[Today’s guest article is by an anonymous author.]
It’s been strange watching various reactions to Dobbs overturning Roe.
Both pro-lifers and pro-choicers have insisted that society should focus on the reality of women no longer having abortion to use as a solution to crisis pregnancy. They worry whether we are properly equipped for their needs. Some are more celebratory and see it as the necessary step forward for changes to occur. And more recently, pro-life workers, centers, clinics, and even a Supreme Court Justice have faced threats or violence for merely existing as pro-life solutions to an abortion-free world.
I am certainly well-placed in the celebratory camp. However, the reactions to this moment come with mixed feelings for someone like me. Someone who was born as a “condom failure baby” to an 18-year-old mother in a toxic marriage, and delayed her dreams of a prominent career. Someone with an older sibling killed by an abortion when Roe vs. Wade was only a decade old. I am a reason to be aborted. My aborted sibling was a reason too, but not as lucky.
This is further complicated by the fact that I have health problems exacerbated by pregnancy — and I am currently pregnant with an unplanned child. So my newest pregnancy experience is already more a political talking point for activists than it is a stage of life that I need help with.
Firstly, I am hopeful. I am hopeful that more babies like me can make it and form a second wave of pro-life generations. I also hope for more babies, like my lost sibling, to survive abortion despite the odds. I hope desperately that politicians, CEOs, academia, and medical organizations will finally support people like me and my children, and not discriminate against us for their convenience. With Dobbs decided, I have hope. So much hope.
But I am also in fear. I have not dared to wear my pro-life shirts while pregnant. I fear that a sympathizer for pro-abortion terrorism will see me and not have regards for my life or my child’s life. I fear also for my friends and colleagues who work with pro-life activism efforts. I fear for a pregnant woman, already managing a crisis pregnancy, who may wake up and find out she has to temporarily find care elsewhere due to her pregnancy resource center getting destroyed.
This fear leads to anger. Why must I hide my life experience as a pro-life woman? As a childbearing citizen of this nation? I am angry that Jane’s Revenge will put their passion into punishing women like me for choosing life, but not to help us. I am enraged that I must keep my celebrations quiet for fear of my family’s safety, physical and emotional. I am angry that I cannot publicly mourn my aborted sibling without drawing all this negative attention to myself and his parents who hold this pain in peace.
Already worn from my health issues and politics, I asked my husband his opinion. How should we celebrate with the Court deciding Dobbs in the pro-life movement’s favor? His response: to donate to pro-life causes (especially those harmed by terrorist attacks), eat a good meal, and then spend time reflecting over what it all means.
The simplicity of it cut through every confusing emotion. I still hold these feelings, but they are now less overwhelming.
So how does this chronically ill surviving sibling experiencing unplanned pregnancy celebrate a historic step forward for pro-life justice? I suggest the following three foundations for future (or current day!) celebrations:
I will share my gift of life with others. I am in solidarity with other people experiencing these hardships, and I want them to know how valued they are as human beings. This gift of life can be helping out a pregnancy center recover from a terrorist attack, donating time or money to a local group, or even just being a good neighbor to a member of your community.
I will nourish myself. So often in pro-life activism or discussions, the speakers involved focus on the dignity of others: the unborn, their parents, post-abortive women, and victims of other injustices. But what about ourselves? We are also valuable from womb to tomb. Let us take a moment to appreciate the life we have, and allow us to fill our cups to give again. This could be a special meal, or even a day dedicated to your friends or family.
I will reflect. In my case, my reflection is intimate and introspective. I need that spiritual guidance to move forward when the celebration slows to a close. For others, you could meditate, recite affirmations, journal, share thoughts with others: whatever it is that helps you decompress and digest what protecting life means.
I encourage the pro-life movement to make June 24th our annual day of celebration. After a year’s worth of hard work, tears, and assault in a post-Roe world, we will need it again. The unborn, their families, and our communities need to celebrate every facet of this decision, the joyful parts and the hard ones.
There is no better way to mark the day we see the tides turn for the sake of life. Never forget that it’s worth celebrating.