Micah 6:8 is my life verse. I spent many years wondering why I was here, and I finally realized this was it: He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (NIV) Mercy is hard when you’ve been hurt, and humility doesn’t come easily to an oldest child. But I have always hated injustice, so a double standard never sits well with me. In college I had to do several papers, and I chose abortion for my topic because it was controversial, and I always want to take a position based on the facts. I researched Roe v. Wade, and I came to the conclusion that the Supreme Court completely side-stepped the question of when life begins, and used the right to birth control to invent a new right found in the prenumbra (shadow) of the Constitution. For the sake of a woman’s health, the states could not restrict the “right” to an abortion, except in certain cases. They also decided Doe v. Bolton at the same time, which defined “health” as anything including mental health. So I went from a college student who was encouraged by my church to support the right to life to an all-out believer that this was a terrible wrong. Though I will add that I believe the Lord was preparing me for my future by putting a thirst for the truth in my heart.
This would be tested shortly after my 22nd birthday. Because of some irresponsible decisions I made on that birthday, I became pregnant. I was still in college, working my way through, and the baby’s father thought I was lying. I knew my whole family would be disappointed, and that one of my favorite relatives would disown me if I had this baby. I also knew that I could never live with myself if I procured an abortion knowing that his or her little heart was already beating. (I was a smoker at the time, and when I lit a cigarette I almost vomited. That’s how I found out.) That baby, who had his own blood type and gender, never asked to come into this world, and I was not going to be the one to take him out. Years later, when I worked for WI Right to Life, I was often attacked for being a hypocrite. Then I showed them a picture of my beautiful son.
Not that I wasn’t miserable throughout my pregnancy. How could I be punished for one mistake? How could I keep working when the smell of everything made me sick? I whined and complained to God until the day Josh was born. But when I saw his face, it was instant love. (By the way, my OB/GYN showed me a thick file full of letters from people offering to adopt the baby if he got any reluctant mothers. He said he got dozens of these letters every year. There are people who can’t have babies and are desperately looking to adopt.)
Was I poor as a church mouse? Yes. One time I used my last diaper. It was the day before payday and all I had was a dollar off coupon for the diapers he needed (all my kids got rashes from other diapers). One of my aunts sent me a card that day. It wasn’t a holiday, but there was ten dollars in that card. Just enough to get him diapers (with the coupon.) God took me through day by day, and my son is a great blessing to me, to his father, and to the churches he has worked at. Yes, he grew up to be a wonderful Youth Pastor, and is now an associate Pastor in a loving church in South Carolina. My pregnancy only lasted eight and a half months. I got fatter, but it was a small price to pay for a son I love more than life itself. And if my life was ever in danger, there’s a procedure called an emergency hysterotomy (or resuscitative hysterotomy) that doctors use to save both lives.
Joshua never met a stranger, and he often helped me out at work, and in my volunteer election activities. The child did literature drops when he was six years old. I know there are people reading this that have several reasons we “need” abortion, and who are sick of the word “election.” I promise the cost is higher for those who abort. I have friends who still grieve the baby they aborted as a teen. I will also tell you that all the candidates are not the same. Look at their voting records, filter out all the vitriol, and you’ll see it.
People I love have attacked me for “blindly” voting for the pro-life candidate every time. But if s/he can’t support the right to live, how I can trust him or her to support any other right? Political Action Committees are not all bad. In fact, they keep candidates honest. Overturning Roe will simply give the states the right to choose whether or not they will allow unborn babies to live. There is plenty of case law now that protects unborn children, such as fetal homicide laws, so stare decisis can actually come into play. My pastor reminded me today that I’m here to tell people who Jesus is, and what He did for me. He loved me when I was foolish. He gave me a son, which forced me to grow up. He set me on the path of life instead of “if it feels good, do it.” My children are the greatest riches I can imagine, and only in my fiction do I get to have the world where the bad guy never wins. You’re probably sick of hearing this, but remember to vote Tuesday.