Friday, January 14, 2005

Roe Vs. Wade Survivor, Class of 1974

I count myself a survivor of Roe vs. Wade.

I was born to a "pro-choice" mother in the year after this travesty of justice paved the way for women to kill their babies without restriction in every state.

My mother used to boast about how I was the ultimate product of "planned parenthood." My parents waited eight years into their marriage to have a child. They finished their educations. They secured themselves in their careers. I was "wanted." I'm sure my mother told me these details to build my esteem, make me realize my worth. I used to buy into it. I used to be pro-choice.

Then I started thinking: What if in the midst of her pregnancy, my "wanted" status had changed? What if my father had run off with another woman, leaving my mother alone, vulnerable, suddenly unable to cope with the pressures of parenthood? What if my mother had been offered a prestigious new position within her field, one that would provide many additional challenges and accolades and stresses that would not have complemented parenting a newborn at that time? What if, on the other hand, my parents lost one or both of their positions, drastically and rapidly leading to a reversal in their economic state and destroying all the "planning" in which they had so prudently engaged? You can "plan" parenthood as much as possible, but life is ultimately unplannable. When a child's only protection under the law is his or her "wanted-ness" by the mother, then no child is safe.

If, however, each child were seen as a person from the time their unique DNA code is formed (i.e. at conception), deserving of human dignity and legal protection, this would be a better country, a more humane and civilized country. I survived a court decision that told my mother that I was not a person until she said so. I am certain my mother would be horrified to read my point of view on this (she died in 1998). She would protest and say, "No, no! Don't you understand? You were wanted. We planned, we provided, we did it right." Yes, Mom, you did do it right. I think that every child should be so welcomed into this world. You and Dad did a great job. But, even if you hadn't done such a great job planning, preparing and providing, should my life have ended? Even if, all of a sudden, I hadn't been wanted by you, I can assure you I would still have been wanted by at least one person - myself. Abortion denies a child the fundamental right of self-actualization.

No child can ever be duplicated. When you destroy a child through abortion, just as when you murder any human being, no matter how young or old, you are destroying someone irreplaceable. How can people live with these holes that have been punched through our society? I can't walk down a street anymore without seeing the voids created by 45 million missing people. What would they be doing? I'm sure some of those children would have gone on to do amazing, wonderful things, enriching countless lives during their time on earth. I'm sure some of those children would have gone on to commit horrendous acts of incredible depravity. Probably most of those children would be living lives like mine - plain, ordinary, everyday, bread-and-butter kind of lives - living peacefully, raising their own children, working hard, obeying laws, finding joys both great and small, living through their sorrows and regrets, finding redemption in an ever-loving God. No matter what the outcome, we should not deprive people of the chance to do with their lives what they will (or to seek what God wills, if they are a person of faith).

How horrible it is to think that we are adding to these missing around 4,000 human lives a day.

I am not a choice, despite what my mother may have thought. Neither are these tiny souls destroyed daily in abortion mills across this great nation, despite what lies are told to convince women otherwise.

My daughter and any other children my husband and I are blessed with will never have to grow up with the shadow of "what if?" hanging over them. They, too, will not have been choices.

Let us open our hearts and learn to want children more. Let us eliminate, as Randy Alcorn so eloquently put it in his excellent book Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments, the "unwanted" from "unwanted children," not the "children." And beyond "wanting," let us change our cultural attitude to welcoming these small people. They deserve to have choices, not to be choices.


Luna C. Raines said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tom said...

Dear Justine...I too have started a blog.. it is called "BoomerTimes" and is under http://tomsboomertimes.blogspot.comI just read your posting of 1-28 by going to "next blog" from my site. I agree wholeheartedly to what you have written. I am a Catholic guy, 56, with 6 kids and 4 grandkids so far...expecting a lot more. Jill and I have been married 32 years and have been so very blessed. Anyway, I wrote about this topic of abortion and the loss of millions of lives for a column I do for a local weekly called "A Boomer's Journal". You can find this on the St. Louis website of and go to neighborhoods and then to Northside Journal....I am usually under an opinion or baby boomer title...keep up the good work..... one do you get the ads on your blog..
Tom Anselm

Justine said...

Hi Tom!

Thanks for stopping by and visiting the "vault."

My dad also lives in St. Louis, and he is a professor at Fontbonne University. As a fellow educator, with a special ed. background, you may wish to visit his blog: Obligatory Blog.

Re. the image links on my blog: None of them are actual ads - that is, I do not receive any sort of monetary benefit if people link to them and purchase from them from my site. I just think that it's cool to have a lot of pictures - more visually stimulating. If you need to know how to edit HTML to allow for these kinds of images, e-mail me and I let you in on the tags. If you want to generate revenue through your blog, Blogger offers Google AdSense (see Blogger Help), and you can also make individual agreements with on-line vendors (e.g., etc.).

Hope that helps!

Peace to you and your wonderful large and growing family (what a blessing from God!!). . .


Dragonsbane said...

I wonder, did you ever speak to your mother about your opinion of her and your fathers actions? If one believes, as you do, that life begins at conception, then your opinion must make sense to you. However, not everyone agrees with that idea. I do not. I buy into the argument that women are nothing but vessels to carry forward the race, and have no say in how there bodies are used. You can direct the conversatio by defining the terms and definitions used. By hoping to outlaw abortion, you are attempting for force upon me your beliefs, which is no different that you attempting to force upon me your religious beliefs. In your commentary about the rather insane reactions of the Muslim community in reaction to the cartoons published by the Danish newspaper, I must say that I see a parallel in you defense of forcing all women to have children, regardless of how they got pregnant, or why they are seeking an abortion.

Arielle said...

I realize this post is five years old, but I want to address the point Dragonsbane raised.

It is not a religious position to state that life begins at conception. Science cannot prove or disprove the existence of a human soul; what it can prove is that the embryo is fully human and will never grow to be anything else.

Also, abortions that take place because the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest are statistically insignificant. The majority of abortions are performed simply for the convenience of the mother.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog by accident, and read this post randomly. But please believe I am not a "troll." I've been thinking about this topic lately, and the original poster and others here sound/read intelligent, so I'd be interested in any response. On a more public and trafficked site this sort of discussion would be drowned by people yelling at each other.

The argument here against any abortion seems to be the uniqueness of the fertilized egg -- that the human it will grow into will be one of a kind, never before or after existing. So to cut that possibility short seems a loss, a crime. These "invisible" people the poster is referring to, these holes in the world.

By that criteria, doesn't every act of sex have the possibility of creating a child? And that child would not be the same one that could be created by the next intimacy, or the next - so any kind of protection preventing fertilization is preventing a unique human being from being born?

To take it further -- every egg in a woman is unique from every other, as is every sperm in a man. Isn't wasting any of them denying a unique being's possible entrance into the world?

The last sounds silly, at least to me. But the point is, just the "unique" property of a couple of cells seems a strange argument for it being a person. Men and women have within them the capability to create an amazing number of unique beings. Barring infertility, we could find a willing partner and (possibly) make one this very second. Are we denying this possible child by not doing so? Are we killing them?

The disconnect seems to be where people draw the line. Some draw it before conception. Some at the second of conception. Some later. Another disconnect is religion. How can people who believe in the "soul" and those who don't have meaningful dialogue on this?

Contrary to Arielle's assertion, science can't help much either. Science can't define "human." That is the realm of philosophy, and a real semantic headache.

If anyone actually reads this (I feel like I'm talking to myself, but it's helping me think it through), please feel free to point out gaps in my logic. I promise to consider any response respectfully.

As a side note: I'm a single Dad of an awesome, completely unplanned 2-yr-old.