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Defying Abortion Logic: A Prolife Teen Experience

April 8, AD2016

Pixabay-BabyShoes, prolife, abortion

Relying “on the well-worn argument of pro-abortion activists that women need abortion and contraception to succeed in life” Wendy Davis spoke to students at Catholic (?) University of Notre Dame. Entitled “Rising Up: From Single Mother to Harvard Law, How Every Woman Stands to Make a Difference,” Davis’s talk promoted the well-worn argument that women need abortion to succeed. My own experience, however, offers a completely differing perspective.

Living the Prolife Except Experience

As a young teen of fourteen, my life was forever changed in a brutally eye-opening experience. The cute boy down the street had a violent side and I was his naïve young victim. A few weeks later it dawned on my mother that a persistent stomach bug was not the real diagnosis. When thoroughly questioned I acquiesced and shared what had happened. This incident would, indeed, change our lives forever.

As my adolescent, willow-like body blossomed with this unexpected new life, our family attended Mass elsewhere – away from prying eyes. The 1970’s were not like current times, with relaxed moral views and blasé reactions. Unwed motherhood was taboo and our family, Catholic and prolife, hunkered down to await the new arrival. It was decided that the child would be adopted by my parents and become a special sibling to us.

Life Moves On

After our new addition arrived we continued our small town American life. Returning to school was unnerving but college was in my future, so the prerequisite grades were maintained. Aside from a few hushed whispers, our tiny community continued on without much ado. At my parents’ stipulated timeframe, my dating life began promptly at sixteen. Remarkably I met a young man who won approval from my parents almost immediately. We dated throughout high school and married during my senior year. My husband and I tried unsuccessfully to persuade my parents to allow us to adopt my brother (son) but the mother-child connection was too strong. My mother simply couldn’t give up the three-year-old son she now called her own.

College-bound after completion of high school, four years later found me as a married college graduate with a one-year-old son. Life had successfully and beautifully moved on. The scholarship I had been denied (because I was married), the teen birth, and youthful marriage had not marred my future. If anything, these life circumstances had enhanced my ability to cope with responsibility and the unexpected. The graces flowing from our sacramental marriage allowed us to weather any storm and remain committed in love.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

As unhindered as my education was, my career was equally flourishing. The prolife experience of my youth strengthened the drive to become a prolife advocate. The BA acquired enhanced creative endeavors toward that goal. Tempered by the fire of punitive experience, my organizational skills were finely honed as well. Life lessons had prepared me for numerous employment experiences including: Executive Director of prolife groups, art teacher, and Field Representative for a prolife U.S. Congressman.

Career Choice

In the end, my strong affinity for a traditional family won out. My preeminent career move was achieved. Stay at home mother became the most rewarding career choice for me. First, as the mother of three children attending Catholic schools and then as a home educator. Now that my own children are grown and parents in their own right, I continue to relish home life by having grandchildren around me as much as possible. The life I have lived, the life I am living was not hindered in any way. In some ways the experiences I endured prepared me for who I want to be today.

There were myriad options along the way – but the choices were mine to make. In the end, an early pregnancy did not prevent the achievement of becoming who I chose to be. I became exactly who I was meant to be: A woman with many choices, armed with strength and faith and endless possibilities.

Don’t Believe the Abortion Hype

The telling of my experiences is in no way intended as a long list of self-congratulatory achievements. On the contrary, my hope is to inspire those who are thrust into similar circumstances. Never forget that Planned Parenthood and their ilk exist as money making businesses whose success depends on taking the lives of helpless unborn babies by seducing their mothers by abortion promoting hype. Wendy Davis may be a successful woman by some measure, but her success was not dependent on aborting her unborn child.

As with people who grow up in poverty, broken homes, and abuse, success is dependent on a strong will and faith in the human person who was created by an almighty God. He has endowed all people, from conception, with a right to life and an undeniable ability to achieve. To use an unexpected pregnancy as an excuse not to achieve is a morally bankrupt denial of the human will.

Abortion Hurts Women

In my prolife work, I have been privileged to know many women who pulled themselves up out of their post-abortion desolation. Without fail, their regret is profound but their conviction for life is greater. Many of these women unselfishly relive the most painful experience in their lives in an effort to help others. They speak and write and volunteer in their vocation as pro-life advocates. Their pain is unspeakable and lingering guilt drives them to a profoundly selfless love of others. Although forgiven, a passionate resolve to bring something positive out of past flawed choices makes them insightful ambassadors for life.

Let us all do as much as we can to promote a Culture of Life. We no longer live in a time of scientific ignorance – even secular science confirms life begins at fertilization. Likewise, our faith in God confirms that all people are conceived as equals – each life is important, no matter its origin. Educate yourself, speak out, and pray to end abortion.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Birgit is a 50-something cradle Catholic who is passionate about the pro-life movement. She has been married to her Catholic convert husband, Rick, for 40 years. They have four children and nine living grandchildren (all age twelve and under). Their frequent visits eliminate any fear of an empty nest! Birgit can also be found on her personal blog Designs By Birgit and Facebook fan page Designs By Birgit, where she shares the pro-life memes she creates.

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  • Thank you for such and inspiring story! It IS very important that women who regret their abortions speak out; that women who did NOT kill their children conceived by rape or incest to speak out; and for the children to speak out (when old enough) to speak out. Most people who support exceptions in case of rape or incest have never spoken to women who have experienced that. But when they do, hearts can be profoundly changed. It changed mine.

    We offered 2 girls in my daughter’s high school class to stay at our home when their own parents threatened to throw them out due to being pregnant. That gesture alone helped the parents in both cases to stop and think. Neither girl was thrown out, both had healthy babies, both stayed in school, and both joined the military, one Army, one Navy AND both married the fathers of their children.

    My daughter later also became pregnant. While I don’t like the circumstances of my grandson’s conception, we’ve gotten thru it and I honestly can’t imagine life without him.

    When we think all we have is lemons, if we let Him, God makes the most wonderful lemonade out of them 🙂

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Bless you for offering to be a part of the solution. It’s wonderful to know that your generous offer compelled the parents to change their minds. Yes, all of those involved in abortion or with ‘exception’ children need to speak out. Only then will the public see that these scenarios are just false excuses to attempt to legitimize an act of violence against the weakest members of society – unborn babies and mothers in distress.

  • Karen

    You were unbelievably lucky. Very, very few cases of rape-induced pregnancy ever turn out like this. (And did your family prosecute the rapist? What happened to him?). The vast overwhelming majority of teenage marriages end in painful divorces and with the participants having no advanced education and usually without high school diplomas. I’m glad your story ended happily, but please note that this is extraordinary. Women who don’t want to be housewives can’t live without abortion and contraception. Women who aren’t Catholic need contraception. I hope your life continues as well as it has, but please don’t make the laws punish those of us who would make different decisions.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      I realize I was fortunate but my ‘solution’ isn’t the only one available. There is adoption as well. So many infertile couples, including one of my sisters and her husband, are just waiting for a child. Carrying a baby for a few months will not make or break a woman’s life.

      I was taught by a homebound teacher, provided by the public school system, while I carried my child. After birth, I returned to school and graduated on time. A GED, night school, and single motherhood are also viable options for those who seek more out of life instead of succumbing to today’s message of convenience.

      It wasn’t easy going to college with a husband, infant, and commuting either – btw, I also worked a 40 hour shift at our local newspaper. The message I’m trying to convey is that, no matter what obstacles life hands you, they can be overcome. With determination and prayer, poverty, illness, deformity, and other excuses are simply not what defines a woman – her sense of purpose and determination do.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      You also need to understand that I didn’t marry because of a pregnancy. I married because my parents and our priest deemed us ready and mature enough. We took pre-cana classes just like any other Catholic couple is required to do. That, along with the grace of a sacramental marriage, was the main ingredient in our staying together. Knowing that life can mete out many injustices matured me beyond my years. My husband had experienced a tragedy as well. Still, we, too, struggled at times. Again the message is: don’t give up when things are difficult.

      I also thought I made it clear that I had a choice of careers – being a stay-at-home mother was my ultimate choice (a decision that was mine to make) – after having achieved workplace success. Working for a U.S. Congressman, teaching art (my major), and working in the prolife movement (my passion) were all achieved along the way.

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      In the end human rights are the ultimate issue when it comes to abortion. That child, any child, whether conceived by intent, surprise, or violence, is a human person. Medical science has proven that without a shadow of doubt. An ill-conceived, faulty law that victimizes women through empty promises is not the empowering solution it is held up to be. Just read the stories I linked in the article. So many women are suffering because they were sold a bill of goods and believed those who only looked at them as a paycheck.

      Many post-abortive women also live in denial. The pain they feel from having fallen for the ‘simple’ solution of ending the life of their flesh and blood haunts them daily. In some instances, to acknowledge this would be admitting (to themselves and others) what they have done and how it made them victims.

      Then there are the inhumane abortion businesses where a woman is just another client. There is a desperate need for the same medical standards expected of hospitals. Instead they objectify their customers in their assembly line methods. How is it that laws aimed at protecting the health of women are seen as obstructionist? Why wouldn’t a woman want a sterile medical environment, a skilled surgeon with admitting privileges, and full disclosure about the surgical procedure they are about to undergo?

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Lastly, on contraception. Yes, the Catholic Church (and all Protestant churches at one time) teaches that taking the gift of life out of the sexual equation is wrong. Yet the availability of contraception is not at stake. No one is trying to make it illegal. Using it (or not) is simply a moral decision.

  • adam aquinas

    Does your first child, the one adopted by your parents, now know who his biological mother and biological father are?

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Yes, he does. My parents told him that he was adopted from the moment he was born – he grew up knowing. They also told him that I was his ‘special’ sister and why/how. Later, when he was older, he and I took a drive and I explained the rest of the story to him. We’ve been open about it from the start – just as my sister/brother-in-law have always told their adopted son about his origin.

    • adam aquinas

      That is great and to be admired….the right thing to have done!

    • Birgit Atherton Jones

      Honesty is the best policy, as they say. My parents have always taught us that, both by word and example.

  • Guy McClung

    Let me answer your implicit question “Catholic (?) University of Notre Dame” in two ways: 1. The answer is NO; and 2. It is NOT Our Lady’s University any more. Put another way that explains what happened there, here is what it is: The Univer$ity of Notre Dame – Pre$ident John I. Jenkin$.” Guy McClung. San Antonio, Texas