Another Blind Side: How Compassion Sets The Pro-Life Movement Apart

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 2, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Another Blind Side: How Compassion Sets The Pro-Life Movement Apart

by Bradley Mattes
July 2, 2010 Note: Bradley Mattes is the executive director of Life Issues Institute, a national pro-life educational group. Mattes is a veteran of the pro-life cause, with over 33 years of educational, political and humanitarian experience.

Not long ago, a Hollywood film, “The Blind Side,” left viewers across America marveling at one family’s compassion in adopting a troubled young teen. This week another such story emerged in the folds of a Minnesota newspaper.

It centers on a pregnant eleventh-grader, who, despite pressure from her boyfriend and mother to have an abortion, decided to protect her baby’s life. But four months into the pregnancy, La’Shay Ester found herself estranged from an already broken family, struggling to juggle school and a full-time job, and in need of some serious help.

That’s when the school nurse, Kathleen Hook, stepped in. It started with small gestures—a hug, some crackers and juice, a place to rest in between classes—but quickly grew into an extraordinary relationship. While others in the school raised disapproving eyebrows, the Hook family offered La’Shay a place to live. They eventually became her legal guardians. And that’s made all the difference in the world for La’Shay.

With the family’s support, the teen is pressing on. She graduated from high school months early, just in time for the birth of her son, Santana. By working at a retail supercenter, she saved enough money to purchase a car so she can commute between her job and the daycare. And this fall, she plans to attend a private four-year university—one that Kathleen helped her apply for—and move in to her own apartment.

The thriving young mother says she owes it all to Kathleen. “I couldn’t have made it without her,” she told the newspaper. It felt like “someone loves me, someone cares.”

This kind of compassion is exactly what the pro-life community should—and I believe does—represent. When young mothers are hurting, they don’t need another person telling them they can’t succeed, that their only option is death for their child and pain for themselves. They need practical help, someone to point them in the right direction. Most of all, they need encouragement to pursue the dreams they have for themselves and their babies.

Kathleen is a beautiful example of love in action. Still, she simply considers her family the “launch pad” for La’Shay. While others saw a disadvantaged teen destined to failure, Kathleen saw a mother and child in need of a champion. Please, be that champion for someone today. Generations depend on us to love and care for unborn babies and their parents.


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