Friday, January 22, 2016

A momentous decision -- Roe v. Wade

U.S. Supreme Court 1973

Forty-three years ago today, a landmark decision was made that is often referred to as a victory for women. It was the day that abortion was legalized in the United States in the infamous Roe v. Wade case. At the time, abortion was legal in only six states.

Norma McCorvey, then referred to as Jane Roe, seriously laments that decision. Some applaud her for her change of heart while others vilify her. The thing is, McCorvey a.k.a. Roe, did not have an abortion in 1973. By the time the case went to court, her daughter was already two years old and was, undoubtedly, being raised in a loving home. McCorvey placed her for adoption after she was born. This was the third child the mother had surrendered, including her first who was raised by Norma's mother.

The legalization of abortion in 1973 has cost the United States 58,586,256 innocent lives, based on data from Guttmacher Institute as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). I'll let that number sink in for a minute. Keep in mind, for the most part, these were deaths by choice. Of course, in some cases, they were deaths by coercion. Many were deaths by ignorance, with young mothers believing the lie that these babies were just blobs of tissue.

Now, before you accuse me of hating women as a pro-life advocate, let me set the record straight. My stand for life has nothing to do with being against women. Nothing whatsoever. I could go on and on citing case studies of women who were so distraught after their abortions that they attempted suicide. Many succeeded. There are scores of testimonies of women who have regretted their decisions. Many struggle with guilt and depression. For some, this was their last shot at parenthood, as their abortions created subsequent infertility. And some, yes it still happens in legal clinics, have died in the midst of or shortly after their abortions.

My stand against abortion, however, has nothing to do with how I feel about women. After all, I am a woman. Not only that, I am a woman who faced an unplanned pregnancy. I would go so far as to say it was a crisis pregnancy. Following my initial appointment with the abortion doctor (after all, abortion was the sensible thing to do, right?), I changed my mind. Thank God, I changed my mind. In September 1980, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. I cared for her in the hospital and then I walked away from her, four days later, and allowed another mother to feed her and change her and kiss her boo boos and watch her grow. Another mother helped her get ready for prom, attended her graduation, and shed her own mama tears when her daughter left for college. I faced the most difficult and painful decision at the time she was born, but I have never regretted giving her life.

A couple years later, my husband and I were expecting our first child and I was told I had cancer. The recommendation was to abort the baby so I could start treatment. I agonized over that decision, too. In the end, I decided to go through with the pregnancy and deal with the cancer after my daughter was born. That daughter is one of my greatest blessings. As are her two children, one of whom is in the process of being adopted by her.  

But back to the reason I am pro-life. It's not about the women. Nope. It's about the ones who have no voice. I do not believe we have the right to snuff out life simply because it's inconvenient to us. Or because they're the wrong gender. Or they have an extra chromosome. What gives us that right? When a child is conceived, he/she is a human being, plain and simple. To kill him/her, by choice, makes no sense whatsoever. 

Does it make life easier on the mother? Most likely. But once a new life is present, it's no longer about just the woman anymore.

And what about the father and his rights? I think there is something seriously wrong with a system that insists on a father providing for a child, whether he wanted that child or not, yet gives him no say in whether or not that child is entitled to their first breath. Think about it. If you're honest and can put aside your pro-woman-at-all-costs mentality, you have to admit I'm right about this one.

Yes, it is the mother's body. Yes, it is her life. But it's not her life alone. And, once she's pregnant, it's not only her body. There is another body dependent on her to nourish it. She doesn't have to love her baby, but I believe she has to care for him/her. At least until they're born. And then? Like me, she can walk away and go on with her life. 

For me, it's about the babies. They're the reason I stand for life. And I will continue to do so until there is no more life left in me.

Anti-woman? No. Of course not. I'm just pro-baby. 


Search This Blog