It’s not often that I bring up abortion but this video reminded me of something.
I was born in February of 1970 and abortion was about to become legal in New York in April long before the landmark Roe v. Wade case in 1973, so many people assume that my mother had no choice but to have me.
The law at the time permitted women to have abortions if their life or their “health” would be compromised. It was probably used as a loophole by women who found themselves pregnant at older ages–then, not regarded as a safe practice.
My mother was 41 and here she was pregnant. A late in life baby. My sister is 16 years older than me. The doctors all gave her warnings. “Your age is a factor here, you’re taking a big risk.”
But then a nurse came in and clinched my mother’s decision when she said:
“41!? Forget it that kid will be retarded or severely brain damaged . I’ll make the appointment for you to be back here for an abortion in a few weeks.”
My mother doesn’t remember being angrier. And she reported the nurse to the hospital’s board of directors.
And she made a firm decision that she would have me despite all the advise that she was getting to the contrary.
There was one doctor who apparently continued to advise her to terminate.
After having me, my mother would do things like send the doctor pictures of her child that he insisted would have brain damage. I was a perfectly normal child. She’d later send him copies of my report cards, honor roll cards. I suspect if the doctor were still alive she would have sent him every article or book I ever wrote.
But my mother’s commitment goes deeper than that. I asked her once, “Well, what would have happened if they were right and you had me and I did have mental or physical handicaps?”
Her simple response: “We would have loved you anyway, for as long as God decided to give you to us.”
Sorta like this mother:
Amazing dedication. Life indeed is hard…but our attitude towards what life gives us makes all the difference in the world.
We have the choice to love or to be indifferent–often a far worse choice than hating–at least when people hate they acknowledge the other. Indifference means that one doesn’t matter at all. It’s what keeps the homeless on the streets and the lonely from being accepted. It’s what allows us to bully others because nobody will stand up. It what makes people disposable because of the opinion that others have formed that refers to them as “less than.”
Today, let us pray that we can see the other as someone who has value in our eyes and know that this is how God sees them. And in that choice we can give them the dignity that they deserve. May that gift inspire not only us—but those who we give dignity to to be inspired to experience God’s nearness to them.