A Choice for Life
Sixteen years ago my best friend made a decision that changed her life.
At twenty *Jean was single, popular, and enjoying the college life
while working part time at a law office. She had a boyfriend but
nothing serious. She was too smart to get tied down so young. Her
sights were set on law school.
Everyone loved Jean, and things seemed to be going according to plan
until one morning when everything came crashing down.
Jean had discovered that she was pregnant.
Not wanting to be burdened by an unwanted pregnancy Jean wasted no time
planning for an abortion. “At that moment I knew my life was going to
change, but it wasn’t the change I wanted. I so wanted to be free. I
didn’t feel like I had an option other than abortion,” she shared.
It wasn’t much later that my friend walked into what she thought was an
abortion clinic. She had readied herself for the appointment having
disconnected herself from the fetus within her. A pregnancy didn’t have
to mean a baby.
As Jean entered the Pregnancy Crisis Center a kind woman met her and
listened to her story. The woman soon learned that my friend had
entered the center by accident. Jean was terrified. The resolve that
she had mustered to enter what she thought was an abortion clinic was
disintegrating. The counselor asked Jean if she would like to stay
anyway. Jean agreed.
Jean relates her encounter and subsequent emotions:
The counselor was patient and answered my questions. She shared
information about the development of the baby. I hadn’t allowed myself
to think of it as a baby. When I came to terms with the reality that
there was a person inside of me, I wondered, “How can I destroy a
life?” I just knew I couldn’t. That is when everything really changed.
I didn’t know if I should get married, or if the father would even
marry me. I was so confused and selfish. I thought terrible things
like, “Maybe, if I could just lose this baby. Then I’d be free.” And I
knew this meant I had to stop drinking. Even though I didn’t know what
the future held I made the decision to keep my baby.
I asked Jean how she feels about her decision now – sixteen years
later. “I have a beautiful, fifteen-year-old daughter. She is
wonderful. It is only by God’s grace that I walked into the wrong place
so many years ago,” she smiled. “I didn’t find the answers all at once,
but I did find hope, and I want others to discover that hope. I had no
idea that there were people praying for me a ‘wild child!’ And I thank
God every day.”
I thank God as well for Jean’s bravery to face the unknown embracing
the life that God created, and for her desire to reach out to young
women faced with the same challenges she has endured since that
Abortion is one of the most polarizing words in our vocabulary, and
today marks the 37th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Many still celebrate
this landmark case as a victory for women’s rights, but I see no
victory for women here. I mourn this day as we count nearly 50 million
lives lost to abortion legally in the United States alone. I mourn the
women whose arms are empty or lightened due to our ignorance. The
fallout from the taking of these lives along with legislation enacted
as a result affects so many more.
May we choose to celebrate life and be gentle and loving toward those
affected by this tragedy, and may God have mercy on us all.
Contact: JP Murie
January 22, 2010
to a friend.
The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in
Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state
coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of
Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our
society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political
persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic
backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has
been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the
human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that
every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is
dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection
for the disabled and the elderly. Click here to learn more about the IFRL.