In high school I dreamed I’d be like Oprah. When I got a career, I imagined it’d be something cool like a talk show host. In college I embraced reality and thought a teacher might be a wiser choice. When I envisioned my future, I never thought I’d spend eight years of my life as a pro-life activist. Trust me when I say that wasn’t on my radar.
I didn’t spring forth from a conservative family. My parents didn’t take me to a clinic protests to hold signs of aborted fetuses. They divorced when I was too young to remember. I spent my childhood years split between mom and dad, living in Connecticut and California. I was loved and well-fed, and I found a refuge in books. As for politics, we didn’t discuss it. My parents voted, but it wasn’t dinner conversation. I came to the conclusion that blacks choose Democrats, and that’s that. I still can’t name one family member who votes Republican.
As a young adult, the issue of abortion was of no importance to me. In college, I recall a friend talking to me about the lives lost through abortion. I remembering feeling that I should care, but I didn’t. It’s hard to recall that now, since I spend my time writing articles on the topic, counseling women who are dealing with unplanned pregnancies and helping moms get the material supplies they need for their kids.
How did I get here? I wasn’t caught up in a tornado like Dorothy and sent to a strange new world where people fight for fetuses and pray to end abortion. My journey was simple yet profound. I responded to a call, learned, and got involved. Over the course of the past eight years, facts, stories, prayers, dreams, and history lessons have influenced me to keep standing for life. My journey is my own. My reasons for opposing abortion may seem wise or foolish in your eyes. Regardless, they are mine. We each have a set of beliefs that shape our actions. I share my reasons with you hoping they’ll spark a fire in your heart, like the one that burns in mine.
When I was in my mid-twenties, my mom told me a story she’d kept secret all my life. The tale was about a mysterious janitor who approached her in the hospital with eyes like pools of water. She looked at my mom, sitting there scared in her white gown, waiting to head into her appointment with the abortionist. The elderly lady with the mop lifted her chin and said, “Do you want to have this baby?” My mom said “yes.” After arguing with the doctor who insisted she go through with it, my mom walked out of that hospital. The stranger was nowhere to be found. Before my mom told me I was almost aborted, she said, “Before you were born I met an angel.”
There’s no one on this planet who’s influenced me more in my stand for life than Lou Engle. He was the first person I met who spoke about abortion and birth control. I was a student at a secular Connecticut college. I heard him speak at a church near my campus. His message was full of passion, fire, and a longing for justice. He was calling for a movement of young people to pray and fast for the ending of abortion. Little did I know that a few years later I’d follow Lou and a company of others to D.C. to pray daily in front of the Supreme Court. The prayers we uttered years ago are joined today by the faithful Bound4Lifers who have never left the Court and refuse to stop praying.
The Sorrowful Women
Her brown hair hung past her shoulders as tears rolled down her face. “I was alone,” she said. “I took the RU-486 pill and I passed my child.” The pain still etched across her forehead, she shared a story worthy of a horror film. I listened and wept. Since then I’ve wept too many times to count. The blonde woman who told me her abortion left her infertile. The lady who shared about an abortion so emotionally traumatic, she wouldn’t talk about it for 20 years. The woman who flippantly said, “I’ve had six abortions and I’m fine.” The words she threw at me seemed utterly hollow. After meeting wounded women like these, I’d wonder, “How many more are out there?”
That’s just some of my story. In part two I’ll tell you what I learned from the man who wanted to punch me and the facts that were hidden from my generation.