Are pro-life and pro-birth the same thing?
The meal started and some of the formalities of the program went on as the agenda of the night promised. Door prizes, chit chat among tables; salads switched to the main course and then dessert. The volunteers were recognized and a few more people spoke. There was supposed to be a client there to share with the attendees how much the center had been a help to her, but for some reason (unknown to everyone) she never showed. To fill her spot, a “last minute” guest agreed to share her story; it was the petite older woman at the table across from mine. Her name was Donna, and while she had never received services from this pregnancy resource center or anything like it, she had some things worth sharing.
When she was 14, she “got [herself] into a situation [she] shouldn’t have been in” and was date raped. She later found out she was pregnant. This was some time in the 1940s when, as a young, unmarried pregnant girl, she would have received no support. While she was pregnant, she said she knew it was a boy. They didn’t have the technology then to know, but she “knew it in her heart” and also knew she had to come up with a name. She decided on “Steven” because they would “both have to be strong to get through this. And we were. It has been he and I since then. He is 68 now and still the strongest person I know.”
The love in her eyes as she told this story was beyond moving. The line that about had me in tears was near the end of her speech: “When he was born, I looked in his eyes and began to softly cry; I finally had someone who would love me unconditionally like I loved him.”
Women like this show us perfectly why just getting a woman to not abort her child isn’t enough to consider yourself “pro-life.” These mommas need our love, support, and our “thereness.” Being pro-life doesn’t mean giving an ultrasound and sending them on their way. We shouldn’t shame unmarried mothers. We should celebrate their bravery. We should open our arms to the teen who finds that pink strip and not hide her away because she “should have kept her legs together.” These women are strong and beautiful and they need to know that.
Being pro-life means being pro-woman. It means being a support system. It means being pro-love. Being pro-life isn’t a one and done—it’s a commitment to these moms, babies, and families.