I’m sure you know about the “Women’s March” on Saturday. I try to stay out of political stuff. I really do. I don’t like to see so much division and people who are so mean to one another, so I was determined to not really post about it. All throughout the day, I watched through social media scores and scores of women who were marching for their cause. And all throughout the day, I saw one overarching theme that I just couldn’t shake: the pro-choice movement. It’s a movement that I really struggle with for various reasons, not the least of which is my own past. I tried, and tried, and tried to ignore it all day. But the fact of the matter is, Planned Parenthood has claimed its ownership on supposed “women’s rights,” and women like me are forced into silence out of fear of outright bullies. And then, I saw several women post this:
I speak for YOU. I am here to speak for YOU.
Over. And over. And over again.
Finally, my fingers exploded onto my keyboard, and I posted the following to my Facebook. I am completely astonished at the attention it has received. I’m not sure what qualifies something to go “viral,” but all I know is that my phone has been going crazy for 2 days! I am reposting it here, where I will post a follow up to my story. Thanks for reading.
You do not speak for me.
There once was a 15 year old girl. Her family was almost poverty level. She had shelter but often not enough to eat, no air conditioning, and a single, barely functioning car for their family. She didn’t own much in the way of clothing. They had no health insurance. The turn of every month began the countdown until the next fixed income check. Life was simple and at times, hard. And then one day, she found herself to be pregnant.
Telling her family was the worst. She was the good kid. The best student, destined to be the first one in the family able to go to college. She was supposed to break the cycle, not continue it. They were angry. Her dad didn’t speak to her for weeks. When she sobbed while puking into the trashcan every morning before school, out the window on the way to school, and during school, there was no sympathy. But, they thought there might be an answer when one morning, the phone rang. It was from one of the most respected teachers at the school. “What are you thinking?” he said. “I don’t know,” she said. Then he said, “you just need to get an abortion.”
She couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to. She just didn’t. Her family wasn’t religious. In fact, church was NOT allowed. Those people were judgmental hypocrites. But something in her gut just couldn’t bring her to it. She knew the baby inside her was alive – the doctor at the immediate care told her she was at least 6 weeks along. He also told her it wasn’t a big deal though because she was young with a bright future and CHOICES. He gave her the pamphlets for where to get an abortion and sent her home. But, now there was someone else she actually knew trying to convince her that an abortion was her way out. He asked her why not. She said, “I don’t know. I just feel like it is playing God.” His response was, “now, you are a smart girl. If you took the zygote out right now – it isn’t a baby yet – would it survive? No. It would not. Therefore, it isn’t alive. This is not a moral decision.” She paused. Maybe he was right. She responded with the only thing she could come up with: “But should I be the one who takes away the chance of life?” He told her to be smart about this, and hung up.
Soon after, she ran into the teacher’s wife in the parking lot of the local Wal-mart. The woman came along side, hugged the girl warmly and said she was so sorry. “Honey, this is no big deal. Our daughter has had 5 abortions. They aren’t expensive and this can all be over in just a few days. Just like that! Everyone will just think you had a miscarriage.” Just like that, she thought. Gosh, that would be easy. Maybe she should think about it.
Everyone knew before she told anyone. The rumor had spread like wildfire. The comments were awful. She was ashamed and so embarrassed. But she just couldn’t bring herself to a different conclusion than to carry this baby. There was one teacher – one – who encouraged and loved her through. One person to give her hope in the darkness.
By the time the baby came, the father was no longer interested. Her parents stayed home to care for the baby so she could finish school. But, there wasn’t enough money. So she worked before and after school taking on 2 jobs to pay off the hospital bill for the birth – $8,400. Even though they were poverty income, her dad’s social security check prevented them from acquiring any government assistance. There was also formula and diapers. And groceries. And utilities that were always on disconnect notice. Their grocery budget for their family of 5 was $50 a week. There was hardly ever enough.
She was determined to make a life for herself somehow, someway. She worked hard. Everyday, late into the night. It wasn’t perfect. It was hard. There wasn’t much sleep. There was a lot of stress and not much fun. There were arguments and tears. But, she graduated 6th in her high school class with a four year academic scholarship to a good school.
Fast forward a couple of years, and she has learned about birth control. She is married, and her son is in a good preschool. Clearly birth control made sense now. She got pregnant again, but at least she was married! Except soon after, there were no more symptoms and then no more pregnancy. She did not know that birth control pills can also negatively impact pregnancies if they happen to occur. The doctor said it was no big deal because “it happens all the time and most women don’t even know.” Oh. No big deal. Then she started reading the truth, and for years and years to come, she would privately embrace and share those truths, grow her family, and break the cycle.
That little “zygote,” destined for death or a hopeless life, is now an 18 year old thriving young man. He is an older brother, a fabulous son, a contributor to society, an excellent student, a hard worker, a lover of God and people, and a friend to many. That young man is my son.
And that young girl was me.
It is getting late, around midnight. I have felt so many emotions today. Sadness. Anger. Fear. While women who claim to speak for ME are heralded for their courage to wear vagina hats and spew the ultimate hatred of all – the right to deny life however they choose.
You do not speak for me. And it is not because I hate anyone. In fact, it is the opposite – it is out of the ultimate love for all people that I want them to have the most basic of all human rights – life. There are some that will claim it “worked out for me” because I am white/privileged/middle class/had family/whatever. I’ve heard all of that and more. I had no privilege that you speak of. The only privilege I had was that of busting my own arse to own up to my responsibilities. I worked harder from the ages of 15-18 years old than most any of you can even fathom. And I do not share that to boast, but to say:
If you are reading this and believe that abortion empowers women, you are wrong. Abortion – and, to a degree, chemical birth control – are some of the greatest lies ever bestow upon the American woman. You are not empowered by being poisoned with chemicals and lies. You are imprisoned. It does not matter your situation – circumstances are temporary. Abortion is permanent, and it is not without great casualty for you, either. Look at the actual statistics for YOU, as a woman. Look beyond anyone’s agenda and read the truth.
You do not speak for me when you are vulgar, mean, insulting, and profane. Madonna, you sound like an idiot when you have to use profanity to share your message. And pink vagina hats? How old are we again? None of you speak for me.
You do not speak for me when you claim to speak for “all women.” Women like me have no place with you – though the media will not show it, you are not kind to women who value life. I know, because I know pro-life women who have been spat on, pushed, thrown down on the street, and more. You only speak for women who agree with your agenda – an agenda that, ironically, prevents people from creating more people that should “have your rights.” It is the ultimate hypocrisy.
I know that this post will not be read by very many people, but I could not stay silent any longer. I have felt emotion boiling up in me all day. I have daughters, though, and we should not be bullied for valuing what you all have, yet you want to deny – life. I will not be bullied by an agenda of lies.
And if you are reading this, and you are, or know someone in a desperate situation – there is HOPE. There is hope beyond what you can imagine. Overcoming one of the most difficult situations of my life has made me who I am – and has given the world path changers and cycle breakers. This is us. Choose hope. Choose life.
Otherwise, no. Today, you do not speak for me.