A Mother Speaks Out On Down Syndrome: “There’s Nothing Down About It!”

While I was pregnant I would sit on my bed and look at Riley’s name printed on the wall. I felt that something was a little off. Nothing was wrong, but something wasn’t right. How neat it was that I knew she was special before I even met her…

Meet Riley!

Jennifer peaks her head into the living room where her three daughters are playing house. Sarah and Jaimee giggle as they push their little six month old sister, Riley, around in a carriage that is supposed to be for their baby dolls. Riley simply smiles at all the attention. “Mom, come look at Riley!” they suddenly exclaim, “she is smiling!” From the doorway, Jennifer can’t help but smile herself at the scene. In her eyes it is nothing less than picture perfect. Her children are right where they should be… with her. But, if some people had it their way Riley wouldn’t be here. Why? She has Down- Syndrome; Trisomy 21 to be exact. Which somehow labels her as less deserving of life by many in today’s society.  What a loss for them. They have no idea of the joy that comes from having a child with “special needs”, but Jennifer does.

This is her story…

We tried for nine months straight, after just having a miscarriage two months prior. Then, it happened. I knew I was pregnant because of the dreams I was having. I’m a very vivid dreamer and I find out many things in my dreams. On December 23, 2010 at 12:30 AM, I got out of bed to use the bathroom. I then decided to take a pregnancy test, because I was a few days late.                  Read more A Mother Speaks Out On Down Syndrome: “There’s Nothing Down About It!”

How I Ended Up Inside a “Pro-Choice” Rally and What I Learned

In the summer of 2006 I needed an internship in order to graduate from college. I had partied away through the first two and a half years of college until one day I realized that I might be left behind by my girlfriend and then working a job that I hated. So, I anxiously ripped out 80 credits in two years. I was finally in position to graduate; only thing left is the internship. I was so excited to finish school. I had the proud feeling of “I did it” deep within me.

So, I had an inside scoop within state government and submitted my application to the governor’s office hoping to obtain the prestigious internship. On paper it was a “non-political” internship and I would be working everyday as a public civil servant instead of having political affiliation with the governor whose political views I did not share. So that is what I told myself.

Read more How I Ended Up Inside a “Pro-Choice” Rally and What I Learned

How I Became Pro-Choice, Before I Became Pro-Life

It is my third week on the job. I am 24 years old. I think this place is pretty cool because it’s in downtown Dallas and they don’t care that I have my nose pierced. The offices are upstairs in a historic building with hardwood floors. I have my own giant office and a huge, ornate antique desk.

My boss is in her early 30s and just finished grad school at Columbia. She is the rich daughter of the rich owner of the business. I get the feeling she hired me because she thinks I am young and rad and she herself wishes to remain young and rad.

She asks me to go with her to run an important weekly errand. I feel important. I feel that her car is important. It is a BMW. It is very clean inside, with no sign of her two-year-old daughter but a sippy cup in the console. The upholstery is spotless. It smells like achievement.

Read more How I Became Pro-Choice, Before I Became Pro-Life

Superheroes and Peanuts

On January 1, 1978, I got a birthday.  And, to make it all the more exciting: I was born to a young girl who is a hero (a real, true blue super hero, actually).

Only months before, my 16 year old birth mom had been counselled and hugged and told that abortion is really up to the mother, and the mother had to do what was best for herself.

Here’s what makes my birth mother a real, true mother….and my hero:  She didn’t do what was best for herself….she did what was best for her child.  She stood up and walked out of an abortion clinic. Because of her refusal to rid herself and her family of this “nuisance and annoyance and embarrassment” later to be named Leah; her father made her a ward of the courts.  She had to find a place to live, had to find her own support system, had to deal with very big issues on her own.

But, she did this for me.

She told the people who said that giving birth to the baby wasn’t worth the problems, that I WAS worth the problems, and she gave me to a family that needed a bouncing and singing little girl.

How amazing that of all the wombs in all the females, I landed into the womb of a selfless hero who stood up for a tiny, little peanut who was getting ready to take on the world.

Was I really not worth those problems?

Should I really be dead right now?

People who say that abortion is OK, are actually telling me that they would have been OK with my birth mom ending ME before I even had a chance to see the ocean, eat an ice cream cone, climb a tree or hug my Mommy and Daddy.  I’m no different than all of the other little peanuts who are floating around in their Mommy’s womb, listening to her voice…hoping that she will be THEIR voice.

Oh how wonderful that my life wasn’t taken from me.  It’s unbelievable that so many don’t make it through.

I’m not sure how to  help those who are pro choice understand how grateful I am that I was born, and how sad it is that because of this “choice” so many are not….but here’s what I am sure of:  I don’t take this life for granted, and I always celebrate like crazy on my birthday.

Is Nothing Sacred?

When I learned that an abortion clinic in Austin, Texas was performing abortions on Christmas Eve I immediately thought, “Is nothing sacred?” Rapidly my mind shifted to a memorable episode of the iconic television series of my childhood M*A*S*H where a surgeon frantically tries to keep a mortally wounded solider alive on the operating table of the mobile army hospital where he was stationed, “…so his kids won’t have to think of Christmas as the day that Daddy died.” When he inevitably fails, a fellow surgeon reaches up and pushes the hands of the clock to just past midnight before announcing time of death as 12:01 AM, December 26.

Weeping angel statue dedicated to those killed by abortion

Show me a home in America that doesn’t have a calendar with birthdays and anniversaries of loved ones marked on it. Show me a son who does not remember the day—and date—his father died. Show me an American older than 30 who does not remember precisely where she was on September 11, 2001—or an American older than 60 where he was on November 22, 1963. I’ll bet you can’t.

Recognizing the anniversaries of pivotal events in our lives seems vital to both our celebrations and our mournings. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, deaths of loved ones, battle dates that will live in infamy; all are part of marking the meaningful passage of time on this planet. Thus it is for me and the woe of the date(s) that mark my abortion. There are two: the anniversary of my due date (on or about when my baby was to be born, July 20); and the anniversary of my abortion date (the day my baby was killed by abortion, January 6.)

Read more Is Nothing Sacred?

Abortion Hurts, Part Four: Healing

My personal history is extreme: high school dropout, coerced abortion as a teenager, self-injury, attempted suicide to escape the consuming guilt after killing my first baby, years spent working in an abortion clinic (trying to convince myself that killing children is acceptable), and finally accepting the truth and becoming pro-life and continuing along the long road to recovery. While I recognize and acknowledge that my experience is not common, it is not rare either, and it is shameful and dishonest for the pro-abortion PR machine to churn out propaganda pretending that post-abortion emotional trauma and regret do not exist.

In my dreams my not-sleeping mind creates a full life for my baby. When I am awake, I wonder what he’d be doing, what he’d look like, what career would he have chosen, would he be married by now—would I be a grandmother by now? There’s a thought that gives me great pause: so I exterminated not only my first child but my grandchild(ren) as well… When I met Live Action’s President and founder Lila Rose for the first time I was shaking with the knowledge that she was only a handful of months older than my first baby would be had I allowed him to live. There are times when fantasizing about my unpresent child leads to wistful melancholy, but thankfully it has not (again) led to the depths of despair and hopelessness it once had.

Read more Abortion Hurts, Part Four: Healing

Abortion – “Helping” Women? Really?

I will be sidewalk counseling tomorrow morning, which is Christmas Eve (yes, a nearby abortion facility will be performing them that morning).  Before each time I counsel, I tend to ponder past experiences I’ve had on the sidewalk…

One Saturday morning, a homeless lady came walking by the abortion facility where I was sidewalk counseling with a few others. I could tell she had some kind of impairment, possibly due to drug use, by her shakiness and sporadic hand gestures, and she was drinking a beer. She asked me what I was doing and why I was doing it, then asked if she and I could sit and talk. We talked for almost 45 minutes.

She noticed the models of the preborn at different gestational ages I had next to me on the sidewalk, and asked if we could move away from them. She kept starting to tear up when one of us would talk about the abortion facility or unborn babies. She kept saying that she thinks the abortion facility was just there to help, because “some women might have crack babies” they couldn’t care for if they didn’t abort. I was about to respond when her tone changed.  She said A woman, alone.“but you know what, I love babies. I love them very much.” Trying to be sensitive to the fact that she may have experienced an abortion in the past, I kept my words as gentle as possible.  I smiled and simply agreed with her, feeling like she had more to say.  She went on about how she thinks God has a purpose for us all, and that she knows God loves her and everyone no matter what. I told her I believe the exact same thing.

Read more Abortion – “Helping” Women? Really?

If The Sidewalks Were Empty…

Today was my last day at the abortuary on Commonwealth Drive, around the corner from the Pregnancy Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.

This particular abortion clinic had fallen under the radar and had been ignored for far too long, until this year. Even the accountant who lives next door was shocked to see pro-lifers standing vigil. I thought it was going to be an uneventful final day where I would get to say goodbye to all the wonderful pro-lifers who have been sacrificing their Wednesday evenings to defend the unborn and be a living example of God’s never ending love to mothers and fathers in need of spiritual rescue. I saw many familiar faces and some new faces were there. I was glad to see them all, but sad that it was going to be the last time.

Read more If The Sidewalks Were Empty…

Abortion Hurts, Part Three: Clinic and Conversion

After trying to kill myself to escape the overwhelming guilt after my abortion, I emerged from my month spent in an adolescent psychiatric unit with an incongruous newly-found zeal for abortion rights. Within weeks of my discharge from the psych unit, I found myself on a bus to Washington, D.C. to march for abortion rights and soon after I began volunteering as an escort for a first-trimester abortion clinic. An advanced degree in psychology isn’t necessary to see that I was plainly trying to assuage my guilt (and protect my delicate and damaged psyche) by assuming the precise opposite of what I truly believed. Freud called this reaction formation, one of many coping strategies he dubbed defense mechanisms. I certainly took reaction formation to the extreme by espousing the most diametrically opposed position of my innermost heart when I accepted the offer of a job at an abortion clinic.

Read more Abortion Hurts, Part Three: Clinic and Conversion

How One Conversation Made Me Pro-Life

Survivors: The author's brothers in 1989.

In several previous articles for Live Action, I have alluded to the fact that I used to be pro-abortion, and fairly recently. The conversation that convinced me that abortion was wrong occurred in the fall of 2006. Before that day, I would have told anyone who asked that I was pro-choice. I was never involved in activism, unless you call giving the middle finger to pro-life protesters as I drove by abortion clinics “activism.” In fact, I never really gave abortion much thought. But in political debates — in which I frequently engaged — one of the accusations I liked to hurl at the opposition was that they were “anti-choice.”

I have a clear memory of looking for a website one day when I accidentally typed the URL incorrectly, and instead of the shopping site I was looking for, I ended up at a pro-life website with a large, graphic photo of an aborted fetus on the title page. I remember feeling disgusted… by the pro-lifers. This emotional reaction is mystifying to me now, although I felt it many times myself and have witnessed it in others. Confronted with a jarring photo of the violence of abortion, the pro-abort does not feel sadness or horror for the child, but anger at the pro-lifer for offending him. They simply do not see the baby. They see only their own opinion, assaulted.

There are exceptions to this, and I’ll get to them.

Read more How One Conversation Made Me Pro-Life

Abortion Hurts, Part Two: The Psychiatric Hospital

Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a series on post-abortion recovery. Jewels Green is a post-abortive mother of three who worked in an abortion clinic before becoming pro-life. Read her original testimony here and her other articles here. You can read part one in this series on post-abortion pain and recovery, “Abortion Hurts, Part One: The Attempt” and watch for “Abortion Hurts, Part Three: Clinic and Conversion” coming soon.

I seemed to recover quite quickly from my suicide attempt that landed me in the ER. Seemed would be the key word in that sentence. The days and weeks following my abortion and my subsequent suicide attempt are a blurry mush in my memory. I know I went to my 3-week post-abortion follow-up appointment at the clinic (I only know this because I saw my chart years later, I have no recollection of this) and I know my body recovered from the painfully invasive physical assault that ended my baby’s life.  What is crystal clear in my mind, however, is that my abortion ended my relationship with my baby’s father. The remaining drops of my sanity evaporated when I moved back into my mother’s house.

I willingly attended psychotherapy sessions and obediently ingested psychotropic medication to try to slay the vicious guilt monster eating away at me, but the mild and temporary dulling of my senses would prove not to be enough.

Read more Abortion Hurts, Part Two: The Psychiatric Hospital

Pro-Abort: “We Don’t Need To Debate Because We’ve Already Won”

According to anti-lifers, the debate stopped here.

Recently, I received a few tweets from a detractor who describes herself as a feminist, doula-in-training, and student midwife. I’ll call her Heather out of respect for her privacy, which she really doesn’t deserve since she stated these things publicly on the Internet, but contrary to popular belief, I’m nice.

Anyway, in response to one of my blogs, she tweeted the following:

Hate speech masked as debate is never welcome. Debate, in earnest, is always welcome.

A quick note to aid you in your pro-life debates: this “hate” thing is an annoying non-argument I encounter a lot in our era of political correctness. It’s one of those words intended to shut down debate. Some people are so afraid of not being PC, all you have to do is call their opinion “hate,” and they feel guilted into shutting up. Of course, some people really are hateful, but more than likely if someone calls your opinion “hate,” it’s because they disagree with you and want to shut you up. Don’t let them.

Read more Pro-Abort: “We Don’t Need To Debate Because We’ve Already Won”