Guest Column

Granddaughter of actor Ricardo Montalban plans to continue family’s legacy of ‘speaking up for life’

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this guest post are solely those of the guest author. 

When I first learned about what it meant to be pro-life, I gravitated toward the movement with all my heart. I have friends who have had abortions, and I know I have no right to judge them, but I do have the right to say that abortion is truly taking away a human life.

Only when the mother’s life is truly medically threatened (for example, a tubal ectopic pregnancy) do I believe it then becomes a medical decision between doctor and patient [Editor’s Note: Click here for more about Live Action’s position in this regard]. However, this exception does not happen frequently at all.

Many people say men should not have a say in this matter. I disagree because it’s a discussion on the beginning of human life. My grandfather, Ricardo Montalbán, was an actor with integrity in a very unforgiving Hollywood. He was unafraid to say he was pro-life and further, he explained why so impeccably.

Ricardo Montalban and Georgiana Montalban attend an event, presented by nonprofit organization The Colleagues, at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on February 14, 1997. (Photo by Jan Jarecki/Penske Media via Getty Images)

He did not believe being pro-life based on his Christian faith alone was enough as an explanation. So, he came up with his own explanation: When Was I “I”?

It went like this: 

Was I “I” the night my mother said to my father, “Not tonight, I have a headache”? Was I “I” 3 minutes before I was born? Was I “I” the moment I was born? Although, if you look at me then and look at me now, you wouldn’t recognize me. I was “I” at the moment of conception: the time when the code for my life was established. If my life was taken then, or if it was taken now, I would not be “I.”

I believe our society thrives on respectful discussion with one another. This is how my grandfather lived his life. Why can’t we discuss difficult issues with love?  

Mexican actor Ricardo Montalban (1920 – 2009) at home with his wife, actress Georgiana Young (1924 – 2007) and their children, 1951. (Photo by Graphic House/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

As a young woman growing up in a major metropolis, I have to admit it was intimidating at times if the topic of abortion came up. Of course, many women who are pro-life have a fear of saying so, as to not offend other women who disagree. I once wrote a blog about my beliefs, and a friend chastised me for it. Yet, it gave me more of a motivation to speak-up and not be intimidated. 

I remember putting a pro-life bumper sticker on my car. My mother was proud, so much so that it overcame her fear of how people would react. The most incredible role model I could have asked for was my mother. She gave me the gift of a strong faith, the faith that was passed down from her father, my grandfather. 

I later became a nurse to support the miracle of life. From a medical point-of-view, I cannot see life beginning at any time other than conception. It doesn’t matter if we all start off as one cell, as opposed to four, or trillions. 

From a faith point-of-view, I believe in the Biblical verse: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5. Of course, in-vitro fertilization was not a thing in Biblical times, but that is a separate topic, and one that is concerning because of the loss of lives in a different manner.

My grandfather passed away in 2009. My mother passed away in 2021. I know I have to continue their mission of speaking up for life in a world that is so confused and hurt. I am encouraged by organizations such as Live Action. 

As a new mother to a beautiful baby girl, I am even more passionate to speak on being pro-life. My baby came when I thought I couldn’t conceive. She is the miracle of my life, and I named her after my mother. What an honor it is to be her mother. 

My greatest hope is for our society to communicate with both empathy and urgency. Empathy is critical because we all need to learn from one another, rather than pontificate or act superior to one another. Urgency is critical because the longer we wait to discuss critical issues, more damage is done. 

Also, embracing science is vital. As we all know, science is the pursuit for knowledge, and it is based on an accumulation of research. I believe in the science that life begins at conception. However, in the Biblical verse quoted above, our lives are conceptualized even earlier than that. That verse is something none of us can understand as finite beings; it is beyond science. I hope that we can all humble ourselves more and try to do more to protect and value human life at all stages. 

From a non-scientific point of view, I believe the reason for each and every one of our lives is to have the opportunity to love or be loved. May we strive as a society to make this opportunity a reality for every human life, from conception to natural death.

Editor’s Note, 6/5/24: This article was updated with a clarification upon request of the author. 

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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