I was eighteen. I looked closer to fourteen with big eyes and a very rounded face.
That wasn’t all that was rounded.
The khaki overalls and the pink tank top, the last outfit I had that fit comfortably over my stomach that felt as though it stuck three feet out, nearly bursting with an almost ten-pound baby boy. I was swollen. I was tired. I was scared. I was certainly not trying to be the walking parade I was. Sometimes I wanted to disappear.
Because there were stares. Eyes in a slit, curled lips. Muttered sentences that yes, I heard. I promise you: I heard.
I’m reading these news stories about Planned Parenthood. And I’m heartbroken, I am. But part of me wonders.
Wonders about those of you who cry out against these atrocities, those of you who post online with righteous indignation….
…were you the ones staring at me?
Abortion was never an option for me. It was not something I considered even for one moment, even when that bright pink line popped up like a screaming siren.
You are in your first semester of college. Branden just started his job. This is backwards. You cannot possibly be a parent. You will fail. Lindsay, you will fail.
But. I had an enormous support system. Disappointment wasn’t going to stop them from helping us learn to be a family. I had people. I had Branden, who refused to leave when I told him he was welcome to go, that this wasn’t what he had signed up for and I could do it. Who, despite all statistics and trials, is still here. I had our families.
I had people.
Not everyone does.
I don’t know what path my thoughts would have gone down without these people.
If I had been alone….with the stares and comments.
I am saying all of that to say this:
Pro-lifers, put your life where your mouth is. Your hands and feet and time. Put your judgment away and live what you believe. If all lives matter, then stop focusing on how that life got there. It’s there. Help teen mothers; help impoverished mothers. Help overwhelmed mothers. We cannot plead for a panicked woman to keep a child and then leave her to it once we get our way.
Open your arms. Your homes. Your lives. Your minds. Be pro life– the life of that sweet baby and the life of that mother.
Let’s not be holding our picket signs at the start of that race, only for these women to find themselves alone at the finish line. That is not our call. Our call is to be bent in prayer for these woman and their children. To love, to support. To help fill the needs; tangible and otherwise. But we have to see it through. It’s not rhetoric; it’s God’s love in action.