Book Review: If I Could Speak (Mark Jones)

Book review by James Jeffery

Stories and images have the power to change perspectives and beliefs about the world. Jones understands this, and this is why If I Could Speak is such an emotionally gripping argument against the now socially acceptable practice of abortion.

If you know any women who are considering an abortion, you must get them this short book, as it wields the potential to change their mind and lead them to embrace the gift of life rather than throw it away. God-willing, it will illuminate the eyes of pregnant women to see the wonderful gift God has given them, and the privilege it is to be the mother of a child.

Rather than tackling the issue polemically, this book masterfully communicates the horrors of abortion through the medium of narrative. If I Could Speak recounts the story of a fictional, unborn baby girl named Zoe who seeks to convince her mother to go forward with the pregnancy and experience the joys of motherhood.

“My senses are all developing and one of my favourite things is happening now: I can hear your voice. Can you please keep talking to your friends and singing in the shower? And, wow, I really love it when you laugh; it’s like a mini-earthquake in here when you do” (p. 8)

As you walk with Zoe through the fifteen letters, you begin to see that what is commonly referred to as a ‘clump of cells’ is actually a distinct living and breathing human being. Every mother will be able to relate to this extraordinary experience, and this book will draw you into the intimate relationship that exists between a daughter and her mother. 

We all know that the most effective way to communicate the wickedness and depravity of men during the holocaust is to show images of the atrocities the Nazis committed against those considered ‘undesirable.’ In the same way, while this may seem shocking to some readers, there is no better way to communicate the horrors of abortion than to graphically explain the process itself. Only when we are aware of the brutality of abortion will we begin to see it for what it is: murder.

Jones taps into the tragic reality of what actually happens in an abortion procedure, though he does so in an ingenious way. Zoe pleads with her mother to consider what she will be subjected to if her mother chooses to go ahead with the abortion.

“From what the doctor said, the abortionist will insert a large suction catheter into your uterus in order to empty it of the amniotic fluid. When the fluid is removed, the sopher clamp (an instrument with sharp ‘teeth) will pull my arms and legs from my body… I want you to know that I will fight. As a helpless, dependent baby I don’t stand much of a chance… This may be my last letter. Who knows? Only you and God” (pp. 53-54)

If you or someone you know are considering getting an abortion, Zoe will scream out to you and give you every reason you need to stop considering abortion as an option. Like me, you may be brought to tears as you are confronted with the terrible reality of what thousands of unborn children are subjected to every day.

At the same time, if you have had an abortion and are wrestling with the guilt and shame of your decision, Zoe will call you to trust in the gospel — the good news that sinners (including women who have sought abortions) can be wholly forgiven and can stand cleansed in the sight of God because of Jesus Christ.

There’s a good chance that if you buy this book for someone considering an abortion, you may just save a precious human life.

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