregnant because she’s not the “type.” She can even consider herself conservative. It’s just that she drank too much one time when she was going through some life issues and was having a blast. What’s she to do?

My answer to her: face the consequences and don’t make another mistake by harming herself and her unborn child. Being single and pregnant is not the end of the world or the end of your life. And it certainly is not a reason to end a life.

DJ: The social stigma regarding out-of-wedlock births is loosening. Sure, getting pregnant outside marriage can create some complications. Still, I strongly suggest that Rina keep her baby. Even if she made a mistake, it doesn’t mean she has to keep making other mistakes.

Abortion might be an easy way out for a possible disgrace. But the embarrassment is only even temporary. People will pretty much move on with their lives or to other concerns. But the consequence of taking the unborn child’s life is permanent. She will have to deal with its consequence for the rest of her life. It’s not the baby’s fault that Rina got pregnant. To kill an innocent unborn child because his or her mother made a wrong choice is bound to cause her many more problems.

M: I know it is difficult to live in fear or shame. The things that we did in the past that we are not proud of can and will haunt us. But life cannot be lived by constantly looking back and regretting the things we did or did not do.

There is more to our lives than our mistakes. And if we learn from them, ask for forgiveness or forgive those who have hurt us, we can move forward to a better and brighter future. Having a child is a blessing, even if the circumstances leading to it was something one is not proud of or happy about.

DJ: It’s better that she start sharing her circumstance with people who matter to her. Rina’s situation isn’t easy. To carry a baby to full term, she needs a support group to help her air out her fears and worries about the future, and to encourage her in more ways than one.

She and her baby should be on top of her to-do list. She needs to remember that it is ultimately she who will determine how she’ll feel and think about her pregnancy. It’s easier said than done, but I hope she’ll summon the courage to dwell less on what other people think and feel about her situation. It’s her life. And it’s her baby. Focus more on how she can provide for her child, learn about pregnancy.

Read, talk to family and friends, consult her doctor and learn as much as she can, particularly about its emotional implications. At least when she begins to experience new and disturbing emotions, she will no longer be surprised by them.

M: abortion is something many feel strongly against. Why snuff the life out of someone who is innocent and defenseless? Before doing something wrong, think of the ways that you can make things right. It is good to pray and discern well. Life is precious and every child is a blessing. Don’t worry about what others will think. As the saying goes: Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind, don’t matter.

DJ: Rina might have made a wrong choice but resolving to keep her baby is the best moving forward decision she can ever make. Having a child can positively change a parent’s life in a profound way. It inspires living a purposeful life. And when life has meaning beyond the empty confines of self-gratification, a mother like Rina can have a shot at real happiness. There is joy in her experience too. It is a blessing to have the chance to raise a kind, loving, wonderful child who will make this world an even better place.

I hope she will not let other people tell her how she should think or feel. She and her baby are far more important that what they say. It’s her life. It’s her baby. And I pray that she will decide on a path that will bring honor to her and to the life of a beautiful child she’s carrying.