i'm posting a letter i sent to the Canadian Center for Bio ethical Reform. This is such a tender, difficult subject - and i don't enter into it lightly - or think that anyone should even agree with me, but - my desire in creating this blog was that by having conversations about these very difficult things, we could maybe together, find a way to bring about change... This is a tiny contribution from me.
At the conference this past weekend, i was saddened by the palpable tension in the room that surrounded 2 issues. One was whether or not prolifers should support any gestational laws, and the other (as you must know), was over the use of graphic images.
This past while, i have been working through my own views on this topic, and i wanted to share them with you.
When i was 19, i found myself pregnant and unwed. i had always been strongly prolife - and i knew - even in those first moments watching that pregnancy test turn, that there was another person growing inside me, and that her life was precious. My husband & i married (he was only 18) & despite the cries we could hear of, "foolish", we soon became parents to the most delicious little girl. We moved to a small town where we could afford to live, and only a few short months later, we found out that another tiny life had come... at 11 weeks, we went and heard that racing heartbeat, and were told that our baby looked perfect, but then unexpectedly at 16 weeks, our son died.
It was 1997 - and i had already had one daughter, but i remember asking the doctor who i was seeing if my child would be "whole" when he was born.
As i remembered that moment today, it made me think... Why did i wonder if my child would be whole? Was i that brainwashed by a culture that called this little one a "cluster of cells", or "parasitic tissue, not unlike cancer"... Had i not felt his tiny feet in my womb, and seen his sweet form on that ultrasound screen?
"Yes," the doctor assured me... "He'll be whole." i asked him if i could touch him, hold him... love that wee frame of that tiny son who i wanted so badly to mother.
The doctor told me he would be fragile, but that yes... we could hold him.
The next day - i gave birth to our son. He fit in my hand - every finger - every toe - in delicate perfection. We took only 2 blurry pictures - the nurses rushed me... obviously uncomfortable with my agony... and they took my little one away (something i have always regretted).
4 children and 10 years later, i found myself in another dimmed ultrasound room - hearing what i already knew in my mama heart to be true. Another longed for life, gone. This little one barely measured 10 weeks (8 gestational weeks). i did things differently this time and waited for baby to come on it's own. After 2 agonizing weeks, i wondered if i'd even be able to find my baby when my miscarriage finally began, but God was merciful - and i did get the chance to hold that wee one - smaller than the tip of my baby finger, and in those moments, i marvelled at God's creation. i could see - even at this delicate stage - tiny threadlike arms, and legs - two eyes... my *baby*...
Anyway - i know this is long, but i wanted you to understand why - i was so very tender in considering the topic of graphic images...
At the conference this weekend, i went to Jojo Ruba's session on Saturday morning. He showed a movie that cut to my very heart... Tiny babies aborted at the very same stage of pregnancy that i had miscarried mine. It was earth shattering... horrible, sickening, heart breaking...
Oh, but i can hardly bear to type this; it's the reality.
i think that part of the reason i have been so very strong in my prolife convictions in my life - is because God so very gently showed me my very own set of graphic images when he let me see, hold and say good bye to two of my very own little ones.
So, maybe He'll never ask me to hold graphic images on the streets downtown like you do - or maybe He will - but regardless, i want you to know that i stand behind you in the work that you are doing. Jojo's sensitivity - and obvious compassion helped me to be able to see beyond my own ache - to the horror that those mama's must face when they realize one day - (because they'll all realize one day) what they've done.
Oh, the unkindness of keeping 'choice' masked.