“What is right is often forgotten by what is convenient.”-Bodie Thoene
Her period was like clockwork, so being late that March was not a good sign.
She was an eighteen-year-old freshman at Missouri Western State College, and lived with her boyfriend in a house shared with other college guys.
The pregnancy test showed that she was now to be faced with decisions that no girl of that age should have to make.
Her mother was the first to suggest abortion. The girl could ruin any chance of living her dreams, and any mother would hate to see that happen.When the girl presented the option of an abortion to her boyfriend, he simply left the decision to her and offered his support either way.
In that year of 1983, there was no voice that would push her toward anything but abortion.
She herself was pro-choice, and her boyfriend wasn’t too opinionated on the topic. So many of his college buddies were making payments on their “mistakes” that it seemed to him to be a part of everyday life. The only reservation he had about aborting the baby was not knowing how they could scrape up the money to pay for it.
After weeks of deliberation, however, she decided to take the hard way.
All throughout the pregnancy, you could often find her sitting with a book perched on her ever growing tummy, reading aloud to the little life growing inside her. Sometimes poetry, sometimes nursery rhymes and sometimes (for good measure) mathematical equations. Other times she could be found lying on the floor with her tummy close to the stereo letting “the baby” listen to music. Sometimes classical, sometimes jazz, and a lot of times daddy’s favorite, Crosby Stills & Nash.
The girl and her boyfriend decided the best thing to do would be to get married, but as those nine months wore on, she wasn’t sure they had what it took to be parents.
More than once she toyed with the idea of going to the clinic and calling the whole thing off.
After an intense argument with her boyfriend one night, she was so distraught that they went to the hospital to make sure the babies heart rate hadn’t dropped. Even now, 27 years later, she remembers hearing the heartbeat as they monitored it. Fortunately, there was no damage done.
That October, I was born.
The first night I was home, I cried non-stop. My inexperienced parents were up all night trying to calm me, but nothing seemed to work.That is, until 6AM when they decided to put on good old CSN, (something to calm their jangled nerves). The familiar sound put me to sleep right away.
Sometimes I wonder what I was doing in those moments when my parents were deciding whether or not I was worth the effort, worth the sacrifice.
If you asked them now, they would tell you that their lack of education almost cost me my life.
Had they known that they would never have another opportunity to be biological parents…
Had they known that at only 12 weeks I had a fully formed brain, could cry and feel pain…
Had they known that the procedure that would’ve taken place consisted of the doctor chopping my little body to pieces and scraping my remains out into a jar …
Abortion would have never been a consideration.
But as it was, one girl made a random decision to do the more difficult thing, and here I am typing this commentary. And here you are reading it.
I may not even know you, but in a roundabout way, your life would be different without mine.
And mine without yours.
People have abortions for all different reasons.
Some don’t want to scrap their dreams and ambitions, some feel unprepared for parenthood, some are encouraged by loved ones to do so and some can’t afford to feed another mouth.
These all seem… feel like valid reasons, but the truth is that being a successful person, having financial security, and yielding to pressure are things that will not make you happy in the long run.
Very few 18 year old girls are ready to be a mother. But the truth is, if a girl finds herself pregnant it’s usually because she’s made a very grown-up decision to become that way. And, once she’s become that “grown-up”, shouldn’t she be grown-up enough to take responsibility for her actions?
I’m not writing this with the intention of judging or condemning anybody; I have no right to do that, and I don’t want to.However, there was nobody who would speak in my defense when I was just learning to blink and wiggle my toes, so I feel very passionately about others who have no voice.
I am so eternally grateful that my parents didn’t do what was most convenient or socially acceptable, and so are they.
Is there someone who might be encouraged if you shared this story with them?