The following was submitted to Live Action from a young woman, “Emilie,” who wishes to remain anonymous.
I never really thought about abortion until I got pregnant. I grew up in a very liberal household and town. I support equal rights for all, which now includes the lives of the unborn, and I’m very proud of that.
I’m not one of those teen moms you see on MTV. I barely partied in high school because I lost a friend to a drunk driver and my conscience caught up to me. I went off on my own path instead of staying in high school. I got my GED and studied my passion at an amazing bakery. Sure, my mother was confused and angry that I wasn’t doing what every other person in high school does, but she understood that that path was what made me happy. I met a wonderful guy and fell in love.
Here’s where I found myself pregnant at seventeen. “Wow,” was all I thought as I stared at a home pregnancy test in the community college bathroom. My friend suggested we give it another four minutes, as if that would make some magical change. Hmmm…. nope. “There’s still a chance of a false positive. We will get you to the teen health center,” she said with encouragement.
I went and sat in the waiting room of the center, shaking like a leaf. Those waiting rooms suck. God was humoring me that day as I watched the “popular” party girls walk in. I mean, come on…everyone knows why everyone is in there. I wanted to sink into the chair and disappear. I drank a lot of water beforehand so I could absolutely make sure I was pregnant, and I made the doctor give me the pregnancy test twice. I was definitely pregnant. I walked out with a paper bag containing my “options” and prenatal vitamins just in case I decided to keep the baby.
In that moment, I knew what I wanted to do: I was having this baby. If God didn’t want me to have this child, then nature would take its course. My friend who came with me offered me a cigarette (oh, yeah…forgot to mention that bad habit I had developed). I remember staring down at my stomach and shaking my head no. Sure, I was freaking out about how I was going to tell the father and my family, but I couldn’t help but smile as I imagined what the baby would look like.
To put it lightly, my family freaked. And all the conversations I had with them made me furious. It’s amazing how they preached to me for years how they are “pro-choice” and that it was all up to me, but when I told them I wanted to keep my baby, that wasn’t apparently an option. Even after I had numerous women in my family say they regret their abortions, they still thought that was the best option for me.
What really made me angry was how I had put up with all their life-changing decisions, and was always a hundred percent supportive, but they couldn’t return the love. I mean, I desperately needed them. Sure, I understand the shock of it all. Sure, my mother really did come around eventually. But it wasn’t only my life on the line during that time; a few conversations that stuck out were when everyone was worrying about what people would think about me and say about our family. I wanted to scream! No one had to be in my little family’s life! But some good came out of it. I had the full support of the father…who is now my husband.
I had complete strangers on the street ask me how old I was and flat-out tell me how stupid they thought I was being. But my husband helped keep me strong. That, and a sarcastic remark here or there. A random person would say, “How old are you? Don’t you think you are too young to be having a baby?” to which I’d respond “I’m forty-three, actually! You know what’s strange? Having a baby over thirty-five knowing all of the risks that come with it.” (The look on their faces was great!) Or my favorite: “At least I will still be looking fantastic at my child’s graduation!” I know…a bit harsh, and most of the time I’d keep those in my head and just give them the silent treatment and walk away. But the stigma behind teen pregnancy and pregnancy in general in our society is infuriating. I didn’t have some disease you could catch by looking at me! I personally think I’ve proved myself to everyone by having a healthy pregnancy, natural delivery, and incredible little boy to this day!
During the time when I told my family and was looking for guidance, I did my own research. I was constantly reading fetal development research and was so amazed at what my little baby was doing inside me. I couldn’t ignore the science even though I thought for years it was a “clump of cells.” My mother-in-law was fantastic with relaying information and research she’s acquired over the years. She worked side-by-side with Norma McCorvey (also known as “Jane Roe” from the Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion on demand in America in 1973) in saving babies’ lives! In fact, we have a newspaper clipping of my sister-in-law hugging Norma outside a clinic on a chilly day. When times were tough, she reminded me that what I was doing was noble and that we were already wonderful parents.
I guess the whole point of telling my story is for me to come out saying that I’ve put my life in God’s hands and have received clarity. I’ve been scared to say how I feel about abortion, but I was recently contacted by a girl from my old school who was dealing with a crisis pregnancy. I truly feel she wouldn’t have contacted me if she had been set on abortion, and I was so proud that I could relay my thoughts, even if the outcome wasn’t what I prayed for. This girl (and of course my nine-month-old son!) has made me inspired (to say the least) to really get involved in saving lives. The pro-life movement is making an impact. I’m just one person who’s really questioned my old beliefs on abortion and life, but that’s just one more person who wants to stop abortion.