Questions of whether to have an abortion or to carry the pregnancy through is a question my own mother was faced with. She was in her second trimester when she found herself sick with german measles. Her doctor warned her of the complications that her illness would have upon her child…her child would have no future, no normal life. Her child would be, if she lived, a burden on a already large family of five children and husband who had lost his job that year. My mother was saddened by this news, and made arrangements to see another doctor for a second opinion. His opinion was the same as the first, predicting the child would be deaf, blind, mentally retarded, cleft palet…so many wrongs, and the world telling her it would be the merciful thing to do, to have an abortion.
Sharing this news with my dad, they in their conscience wanted to do the right thing, and they prayed. It seemed, my parents tell me, the family has never prayed as much as they did that year. They waited and they prayed. Any you know what? The baby continued to grow, and when time delivery came, the doctors were prepared for the worst, but to their incredulity, they found themselves confronted with a perfectly formed baby girl, responding regularly as all other newborns do.
And so began my life, precarious and uncertain as it may have seemed. I was given life by the courage and faith of two high school graduates who married young and scraped by. And they stood up against the professionals who believed they knew what was best. And I thank the Lord for their courage…I pray for each young woman confronted with this same question, that they will listen to the truth in their heart, to stand against the world who claimes it knows what is better for her when all along what is right is known to her from within.