The 4th annual Pro-life Women’s Conference, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, ended this past weekend. Hosted by former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, the conference was sold out with 800 attendees and dozens of sponsors in attendance. I was blessed to share my story on a panel with five other post-abortive women.
Before my abortion, I had a warped preconception about the character of pro-life women. Convinced they were all judgmental, self-righteous, and filled with little concern for my wellbeing, I preferred not to associate with them. I saw them as women who were misinformed, ultra-conservative, groveling at the feet of their husbands, women who had picket signs attached to their uteruses, carried fetal models in their purses at all times, and had no sense of style, including big, Texan hair.
I wanted nothing to do with them. The stereotype in my mind was a huge reason I chose to call myself pro-choice and eventually chose abortion. I didn’t want to talk like these women or dress like them. I certainly didn’t want their lifestyle. I didn’t want to ally with women who didn’t care about other women; I thought they were only concerned with indoctrinating women and echoing restrictive narratives given to them by men.
I became pro-life about five minutes after my baby was painfully sucked out of my body. That was over 20 years ago. I could’ve cared less at that point what the pro-life women looked like, smelled like, or talked like. I just knew that the pro-choice women who looked all cool in their bra-less halters and flat hair ruined my life with their bait-and-switch rhetoric. They baited me into a lie in minimizing the after-effects of the abortion experience, and then when I said, “Hey, what was that?” they grew silent and didn’t look so cool anymore.
I didn’t tell anyone about my abortion, and I didn’t find healing until ten years ago. When it came time to pick up the pieces and reconcile over my abortion, I found that the big-haired pro-life women were the ones who came running to my side to pick me up off the floor. Pro-life women are not what I expected.
Pro-life women break the old stereotype. For example, did you know this about pro-life women?
- A considerable percentage have had abortions.
- Many have worked for Planned Parenthood.
- Pro-life women come from all different religions and races.
- Some are vegetarians or gluten-free.
- Some have lots of kids, others a few, and some none.
- Some have tattoos and purple hair.
- There are pro-life women from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and even, gasp, New York.
- There are pro-life atheists, lesbians, Jews, and even Democrats!
- Some pro-life women have Louis Vuitton purses, and others throw their stuff in diaper bags or Target shopping bags.
- Pro-life nuns can demonstrate how to eat crawfish then later preach on the sanctity of life.
- Pro-life women have a sense of humor and will take selfies wearing crowns.
- Pro-life women love profoundly and are intensely passionate about all women—especially those who need to be healed from abortion.
Johnson is a strong pro-life advocate. She is unwavering in her advocacy, bold in her presentation, and relentless in her pursuit of revealing the atrocity that is abortion. Her voice will continue to be heard and amplified.
While Planned Parenthood may be threatened and concerned by her advocacy, they are about to be even more dumbfounded when the strong and articulate women who congregated this weekend speak out even more boldly than Abby has. Johnson’s friends are just getting started.
She has inspired a courageous force of women. There are books being written, new nonprofits being formed, movies coming out, and thousands of post-abortive women speaking out. The weird thing about pro-life women is that they are more powerful than all of the armies of pro-choice marches because they carry the weapons of truth: abortion does not empower women.
Pro-life women don’t live up to the stereotype. They come from everywhere. Some do have big Texan hair, and some have hair that sticks to the side of our faces from the New Orleans humidity (present company guilty). This year alone they have successfully fought to close abortion facilities, change policy, open pregnancy clinics, make pro-life movies, heal women after abortion, find new jobs for abortion workers, cry and pray with women, meet with the U.S. president, educate abortion-minded women, and save the lives of babies.
The weird thing about pro-life women is that, contrary to what the media would have you think, their numbers are growing. They aren’t backing down. No matter how they look or where they come from, they are passionately winning the fight against abortion, and Planned Parenthood knows it.
I, for one, am now so proud to call myself a pro-life woman.