My name is Billie. I am a gay woman and my husband, Alan, is a transgender men, so we both grew up immersed in adamantly pro-choice social circles (as is common in the secular LGBT community). We held radically pro-choice views ourselves until early adulthood, and argued for abortion rights online, etc. I was whole life pro-life in most other areas (anti-death penalty, pro-social supports for struggling parents, even vegan), but not so with abortion.
In my first year of university, I saw some pro-life chalking on the wall outside the campus cafeteria. Specifically it was a statistic about the proportion of children with Down syndrome aborted. At first I dismissed it as a lie or at least exaggeration; I’d been taught to expect that most claims pro-lifers make are lies. I don’t remember what made me pause and do some research, but I was horrified to learn the statistic was true. I had worked with special needs kids my entire life (as had my mother), and I felt they already had enough working against them.
It was a few months before I could bring myself to look up any more information. When I did, I learned more I had been misled about or had been wrong about. I was going through a paradigm shift.
This new knowledge made me really open to different perspectives. I started following both pro-choice and pro-life blogs. I saw more and more claims that both shocked me and were verifiably true. Previously I hadn’t seen ultrasound images or pictures of aborted fetuses. I didn’t know many of the statistics surrounding abortion. It was an eye-opening experience. Additionally, as I watched others debate online, I noticed pro-life advocates interacted with people with much more love and grace than the pro-choice people they were debating. (I know that’s not necessarily true everywhere, but it was my experience.)
I had a traumatic childhood and grew up very cynical; I didn’t see much worth living for. But as I found my faith, developed secure relationships, went to therapy, etc, that pessimism started to change, and I came to view life as very precious and fragile. As I learned more about abortion, I would share with Alan, and it didn’t take long for him to have a change of heart too.
Since then we’ve been advocates. We were involved in the pro-life club during and after university. We went to the annual March for Life with a “We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re Pro-Life” sign (the time we had tomatoes thrown at us!)