A Legacy of Life

I feel the need to preface this post – to explain why this is a topic that I have become so passionate about.  To explain why I feel that it is both necessary and important to address this issue here.  I realize that this blog is a sort of family journal and that I am openly sharing our story with the world.  But it is also important for me to chronicle all that is important to our family.  To leave a documented legacy for my children – showing them that we often didn’t agree with many of the popular positions of our time – that instead we chose to walk the narrow path.  And while the path may be narrow, it is paved with freedom.

I did not make the decision overnight to be a pro-life advocate or to openly speak out against abortion.  I was comfortable with where I sat.  I knew that I would never terminate a pregnancy of my own, but I wasn’t comfortable having a public discussion on the issue.

But that was before.

Before, I didn’t realize that most women choose – and are encouraged by their doctors – to terminate their pregnancies based on a prenatal diagnosis.  That nine out of ten women would choose to abort if they found themselves pregnant with a son like my Charlie.

Before, I didn’t realize that over 45 million women across our country have chosen to abort their unborn babies – their healthy babies – since Roe v Wade.    Babies that were just like my Henry.

Before, it wasn’t personal.  I wasn’t a mother.  I hadn’t experienced the intense love between a mother and child.  That fierce need to protect and love my children.

Before, I didn’t realize that as a nation we have become tolerant of so many things.  And that tolerance doesn’t mean that it is right.

Before, I never took the time to think about the effects that occur within a nation that allows a war against an innocent child – the killing of an unborn baby – by it’s own mother.  The irony, that as a nation we are outraged at a war overseas – the killing of others – and yet condone this action between a mother and child here at home.

Before, I always thought that abortion was a ‘religious’ issue, when it is really a human rights issue.  I never questioned how someone could claim to be a Christian and support the right to choose.

Before, I never realized that this is a topic that is deeply entrenched in our national politics.  That many politicians use this issue to sway voters one way or another regardless of their personal opinion.

Before, I never spent much time thinking about what a disservice abortion is for women.  We are taught that it is a freedom – a ‘right’ for the women of our country.  And yet I can’t help but believe that so many women have been cheated out of their confidence and self-esteem as a result.  That men treat women with less respect, because there are no longer any ‘consequences’ for their actions.

Before, I never realized that we are a nation in love with ourselves.  We are so focused on our needs, our desires that we don’t want to take responsibility for our actions.

Before, I didn’t see how much we desire to be numb.  To not feel any discomfort – be it from a child born with a disability, dealing with the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy or a terminal illness.  Today, I  wonder why we cower from the truth.  Why someone else is always to blame.

Before, I hadn’t noticed how we have gradually redefined family as we know it.  That even as parents, we have become so busy ourselves – our time filled with numerous ‘good’ activities.  Yet our children suffer.  They don’t fully receive the love and peace of a strong family that they so innately desire and need.  They will look elsewhere.  And the vicious cycle begins again.

Before, I never felt convicted to speak with such passion on one single issue.  To want share the truth – and the freedom that comes with it.

Before, it never occurred to me that one issue – the issue of abortion – could spill over into all of our lives, no matter where you stand on the issue.

Before, I wasn’t raising a family in a world that saw human lives as disposable.

Today I am.

—————–

This post is something that has been weighing heavy on my heart and mind for quite a while.  I’m not here to point and wag my finger, but to initiate a dialogue on an issue that I feel has been swept under the rug and deemed none of our business.  However, I would argue that it is our business, and that as a society we suffer as a result of this ‘choice.’

No more dancing around the issue like I have earlier. Wherever you may stand, I hope that reading this will initiate some thought about the implications on a society that doesn’t protect the unborn.  More often than not, we seem to focus on the “right to choose,” and forget to have a conversation about the impact on a world that doesn’t see the value in all life.

Instead, we have been taught to simply see abortion as something that is a ‘choice’ to be made.  A ‘decision’ and a ‘right’ each woman has.  I often wonder – since Roe v. Wade – did we change our minds quickly as a nation?  Or did the lines slowly blur as the ‘right’ to make a decision became more important than the life of a baby?

I recognize that we can’t go back and change the past.  And we shouldn’t dwell on decisions that have already been made.  But we can make a choice as we look towards our future.  As parents we all make decisions that will leave a legacy for our children and the world that we will leave them with.  I can’t help but think that some issues are far more important than others and that the way we respond and discuss those issues reflect back on our society as a whole.

What is the legacy that I want to leave for my children?  I want my children to know how much we value family.  And most importantly, that their mom and dad valued life over all – over the price of gas, the environment, and the state of the economy.

Of course those other issues are important in the daily life of our family, as are the many other issues that effect our nation.  But I can’t help but cringe when I see more compassion and concern shown over a saving the life of a spotted owl, than saving a baby that was born alive, but by law must be left to die after a botched abortion.  We have become a nation that would rather save the owl.

I can’t help but think that reaction (or lack of) is a symptom of a much greater problem.  If we as a society placed a greater value and importance on life – all life – then perhaps our way of thinking and living would be a reflection of those values.  Maybe if we valued every life we wouldn’t be at war.  We would respect and be better stewards of our earth.  We would show more compassion and understanding to others in all circumstances.  Each women and man might begin respecting themselves and others around them more – to have greater confidence –  resulting in better decisions for their daily lives and those around them.

And that is why I believe that there is only one issue that stands high above the rest as far as importance and impact for the future of our country.  So I choose to speak out – to take the narrow path – making the decision to leave a legacy of life, love and hope for my children.

————

31 for 21 Challenge – Day Fourteen

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “A Legacy of Life

  1. Hooray!!! Good for you, Libby! Thank you for writing this and having the courage to publish it. Thank you for so very eloquently addressing this issue! Thank you for fighting the good fight!!

  2. Such a divisive and important issue. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and putting your thoughts on-the-line. Your post touches on many thought provoking topics.

    I have two posts in draft mode that address what I believe is the underlying reason for the termination of pregnancy for children when a prediagnosis for a disability, like Ds, is detected. In them I ask, are women aborting children simply because they are disabled – the obvious answer is yes. But, why? I’m not sure I’ve answered the question adequately but I try.

    Thanks Libby

  3. Amen Lib! This is a war of catastrophic proportions, a silent injustice that can not continue to be ignored. Your voice and heart are a blessing from the Lord.

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you”

    Jeremiah 1:5

  4. Thank you Libby. You are an example of fiath and courage. Jessie- I LOVE your comment!

    Matthew 7:13-24
    13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

  5. Thank you Libby! I would strongly agree that in today’s society people do not want to be held responsible for the consequences of significant decisions, rather, looking for instant gratification. And, the implications for the lack of respect for human life… very well put.

  6. What a great post! I respect and applaud you for taking the “narrow path – making the decision to leave a legacy of life, love and hope for your children”.

    I am glad I stumbled across your blog tonight!

  7. Thank you Libby! What an incredible post. In a few short weeks we have the opportunity to ban abortion here in the state of SD. Not completely ban it (in cases of rape, incest or the mother’s health) and I pray with everything I have that it passes. Your post is incredible and so are you! :-)

  8. Libby, you are a wonderful blessing. I’m so grateful for your eloquence, boldness and deep love for your family. And for your conviction – you’re right; abortion shouldn’t be “swept under the rug.”

    I’ve prayed and agonized over abortion a lot over the years. Today, what’s on my heart is not whether it’s wrong or right … we know it’s wrong and I don’t know anyone who honestly feels otherwise. But how to change people’s hearts so it’s a choice they will not make – that’s what I feel is critical.

    I believe abortion should be banned, except for incest, rape and to save a mother’s life. But that doesn’t mean its occurrence will disappear. For example, before Roe vs. Wade, in Chicago’s Cook County, more than 5,000 women a year were treated for botched abortions. A hospital unit was established for this purpose alone.

    I can’t understand or feel empathy for people who abort purely because their child is not who they anticipated him/her to be. But I do empathize with women who live below the federal poverty ($9,570 annual income) who are more than four times more likely to have an abortion. Three-fourths of women who have abortions say they cannot afford a child.

    I believe these women don’t sense a choice. They feel trapped. My gut tells me that if abortion was illegal, they’d find a way to abort. People do desperate things to survive when they’re alone without emotional, physical and spiritual support.

    So I do think our tax and health systems play significantly into this emotional debate. How can we better provide for our vulnerable citizens? How can we give women the basic support to empower them to make a healthy choice?

    I believe it takes changed hearts. While I want Roe vs. Wade to go away, I think a priority today is to address poverty and lack of education in our own communities. To give hope that softens hearts.

    You already do this in your community and I feel that if more of our energy and resources were placed in areas like ensuring livable minimum wages, accessible health care, reasonable taxes, people would have more hope and lives would be saved.

    We know that even if Roe/Wade is overturned, the choice will still be there, safely performed for the wealthy and under endangering circumstances for the poor. I think discussions like this are so good, but I think our absoluteness risks fueling the division between the “have” and “have nots.” We may find ourselves spreading hopelessness rather than hope.

    So, this is not a disagreement, maybe just emphasis placed in other areas. You know it’s hard for me to be black and white. (smile) We want the same outcome, life for precious children. How do we arrive at that … I continue to pray with you for wisdom and direction toward that end.

  9. This is an absolutely beautiful post! I stand with you. I too never wanted to ruffle feathers, due to the fact that I know that this decision is one that many struggle over. However, I have SO many friends, who have regretted their decision, and the ease of making it. And many more who still are working out thier anger toward those who so easily pushed them. My daughter teaches me every day, how little regard there is for human life. Her T21 is a part of her. A part of her, that doctors encourage thier patients to get rid of every day. And we all know there is no cure. I would also love to share with Auntie MB, a site that addresses the very issues she referred to in her response here. This organziation agrees with Auntie MB, however, not through the mother taking the life of her child. http://www.feministsforlife.org/ I think you will find that others agree with you that we need to take better care of woman. Killing thier child, is not the answer!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s