Beth Fox, self-advocate: “Every life is valuable and every life is worth living.”
Beth Fox, President of Rehumanize International, speaks at the Rehumanize Meet Up during the 2023 March For Life.
[See the transcription below the video. Special thanks to volunteer Milena Popp for her transcription work. If you’d like to volunteer as a standby transcriber or translator for SPL, please fill out our volunteer survey.]
Herb: …. she is responsible for bringing many of us into the movement, including many of us here today. She was there at the first pro-life activism event I ever attended and I have not stopped coming to them. And now I get to do them all the time with Beth Fox.
Beth: So I am going to try to get through this without crying, but I make no promises.
As Herb said, I’ve been around for a while. So a lot of you probably know my story. I’m just gonna kind of tell it briefly again to start.
I’m super passionate about abortion, personally, because I was targeted for abortion when my mom was pregnant with me. There were issues with my development in utero. The doctors weren’t really sure what was wrong, but they knew that there were issues with my growth and development. Because they weren’t really sure what was going on, they weren’t really sure what risks it posed to my health or my mom’s health. But they didn’t think that I would make it to term. They told my mom that they didn’t think that I would make it to term and that, if I did, I would have such severe disabilities that I wouldn’t have a life worth living, and that her most merciful option would be to terminate the pregnancy and try again.
Fortunately for me, I had a mother who did not believe that abortion should be an option and she told the doctor that. She walked out of that appointment and found a doctor who was willing to see the pregnancy through. She gave me the chance to fight for as long as I was willing to, and I turned 30 last year.
…..and I’m still here; I’m still fighting. Medically, I do have pretty severe disabilities. I rely on a ventilator and a wheelchair. But my life is very much worth living and I love it.
So, like all of us, I am thrilled that Roe v Wade has been overturned and I definitely think that is something that we should be celebrating. But I also want us to keep in mind that terminating in cases of fetal anomalies is still legal in all 50 states. That just crushes me – because what it says to someone like me is that our society says it should be okay to kill somebody just because they’re going to have a life as “terrible” as mine. That’s tragic that that’s how people see my life because my life is not terrible – it’s wonderful.
So, my conditions put me at very high risk for respiratory illness and this was a very high risk trip for me to make this year. But I decided to make it because, at the end of the day, as long as it is legal for children in the womb to be killed just because they’re doomed to a life like mine, I am going to take risks to (metaphorically) take a stand for those who can’t stand and speak for themselves. And I am willing to take those risks because we need to make sure that everybody, regardless of diagnosis or disability, has the chance to have a life free of violence, no matter what that life looks like or how long or short that life is, because every life is valuable and every life is worth living.
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