Posted with the gracious permission of Sarah Ankenman, president of International Society for Women in Apologetics.
Many people assume that I am only pro-life because I am conservative and usually vote Republican. Or that my religious upbringing and personal beliefs tell me I am supposed to be. While both those things are true, I have other reasons for being pro-life (six to be exact): my mom, my sister, my brother, myself, my son, and my aborted sibling that I never met but will when I get to heaven. It wasn’t until I was an adult myself that my mom told me her entire testimony. She had an abortion at fifteen years old and said that when she went to get the procedure done, they told her that it was just some tissue that needed to be removed, and she said that as a fifteen-year-old that didn’t know any better, she believed them.
What they didn’t tell her was that she would have permanent scar tissue that would make her unable to have any more children. The serious side-effects are one thing they will never tell you at a Planned Parenthood clinic. She found out when she went to a doctor at age eighteen (three years later) and the doctor said there was nothing he could do but give her a hysterectomy and said that they might as well finish the job that she started at 15. She refused and went to a prayer meeting where they prayed that she would be healed. She wasn’t sure if she was healed but trusted God with her future, no matter what. Miraculously, she ended up getting pregnant again at age 23, but again, was not married and was not in a position to keep the baby. She knew, however, that she could not and would not have another abortion. She was able to carry the baby to term, and ended up giving her up for adoption. That baby grew up to be my awesome sister Kristina.
Kristina and I grew up in different homes with different families, but miraculously stayed in the same state. I found her on Myspace a few years ago, and showed my mom, who reached out to her. Kristina grew up to have an amazing life, and her adoptive family was totally blessed to have her. She works at Kaiser Permanente, helping kids and their families with counseling and therapy. I am so completely grateful my mom chose life for her because I always wanted a sister and now I have one. When people have abortions, they don’t even consider the affect it will have on future siblings who might benefit from their presence in their lives. My mom went back to the doctor who recommended her hysterectomy later on and told him that she was healed by God and able to have kids because she walked out of the clinic trusting God instead of man. That doctor stopped performing abortions and “fixing” them with hysterectomies because of my mom’s story. Turns out he was a former Catholic who was already feeling guilty about his work…
My mom met my dad a few years later, got married and had my brother. My brother was also a “mistake” conceived while my mom was on the Pill. She chose to keep him and ended up having me a few years later. When my mom found out she was pregnant with me she ended up having to go to the doctor to get her IUD removed but was told that she would probably have to terminate the pregnancy because I wouldn’t survive since I had been in there with the IUD so long. She chose to keep me anyways and I was born eight months later. God obviously wanted us to be born because in the midst of slim chances, we were all born healthy. We could have been aborted and my mom, according to current pro-choicers, had every “right” to do so.
He reached down and touched my mom to heal her (otherwise me and my siblings, and our kids, would not exist at all) and then he reached down and convinced her to choose life for us. He gave me life and so I can do nothing less than live it fully for Him.
The last reason I am pro-life is because of my own son. Lochlann was an unplanned pregnancy and I didn’t necessarily want kids yet but I was a staunch believer in God having a purpose in everything. I didn’t realize how much I loved him until I was in labor, and they lost Lochlann’s heartbeat. Immediately they wheeled me into get an emergency c-section because they couldn’t hear the baby anymore. I was more scared in that moment than I have ever been in my life. After what felt like a million years later, I heard my son cry for the first time and I bawled all over everyone I was so happy. Everything was great until Lochlann was about 18 months old. Something was off. I had this feeling that I should get him checked out but everyone kept telling me that it was normal for boys to mature slower. When he turned three, he was barely talking at all. He was put into preschool and the district tested him and he came out positive for Autism. I was devastated. That was my biggest fear. I had done a project for college on Autism when I was younger and I remembered saying to a classmate, “I seriously don’t know what I would do if my child has Autism someday.” When I got that diagnosis from the school district, I realized that I was about to find out.
I had days where I thought I would go insane as a stay at home mom. Not because I wanted to work, but because I was completely out of my depth with my own child. I didn’t know how to teach him or understand him. It was like talking to a brick wall. He would just stare past me and rarely ever acknowledge me. I remember crying and pleading with God to wake him up out of this Autistic fog he seemed to be in. I wanted to meet my son. I also felt horrible disciplining him because he didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong. On those days I would wonder why I ever wanted kids…
THE LIGHT DAWNS
After he was in speech therapy for a few months, I remember handing him a juice box one day and him saying “Thank you Mommy.” I almost fell over I was so surprised. He had only said Mommy like once before and he was three and a half. Slowly but surely, the longer he was in therapy the easier things got. He started to listen and behave better, and I was finally able to communicate with my son. Today he is a happy, healthy almost five-year-old that wants a dog for his birthday, (we’ll see…). He is the most beautiful kid I have ever seen and he brings so much joy and love to my life I don’t think I could live without him now. When he says “I love you Mommy” I literally have to fight tears every time because I waited so long to hear those words and they are so awesome to hear.
Would I have had an abortion if I had known how difficult it would be to have a child with Autism? No. Even though I didn’t want kids should I have had an abortion? No. Would I have had an abortion if I knew I would be a single parent one day? No. Would my life be easier without a kid? Maybe. Would it be worth the pain and suffering I would go through post-abortion? No way. My mom still struggles with the decision that she made over 40 years ago. The pain and regret of abortion NEVER goes away, no matter what they tell you.
Throughout my whole life, and especially after hearing my mom’s own story, I know that God has a purpose and a plan for everything He does. My pro-life stance does not come from me being brainwashed or preconditioned to believe a certain way. It comes from a healthy place of medical facts, Biblical truth (Jer. 1:5, 29:11-14; Psalm 139:13-16), and personal experience. God has a plan, and he chose my mom, my siblings, my son, and myself to be a part of it and given the choice I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Shouldn’t every life have the chance to be lived? Shouldn’t everyone, even the unborn, be given the choice to be a part of God’s great plan? I say yes and so should you….
Originally posted on The Valley Girl Apologist.