Just over 20 years ago, I made one of the best decisions ever and married my wife, Holly. Within a few weeks of the honeymoon, we were all moved into our new apartment in Nashville, TN, for my wife to attend college. We both began to look for jobs, took all of the duplicate shower gifts we received back to Walmart, (We didn’t receive a SINGLE toaster when we got married!), got our obligatory first puppy, and began our lives together.
My wife began her first semester of college and landed a part time job that worked with her schedule. I started working from home for a company out of Chicago creating websites. We were living the dream those first few months, honestly. Newlyweds in a new city: New friends, new jobs, new church, new… everything. And then, the newest thing of all… we found out my wife was pregnant.
Looking back, we would have had all of the checkboxes checked for deciding to have an abortion instead of bringing this new addition into the world.
- We weren’t financially ready. My wife was part-time, I was in an entry-level job. We sure didn’t have extra money for doctor bills, diapers, clothes, etc, etc, etc.
- This was going to dramatically interfere with our plans! My wife was a freshman in college. She was going to be the first in her family to get a college diploma. That part-time job she had sure wasn’t going to be flexible enough for a new baby. And college…?? That was definitely going to be sidelined, if we had a baby coming.
- We weren’t ready for a child. Did I mention we were newlyweds?! And, we were young. I was 24; my wife was 18. While my wife knew her way around little kiddos, I sure didn’t. She had just graduated high school a few months earlier. “Take a baby home” sure sounded way more scary and difficult than that puppy we had brought home from Pet Smart a few months earlier.
- We didn’t have a support system. Sure, we had friends, but we didn’t have any type of real support. All of our family lived four hours away in East TN. We had started a church, but for young newlyweds, we would need more than acquaintances.
The above four circumstances account for nearly ALL of the abortions in America today. Statistics from a number of different organizations show that between 94% and 99% of all abortions fall under one or more categories above.
But we made a different choice.
Fast-forwarding more than 19 years, we moved our daughter, Maddie, to Chicago for the summer as part of the Chicago Semester program.
Maddie is interning at Chicago Volunteer Legals Services, which is a volunteer organization that provides free legal representation for those who can’t afford counsel. They represent people in civil cases: evictions, foreclosures, family court, bankruptcy and more. She will also be taking seminar courses that examine racial and ethnic differences and how these relate to carrying out the law in the city and neighborhoods. The internship and seminars will benefit her as she majors in Social Justice as part of her pre-law studies.
The internship and even her major course of study doesn’t surprise me. Maddie has always desired to be a voice for those who don’t have one. She has compassion on those who need the most help. Her heart is for “the least of these.” She hates injustice and wants to represent those who are being oppressed. I am so proud of the story she is writing.
It’s HER STORY and I can’t wait to see the pages she will write.
And you see, THAT is the reason abortion 19 years ago wasn’t the answer. Choosing to have an abortion would mean we were choosing OUR story over hers. We would be giving our story more value than hers. We would be writing our story by erasing hers. We would be ending her story before she ever had a chance to write it.
Sadly, there are literally millions of stories that have never been written. Stories of great accomplishment. Stories of love and compassion and victory that were silenced because men and women chose their own stories over that of their unborn child.
Those are the stories of abortion.