In my late twenties and early thirties I didn’t think much about abortion one way or the other. I knew I did not want to take that route, but I didn’t see it as my right to impose that decision on anyone else.
Then, after bearing two healthy children, I had a miscarriage. About the time that baby would have been born, I had another.
The grief overwhelmed me. I could not understand it. I had experienced death in my family before and finally realized that I was in mourning. Though their tiny incipient bodies were not sound enough to survive, I was mourning for people I had never met. I was in mourning for people whose life experience I would never share.
How was that possible? They were just “clumps of cells”. No. They were my unfulfilled children. I mourned them as deeply as any other beloved family member.
A few years later, my third child was born. As he gazed dauntlessly into the world around him, I knew I had to protect him. I knew I could not control him. As his eyes locked with mine, I knew I could not not love him.
He was the light of my life as were his sister and brother before him. But he did not restore or replace his siblings who were lost. He was of himself and somehow survived the maelstrom of genesis.
Some years later, during a rare quiet moment, I realized what abortion was. I heaved, shuddered and wept at the decision to forfeit one’s own child. May God have mercy on us all.