From the US? Considering an abortion? Go to, a database of abortion malpractice information in the USA.

"When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." Elizabeth Cady Stanton



Wednesday, 6 July 2011

My Pro-life Journey

I've talked a bit about why I could never be pro-choice, but I figured I should devote an entire entry explaining my journey as a pro-lifer. Sometimes I find it hard to explain why I think the way I do, just because I find it SO obvious that being pro-life is right. Clearly not everyone feels that way, so here goes nothing ...

I grew up in a Catholic family, and went to a Catholic school, and I was always the sort of person who thought the very best of people. I had a very sheltered life, not only because of my family, but also because all of my friends were more than willing to protect my "innocence" (oddly enough!). I am the first born in a large family, so I've seen my mom go through several pregnancies. They were always extremely exciting times in my family, with the baby welcomed and loved long before we ever got to meet her/him face-to-face after birth. So pregnancy = baby had always been a reality to me. It never occurred to me to think of my younger brothers and sisters as anything less than human while they were still in the womb, and it never occurred to me that once a pregnancy started, someone would want to stop it. After all, babies are miracles! My family is very close and it is just expected and assumed that a mother and father love their children best of all, from the moment they start to exist.

All of these factors together shaped my reaction to abortion when I first heard of it. Believe it or not, I was in grade 10 - and before that day it never occurred to me that abortion would even be possible. I was in class, sitting beside one of my best friends, and she was arguing passionately with a boy sitting in front of us. I didn't like the boy very much, as he tended to stare at girls a lot, and he was very loud and obnoxious. My best friend (at that point in time at least), had completely embraced the "good Christian girl" mentality and taken it to the extreme - she was always talking about God and Sex and Other Big Topics, and I tended to ignore her whenever she went on her rampages. So I was just sitting beside her ignoring them both,  when it suddenly occurred to me that I didn't understand what they were talking about. So I turned to my friend and asked her what was going on. She looked at me excitedly and asked,
"You don't know what abortion is, do you?"
And when I shook my head she launched into this huge explanation of abortions and abortion techniques, particularly partial birth abortion. I looked at her in shock, and then looked at the boy and said,
"Well obviously that's wrong!"
And he shook his head. "But what if a girl doesn't want to be pregnant?"
"But she already is ..." I whispered, as my best friend once again launched into more passionate explanations.

I couldn't think of anything else for the rest of the day, I was just so horrified. I could never imagine a mother wanting to kill her own child, and I spent a long time trying to wrap my head around it. I had always believed (and still do) that killing a teenager is worse than killing an adult, and killing a child worse than killing a teenager, and killing a newborn is worse than killing a child (it never occurred to me to kill someone before that). My reasoning was that, the younger a person is when they die, the more life they are losing out on. Killing a child takes away so many experiences than killing an adult, like their first kiss, or their first time travelling by themselves (as a kid, those things were always Big Deals to me!). I couldn't even imagine killing a baby in the womb - they would literally have everything stolen from them - even their first breath!

After thinking hard for several days, I finally just had to conclude that Some People Are Bad, like murderers and rapists, and that Most People Are Good, and would never kill someone just because they didn't want to carry them around in their tummy for a short period of time. I thought of my little brothers and sisters, about how they'd all spent nine months safe inside my mother, and I wanted to cry - to think that there were some brothers and sisters out there who couldn't be safe inside the one place where they should be loved and cared for!

As a grew older I began to recognize that not all people viewed abortion in the same light that I did. One of my good friends had always been counter-cultural (or at least counter-Catholic culture) and considered herself a feminist (which I came to associate with stupidity - mostly thanks to her), so when I found out that she was pro-"choice" I was not too surprised and figured she'd eventually learn how to think critically and change her mind (if you're wondering, she hasn't yet). I was very surprised when my best friend, from the previous story, changed her mind about abortion and proclaimed that now that she could have kids, she didn't want to have to go through a pregnancy if she didn't want to - so obviously abortion was fine. And besides, how could you force someone to carry a child to term? The baby is basically a parasite! I was pretty upset when I first heard about her conversion, but my two biggest shocks came much later, when I was in University.  During first year, I found out that one of my aunts supports legal abortion because of the hard cases (specifically pregnancies due to rape), and that conversation ended abruptly when she said we should just stop talking or we'd end up in a huge fight. My other shock came when another one of my good friends, who as far as I could tell believed in everything a Catholic should, decided that being pro-choice was more loving than being pro-life. That came as a huge blow, because it made me realize that you can never really know what a person thinks unless you ask them point-blank, and it made me wonder how many other seemingly good people believed in abortion-on-demand, or even how many girls I interacted with had had abortions themselves. By the way, this friend has since changed his mind - I like to think partially because of me!

Growing up forced me to realize that people that didn't even seem all that bad thought that abortion was fine. It was a hard thing to reconcile, since I'd previously explained abortion away as something that Bad People did. It was also very difficult for me to understand how abortion could be legal in Canada - I had always been so proud to be Canadian, and now I wanted to move to another country! I finally had to conclude that people just don't realize what they are doing or supporting, because if they did, they would be pro-life. I looked at it as a "they know not what they do" sort of thing.

Once in university, I finally started dating. My first boyfriend was not exactly a perfect match for me, but we lasted quite awhile. About halfway through the relationship we realized that we stood on opposite ends of the abortion debate, and we spent a lot of time arguing about it. I preferred not to bring the issue up, because I figured he wouldn't think that way forever (how could anyone support abortion once they have their own children, right?) but he would constantly send me links about difficult issues within the abortion sphere (like mothers who might die if they go through with the pregnancy), or videos on youtube about "crazy religious people" protesting at abortion clinics, and being made fun of. These things would inevitably start debates, and I would almost always win - not because I'm particularly well-versed in pro-life debates, but because my ex was horrible at supporting his own opinions on any topic. Nothing would ever change his mind though, and I promised myself that next time I agreed to date someone, they would be pro-life. Whether I have kept that resolution is a story for another day.

One more thing has shaped my support for the pro-life cause. After high school, one of my friends travelled to another country, to a place where abortion is illegal. She is currently dating a boy that she met during her travels, whose mother didn't want him, and who would have been "terminated" if she could have found a place to do it. Whenever my friend is here she brings up how she believes abortion should be illegal everywhere, and tells that story as support. If abortion had been legal in that country, then her boyfriend would have been killed in the womb, and she would never have met him and fallen in love. When people tell me that the baby in the womb isn't a real "person" yet, I always think of that, and remind myself that abortion takes away an entire life from a very real person - from people like my friend's boyfriend, who was so close to not ever having taken a breath.

That brings me to today, when I decided to write a blog about my experiences as a pro-lifer. I know a few other people who are pro-life (and all of them are girls as well!), but most of them I haven't seen since high school, and one of them lives far away. As a result, I have always felt very alone in my beliefs. So here I am, blogging about my experiences, in the hopes that someone out there can relate to what I write. My purpose here isn't to prove that abortion is wrong, but to provide the world with a look into how someone who is pro-life thinks. I am essentially a typical person - a bit religious, but not religious enough to make it an issue with everyone that I meet. I have one belief that the media paints as crazy and counter-cultural. And I want people to understand that you don't have to be a crazy evangelical nut-case Christian to believe that everyone deserves a chance at life. You just have to be a normal person who loves everyone, including the unborn.

No comments:

Post a Comment