Whether a child is planned or not, the sweat, blood, tears, challenges and undeniable beauties of parenting are often uncharted waters for all of us.
In a recent article in The Federalist, Kimberly Ross shares how her pro-life views deepened with the birth of her first child, further revealing for her the beauty and sanctity of human life despite the challenges of parenting.
“It’s one thing to be staunchly pro-life while never having been a parent or pregnant,” Ross writes. “It’s another thing entirely to go through the experience of being with child and becoming a parent yourself, and emerge from that strange and wonderful journey with the exact same level of conviction as before.”
Ross reflects on the “culture of death” that is sadly ascending to supremacy in America, including weekly reports of terrorism, the 3,000 abortions that occur each day in this country and euthanasia.
Reverend Billy Graham recently expressed similar sentiments on CNSnews.com: “The euthanasia movement – disguised now as ‘death with dignity’ – is gaining ground in a number of states. And for every 1,000 live births in the United States, 219 pregnancies end with a murdered child, through abortion.”
In further illustrating America’s fixation with death, the article elaborates that 17 million people skipped Sunday night football to watch a season premiere of “The Walking Dead,” a graphic zombie show. A few weeks later, 15 million people tuned out the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs match-up, preferring to watch zombies eating people instead.
Ross also contemplates the financial and emotional aspects of raising children.
“If we look at things honestly, a vast majority of the reasons given for terminating a pregnancy are things normal to most pregnancies,” she writes. “As my older brother told me years ago, ‘if you wait until you’re financially able to have a kid… you’ll never have kids.’”
Undeniably child raising is expensive. The USDA estimates an average of $245,340 to raise a child born in 2013 up through age 18, not including inflation or college tuition. This number varies by region, and is highest in the urban northeastern portion of the country.
Money isn’t the only concern for parents; simply getting enough sleep, fitting all the necessarily activities into a day, and the toll pregnancy can take on the body also are concerns, Ross shares. Parents everywhere can agree with that. Yet she expresses gratitude for the support she had during and after her pregnancy, realizing many bring babies into the world in far humbler circumstances and without the support she had.
“On the flip side of pregnancy, I found myself a different person entirely. My status as a pro-life warrior, something I had held onto proudly since the age of 16, was of a different flavor,” Ross shares. “Not only had my understanding of life’s sanctity deepened, the empathy I had for others who faced pregnancy with less support than I had been blessed with and surrounded by had grown. “
Yet if she could do it all over again, she wouldn’t change a thing.
“Pregnancy and parenthood present an opportunity to embark upon a journey out of long-established comfort zones and leisurely routines of the childless years. This type of ‘growing up’ is not easy on any new parent, regardless of their position on abortion,” Ross says.
“Physical, financial, and scheduling challenges make themselves permanent residents in your household. It’s a difficult—but beautiful—season, whether you’re first-time parents in your mid-30s, like my husband and I became this summer, or a teenager with seemingly nowhere to turn. But it is also a privilege to subordinate your plans, money, and your very body itself to the beginning of a new human life.”