Please listen. Don't turn away. Try to understand.
A person is a person no matter how small.
You may ask, what do you mean?
It's common knowledge that the name of what is growing inside of a pregnant woman is called fetus, not baby. And so, not a person.
I beg you to look again.
At conception, two separate DNA combine to form the living blueprints of a new individual, right?
We may not see a face in the unformed body, but given time, all the genetic characteristics of this person will spring to life.
She may have the blue eyes of her mother, or the dark hair of her father. She may enjoy music like her father or have an appreciation for art like her mother. She may have a rebellious streak like them both.
But, for now. She needs to grow, to be born.
The problem is, she was not planned, her parents are no longer together and there's this option called abortion.
Her mother enters the dimly lit abortion clinic. Other young women glance at her from their chairs. Reflexively holding their stomachs. Waiting for the results of their pregnancy tests and agonizing over the chance to no longer be pregnant.
As she joins the other women, a thought slips quietly into her mind. What if it's a girl?
She pictures an infant in a white frilly dress. Held in her arms, balanced on the hip.
Pushing against the gravity of her decision, she gets out of her chair and leaves the office. With the child still in her womb.
That woman was my mother.
Given time to grow, to be born, here I am today.
Not everyone is given that chance.
My faith that a person is a person before they are born was put to the test when I was seven months pregnant and carrying a child deemed "incompatible with life."
He sure looked alive as he kicked about on the ultrasound screen.
But, the doctors who diagnosed his condition were well aware one gene did not carry its message to form kidneys. Therefore, my son was lacking these organs essential to life.
At that time, there was no treatment, no cure.
For the rest of my pregnancy, I would be his life support.
And, when he was born, he would die.
One doctor shared the option of terminating the pregnancy.
Reflexively, I clutched my protruding stomach.
This is a baby. My baby.
I couldn't do such a thing.
No matter how much it hurt to carry him, I couldn't turn away from the fact of his existence.
It would be a denial of the truth of his life, however short.
I allowed myself to bond with my baby, to love him right until the end.
Isn't a mother's arms the best place for a baby who is going to die?
He was a person.
He had worth.
All people do.
Even a person who only lives eight hours on this dusty planet.
His little life, changed mine forever. When he died, a piece of my heart went with him.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. It's a time to think about women in their hidden grief.
Included in this time, please remember the over 4,000 babies that die from abortion each and every day in America.
Because a person is a person before they are born.
If you or someone you know are pregnant and in difficult circumstances, please find a pregnancy resource center in your area. You will be loved, encouraged, and cared for without judgement. And, if you have already experienced an abortion, you will find tools to heal.
Thank you for listening and considering.
Your friend no matter what you decide,