My heart aches today. With a baby's head on my chest, my heart aches. But, not for the baby that most recently entered my world. For my first baby- the baby that started everything. The soon to be first grader: smart, fierce, and so full of Life. The one that forced me to grow up and pried the self-centeredness from my once tight fist. I didn't want to grow up. I didn't want to share my life with him. I wasn't “ready.”
I went to Planned Parenthood.
I was 22- soon to graduate college and pregnant with my boyfriend's baby. I pictured myself in New York or some large and exciting metropolis that next spring… Not in a 600 square foot apartment in Fort Worth, TX, broke, newly married, and 9 months pregnant. Sure, “I wasn't 16,” and I would end up having an incredible support system, but I was still terrified and couldn't see a future further than the back of my hand.
I took the first pregnancy test. My world went black- “How could I be so stupid?” I thought. I knew I needed to confirm with a doctor, but I needed to go somewhere discreet, somewhere where my mom wouldn't get the bill for blood work.
I went to Planned Parenthood.
The visit was quick- no nonsense. They took some blood and confirmed what my heart already knew- I was pregnant. They did not hold my hand. They did not give me options. No “will you be needing some prenatal vitamins?” or “adoption is a wonderful option!” All I was given was a piece of paper with directions to their Dallas office.
“We do not offer terminations here. You'll have to drive about 45 minutes but if you call by 5 pm today they can get you in tomorrow.”
That's all. Looking back I could vomit.
For an institution looking out for a woman's best interest they sure did a crappy job. I felt like a number just waiting to hustle through the lunch line with my meal ticket. The Life inside of me had no value. I felt empty.
I went home and cried. I cried, because for a millisecond I actually thought about the possibility. They made the process sound so nonchalant, so easy- like brushing your teeth. Blake Schlueter saved me that day. He said, “We're going to have a baby!!! We'll figure out the rest later. Wanna go see a movie?”
My heart aches today. Not just for the babies, but for that mama of “it's another boy.” She knows. She knows “it” was a he. A he that another mama gets to watch walk into first grade with big wide eyes full of anticipation this year. A he that teaches his little brother how to build Legos and kisses his baby sister quickly so no one can see his tender side. A he that is whole. My heart hurts for her. Our experiences started the same and ended so differently.
We both went to (un)Planned Parenthood.
Politics, life courses, finances, women's rights aside: what is happening is gut wrenching. The value of Life is nil, nonexistent. This is degrading. These babies are being ripped apart and sold like they're old jewelry. These mamas are not being educated on rights and options, and instead they are blindly being led to slaughter their unborn babes. This is heartbreaking! The thought of each of the young girls who has no support and cannot see past her youth makes me physically ill. Where are the women who have “been there and done that” to stand up and STOP THE NONSENSE?!
I am one of them. I did not follow through, but I am one of them. I went to Planned Parenthood, and I am here to stand up and say what they are doing is wrong. Wrong. To each sweet girl that is confused, scared, and hopeless: you are not alone.
This fight is not about free birth control and HIV screenings- this is about the sanctity of Life.
I can't stay silent any longer. Let's fight for the babies, and more importantly let's fight for the mamas. Are you with me?
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Note: This post was reprinted with the permission of the author.