It’s one thing to be staunchly pro-life while never having been a parent or pregnant. It’s another thing entirely to go through the experience of being with child and becoming a parent yourself, and emerge from that strange and wonderful journey with the exact same level of conviction as before.
On the flip side of pregnancy, I found myself a different person entirely. My status as a pro-life warrior, something I had held onto proudly since the age of 16, was of a different flavor. Not only had my understanding of life’s sanctity deepened, the empathy I had for others who faced pregnancy with less support than I had been blessed with and surrounded by had grown.
My body no longer looked the same. Among other things, there were stretch marks where there had previously been clear skin, and I had a horizontal scar marking the spot where my stubborn son, not content to enter the world in the “normal” way, was pulled out during a C-section that brought my 17 hours of labor to an end.
I didn’t feel the same afterward. The first ten days post-surgery were marked by exhaustion, difficulty completing the most basic tasks, lack of appetite, and trouble walking even short distances. Then, of course, there was the omnipresent pain in my low abdomen. I was an aching, overwhelmed, emotional mess. But taking it all in, and staring lovingly at our beautiful son, only confirmed that I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
3,000 Babies Are Aborted Every Day
We live in a culture of death. Terrorists kill on a weekly basis, with no regard for innocent life. Euthanasia, increasing in mainstream popularity, is promoted as “death with dignity”, and to many, disagreeing with it means you must lack compassion. Equally egregious is the fact that approximately 3,000 unborn lives are destroyed through the legal homicide of abortion each day in the United States, and it’s labeled as “choice.” Three thousand unique individuals, whose human worth was established at conception, will cease to exist by the end of today. Tomorrow, 3,000 more will join them, most to be forgotten forever by those who biologically contributed to their creation.
Some of the most popular reasons cited for choosing abortion relate to how much a child might interrupt one’s life, or increase financial or relationship pressures. The Guttmacher Institute’s (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) fact sheet, dubbed “Induced Abortion in the United States” from May 2016, says as much.
The reasons patients gave for having an abortion underscored their understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life. The three most common reasons—each cited by three-fourths of patients—were concern for or responsibility to other individuals; the inability to afford a child; and the belief that having a baby would interfere with work, school, or the ability to care for dependents. Half said they did not want to be a single parent, or were having problems with their husband or partner.
We Need To Be Pro-Woman, As Well As Pro-Baby
If we look at things honestly, a vast majority of the reasons given for terminating a pregnancy are things normal to most pregnancies. As my older brother told me years ago, “if you wait until you’re financially able to have a kid… you’ll never have kids.” This is true because adding another person to your life is quite costly. Preparing for and sustaining children isn’t easy on most bank accounts. But each life is beautiful, and each life is worth it. The expense of child-rearing should never determine whether or not a child should be allowed breath on this side of the womb.
The same can be said for other common excuses. The Guttmacher Institute believes those who have chosen abortion understand the responsibilities of parenthood. But they clearly don’t, because responsibilities associated with having a child never justify legally protected homicide. Never. Oh, children may interrupt your life? Yes. They will. They’ll interrupt every facet of it, and those interruptions will be worth every minute of exhaustion and uncertainty. I’m beginning to experience these interruptions as a new mom, and yet even on the most trying days, the beauty and wonder of life supersedes all.
Though our miracle of a son was planned and excitedly prepared for, many are caught off guard by the stark reality before them and feel there is nowhere to turn. This does not mean that “inconvenient” unborn life should be discarded. However, it does mean we should extend compassion—and when we can, help—toward those whose situations are less than ideal. We should preach a message that’s pro-life, pro-woman, and pro-baby. All can be healthy and whole.
What An Olympic Runner Can Teach Us About Motherhood
Take, for instance, the story of 1500m runner, Sarah Brown. 2016 was to be her year at the Rio Olympics. Despite having a copper IUD, said to be 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, Sarah and her husband found themselves with an unplanned pregnancy. Despite this her training continued, though it was modified to accommodate her pregnancy. Although she failed to qualify at the trials in July, she has no regrets.
Hello world, my name is Sarah Brown and I’m pregnant. Wait…what? Pregnant? Did I just say that? The answer is yes, yes I did. If you know me, I am sure your mind is filling with endless questions. One of which is undoubtedly, ‘Why would one of America’s top 1500m runners decide to have a baby leading into arguably the biggest year in a track athlete’s career, an Olympic year?’ Well, the answer is actually quite simple. I didn’t.
As a professional athlete I’ve always had to be very selfish with my time, and I’ve always wondered how people would balance it with motherhood. I thought: Which kind of goals do you pursue? Do I keep pursuing my running career, or do I stop running and have a family? Could you actually have both?
And here is her reaction upon the birth of their daughter, Abigail:
The love you have for this little person blows my mind… She brings me such a peace and balance in my life that I think has really benefited me. I’ve always been the type of person that can get a little more uptight in situations or a little more anxious, and she has a really good calming influence on me. She really helps me stay in the moment and just really enjoy the moment…I think all around, this journey has just been a really awesome experience.
No One’s Really Ready For Parenthood, But That’s Okay
The unplanned pregnancy interrupted Sarah’s professional life and the Olympic dream she held for years. American women routinely end the lives of their children for far less.
Pregnancy and parenthood present an opportunity to embark upon a journey out of long-established comfort zones and leisurely routines of the childless years. This type of “growing up” is not easy on any new parent, regardless of their position on abortion. Physical, financial, and scheduling challenges make themselves permanent residents in your household. It’s a difficult—but beautiful—season, whether you’re first-time parents in your mid-30s, like my husband and I became this summer, or a teenager with seemingly nowhere to turn. But it is also a privilege to subordinate your plans, money, and your very body itself to the beginning of a new human life.