Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Right Wing Views On 'Life'

Yes, I'm going to talk about this today.  (And no, Andrew Cuomo, I don't think of myself as an extremist who doesn't have a place in New York state- but really that's fine.  I'll be sure not to spend one dime in New York, even though it's the easiest place to meet with my husbands family and friends, until you are gone from office.  Just sayin')
Today is the March For Life in Washington D.C.  Many people will feel squeamish about this and probably not read this post.  That's OK.  In America we have the right to ignore other peoples viewpoints if we want to and pretend that certain things are just about what we might prefer in life and not really all that important.  Today, even though I will not actually be marching on Washington, I am choosing to share my story, for the very first time ever in any form and to anyone, on where and why I got my views on the right to life movement.   It just feels right today.
As a precocious kid, I noticed that there were oftentimes mentions of someone having to go take care of a 'problem' and my own mother had mentioned to me on several occasions of anger that she should have let that doctor 'get rid of me' when she had the chance.  Nobody ever actually uttered the word: abortion.  I have to say that the full extent of what was really going on and how it was actually a choice to end the life of their own unborn child had escaped me- probably because I was in denial and I kind of thought/hoped this all had something to do with miscarriage.
That all changed on the day that I found a goldenrod copy of my mothers own paperwork for her procedure.  I was ten and a college level reader with a 100% tested accuracy of my reading comprehension.  That paperwork settled a horror in my soul that has never left me.  I realized in that moment that the conversation we had so casually shared a week or so ago had truly been about this.  This decision that she had made and had actually had me be complacent in, by asking me if I thought it would be a good idea for her to bring another brother or sister home to live with us.
Now, if you're new to this blog you might not remember that at this time I was in the full throes of raising my sister.  I had been doing this for the last 2 and 1/2 years, since I was 8, while my mother was busy smoking dope in the bathroom for 50% of her life and then spending the other half roaming the mall looking for some retail therapy.  So yeah, you could say that my reaction was not one of support for a new baby.  I was so overwhelmed with making sure my toddler sister was fed and clothed before I left for school and hoping that she wasn't into too much trouble while mother got high all day, before I could make it back home.  I bitterly told my mother it would be crazy for her to have any more kids.
I stared at that copy from the doctors office and put two and two together; knowing just why my stepfather had finally acquiesced to getting 'fixed' and laid there on the sofa with a bag of frozen peas on his crotch while my mother slept the day away in the bedroom.  I literally threw up.
I had helped to make the decision to kill my brother.  I have always felt deeply that this unborn child would have been a brother.  I know my mother would have named him David.  The hole that was created in my heart that day will probably never be filled.  Until now, I have never uttered one word to another soul about this.
Years later, as a teenager, I witnessed my aunt who is only 2 years older than me making an absolute disaster of her life.  She was 19, already had one child and was pregnant again.  She had no job prospects, no man in her life and nothing at all going for her.  I felt for her and understood that she could not care for kids in any meaningful way and wished that she would adopt her children out to a family who could care for them.  She decided to have an abortion.  I was terrified and saddened for the child, but I never said anything.  Instead, I prayed for a miracle.
That miracle came!  It came in the form of a flat tire on the way to the clinic.  I couldn't believe it.  God had listened to me, even though I had been manipulated into being a part of 'deciding' that my own brother should die.  My aunts baby did not die.  I wish I could say that everything had been on the up and up after that, but that's simply not true.  My aunt ended up losing custody of both of her children and they did have rough lives.  Still they are living.  And that's something!
Later, during the time that I worked in a daycare center, I met a woman who had a very young daughter and was pregnant with her second child.  During this time she was diagnosed with a rare cancer.  Her doctor told her she would need to terminate her pregnancy to save herself.  This woman decided that she would not do that, even if it meant that she might die.  Others were not shy in sharing their view that she was selfish to put herself at risk when she already had a young child.  I once sat down with her and told her how much I admired her.  She said that it meant a lot to know that some people understood her.  In the end, the cancer fight was much more difficult because it was not started until after the birth of the baby, but it was successful!  This woman lived and so did her two happy and healthy children.
Finally, I will share my recent experience of a neighbor that I have gotten to know quite well.  She is homebound with anxiety issues and shocked me when she talked about having had several abortions as a young teenager, when I had only just met her.  I have come to realize that she is very haunted by this and even though she has two lovely daughters and a husband, her life is irreparably touched by this past experience.  I can't imagine what it's like to be her.  I treat her with kindness and don't tell her specifically what my beliefs on the subject are.  I don't think it would help her any.

The point to sharing all of this today is to say that I truly believe that we as human beings are better than 'choosing' to end the lives of our unborn children.  There are other ways to deal with unexpected/unwanted children.  And even though it may seem easier and quicker at the time or even somehow be seen as a women's rights issue, I can't imagine that the world is a better place for ever having gone down this path.  I also want to say that when people like me choose to share our pro-life beliefs we are not crazy extremists who are purporting a war on women.  We are people who have put a lot of thought and experience and intelligence into deciding to say that we believe in the value of all innocent human life.


  1. Very well said. I agree with you 100%. I don't a story anything like yours but in my younger days I had an IUD. I really didn't understand how they prevented a pregnancy. Mine slipped and we named him Isaac. I then learned that the egg is fertilized but the IUD creates an inflammation inside the uterus so the fetus cannot attach and is passed. I have often felt guilty that perhaps I had unintentionally aborted a fertilized egg but then I comfort myself with the hope that Isaac was the only fertilized egg and was able to attach because the IUD slipped. When I told my husband I was pregnant he said it wasn't his. I asked him if he wanted me to have an abortion and he said "no". I don't know if I would have if he had said "yes". He has accused me a few times of sleeping around which I have never done but it comes from his own insecurities. The biggest mistake of my life was marrying outside the Church. But we go on don't we?

    1. Our truths lie in what we do when things don't go as planned in life. Sometimes we are put into certain situations so we can learn and share our experience with others. God uses us all in strange and wonderful ways.

  2. It was very brave of you to share all of the ways that abortion has touched your life.

    I agree that there should be a better way than abortion. So many people want to adopt and have such difficulty doing it. If all of those aborted babies were alive, I don't think this would be the problem that it is. So, I wish that our society put more of an emphasis on adoption as an option. Made young women who knew that their circumstances prevented them from being a parent think first adoption and abortion only as a last resort. But that isn't where we are as a society... yet.

    I don't think more laws in the answer, either. Making something a law doesn't change the way people FEEL about something. If you make it illegal, you get botched backroom abortions.

    I would rather see a movement of FEELING where people decide that abortion is not a good choice. It isn't a good choice for the woman who has to live with it in the future. As you say, many women are HAUNTED by a choice that they made in their teens and/or early 20s. It certainly isn't good for the baby who isn't getting any sort of shot at life. But, I don't think any real change can be legislated. It must come from our hearts. We must decide, as a society, that adoption is the better course. Laws don't change feelings. They just change what is legal and what isn't.

    1. You know I'm with you about not having so many darn laws. It really is not the answer. Still, the fact that we actually need laws to keep some Americans from just killing their children right up until birth if they can find a doctor to do it is truly sad. I wish our laws reflected who we are capable of being as caring human beings. You are on to something by saying we ought to tap into our feelings. Those gut feelings of what is right and wrong are very important and shouldn't be ignored.
      While I don't know how many people are affected by botched illegal abortions, I have endless sadness for the 3,000 babies a day that die 'legally' by being killed by choice. I have also known several childless couples who would have loved to raise those babies.
      I have always felt that technology would help the next generation to actually see what is so wrong with abortion and I see that the polls reflect this recently. It's nice to see technology contributing to the idea of knowledge helping us to be better people.

  3. You know, I was deeply moved by a family member who shared an experience with not one but two abortions. To this day she grieves those lost lives. If she would have just spent 9 months carrying those babies and then given them up for adoption, she wouldn't have spent 20 years carrying grief around.

    1. It really is so much simpler when we just open our hearts to possibilities, rather than dwell on a 'bad' situation. So much good can be done when we let it happen.

  4. I believe abortion is murder.
    The following is from Ron Paul's book, "The Revolution." He talks about when he was a new resident at the U of Pittsburgh and they were encouraged to visit operating rooms and observe procedures.

    "I walked into an operatng room without knowing what I was walking into and the doctors were in the middle of performing a C-section. It was actually an abortion by hysterotomy. The woman was probably six months along in her pregnancy and the child she was carrying weighed over two pounds. At that time doctors were not especialy sophisticated, for lack of a better term, when it came to killing the baby prior to delivery, so they went ahead with delivery and put the baby in a bucket in the corner of the room. The baby tried to breathe and tried to cry and everyone in the room pretended the baby wasn't there. I was deeply shaken by this experience and it hit me at that moment just how important the life issue was.

    I have heard the arguments in favor of abortion many times and they have always disturbed me deeply. A popular academic argument for abortion demands that we think of the child n the womb as a "parasite" that the woman has the right to expel from her body. But the same argument justifies outright infanticide, since it applies just as well to an infant outside the womb...."

    1. I cannot imagine how awful it must be to actually witness something like that. And you are right, when one human being ends the life of another innocent human being- that IS murder. I think my story just flowed from me naturally in softer terms.

  5. My mom had uterine cancer while pregnant with my younger brother...i am glad she chose life....i would not take medically neccessary choices off the table...the way to win this fight is to win the heart of mothers to christ...abortion is the ending of a life...each life must be respected. Sometimes that means a doctor takes a baby early..too early. Sometimes it means keeping a brain dead mother on life support. i am for life. Good post.

    1. I like your reference to the issue of a brain dead mother. I have thought about that quite a bit lately with cases that have been in the news. I would most certainly want my child to be born and live life, even if I could no longer do that. Especially if I would no longer be living. There is no point to me to lose two lives and not just one in that situation.

  6. My parents were foster care parents for many years. And knowing just how many people were out there looking to be parents, and knowing how often unwanted babies we're killed, it was very sad. In high school I had not one but a few friends who had abortions because they weren't ready, scared their parents would be mad, or just didn't want to deal with their choices. It was heartbreaking each time I learned of another friend having an abortion. A few of those friends still struggle with the emotional pain, especially those that now have other children.

    It really should be that people made adoption a strong choice long before abortion!
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    But I have to say that, your mom made a choice. You didn't make that choice for her, so I hope that even though you feel you had a hand in the result, it was an adult making the choice, not you. I pray that someday you will not have so much pain from what happened.

    1. Thank you. It means a lot that your family was so giving to open their home to children who needed one. It is very hard indeed to watch others do things that you know they will regret in the end. I cannot image the pain that lingers from this choice.
      Thank you also for picking out the fact that I do share pain from having unwittingly added to the unwelcome atmosphere for another child in my own home. Although I 'know' intellectually that my attitude was not the permission my mother was seeking, I can't help wishing that I had known what was going on enough to protest instead. I would have been happier raising another child at age 10, than am living with knowing what she did.

  7. I came back to let you know that I replied to your comment on my post about Moonlighting. If you go back to Sunday (Love Is In the Air ~ Getting Serious) you can watch it. I now feel silly posting it on this very serious post of yours.

    I love the comments that have flowed here. I should have added to my comment something along the lines of what Amber said... you weren't responsible for your mother's choice. You weren't. If you haven't let that go, I hope you will try. You accept responsibility for all of your choices, even when you accept input from others. Ultimately, whatever you do is yours. You know that. So the same is true for everyone else. The kicker here is that you didn't even know she was asking for input about actually having another baby because she was pregnant. Right Then.

    I knew that Ron Paul was pro-life because he was a doctor and saw it first-hand. However, I haven't read his book and that experience would be enough to make anyone pro-life. That was a BABY, not a fetus they were drowning. I wonder if doctors ever become traumatized in the future when it sinks in what they have done?

    What I was saying about laws is that making it illegal won't stop anyone who really wants one from getting an abortion. Laws could stop more people from getting late-term abortions (and that would be a blessing). I think the definition of late-term needs to be moved up. For instance, that six month abortion, IMO, was way too late.

    I stand by my thinking that the collective consciousness we have as a society must change in order for there to be a change. I appreciated your input about what was happening in the polling data indicating that a shift is happening. I really think that is the only way we can advance mentally and emotionally, as well as technically.

    Now, go check out that Moonlighting clip and have a chuckle;)

  8. Replies
    1. Jodi: "Selah" has a zillion meanings and interpretations, especially in Hebrew. It is also the Rastafarian equivalent of "Amen." It has often been used to refer to Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five,(one of my favorite books), when he mentions "so it goes."

      If you don't mind, I would love to know your meaning of the word in relation to Jasmine's post. Thanks.

  9. Jasmine: Very moving post. I have always believed that no child is an accident. There is something inherently wrong in American society when marriage is on the decline and so many children are raised with no family stability. My wife and I have three biological children, and we adopted a special needs child. Life is precious. I am always willing to engage in intelligent dialogue with people. However, using abortion as birth control is abhorrent to me, and that is what is happening in America today, regardless of the political BS we endure.

  10. Reading a few of your last posts to get more acquainted with you...this one struck a nerve. I am so disturbed by the cavalier attitude about abortion, and the media's glorification of it ("it's a woman's right"...hey, with rights come responsibilities...).

    I actually un-friended on FB a lady who lives in Texas (not a real friend, just an acquaintance I met once through blogging) when she posted on FB that she was for Wendy Davis in Texas. I also stopped following her blog. I couldn't abide the idea that I would be friends, however, casual, with someone who could advocate for the barbaric procedure of late-term abortion. (I wish I had been braver and actually told her why I was unfriending her...)

    So, thank you for this great post, and for sharing your experiences.


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