During this Christmas season I have had the blessing of being introduced to some real pro-life heroes. No, not the kind who work on Capitol Hill fighting legislative battles, or who pray outside abortion clinics.
They are the kind who, in difficult and sometimes tragic situations take a good look in the mirror and who choose Life for their children: real moms and dads who did not succumb to the pressure. And heroes who support these men and women, who provide an environment and a real, life-giving and life-altering choice: Life.
I received an email from the aunt of a college-aged girl who had decided she was going to have an abortion. She and her boyfriend, although in a loving relationship, had not planned to have a child in their lives right now. She felt abortion was her only option, and felt pressure from her boyfriend, although he himself was being pressured by his peers. She even had an appointment scheduled. She had decided to through with it. Prayers were said and support was offered to them by family, friends and strangers.
Both his and her parents tried to dissuade them from the abortion. On the day of the appointment, the abortion clinic miraculously lost power and canceled. This gave her father time to take her for an ultrasound. At the sight of her unborn child, her maternal instinct took over. She didn’t speak to anyone before convincing her boyfriend that they could do this, and that they couldn’t take the life of their child.
A young girl who found herself pregnant by a man she did not love chose life. She has a beautiful daughter and is dating a wonderful young man who loves them both. She has a job; she raises her daughter; she goes out with her friends and her boyfriend. Her life didn’t end because she decided to keep her baby; and her baby’s life, thank God, didn’t end either.
A married couple, try as they might, were not able to conceive genetic children of their own. Because of the heroic choices of two other women, they have two beautiful children through traditional adoption. But their story does not end here. They also count among their blessings a third child who made it to heaven before they did.
Through embryo adoption, the wife became pregnant and carried their child in her womb for nine months. At about the fourth month, during an ultrasound, the child was discovered to suffer from acrania, a fatal condition in which part of the skull is missing. The couple, who for years had tried to have a baby, was told to abort. It was unthinkable to them. They courageously chose life for their child, found a doctor who would work with them, and were able to spend ten precious hours with their little bundle of joy outside the womb, a daughter whose face they will never forget and whose memory will live in their hearts forever.
We all have heard stories like these but reading them in black and white helps us remember the actual holy innocents for whom we fight.
Stories like these give us hope that there are real heroes out there who find themselves in compromised and difficult situations, but choose justly and rightly; who choose Life.