Voice for Life
Suffering abuse as a small child gave me a heart for children. Suffering abuse in domestic violence gave me a heart for women. In being a nurse and confident, I saw the suffering caused to women through the death of their children, especially through abortion.
I had always been pro-life. It was in discovering the horrific manner in which they killed the babies that meant I could not stand by and do nothing. These little ones are totally defenseless. There are no unborn to speak out, to declare they are human beings. We have to be their voice.
After all, we were all unborn at one time and wouldn't each one of us want to be protected from harm, to be born and have a chance to have a life?
It was because of the generosity of heart of our mothers, in choosing life for us, that each one of us is alive today. Our choice for life that brought our own children life. In caring for women in crisis, we not only save the life of their babies, we save theirs. Abortion destroys lives.
It is a work of mercy and love to bring them healing. A work of justice to stand for the dignity of all humanity from the moment of conception till natural death. The greatest human rights atrocities have occurred when human beings have failed to recognise others in being human, in being a person.
"Do you always get pregnant with multiples?" The ultrasound technician looked at me with an inquisitive look on her face.
I thought this question was odd given that I had been pregnant twice before with the first ending in a miscarriage and the second with twin boys who were now 7 months old - but who had twins twice!? "Um no I don't think so." I said not sure of what to think of her question. "Well I see one... two heart beats"!
I couldn't believe what I was hearing yet I was smiling ear to ear. With twins at home and to find out we were having twins again! I asked if we could bring my husband into the ultrasound room at this point so he could hear the news too. As she left to go get my husband I kept smiling to myself.
As young parents of twins we were exhausted but we've always known that babies were a joy and no matter our circumstances we would always find a way. As my husband sat down in the chair across from me he looked happy but unsure as to why the tech had brought him in early.
"Don't worry!" I said still smiling. "There's heart beats!" "Heart beats?" He said smiling but was interrupted by the technician. "There are one, two.... three heart beats!!" "Three! As in triplets!!!" Mark said shocked but still smiling. We looked at each other laughing with tears strolling down our faces. "Three babies! You're in trouble!" I jokingly said to my husband. We were so happy yet still so in shock.
My husband was a student and working part time and I was finishing up my maternity leave with no way of being able to work to accumulate enough hours for another maternity leave. We had just been married over a year, had bought our first house and now we were about to have five children under a year an a half.
But none of those fears crossed our minds. We knew that these babies were a gift to us and we needed to take care of them no matter the circumstances. We knew it wasn't going to be easy (and Lord knows it hasn't been) but we were up for the challenge.
After a heart breaking experience with a senseless high risk obstetrician who tried to convince me numerous times to abort one or two of my babies for the sake of my health and because "no one can raise so many infants", we were fortunate to find a life affirming doctor who said his team would do everything they could to make sure all three of our babies would be taken care of.
Fast forward three years and we now have six children! We live in a nice house and my husband has a steady job and somehow we're able to make ends meet. We never would have been able to foresee the beautiful souls who came around us and helped us out in difficult situations and are now some of our best friends. Only God knows when we're willing to trust Him - He does provide! Life is crazy but I'm so thankful we gave our triplets a fighting chance - life would not be the same without them!
I was conceived in incest, and I deserve life—no exceptions!
All of my life, I had sensed that my own birth story held a secret.
There was never a day that didn’t know I was adopted. My wonderful parents had always been very open with me, assuring me that I was God’s gift to them, giving me what little non-identifying information they had from Crittenton Home in Peoria, Illinois. My birthmother was 14, there was no mother in the home, there were four younger half-siblings, and she had been a ward of the court. In my mind, I had imagined all sorts of romantic scenarios, but as I grew older and considered the circumstances, I wondered if my mother had been the victim of rape or incest.
When the State of Illinois allowed adoptees to have their original birth certificates, I ordered mine but was very disappointed to learn that my birthmother’s name had been omitted from the record, something I later learned was very common when births occurred at private maternity homes during the 1950s. The only new information the certificate revealed was that my birthmother had been born in Illinois and that I had been given the last name of Gilmore. Jokingly, I announced to my family, “Well, it looks like all we know is that I’m a Gilmore Girl!”
A couple years went by and I had not pursued any search. My mom was suffering from dementia and living in our home so I didn’t really feel the freedom to initiate any adoption search. A few months after she passed away, another adoptee shared with me that I could use the US Census records from 1940 to find more information if I was interested and she showed me how to access it online.
Amazingly, only a few days later, I had enough information to identify my birthmother, who had already passed away. I was able to contact her family, most who didn’t even know I existed! Among those who knew was one who held the long-suspected secret. I had, indeed, been conceived in both rape and incest, my birthmother’s 55 year old step-father being my biological father. The family shared pictures with me, ones of both my birthparents looking remarkably like my own children and grandchildren! Staring at pictures of my birthmother is like staring into my own eyes!
Many people have asked me how I have been able to accept the truth about my conception and my response is that I can so clearly see God’s amazing plan for my own life through it all. You see, my birthmother went on to marry and had three more children. The first two had cystic fibrosis and died in early childhood; the third had drowned in a horrible boating accident when only seven. But God, in His sovereignty, chose to preserve my life, give me Christian parents, a wonderful husband, six children, and 14 grandchildren! What another had meant for evil, God meant for good!
Just recently, I was allowed to peek inside the cedar chest my birthmother had kept under the eaves in her attic. It was full of so many treasures: baby clothes worn by my siblings, their tiny hospital bracelets, a few toys, pictures taken on past Christmases, and baptismal certificates. At the bottom of the trunk in an old yellowed envelope was a single picture of a young girl, her round tummy just beginning to show a pregnancy, the date on the back matching the day my birthmother was taken to Crittenton Home. It was her only picture of me!
After nearly five decades, the debate over abortion continues in this country and yet many people haven’t grasped the truth that all human beings are created in the image of God. That is reason enough to protect all unborn children, no matter what the circumstances were surrounding their conception! I am so very thankful that abortion was not legal when I was conceived in 1953 because surely so many, including those who call themselves “reasonably pro-life” would have called for my execution. Please look into my face and into the faces of my family and say this is right! I don’t think you can!
Pro-life laws saved my life.
I am pro-life because of my parents. My father was pro-death, which I found out after I became a Christian. During a chilling argument, with him over my pro-life stance, I realized that if abortion would have been available in our area in 1970, I would have been slaughtered.
My mother, a childhood WWII survivor suffering from severe PTSD, tried to kill me 3 times during my childhood. I finally got away from her when I was 13. I know how it feels to be rejected by your own parents to the point of them wanting to end your life.
It should NOT be legal to kill your own child, no matter his or her age, or geographic location (even within the mother's own body). Unborn children have no voice, and no way of standing up for themselves. We need to be that voice. I support any peaceful organization trying through peaceable means to save children from being killed by abortion.
I take action for human dignity because my mother did. She was told to abort me (due to extensive prenatal trauma) and she refused. The physicians were incorrect about my being born with multiple handicaps and being "pro-life" once again proved to be the better option!
Personhood is about human dignity for all.
My family has a history of a genetic disease called Huntington Courier Disease. My dad, Serge, and older brother, Francois, passed away from the disease on January 2015 at 51 years of age. His daughter who is 22 years old has the juvenile onset of H.D. My younger brother has also been diagnosed with H.D.
The symptoms of this illness strips one of human dignity. It causes depression and also attacks the muscles, which causes one to loose balance, muscle co-ordination and then needs to rely on others for eating, bathing, dressing and financial support.
I am sharing this story with you to make an awareness of Huntington Disease and how it can strip a person's dignity. Huntington disease can make the patients look like drunkards when they walk, for they are unable to control the 'courier' (dance-like) movements of their body.
My 22-year-old niece has been left in my care, and the best way we can retain her human dignity is by treating her as normal as we can in the grace and love that God gives us. If one can overlook the outside appearance of these patients, they will grow in patience, understanding and love for them. In reaching out in compassion, we see a beautiful person in an H.D. patient. A person who wants to be treated normally and with respect and dignity. Their body might be failing, but their minds are very much active and aware of what is happening around them.
Melissa has a wonderful sense of humour and has inspired me so much in the strength and perseverance she has shown. At times she needs to use a wheelchair, but at times she insists on walking as much as she can. It helps her to have a sense of independence and strengthens her legs. I pray that in sharing this story, many will grow in understanding of Huntington Disease and pray for those affected by it.
I was raped, but pulled myself through that.
As I was brought up in the country and was married at 17, pregnant three weeks later, my life just went on with a man who I love so much.. we had a baby die but after getting over the initial pain and hurt, I decided that I had 70 years left to live and I had a choice, I could either live it making others lives including my husband and the two children that we had then, a misery, or I could be happy making their lives happy, and so I choose happiness.
We have run youth groups, helped people with problems with their children and marriages and done so many wonderful things, and of course there have been lows but deciding to be happy and making sure that our children also have a great sense of humor has worked... And of course living in the best countries in the world being New Zealand where we were born and then Australia, helps.
I am an abortion survivor.
I was 11 years old … and somehow I heard a family speech about my past. My father told some relatives the story, and I just had a very sad feeling because at once I was able to see clearly why my relationship with my mother was so complicated. At 11 years old children are very loved by their parents, the relationship normally is good, but [there was] something wrong with [the relationship with] my mother. So this was a kind of an earthquake in my heart, and I realized I was an abortion survivor.
I’m motivated to do the pro-life work by my own personal life. My father was mayor after the second World War, so we were declared class enemies by the Communists. And this was the reason why they had to leave the capital, Budapest, and they were forced to go to the country side where they lived among very miserable circumstances. And in this situation, my mother realized that she was pregnant.
She was urged and forced and all the circumstances were against me, against a baby, and she tried to perform an abortion on herself … she was not successful.
My real spiritual parent was my father who was very much against the abortion temptation of my mother. And of course it was a conflict between them. He was a very strong Catholic, my father. He was a member of a family with nine children. And his parents, my grandparents, were very strong Catholics. And of course they accepted the gift given by God, the gift of children. And this was the reason why [my father] was for my life at that time.
It was not a decision [to do pro-life work]. I was urged, I was sent by God to do this work. A lot of people tried to hide the problem of this [abortion] question, dealing with this question as a taboo. I had a feeling that this has to be answered, this problem has to be solved in a good manner and in a manner which is suggested by God.
And later on I realized that it is not just my personal problem. It’s a problem of my nation, it’s a problem of Europe and it’s a problem of the whole world.
I Aborted My Baby
I was married, we had one child, and we wanted a second. I was extremely ill, but with no rash, so only by a chance conversation did I learn I had been in touch with someone who had rubella, so I went to be tested. Sure enough I had a bad dose of German measles. The law at the time allowed abortions up to three months for limited cases one of which was rubella. With the awareness that the child could be blind, have brain or heart damage, we decided not to risk it, and had the child aborted at two months into the pregnancy. My main concern was that I would stop feeling ill. As I came round from the anesthetic, what awoke me were huge sobs emanating from the solar plexis area. As soon as I realized the sobbing was coming from me I stopped it. The doctor was watching, so I told him I was not unhappy with my decision, and had no idea why I was sobbing like that. He answered: It is interesting how many women having your procedure come round sobbing just like that."
Those words stuck in my mind, but our second child was born, and life went on. I had everything, a loving loyal husband, two beautiful children, and yet I was always full of fear and anxiety. When I met some Christians who seemed full of purpose and joy, I was curious. The result was that I became a born-again Christian, but even then I had no idea whether I had done anything wrong or not in aborting the baby, as it was lawful. Six years later I met a lady, or rather my car, which I had left, ran down the hill into hers, and despite the poor start, we became friends. She told me she t 42 with fibroids and now pregnant with rubella, had been advised to have an abortion, but as a Christian she was undecided. Her friends prayed, but she couldn't decide, then one day she told God, "Send me the child no matter what may be wrong with it," and a beautiful baby girl was born with no defects. I realized the result may have been different, but that was not the point. I replied"I see now, I was in the world and I took the world's answer, you were in Christ and took Christ's answer." Then I knew I had murdered my child.
Together my husband repented, and went to the minister in our church, after reading a book called "Healing the Family Tree," by Dr. Kenneth McCall, to ask him if he would have a communion service for our lost child. He read the book, told us he couldn't see the point of the communion service, but would do a funeral service for us. So the three of us went into the little church, and as we committed our little one to the Lord, we all saw a glowing light all around us. I have never doubted I have one little one waiting for us in heaven one day,
I no longer walk in fear, but ever since then I have spoken out against abortion, marched against it, debated at university on it, held seminars,and told my testimony, because, although I thought I knew what I was doing, I really had no idea of the actual process of butchery that an abortion really is. No-one tells you and you only find out too late. There is no doubt that it is murder. I watched the film, "The Silent Scream"and was horrified at what I had put my little one through. I ended up with four children, and now six grandchildren, and have been blessed with a very happy and fulfilled life, but there are moments when I think back, and feel so very sad at what I did. I know Jesus has forgiven me, and I will see my child one day, but if I can warn others, I would always say, choose life for your little one.
I couldn’t take my eyes away from the picture of a tiny human body next to a dime. The silver face of President Roosevelt stared impassively back at me, imperceptive of the blood that surrounded the baby’s tiny features.
It was a cold October day on the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus in 1999. At eight years old, I had joined a group to discuss the issue of abortion with college students almost twice my age. I knew what I believed on the subject, but it shocked me that some people could be confronted with harsh reality and remain emotionlessly detached.
Considering the placement of the enormous three-sided exhibit showing the reality of abortion, it was impossible to avoid being confronted with the truth as one walked down the quad. The exhibit was erected in the middle of the campus common area, offering questions about the beginning of life, the ethics of abortion, and the risks and options associated with choice. One side of the exhibit showed graphic pictures of what abortion actually looks like.
How can one see the battered face of an aborted baby, complete with its detailed features and miniature form, and call it a clump of cells comparable to a parasite or tumor? How could anybody say that isn’t a person?
Born eighteen years after the legalization of abortion, I realized that I was a survivor of an abortion holocaust that had claimed one-third of my generation. I knew that this was one of the greatest injustices I could fight in my lifetime.
I support personhood for all because I want to see human dignity recognized for the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Because denial of personhood is the basis of nearly every other systematic dehumanization project, including slavery, expropriation of American Indians, and the Holocaust.
Personhood isn't just about abortion: it's about human dignity at all stages of life. Stopping abortion would be joyous, but personhood also teaches us about euthanasia, sexual ethics, modern day slavery, artificial reproduction, and just about every other human rights issue. Personhood (as an implication of the imago dei) means that other human beings are not objects for consumption or property. They're persons, with dignity and rights.
I support personhood because it is the single word that encapsulates all the battles we face as a culture.
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