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