Last year, I met a nurse named Amanda. I heard about her pregnancy, including a night that was interrupted by blood, a race to the hospital, and the fear she’d never hold her baby. It ended with “the most profound experience” she’s ever had: seeing her son alive on an ultrasound.
Amanda later explained,
I would tell my husband I didn’t understand how anyone could support abortion. I didn’t know how anyone – especially another mother – could look at me and say that my baby wasn’t alive and didn’t have a right to stay that way.
Recently, she was prompted to share something else.
Before becoming the founder and president of New Wave Feminists, Destiny Herndon-DeLaRosa became a mom at 16. She covered that in an article last month, and according to Amanda, “It really struck me deep down.” Specifically, she appreciated how Destiny acknowledged that fear is a common emotion.
“The abortion industry thrives on fear,” Amanda told me, and “they couldn’t stay in business without it. And when you’re dealing with a surprise pregnancy, fear comes pretty easily.” Further, it’s not just teens who feel it:
Abortion never occurred to me, but when I found out I was pregnant, I wasn’t full of joy and excitement–I was panicked. I was in the middle of a job change, having health issues, and my marriage was struggling. I thought a child would only be in the picture once things were stable and settled.
I thought wrong.
My husband was elated, but it wasn’t his body, health, or career that was on the line. I loved every kick and movement, but I was afraid of being a mom and facing the future. Moreover, I was afraid to say it. After all, I was married and had a job, so I shouldn’t have felt apprehensive. Well, I did.
Looking back, Amanda realizes that even among married women and those in long term relationships, apprehension isn’t uncommon; neither is the fear of admitting it. All too often, the results are tragic.
The truth is, it’s not just adolescents or single women who choose abortion when things seem overwhelming; so do women you wouldn’t expect. I think sometimes it’s because they feel alone in their doubts, or they assume others wouldn’t understand them. We should let them know that’s not the case.
We should let them know it’s okay to admit when you’re scared. That being apprehensive about motherhood doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be bad at it. Or that if you’re not ready to raise your baby, then there’s no shame in finding someone who is. And that even if yours doesn’t fit the common image of a “crisis pregnancy,” we still want to help.
If you know someone who’s pregnant and seems apprehensive, tell her about some of the resources that pro-lifers have made available. She can visit the website OptionLine to locate a pregnancy care center in her area or just text “HELPLINE” to 313131. She can go there to talk about her options or just to talk. Whether she’s single, married, or in a long term relationship, she deserves to know where help is at.
Being a mom isn’t always easy, but when Amanda first saw her son, her anxiety gave way to joy. However, she knows that for many women, a choice made out of fear is followed by grief. It’s something she hopes we can change.
My son is a toddler now–as ornery as he can be. He’s the love of my life, though, and he has the right to his own; he always did. Every child does, and that’s a message all of us need to hear.