Me at 17
I am a statistic. A statistic for women who chose not to have an abortion.
I was seventeen. Most of the people I knew pushed for me to have an abortion, pressured me to, in fact. This was only a few years after the Supreme Court passed Roe vs. Wade. Unlike today, a teen pregnancy ruined reputations. It generated scandalous gossip. We lived in a small town. People talk.
Prior to becoming pregnant, I held no strong conviction about abortion. My church taught that life began at birth.
For the first time in my life, I stood against the wishes of my parents, community, and friends. I said no to an abortion. I didn’t expect to make this decision at that age. I had graduated high school a year early and started on the fast track for college and a career. I expected to go beyond a four-year degree, maybe even get a PhD. I wanted to find a career that allowed me to help people and gave me the opportunity to write.
With an abortion, I could stick to my plan. Without it, I waved good-bye to my dreams.
Still I said no.
Because I said no to the abortion, I can point to five people in my immediate family who wouldn’t exist.
Heidi, photo by David Blue
My beautiful daughter, Heidi, would never have drawn her first breath. She is a gifted and talented actress, screenwriter, and producer. She has the most beautiful singing voice, but an abortion would have snuffed out her voice within a few minutes. Many people benefit from her sweet and kind heart. She helps people with special needs, whether Alzheimers patients or autistic children. She inspires people with her own story. She is my Starshine.
If I had chosen the abortion, I would not have married Heidi’s father. Even though I divorced him a few years later, without that marriage my second daughter would not exist. Yes, Tisha struggles in her life now, but she has an exuberance for life and a smile that lights up a room. Tisha gave birth to three of my grandchildren. My grandchildren bring joy to my heart every day.
My children and me three years after my divorce.
Five living, breathing people in my life that would have never drawn a breath.
I can not imagine life without them.
Two of my grandchildren on the first day of school
Did I give up on the goals and plans for my life? That’s one of the reasons most people list as a reason to make abortions available.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:26
I did not give up on my goals. I altered the plan. I chose to be responsible for my poor choices and not to become a victim. I pursued my dreams anyway. I worked hard and got my Bachelors and Masters degrees. In my career, I’ve helped people in various ways including:
- running a welfare-to-work training program
- conducting crime prevention and safety seminars
- training adults how to communicate with each other with respect
- helping adults develop the skills they need to advance in their jobs which, also, helps them support their families
- teaching families how to get out of and stay out of debt
- sharing my story through this blog
- speaking to people about finding faith in the midst of tragedy
- sharing my faith with church groups
- empathizing with hurting people
I doubt I would be good at any of these if I had the abortion.
When I refused to have an abortion, tongues wagged. So what? I bet tongues wagged in Nazareth when Mary became pregnant. People eventually move on and forget, especially if we move on and show them the value of the lives we’ve saved.
Many more people walk this earth because someone else said no to an abortion. I know quite a few of them.
How many do you know?
Note: If you’ve had an abortion, God still has a place for you. I am not here to condemn you. I’m here to help people understand that abortion takes away more than one life. Many of my friends suffer because they made the other choice. If I can help, please comment below. Your comment will not be seen unless I approve it to appear on the blog. Just tell me what you prefer.