I realized tonight that while I have discussed my issues with the pro-life movement, a million times, I have not talked much about why I do not believe in abortion. Part of that is that I have some larger work in production that I plan to use as a discussion point, but part of it also is that I have always struggled with the pro-life movement as it is right now. My own experience of the pro-life movement has not exactly been positive, many of the people I knew as cruel or at best inconsiderate were the big “pro-lifers,” and they liked to do things like show women these creepy rubber fetus dolls and tell gory stories to people who were too afraid to hear them. That is not all of the pro-life movement, but it is some. In 2016, it got even worse, being pro-life also seemed to mean you had to love Trump, which obviously I didn’t, and could not bring myself to do. So, I don’t say much about my stance, because I feel like it’s a huge mess and everyone’s handling it all wrong and I know that I don’t know how they should be handling it.
However, I believe very profoundly that the act of abortion is a devastating act that should never happen. I believe that as strongly and as clearly as I do, because from very early in my pregnancy I could feel the identity of my babies. People look at me like I am crazy when I talk about this, but evens down to arguments over whether or not I wanted a frappucino were an every day occurrence for me. I would chalk this up to weird pregnancy delusions if the two living children I have did not come out exactly like what I perceived about them, in ways I could not have imagined.
This isn’t a rational argument. I can’t put this down as scientific evidence and force to acknowledge how right I am, all I can tell you is that I knew my 9 week miscarriage like she was my best friend and I felt her. I even knew when she was gone, even though there was no evidence to prove it.
Something to understand about this story is that I struggle with mental health issues and for a long time I did yoga and meditation to help me with them. Part of yoga is paying attention to the sensations and feelings in your own body. As time goes on, you learn to notice when something is wrong, or different, and sometimes you even know what will help. It may be as simple as your hips are tight and it’s making you walk weird, so you need to stretch them, or as complex as unrealized grief, and you need time to cry.
When I got pregnant I had been consistently doing yoga and mindfulness meditation for a good six months, and I was very in tune with my body and what it needed. I could feel a difference in where the baby was and where I was, in who I was and who they were. It was the strangest sensation, but it was undeniable and clear.
I inexplicably knew my oldest living was going to come early. I knew how stubborn she was. I experienced her love for music NOT rap, although I’m still working on a little flexibility on that point. I worried about my youngest because I couldn’t feel her as much, and I used to say “Either she is just really chill and quiet, or somethings wrong!” She is so chill and quiet. She will go play by herself for hours sometimes, and she is so independent.
As absurd as it sounds, I think my oldest chose her name. Around the time babies develop the ability I started feeling weird every time I said the name we had planned. One day we heard the name on tv and I just knew. That was her name. It could have been God or it could have been her, but it felt like her.
I know this is a little different from the usual scientific or factual argument posts. You can argue that I was wrong or maybe it was a side effect of pregnancy or something that I was feeling, but I know it was not. I know in my heart that they are people even before we get to meet them, and each abortion means that that person is gone.
It’s devastating to say it that way, to think of it that way, but based on my own experience, I know it to be true. Each time I hear of an abortion, I feel the fear I felt when I was pregnant with my loss(miscarriage), and the earth shattering reality once she was gone. I feel the vomit filled days of my longer pregnancies and the constant fear of losing them. I feel the unloved lives of the unlived great men and women who could have been. I hear the cries of children who are unwanted and alone.
Mothers need help. We are literally dying at a horrifying rate in the US, one of the worst in the country. We are losing jobs, losing homes, going without food, without water, being treated badly by our doctors, and more. Abortion is not going to help us, it is going to keep us subservient if we have children because we have less value if we didn’t “get rid of it,” or “take the pill,” as if somehow if we have borne a human life we are less fit for everything. What’s worse, it is a weight that never goes away. A loss that is not “supposed”to be grieved, much like my miscarriage.
Motherhood is powerful and world-changing, it changes your brain to help you protect your children, it makes your body do a million different crazy things. A person who has borne life in her should be respected not treated like she is less valuable or significant as a person. She has gifts in her that can help the world. Love, protection, courage to fight for a better world, these are all innate to at least most mothers.
So I believe that abortion is wrong. I believe that it is a crime against women. More importantly, I also believe that the US is a terrifying place to be pregnant, and when you are really, profoundly scared, all you want is for the situation to go away. The natural answer that comes to your head when you are that scared is abortion. I felt it multiple times. I did not choose abortion and barely considered it because by the grace of God I was raised with horror for it and I believe in that, so I have my two beautiful daughters. But I didn’t have to be THAT scared, and I’m not the only one who is that scared.
I believe that if we take away that fear, then our children will be wanted again. I believe it is biological to want children, but that we are in crisis because of fear. As a wise friend of mine said, “I believe it is natural to want to keep your baby, so if you make it safe to keep the baby, I believe most mothers will.” I know that I could only hear my babies because I was listening, and I could only hear them when I was not afraid. If we make a world where mothers are safe and not afraid, I believe they will be able to feel and hear their children too, or at the very least a lot more of us will, and every single person we save matters.
God bless you for reading, and may He help the women and babies in our country.