Out of everything I have a strong opinion about, I would say the sanctity of life is #1. I strongly believe that there is an abortion industry that has done nothing but deceived generations of women into believing that abortion doesn't hurt, isn't wrong and that it's not a baby. Yesterday I watched with great interest the Tebow Pro-Life ad from Focus on the Family. I thought it was well done and was light & fun. I think the misconception about us "pro-lifers" is that we're all about gruesome signs of aborted babies and condemning women simply because they are women. While I do know that pictures of baby's bodies ripped limb from limb after an abortion is effective under certain circumstances, loving someone unconditionally and giving grace and hope is far more effective in all circumstances. I think that the story of one mother's decision to defy a doctor (or two) who told her that she wasn't carrying a real baby, but a mass of "fetal tissue" might make us stop and think once again what it means to be a society that aborts unborn children under the mask of helping women.
If I could, I'd like to share a story. My parents have 4 children. I'm the oldest. Followed by Paul Andrew "Andy", 23, Aaron Randall, 20, and Lauren Michelle, 18. I only write their middle names because that's the way I think of them. I usually call them by their first and middle name, or a nickname I've created for them. Obviously they all love that. ;) My youngest sister, Lauren, was a surprise. A BIG SURPRISE. To say the least. My mom had been very sick with my brother Aaron and the doctors told her not to have anymore kids. So, my dad being the loving husband, put himself on the chopping block (quite literally) and got a vasectomy. My mom felt for quite awhile that someone in the family was missing. She cried about an unknown child that she wasn't going to meet because she couldn't have anymore kids. What a surprise when right around my brother's first birthday, they were pregnant again. I remember that day- I was sitting in the living room coloring. Both my parents came into to tell us. Oh joy! Perhaps I would get that sister I wanted! Obviously at the age of six, I had no idea of what this pregnancy entailed.
When the time came to call the OB-GYN, my mom was asked this question after they saw her medical history "Did you want to go ahead and schedule a termination?" It was nonchalant, it was easy, it was typical. My mom said no, knowing this meant that she was most likely going to be very ill. This wasn't going to be easy. But it was going to happen. My Dad who was only 32 when my sister was born, claims his chest hair went white overnight during a hospital stay where they told him my Mom might not make it.
On May 21st, 1991, my Mom came home from a Doctor's appointment and asked "Do you guys want to have a baby tomorrow?" They induced my Mom the very next morning and my sister was born that evening. I remember the phone call my Grandma Berry got saying that my sister had finally arrived! I shrieked for joy! A SISTER! Later that night my brother Andy and I were picked up by a family friend, Sharon and taken to the hospital to meet our sister. (Sorry Aaron, I don't remember if you were there or not!). My mom was still in the delivery room, which seemed like the world's biggest room at the time. In my mother's arms was a pretty big baby bundle (My sister weighed over 9 lbs when she was born). She was swaddled, but her butt-cheeks were hanging out. I like to remind her of that- I saw her butt first. There was my sister. A person. So small. So new. Despite complications and recommendations, my sister was here, a beating heart and everything one could want in a baby sister.
When my sister and Mom finally came home to our little house on Second Street, I remember reading to her. It was some Looney Tunes book and I figured that was my job, to read to my sister. Thank God that my Mom knew better. She knew who was in charge, she knew that God had a plan and a purpose for my sister. If she didn't have my sister, who would I have read to?
Now I know that this debate goes deeper, but let's all stop to think for a minute about the fact that my sister is here, and she's full of life. Let's think about how many siblings our friends or ourselves are missing because an industry and movement has lied to us about our own bodies and the new lives we create.
Tootsie is here because my mother chose life.
4 years ago