Disclaimer, because this post is going to need one: I am firmly and unequivocally pro-life, from conception until natural death, its not only the Catholic in me, its the logical person in me. I’m not judging women who have either contemplated or gone through with an abortion. That being said…
Just because I am pregnant does not make me the poster pro-life child. I am pro-life, but not because I’m pregnant. As we wrap up Respect Life Month, I have to say that I’ve seen it all differently this year being pregnant.
The thought of abortion horrifies me in a way it never did before. We had our first ultrasound at 13 weeks – a time at which many abortion clinics will still perform an abortion. During the ultrasound our baby kicked and waved (left-handed, I might add!) and – gasp – looked like a baby. He/she was not merely a clump of cells but a human being with a soul. Though my baby is still utterly and completely dependent on me, that in no way, shape or form undercuts this child’s worth in my eyes, my husband’s eyes or God’s eyes. The thought that someone would willingly allow another person to violate the womb and rip the child out of it was and is something I simply can’t fathom or comprehend. This is the time, more so than any other time in my child’s life that I can protect him or her from harm. This child is inside of me, and should therefore be more protected and shielded. I know full well that once this child is born, the protection I can offer him or her from the dangers of the world decreases significantly.
In some ways, I’m even more pro-life now than I was before I got pregnant. And yet in other ways, I’m not. Hate is a strong word, but I loathe being used as a poster board for the pro-life cause simply because I’m pregnant. I struggle to say that I chose life, not because I don’t want this baby, but because for me it wasn’t and isn’t a choice, it is a privilege. My husband and I wanted this baby and for us, there was never a moment of choice, only joy at our child.
I’m in no way slighting women who have had to make that choice. I didn’t choose. There was no “Oh my goodness, what am I going to do?!” moment, only tears of rejoicing (and hormones, but that came later). I know that women of all sorts – married, employed, single, unemployed, addicts, CEOs and every woman in between – can struggle with what to do when she finds herself pregnant, but that simply wasn’t me. I’m happy to be the happy Catholic lady who is pregnant. I don’t even rage against the “Catholics get pregnant right away” stereotype. But I do take issue with being the face of some pro-life agenda simply because I’m having a baby. Here’s what it comes down to: my baby and this pregnancy are a joy and a blessing, not some means to furthering an agenda, no matter how much I agree with that agenda.